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At last, some good news from Kashmir

By Mohammad Sayeed Malik
November 14, 2016 21:46 IST
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'Victory it was, but for the students, parents and society at large, who, together, showed that all was not lost after all,' says Mohammad Sayeed Malik, the distinguished commentator on Kashmir affairs.

School board examinations in Srinagar in progress. Photographs: Umar Ganie for

IMAGE: School board examinations in Srinagar in progress. Photographs: Umar Ganie for


The successful conduct of the school board annual examination in the Kashmir Valley on Monday, November 14, comes as a streak of light through the accumulated darkness of the past four months marked by extensive death and destruction and crippling of normal life.

Hoping and praying that the agonisingly worked out exam schedule would run its full course and that it would eventually facilitate reviving the paralysed educational system, there are a few lessons to be learnt by one and all.

Firstly, there are no losers in this game.

That the future of over 100,000 boys and girls who braved the odds and triggered the process on Monday has been salvaged is the foremost takeaway.

And secondly, as is expected, it offer a tiny path to putting the derailed education system back on track.

Should that hope fructify, it would have yielded a goldmine of social reward.

There are, though, a few lessons also to be drawn at this juncture. More to ensure old mistakes are not repeated than settling scores.

  • From here on, none of the so-called stake holders should indulge in recklessness to the extent of obstructing education of our children.
  • Burning down of school buildings is an unpardonable anti-social act and no justification ought to be advanced.
  • Apologists who either selfishly overlook the disastrous implications or are overwhelmed by ignorance ought to refrain from justifying patently anti-social conduct for political convenience.

Security personnel outside a school in the Kashmir Valley, to ensure there were no disruptions while the examination was in progress.

IMAGE: Security personnel outside a school in the Kashmir Valley to ensure there were no disruptions while the examination was in progress.


Atrocities unleashed by the State upon the younger generation is something that no human being can tolerate or condone.

Unless convincing accountability is enforced the State and its authority will continue to be suffer for want of moral and political legitimacy.

Cruelty perpetrated upon teenagers, boys and girls, will go down as a dark chapter in the history of this regime.

It would be dishonest and unfair to not acknowledge that there is the other side of the coin. And that by no means is all lilly white.

With the passage of time, since July 8, serious doubts have arisen over the ability, motive and character of the ostensible leadership spearheading the resistance movement in the name of the people of this state.

Such voices are now becoming louder as serious questions are beginning to be asked openly. There are perceptible signs on the ground that this phase of the uprising is losing steam, if it has not already passed that stage, and, once again, nothing tangible is likely to be yielded.

No one in his senses would argue that there is no cause to fight for.

Indeed, with the passage of time, coupled with the changing ideological complexion of the regime in power in New Delhi and in partnership in Jammu and Kashmir as well, fears and doubts are bound to get aggravated.

But self-flagellation is NOT the answer. Nor should it ever be.

Leadership demands political sagacity which is in acute short supply these days. If the mindless drift is subsiding, it is by no means because of the resistance leadership, but in spite of it.

This amorphous leadership has reached the end of its tether. Tragically, at a heavy cost to those who carried it over their shoulders and a lot many of them paid with their precious lives. Personal ego is the hallmark.

The examination in progress.

IMAGE: The examination in progress.


T conduct of the annual school examinations -- it was after a long time that one got to hear and see something pleasant happenning in the troubled valley.

Overwhelming turnout at the examination halls was something to be seen to believed. Students, boys and girls, parents, heaved a sigh of relief at the end of the first day's proceedings.

Obviously, their aspirations and desire were being illegitimately suppressed forcibly and their case was being misrepresented to serve ulterior motives.

The government would be ill advised to tom-tom the event as its 'victory' over its opponents.

No doubt, victory it was, but for the students, parents and society at large, who, together, showed that all was not lost, after all.

Redeeming something like this is a substantial gain for the good of us all.

The government may draw satisfaction from the fact it was somehow able to have its way against heavy odds.

I cannot accuse the officialdom of imagination though in hind sight, it looks that, for a change, someone, somewhere in the hierarchic labyrinth does suffer from some such an 'ailment'.

Often enough, the so-called system does not suffer them for too long. So, eyes down for the next round.

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