‘We cease to be teachers if we fail to stand in solidarity’

‘We cease to be teachers if we fail to stand in solidarity’

Teachers’ view on protests

SRINAGAR: The valley wide protests by students on Monday in response to government  forces’ assault on Pulwama college students took the authorities, as well as public by surprise.  Kashmir Reader talked to some teachers about how they saw the development.

“The greatest feature of being educated is to be conscious about your political, social, cultural, and above all, your human rights. And, it is heartening to see the streaks of this feature in the students of our valley when tens of thousands of them, unanimously and consensually, across Kashmir staged peaceful protests against the wave of killings in Kashmir and against what happened in Degree College Pulwama on April 16. We will cease to be teachers of such conscious students if we fail to stand in solidarity with them.”
Shahnaz Bashir
Novelist and academic

“It was a response to oppression depicted through social media.  The protests used to happen earlier also but it were like one day in Srinagar and other day in other district but because of social media, this protest was spontaneous and happened at all places immediately. It was in 1973 or 1974 when it was said that the name of the Women College M A Road will be changed into Kamla Nehru College and similar scenes were witnessed in S P College that time. And that time too, girl students too were seen protesting against forces.”
Sheikh Showkat Hussain
Central University of Kashmir

“We knew the protest will take place tomorrow so we were prepared. The students of Amar Singh College were stopped by staff members when they were going out of the premises to protest. Because there were police forces and they took positions when they saw students. Protests have happened earlier also, when in 2007, forces barged inside our college and harassed our students but this time, the valley wide protest by students was something big.”
Vilayat Rizvi
Amar Singh College Srinagar

“We don’t need to tell them (students) what to do and what not. They are mature enough to decide. They can understand things. They can react also. We didn’t know that students from all colleges will be on roads. This was big and something that has happened for the first time as students made use of social media which hyped the protests.”
Womens College M A Road

“Protest used to happen earlier also but such a big thing has happened for the first time. Today’s students are fearless and agile. They know that they can face things.”
Mohammad Irfan
S P College Srinagar