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The Wretched Plight Of The Kashmiri Youth

By Ummer Wani

06 May, 2015
Countercurrents.org

The modern view of economists and political scientists is that Economic development is no more driven by capital as stated by Alfred Marshall but by knowledge-laden humans in general and youth in particular. The break-neck technological changes driving the winds of social change are harvested by educated youth—the opportunities--created by wealth of nations that go on creating sea of opportunities for its populace are geared through the thinking of modern youth.

However, the story in Kashmir is different; here neither the wealth of the nation nor the youth are contributing to the economic development. Both have been dormant so far, each contradicting with each other…giving rise to choler on the part of youth. The thinking of young generation in Kashmir is paralyzed by the combined effects of political imbroglio, the high rate of unemployment, the police recklessness, the corruption and many other factors that in turn have been contributing to the wretched quandary of our youth.

One of the primary factors that have been contributing to the above mentioned plight of youth is the decades-old conflict, leaving them youth in emotionally- paralyzing frustration. Most of them feel insecure about their future and some of them even believe that they don’t have any future at all. A section has even compromised on every front, accepting this to be their random destiny. This section is the worst affected by the tragedy that has befallen them. No doubt, our youth is the contemporary of the world youth which has shown remarkable progress is various field, including science and technology. Our youth is the contemporary of the world youth that has been living in gold-mine of opportunities, choosing among various promising fields to set their career on flight. However, exception excluding, our youth in not psychologically capable to compete with the youth living in rest of the world. Their minds and mental abilities are obsessed by the conflict that has high jacked their valley. Arrests, PSA’s, torcher, and other forms of catastrophes have marred their mental abilities. Further, they have been lacking the opportunities and skills which are availed easily by the youth of the rest of the world.

Our youth is virtually stranded in a hell-like situation; if our youth has broken bad politicians are not less responsible. Our politicians bother just about maintaining their hegemony, power and getting their palms greased; they have hawk-eyes for our youth and their problems. When one party is in power the other parties are out finding fault with the incumbency, and as soon as the party in power loses the opposition takes charge and the cycle continues, leaving the youth with power-bankruptcy and sans dignity. If a person loses dignity has nothing left to live for. He is ready to go against any law of the land. The youth has been subjected to a worst form of human rights violation, let out freedom of speech. The government’s power—strengthened by the deployment of close to a million jackboots—has suffocated the voices of youth and youthfulness.

Although our youth are not uneducated most of them are unemployed, few of them are educated-unemployable, as is event from the statistics that shows more than six hundred thousand educated students are unemployed, which in turn highlights the dearth of employments avenues and policies to absorb these educated students waiting to be enwrapped by a job to feed themselves and their families. There is not just one problem that has been eating on the vitals of our youth but there is multitude of issues. For example, starting from their academics, each year thousands of students complete their graduations in various streams which as a fact should be followed by a post-graduation. However contrary to the fact most of the students find university education in Kashmir inaccessible to them. Given the dearth of berths in Kashmir universities every year scores of youth temporality migrate to other states of Indian, bearing the brunt of sweltering heat as they are not acclimatized to the tropical climate, doing one or the other course just to be returned back to valley, ending up sitting unemployed at home which in turn leaves them ripe for stone pelting and other forms of protests.

The latest bottleneck that has come to the development of our youth is the new recruitment policy of the state, which states that every new appointment will be made on temporary basis of seven years after which their continuation will be subjected to performance review, which adds to the frustration of the youth. Here I am trying to highlight the issue facing the youth, otherwise we know that the new appointment policy has already been discussed and analyzed by various authors and experts from different perspectives.

Though no single factor can be said to be responsible for the unemployed-frustrated youth of our valley, yet there are panoptic agencies that have been instrumental in steering our youth to this sort of mental palsy. The down-the-line jingoistic politics of India, the hardcore diplomatic approach of Pakistan and the fractured views of Kashmiri separatists are the visible reason to the agony of the youth of the valley. All the three parties, excluding the hoi polloi, have been sharing the negotiation table, of and on, in anticipation of a resolution but to no avail, ultimately leading them to a series of just engagement-talks, which leaves the already high-strung youth into a maze of thwarting. They become uninterested in worldly affairs, they lose vision of their future and their blasé attitude becomes a financial burden to their parents.

Now the moot point is ‘what can extricate our youth from this frustrating phenomenon? Obviously, it turns out that it is the collective responsibility of India, Pakistan and the Separatist.

Therefore, it is high time for the power-holders of our society to have a sympathetic eye to the problems of the youth and extricate them from the maze of frustration. Let the power-holders of our society realize that somewhere in our society there are these young minds melting under the heat of frustration. They are tired…tired of their hanging status. They are waiting for the air of freedom and peace to set them free from the chains of frustration. Let that air come, let our youth bloom again under the freeze of freshness.

Author is a management graduate from a British university.He is currently travelling the Valley, gathering material for his forthcoming debut novel.ummertheone@gmail.com

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