07 April, 2016



In the wake of the West Indie's victory in the T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 some local students raised anti-India slogans and some non-Kashmiri students objected to this leading to verbal and physical clashes.
The aggrieved students marched to protest what clearly was an anti-national act from their and our points of view. That was when police used lathi charge and beat up students, totally needlessly, as I can see from the video.
While the act of those local students, and more so, of the J&K policemen remain abhorrent and condemnable I must add the following observations:
- There have been several attacks on Kashmiri students in various universities, hostels and localities for beef consumption [real or suspected] or for pro-Pak slogans during the last whole year. However, there was no visible action by central government ever to protect these Kashmiri students. This had been played up in the province over these months.
- Constitutionally J&K remains a disputed territory because of historic reasons [which is why it has its own constitution, flag etc, and which is why most of our laws exclude that territory]. We can, therefore, not expect the same level of nationalism from Kashmiri Muslims as we must from Bengali, Hyderabadi, Ahmedabadi Muslims, specially since they have lost thousands of youth in their long separatist movement. Our boys ought to have been briefed about this unfortunate reality, so they could have remained confined to the university precincts rather than venturing outside to protest.
- The BJP threat to retaliate against Kashmiri students in the rest of India is most unfortunate, and the exact kind of argument the Kashmiri militants used. In the wake of Babri and later due to 2002 genocide many Kashmiri Muslims committed atrocities against their minorities in vicarious revenge. As the ruling party it should have said we will protect the Kashmiri students. What if this fire rages? OK, all Kashmiris will return to their state and the rest of us will withdraw from Kashmir. So, whither integration? Isn't this what the separatists want?

- The demand to move NIT out of Srinagar is counter-productive for the aforesaid reasons.

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