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SRINAGAR: Education refers to the all-round development of the personality of an individual and aims at the complete transformation of his/her life. It is not merely the acquisition of degrees or certificates from institutions of excellence, but, rather a tool which facilitates the paradigm shift in the life of a learner in terms of character development, morality, good behaviour, responsible role towards the society, creation of skills, inculcation of values and good belief systems in the society, etc. It is an old aged saying that one is known by the company he keeps. A learner who spends time in the life in the company of learned is far apart from others who are aloof of learning.

Education facilitates a learning state in a student from the day one makes inroads within an institution. History is witness to the fact that in earlier times, the centres of learning where Madrassas and patshalas in India, including Kashmir. Thence after, with the advent of an institutional mechanism, the learning equations underwent a major shift and institutions became the centres of knowledge, with further impetus post-arrival of science and technology and paraphernalia of the modern times. Education is today at the fingertips of the people, but, it is the teacher and the institution that play a vital role in the real dissemination of the knowledge and pull a learner towards the state of enlightenment from the confines of the darkness. Even, the globalization of knowledge has made the facilitation of knowledge easy and at convenience.

Education in the past times was although an enterprise of a few and affluent, but, today, in contrast, every Tom, Dick and Harry has a bunch of degrees to his credit, although variable across the spectrum of specialization. However, the educational system of Kashmir is beset with a majority of problems. The major harm that has been done to the educational sector is due to the unhealthy state of political atmosphere and waywardness in our state of J&K. Every other day, due to uncertain nature of the situations in Kashmir, the educational institutions are closed day-in and day-out. The major portion of the year is lost in the whirlpool of political uncertainty. The recurring uncertain phases of the events has badly affected our educational sector and inflicted a heavy damage thereof. Today, the children are not ready to come to school. Others, who attend the days in the educational institutions, are short of patience. This is a major concern for the current times. Education is an asset of the nation.

Due to the prevailing uncertain situation in our state, the students have turned awry. Gone are the days when students used to respect teachers in a comprehensive way. Today, a single taunt of discipline from a teacher is a heart-wrenching affair. Teachers who suggest the pupils to mend their ways invite ire of their parents. The government has made teachers like handicapped as they can’t do anything in the current political crisis. Recently, when in a government institute, the teachers after much parleys denied student’s entry into school on account of proper school shoes, next day, a respectable citizen came fuming and said that don’t mend them, tomorrow, may they harm you, it will trouble you. What can a teacher do at that point in time? A teacher is today a thorn in the eye of the people. He is being victimized by taunts like he is any hardcore criminal and takes the salary from the people’s pockets. The major problem is that there should have been some moderate sort of corporal punishment for the students because, in our times, the stick was called as mind-striver (akalnuma) as we bore it and also safeguards for the teachers.

It was a long time ago that Zakat Foundation of India chairman, Syed Zaffar Mehmood said that Kashmiri students are highly talented. But, that talent should be nourished and properly channelized under the auspicious aegis of teachers. Besides, the teachers should also focus on the creative aspect of the education. It is not merely the passage of knowledge in the classrooms, rather, there should be an inbuilt medium created by a teacher in the classroom to vent the creative talent of the students. The second most problem in our classrooms is that there are no or less demonstrative activities in the classroom. A classroom should become like a laboratory in itself, where students can themselves perform the activities themselves regarding their lessons, under the guidance of their subject specialist teachers.

Another important problem is that parents force themselves on their wards, so far as career choices are concerned, without looking for the inbuilt literary taste of their wards. Long time back, there was medical and engineering craze in Kashmir. Since Dr. Shah Faesal topped the IAS in 2010; the wavy nature of the students is caught in the quagmire of civil services as of now. It should not be like this. There is something beyond the confines of short-term visions of goal. There are a plethora of career choices beyond the intermediate level. The proper counseling of the students is the need of the hour. There should be the pause of parent’s intervention in the student’s career choice and an end to the switch-off and switch on mechanisms.

Cutting long story short, education as of now in Kashmir is caught in a distraught situation. Well-offs have sent their wards to learning abodes of knowledge centres and institutions. It is the poor who suffers as of now. Children should maximise their learning within the minimum of time they get in the academic session of the year. Parents should create an ethical environment in their homes for their wards. Teachers should change their strategy of learning and move beyond the pages of books towards a greater clarity and focus on skill development, demonstrative abilities and research inculcation in the students.

This way of a healthy triangular relationship between student, teacher and parents can become a boost in the arm for the rectifying the faulty system of education in our Kashmir. Every teacher is a good scholar, but that scholastic aptitude must droop down towards the students as the world of today’s cut-throat competition demands so. Together, the wheel of education can be pushed towards the greater good of the society. Parents should keep a tight vigil on their students and inculcate a spirit of morality in them. This way they can perform as the better students of today and best citizens of tomorrow who respect their teacher’s and elders totally.

The government has made enormous provisions in the educational institutions in terms of highly qualified teacher’s, infrastructure, scholarships, etc for the students in general and poor in particular. Only that is required is the zeal and zest of the students to learn, achieve their goals and make the name of the state and country, time and again, high in achievements. 

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ANANTNAG: The appeals from the families to their militant sons asking them to return home have shown an upward trend in Kashmir. The families in their requests tend to justify why the living of their child with them is more important than being a militant. 


Sometimes it is ailing and elderly parents citing their health conditions as a reason to see their son home again, sometimes it is a mother who appears in the press enclave and addresses a press conference, asking her son to come back. On other occasions, it is a sister who pens down an emotional letter to her militant brother, talking about the consequences of his decision to join militancy on their family. 


The letter was written by Rifat Sidiq, a Psychologist and Burhan Ganai’s sister who joined Hizbul Mujahideen June this year. Gania, a resident of S.K. colony Islamabad (Aanantnag) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy. Kashmir News Bureau (KNB) reproduces the letter in full below: 


“Burhan Soab, It all started since you have left, a shining star that was known for your wisdom, compassion and unbelievable patience. We are stunned, shattered with your decision that left us all in pieces. Yet! Our courageous parents will stand on their toes and ask for forgiveness to Allah (SWT). 


In the meantime, they keep gazing at the front gate that our son will show up any time, murmuring to each other do you know anything of him, did you find any clue, where he could be possibly, is he eating anything, is he even taking his medicines and what not we have to see them go through in your absence. We wish you were here to see yourself the grave and grim life of your ailing mother and father. 


Sometimes a person feels the path he has chosen is the ultimate path of success, but think about it who would want his parents to suffer mercilessly, have they not raised us to be their old age strength, have they not had aspirations and dreams. We all get carried with our emotions and in that there is always someone who would come to hijack whatever little we are left with. Our father had a dream of seeing his elder son become a Doctor and yet he feels dejected and deceived, how come we are on a right path if we end up killing our parents slowly and mercilessly.

Let’s show some empathy with our parents and be there reason of calmness not the reason of catastrophes, have they not seen enough in their lives, have they not suffered earlier tell us why we would we make them suffer more, you are our hope to end all our sufferings and yet you left us in darkness. I know you understand the consequences of your decision and its implications on our parents who are already battling their life. 


And while I am writing, I keep cleaning your books, look up to your room, upto its four walls where I see the reflections of your face, your voice echoes in my ears as if you’re Calling me out loud “Riffat Di” and yet I cannot hear. This is the worst feeling being in your room without you around and holding your trophies and medals. If this was supposed to be our destiny then I better would end up my life before you could even think of leaving us in the middle of nowhere. 


To conclude, I request all of you to ask our ailing brother return home for his own health. for his parents who are battling with life threatening diseases. I know as a society we can be the drivers of change. Let us prove it this time.

Long live Kashmir- Long live Humanity. 


P.S. I love my Brother”

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The latest controversy has been brought on the horizon by the politicians and the media vis-à-vis the mandate of Chapter-III in the Indian Constitution regarding the scope of Fundamental Rights incorporated in Article 12 to Article 35 of the Indian Constitution. There is no dispute on the fact and law that Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India as mentioned in Chapter-III of the Indian Constitution are applicable to every citizen of India since January 26, 1950. Chapter on Fundamental Rights was applicable to all the citizens of India including the Indian citizens in J&K.   The role of the Constituent Assembly of India came to an end on January 26, 1950 when Constitution of India was enacted and made applicable to India from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Under special circumstances, may be, political compulsions State of J&K was not brought under the cover of the Constitution of India as a whole. The Constituent Assembly of India inserted Article 370 in the neck of Indian Constitution for the reasons to be debated one day. Any how, Article 370 was brought as a temporary provision inside the Constitution of India. The Constituent Assembly had clearly debated under the Chairmanship of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar that the provision was only temporary and shall be relaxed at appropriate time.

The consequences were sad and undesirable even unexpected for several reasons which shall be discussed by the intellectuals and thinkers someday. But what happened in J&K following this temporary provision say Article 370 has been out of expectation of the people of the country. A Constituent Assembly was framed in J&K under the leadership of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah who was nominated as Prime Minister of J&K by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1948 before the Maharaja migrated from J&K to Bombay. He remained in Bombay all his life and died in 1961 in Bombay itself. His ashes were brought as he had desired in his will to Jammu Tawi and immersed in the Jammu Tawi by his only son, Dr. Karan Singh, the then Sadar-e-Riyasat of J&K.

This is necessary to mention the political happenings between 1948 and 1961. Maharaja Hari Singh was literally forced to leave J&K. He settled in Bombay and remained there till his death in 1961. Yuvraj Karan Singh was designated as the Regent in place of his father from 1948 till 1952.

After January 26, 1950 when Constitution of India was promulgated in the entire country excepting J&K. Article 370 incorporated in Constitution of India which commanded that Parliament of India shall have no legislative power vis-à-vis J&K. The President of India was given the mandate to make laws in respect of three subjects namely, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications (with Allied Matters) to make laws whereas rest of the subjects were to be dealt with by the State Govt. It is also important to mention that, “For the proposes of this article, the Government of the State meant the person for the time being recognized by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the 5th day of March, 1948.”

This is very important to note that Article 370 also introduced Clause-3 in Article 370 saying that “President may, by public notification, declare that this Article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as may specify.”  

A proviso was inserted which commanded that “recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in Clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.” It is very important for the historians, intellectuals and  the parliamentarians to understand that this proviso was valid only during the life of the Constituent Assembly of J&K. Constituent Assembly of J&K terminated/came to an end on January 26, 1957 when J&K Legislative Assembly adopted its own Constitution. This proviso disappeared and the President of India was free to act whenever he desires on the command of Clause (3) of Article 370. This subject I had conveyed to President of India during my meeting and urged on the basis of the constitutional interpretation. The President of India today and even since 1957 was competent to bring any amendment or change in any provision contained in Article 370.

As far as Article 35(A) is concerned it has to be viewed legally and constitutionally from different prospects. Article 35(A) was not created/implied by the Constituent Assembly nor it has been enacted by the Parliament of India. Article 35(A) is only from outside the fort of Chapter-III of Constitution of India relating with the Fundamental Rights enshrined for the citizens of India only. This amendment was brought on May 1954 for political reasons, may be to find a way out to continue Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah in detention after his dismissal from premiership of J&K on August 9, 1953. British Lawyer, Dingle Foot while arguing against the alleged detention of Sheikh Abdullah in 1954 in Jammu Jail had raised the contention that no Indian citizen could have been detained without trial for more than three months. The Govt. of India and the Govt. of J&K wanted Sheikh Abdullah to continue under detention. The Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, according to information, addressed a letter to the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad with a proposal that Article 35 should  be amended.

Article 35(A) was conceived without any legal or constitutional support. The impression given was that President of India shall amend any provision in the Constitution may it be Article 35 and exclude the citizens of India from its cover in any part of the country. It was one of the greatest tragedies of the time that the citizens of India in J&K were deprived of their Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India from Article 12 to 35. The President had limited power under the Constitution to introduce any amendment etc. or change any provision of the Constitution for a limited period of six months. This amendment proposed by the President of India in May 1954 was valid till December 1954. This is sad and unfortunate that this country has so many historians, intellectuals, revolutionaries and unparallel thinkers yet none has cared to study the implications/scope of this Ordinance issued by the President  of India in May 1954.

I only call upon the academicians, lawyers, intellectuals, media and all those who believe in democracy and rule of law to study in-depth the reasons and the history buried under the grave of Article 35(A). This is Article 35(A) which has no constitutional standing nor it was even discussed, argued and debated in any House of Legislature. The greatest misfortune, I see is that this 35(A) which I call a draconian law under which I have personally suffered detentions for years in J&K without trial. My several friends, political colleagues have also suffered jails under illegal detentions. Why the  present rulers as well as ex-rulers in the State of J&K have been supporting 35(A)? This is 35(A) which is born without parents and for the reasons to use detention laws against the genuine political activists in J&K. 

I was shocked, the other day, to hear my dear colleagues in the bar arguing in favour of Article 35(A). Who was the author of 35(A)? Whose womb this 35(A) was conceived? What effect it has on the innocent law abiding citizens? Does this 35(A) stands as a wailing wall between the civil liberties and the citizens of India in J&K? What the relevance of Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India for the citizens of India  in J&K in the presence of Article 35(A)? Let us start a debate on this subject whether this is for the protection of Fundamental Rights of the Indian citizens in J&K?