On the Traumatized Youth of Kashmir

On the Traumatized Youth of Kashmir
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Dr. Arshed Iqbal Dar

There is much talk about youth being a marginalized segment of society. Allow me to say that they are not a marginalized group, but rather a targeted group. They are targeted for their huge potential, self confidence and ability to change the world. Young people are knowledgeable about their peers, realities and they should be seen and studied as agents of positive change. Youth are not married to any specific truth. They are increasingly capable of abstract thought and decision making in new ways. They are flexible and open minded, hence could free societies from burden of stereotypes and intolerance that continue to fuel our Kashmir valley. Violence disrupts this process of maturation and affects young people’s physical cum psychological health. Not only are their daily lives affected, but their future also jeopardized, many youth grow up with the weight of hopelessness that influences their adult life choice. The youngsters here are angrier than they were in the 1990s, Andrew Whitehead, who has been to Kashmir several times as a BBC correspondent and went on to write, “A Mission in Kashmir”, portrays the psychological injury imprinted on the minds of the youth of Kashmir.
Professor Syed Amin and Khan A.W, from SKIMS, Srinagar have reported that due to continuing conflict in Kashmir there has been a phenomenal increase in psychiatric morbidity. (This was published in the International Journal of Health Sciences, Qassim University). The centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale was used by the above mentioned authors to measure symptoms of depression in community population. Many social cum political scientists have depicted in their findings that the ongoing conflict has severely affected the psyche of students.
Scientists tell us that the world of nature is so small and interdependent that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon rainforest can generate a violent storm on the other side of the earth. This principle is known as the “Butterfly Effect”. Today, we realize, perhaps more than ever, that the world of human activity also has its own “Butterfly Effect”-for better or for worse. Scientists also tell us that genes don’t act on their own; instead, it is actually, the environment which is responsible for the expression of genes. The environment of Kashmir isn’t only in the verge of genetic pollution but causes the traumatization of youth, loss of human resource by one way or the other, which ultimately, leads to catastrophe.
Day and night we are in quest of peace and peace is a state where Sufferer-Suffering-Suffer-Village-Globe-and-rest of the Universe become one. In order to maintain this peace, each factor not only plays a pivotal role but acts a central dogma for its fruitful expression. Unfortunately, the sluggish situation of Kashmir in which no improvement or development occurs seems to enter in cul-de-sac. XYZ factors have systematically turned everything profound into profane.. Unfortunately, we are living in the sorry state of affairs where, humanity is subordinate to politics and where, linchpin elites perceive and vomit, animal excreta viz. cow urine (GAAV MUTR) is precious than humanity and cow dung (GOBR) is precious than the “Mountain of Light” (Koh-i-Noor Diamond) and being human, for these elites, mean to favor nepotism, and to create perplex, flummoxed and traumatized situation which ultimately leads to division in the society.
The task of building an enlightened, strong and prosperous nation rests on the shoulders of its children who are to be cherished, nurtured and developed with tenderness and care. Unfortunately, the children of Kashmir are so hooked onto marks, which is a pathetic state of affairs, where, the children appears to have lost focus and a sense of belonging to the region. The situation in Jammu & Kashmir is complex and traumatic. The best way to solve any problem is to remove its causes (Dr. Martin Luther King). The need is to develop an atmosphere free from such type of distractions and problems for the society. Only a free and congenial atmosphere leads to development of the favorable society and efficient human resources. Peace can’t be achieved without bringing the pieces together. This can only be achieved by strategizing for change, mobilizing for advancement, erasing shallow thinking and taking responsibility for every action taken.
Last but not least, the people of Kashmir, like most people, are by their nature peaceful. History testifies, they don’t seek war, and don’t want to see their children die in a bloody conflict. They seek and would welcome a peaceful and negotiated settlement to the crises for the sake of peace and only peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

The author is an Assistant Professor of Zoology at the Government Degree College, Sumbal, Sonawari. He can be reached at: drarshediqbal@gmail.com