There is a need to understand and acknowledge the difference between what is promised and what ultimately gets delivered
Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi
The decision to suspend Kashmiri students for cheering Pakistan team duly acknowledges the double standard nature of the biggest democratic setup!!! Yes and why not? When everyone is free to express his/her views and there lies right to expression for each and everyone, then why these students have been made the victims of hoax rights? On one side the Kashmiris are being assured that there is no difference between them and the rest of the people living in the country but on the other side they are being treated differently. This has become the main cause of alienation between the people and the government. It has remained and is still the biggest nightmare Kashmiris have to live with. There lies a lot of difference between what is promised and what gets delivered. As a matter of fact, Kashmiris don’t enjoy the freedom of expression on their own land too. Their voices are muzzled and gagged whenever they are being raised against the unjust and undue practices. Unfortunately and inarguably, they are being looked with suspicion wherever they go. Their identity becomes their biggest deterrent. Certainly the government is yet to understand the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Those who have the responsibility of ensuring that their grievances, if any, should be handled and redressed, timely, are still to recognise the criticality of the issue.
What wrong had the students done for cheering their favourite team? Had they cheered for Australia or England, there would hardly have been any reaction from their counterparts. But cheering for Pakistan opened the doors of trouble for them, as little they had thought that it could ignite a wave of controversy between them and their administrators. Suspending them right-away and even slashing sedition charges on them were actions truly uncalled for. Sedition is the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government. But that clearly was not the case. They were only cheering for their preferred team like every sports person does. Inarguably they were not leading any protest nor were they encouraging any kind of dharna, but only supporting the team of their choice. Still they had to confront problems and actions that clearly were not imagined of. Does this mean that whenever any Kashmiri visits some part of the country, he has to keep mum otherwise he might be charged with acts that rarely amount to the actions done? No one from government administration came to their rescue even though a majority of students who were studying there had been selected through PM scholarship scheme. It is only after the timely and thankful efforts of our Chief Minister that the sedition charges levelled against them were dropped. Truly it came as a sigh of relief for them as it saved those students from the havoc they could had faced. But at the same time it brought into front the level of sheer hatred that still exists in the minds of the people and could bring tremendous trouble if not contained timely.
The government in its initial approach needs to bring an end to this abhorrence and create and craft a friendly and convenient atmosphere that would result in the promotion of brotherhood, synchronization and harmony. This could only be done when no one feels insecure while he is out on the move. It should also setup state wise councils that would promptly take care of such issues and ensure that they are resolved amicably. Furthermore the government (as it did in this incident) should be swift in safeguarding the rights and privileges of its people and should show due regards to their welfare as and when is needed. There is also a need to be logical in differentiating between what amounts to committing a crime and what not before levelling charges on anyone. A democratic setup can only flourish when all its citizens are good enough to enjoy their rights without discriminating them on any grounds.
Tail Piece: – Education being the back-bone of a nation should be held in high esteem and the same goes for the educational imparting institutes. They should not be exploited for political purposes and made battle fields. Rather they should be groomed and developed to help build good citizens for a better nation.
Author is B.Tech-MBA (ECE) from Lovely Professional University, Punjab. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org