‘For my self-respect, I should not return’

‘For my self-respect, I should not return’

Kashmiri scholar who left BITS Pilani decides to stay home


Bandipora: Exhausted and hurt, Hashim meets me over a cup of tea in a ‘dhaba’. He settles in corner at the last bench, head sunk in his palms as his phone rings over and over again. He does not answer the “unknown” numbers that have been calling him since he returned. “I fell harassed”, Hashim says.
“They say we are calling to help as injustice has been done with you. Why shall I trust them? Isn’t injustice already happening with every Kashmiri?” Hashim mind rattles with questions. “Did they help any of the victims to get justice? How can they? Most of them (victims) are dead. Aren’t we already fed off the media trials against Kashmiris? I see my issue as a very small one.”
Hashim’s questions and his answers seem to connect his fate with the Kashmir conflict, which, he believes is inescapable, whether you live within its physical confines or outside. Hashim, 28, was admitted to BITS Pilani, one of the prestigious institutions of India. But he could live the experience for just 20 days and returned home, leaving behind his JRF fellowship in DSTSERB project.
What is Hashim story?
On Friday, 20th April, Hashim woke up to a noise outside his hostel room. “Everyone was pointing to the door,” Hashim said. Moments later Hashim realised that he has been targeted for being a Kashmiri. “It was bone-chilling. I saw my room’s door painted with words like ‘let us kill the jehadi bastard inside’. It was not only threatening but equally a humiliation of my self-respect and dignity”, he says.
Hashim reported the incident to the administration. “The warden said ‘we will look into the issue as there are some miscreants whom we were trying to nab’ ”, he says, adding that he felt assured. “But I thought, if anyone can write all these provoking things, they can also kill me”.
Already perturbed, Hashim was up for another shock at night. His clothes which he hung in the hostel corridor for drying were marked with words like “anti-national, Kashmiri pervert, and Kashmiri dog”. “I felt scared. There were things happening in Rajasthan with Kashmiris, but I had never imagined that anything as such would reach BITS (Pilani)”.
Hashim took the matter up with his research guide this time. He advised Hashim to take it with the chief warden of the hostel. “The administration helped me; they even vacated a spot for me in the scholar quarters”.
Before moving into the scholar’s hostel, Hashim sought an advice from his father. “I told Papa everything that had happened. He asked me to return home, he said I should give preference to my safety, and studies can wait”.
Hashim immediately left for Delhi. “I stayed in Delhi for a night and emailed my research guide that i was taking off for some days”, Hashim says. “Father has asked me to return home. I agreed, I was stressed out.”
“I have been to another institute in India before; a very reputed one that gave me the treasure of close friends,” Hashim fondly recalls. “But there is a lot of change now. In the hostel mess at BITS, I would sit alone to eat. No one socialised with me”.
At home in Bandipora, Hashim says, that he does not wish to go back. “I have taken leave from the department but after all this and analysing the situation I was put through, I feel more hurt than scared. For pursuing my studies, I should go, but for my self-respect and dignity I think I should not.”

‘For my self-respect, I should not return’
Kashmiri scholar who left BITS Pilani decides to stay home
Owais farooqi
Bandipora: Exhausted and hurt, Hashim meets me over a cup of tea in a ‘dhaba’. He settles in corner at the last bench, head sunk in his palms as his phone rings over and over again. He does not answer the “unknown” numbers that have been calling him since he returned. “I fell harassed”, Hashim says.
“They say we are calling to help as injustice has been done with you. Why shall I trust them? Isn’t injustice already happening with every Kashmiri?” Hashim mind rattles with questions. “Did they help any of the victims to get justice? How can they? Most of them (victims) are dead. Aren’t we already fed off the media trials against Kashmiris? I see my issue as a very small one.”
Hashim’s questions and his answers seem to connect his fate with the Kashmir conflict, which, he believes is inescapable, whether you live within its physical confines or outside. Hashim, 28, was admitted to BITS Pilani, one of the prestigious institutions of India. But he could live the experience for just 20 days and returned home, leaving behind his JRF fellowship in DSTSERB project.
What is Hashim story?
On Friday, 20th April, Hashim woke up to a noise outside his hostel room. “Everyone was pointing to the door,” Hashim said. Moments later Hashim realised that he has been targeted for being a Kashmiri. “It was bone-chilling. I saw my room’s door painted with words like ‘let us kill the jehadi bastard inside’. It was not only threatening but equally a humiliation of my self-respect and dignity”, he says.
Hashim reported the incident to the administration. “The warden said ‘we will look into the issue as there are some miscreants whom we were trying to nab’ ”, he says, adding that he felt assured. “But I thought, if anyone can write all these provoking things, they can also kill me”.
Already perturbed, Hashim was up for another shock at night. His clothes which he hung in the hostel corridor for drying were marked with words like “anti-national, Kashmiri pervert, and Kashmiri dog”. “I felt scared. There were things happening in Rajasthan with Kashmiris, but I had never imagined that anything as such would reach BITS (Pilani)”.
Hashim took the matter up with his research guide this time. He advised Hashim to take it with the chief warden of the hostel. “The administration helped me; they even vacated a spot for me in the scholar quarters”.
Before moving into the scholar’s hostel, Hashim sought an advice from his father. “I told Papa everything that had happened. He asked me to return home, he said I should give preference to my safety, and studies can wait”.
Hashim immediately left for Delhi. “I stayed in Delhi for a night and emailed my research guide that i was taking off for some days”, Hashim says. “Father has asked me to return home. I agreed, I was stressed out.”
“I have been to another institute in India before; a very reputed one that gave me the treasure of close friends,” Hashim fondly recalls. “But there is a lot of change now. In the hostel mess at BITS, I would sit alone to eat. No one socialised with me”.
At home in Bandipora, Hashim says, that he does not wish to go back. “I have taken leave from the department but after all this and analysing the situation I was put through, I feel more hurt than scared. For pursuing my studies, I should go, but for my self-respect and dignity I think I should not.”

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