Editorial: Unrelenting students

Tuesday was yet another day when students came out on the streets in various parts of Kashmir Valley. The students who have been trying to vent their anger from the past four weeks now are showing no signs of doing away with the protests.

The students protest is emerging as a dangerous trend as far as the educational curriculum of the students is concerned. The functioning of educational institutions already suffered a great deal during the past month due to the conduct of parliamentary elections. The three districts, Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal saw a lot many schools being closed for at least a week owing to stationing of paramilitary troopers in the educational institutions.

Besides, a good number of teachers were also put on poll duty leaving the authorities with no other option than to close down the schools for many days. 

However, even if the election phase got over, the student unrest that was triggered by the forces action on College students in Pulwama on 15th of April has given rise to a chain reaction by the students who have now over the past one month been on roads demanding action against the troops involved in the merciless beating of the students.

What seems to be more tragic and immature on the part of the administration and the police is the reaction that has been shown towards the student’s protests.

The administration has closed down its eyes and the protest phenomenon has been left at the mercy of police who have been a free hand to deal with the protests. The police action is most of the protest case has been unwarranted and uncalled for.

This argument of ours can be gauged from the fact that nowhere in the world is administration turning so ruthless against its own student’s community. The police action is not only letting the youth go unfazed but given the psyche the youth in Kashmir have developed, the retaliatory approach adopted is bound to generate more hatred among them against the government machinery.

This being the reason that the Pulwama incident did not remain confined to Pulwama town, but it has spread to other educational institutions across the Valley. For quite some time, the authorities were not able to handle the situation despite declaring closure of schools and colleges for several days.

What is more worrisome is fact that the educational activities are hampered in the Valley for around one month now. There seems no immediate end to the protests. The only days when the students remain peaceful are the holidays, scheduled or otherwise. This does not augur well with the education sector that has suffered immensely during all these years, especially since July last year.

It is not only the duty of the government to ensure normality in the schools but an equal role has to be played by the students themselves and their parents. It is highly despicable that the government forces used brute and disproportionate force to quell the student protests. The responsibility must be fixed and action taken immediately.

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