Syed Rummana Waseem
Kashmir is considered to be the heaven on earth, I wonder how valid this statement is, and if it is, then the context of its validation would certainly be different.
In the last twenty years things have changed and situation too. The socio-political war that is going on in the Valley is a proof of it, well my area of concern is different but it too has been deeply affected by the conflict, actually it has risen as a part of this whole conflict.
Education, a very simple yet immensely empowering word and a slight mention of it indicates something brighter and better. While people in the rest of the world equate education to prosperity, things are pretty different in Kashmir. Education has always bore the brunt of this conflict, students have suffered to unimaginable extents, something that cannot be described or written down.
In a situation like this, the task is brought down on the shoulders of parents, what will these concerned parents do? How will they save the future of their kids? Their nature compels them to look for alternative ways so that they can shield their children from this raging fire that has already engulfed thousands of homes, destructed countless lives and what not.
If examples are to be cited then this piece of work will be endless. Almighty Allah has blessed parents with a sense of protection towards their children and it is universal, be it humans or animals.
All they want is their kids to flourish and be happy. Now with circumstances like this, parents feel it is absolutely right and just to send their kids away to study, to keep them safe, to let them build a beautiful future. All of their efforts are highly justified and well appreciated because they sacrifice a lot for this to happen.
So for the past many years, Kashmir has witnessed an increasing outflow of students, some leave immediately after 10th, some after 12th, etc. The point is most of them leave, and when they do there is no turning back. These kids, they travel to different places, study there, live there, make friends, actually they blend in that environment, so much that Kashmir which once used to be their home, now has turned into a mere vacation spot.
And after convincing these kids a few years ago that Kashmir is not safe to study, these poor parents expect them to move back, something that seems unrealistic for those children who have found peace as well prosperity.
Ironical isn’t it, first we push them into this and then we expect the very opposite.
Surely there is lack of good quantity as well as quality of higher education, great infrastructure, employment opportunities and so on, but these mistakes can be rectified or such possibilities can take place.
Denial of good education is one of the most brutal oppression in today’s world but the truth of this whole picture, is the much more brutal oppression that the parents in Kashmir are facing.
Alone, old and tired, this is how they live, this is how they suffer, some have lost their loved ones to death, while others have been forced to live this way, waiting for days to hear their son’s voice and months or years for a tiny glimpse.
Either way it is these parents who have suffered and still are suffering, they are the ones at loss. Struggling each day with this fact isn’t easy and, there is no doubt that Kashmir indeed has turned into a battleground of numerous conflicts both external and internal.
Some of us don’t want to see the reality, we want to close our eyes just like the pigeon and believe that everything is fine or everything will be fine. But the most important question that we all need to ask ourselves is where are we heading as a society?
Freedom, Future or Family? I think it is better to leave the answers for you to decide, and draw the conclusions that appeal you the best but please do introspect, because there is much more at stake than it appears.
Here is a beautiful hadith that sums up this whole issue;
A man came to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asking his permission to take part in jihad. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked him, “Are your parents alive?” He replied in affirmative.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said to him, “Then exert yourself in their service,” (Sahih Bukhari/Book 52/Hadith 248 and Sahih Muslim/Book 32/Hadith 6184). BOX
Kashmiri students have blend in outside environment so much that Kashmir which once used to be their home has now turned into a mere vacation spot.