The continuous cycle of protests in educational institutes that has adversely affected the academic calendar is a worrisome concern. No doubt, the genuine rage and anger over civilian killings and atrocities along with rape and murder of eight year old girl can and has triggered volcano of emotional outbursts among general population in general and that of youth in particular. Such incidents are highly condemnable and every individual who is just at the threshold of humanity will be angry and agitated to raise his voice and pitch for justice.
The right to protest in a peaceful manner reflects soundness of humane traits and tendencies, and deserves applause and acknowledgement in a world where human resource of fellow feelings is fast depleting under the heat of material wellbeing and selfish motives. Yes, there can be complete incompatibility in the goals and ends of two groups in which the powerful is enjoying free will and freehand to suppress the weaker one to keep dominant ends intact. Kashmir, a political issue, demands a political solution, and all the governments till date have maintained this rhetoric in prioritizing this agenda but have failed in giving this magic mantra a practical and pragmatic touch. The dwindling faith in the institutions that were expected to emancipate common masses from the clutches of sufferings is now getting reflected in extreme resentment and rage where any symbol of a failed institution becomes an object of severe criticism. A point where there is a complete trust deficit drives masses to experiment and explore alternative ways to give vent to their pent up feelings to express their emotions.
Youth represent the promise and potential of the future of any society. As an asset, their resourcefulness, to determine and dictate the destiny of a nation should never be compromised. If at all the governments are, in place , in every society, their entire modus operandi must consider youth as the pivot around which everything revolves. Being most sensitive to the happenings taking place in and around, youth by virtue of their nature reflect and respond openly backed by the power of emotional energy.
The trickle-down effect of state apathy towards non-resolution of pledged political solution is finding its expression in varied forms. Frequent closure of educational institutes due to continuous cycle of protests may trouble the government temporarily but will permanently push an entire generation into the dungeons of darkness and illiteracy. Education enlightens minds and aids in combating challenges intellectually that demand immediate and long term solutions.
There is no denying the fact that failure in addressing the core issue will keep the authorities on tenterhooks to find quick fix solutions in areas where symptoms of resentment resurface and recur time and again. The cause that triggers the reaction is to be addressed not just the very nature and occurrence of such reactions. Authorities must revisit and reconsider the way they reflect and respond recurrent wave of student protests. The right buttons are to be pressed at the right time rather than fiddling with system erratically in a chaotic state. More importantly, on the other hand society has to be mindful and mature to look into the long term consequences of continuous closure of educational institutes that can induce educational deprivation and render our youth intellectually paralyzed.
—The author is an Assistant Professor, at the Department of Education (South Campus), University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org