Rafiq A Wani
KUPWARA: Kids seem to have a field day as voting in the frontier district Kupwara meant an off day from schools with lot of fun factor. With all schools around the Baramulla constituency closed, thanks to an official holiday, kids could be seen making most of it: playing cricket and enjoying polling that they were witnessing for the first time.
Azhar Ashraf Sofi, 12, was huddled into a gathering outside Arampora polling booth along with his friends, having fun as they watched most of their villagers vote in good numbers.
Sofi is thrilled to see voting going on for the first time in his life besides getting a full day to play cricket.
“I am seeing voting for the first time and quite enjoying it. I got a full day to play cricket,” says Sofi.
Will Sofi vote when achieves eligible age? “Yes,” he says, “I will definitely vote for the party that my father wants me to do.”
Does he have any inkling of boycott call or the ongoing situation in the Valley? “I know there is a boycott and azadi movement going along, but I feel we needn’t to waste our vote,” says Sofi who brims with confidence with every word he speaks.
Down in Trehgam, where Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, founder of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front was born, young boys don’t mind going into polling booths to see what the voting exercise is all about. But most of them say they would like to stay away from polls once they are 18 and more, eligible age for exercising franchise in this part of the world.
“I am having fun watching people vote as I’m seeing it for the first time in my life. But I feel we should avoid voting as it is considered to be the betrayal to those who have made sacrifices,” says Mohammad Iqbal Sheikh, happy to have out of blue school free day.
While pro and anti-elections groups jostle with each other to claim their ascendancy on the polling day, kids in Kupwara were having much of fun factor to make it theirs.