Don’t make conflict an excuse
GHAUS WANI RESPONDS TO THE ARTICLE BY JAVAID MALIK PUBLISHED IN GREATER KASHMIR
This is in response to the write up by Javaid Malik, titled "Girls first Girls next, and boys....” One of the explanations provided by the writer for non performance of boys is that the current young generation of boys has been on a run. This is not factually correct (barring the incidents of the past year or so). In fact it was the generation born in the late 1970s and 80s which faced the biggest psychological brunt of the conflict. I had a friend who left for college and never returned home. No one knows what happened to him. This is the kind of fear our generation grew up with. The current young generation saw better days. Yes, there were harassments by the police but nothing in comparison to what our generation faced. When crackdowns were frequent (up to late 1990s) this generation might have hardly been 5-10 years old. It was the boys from our generation who had to find safe places to escape the harassment and the mental trauma following it.
I cannot deny the fact that there is more stress on boys when it comes to security, but this in itself cannot be the major factor for non performance. My experience has been that in Kashmir girls are considered differently in the family set up. The attitude is that a boy can get away with practically doing anything and it won't have much impact on the family respect as at the end of the day he is a boy and generally people will forget. This attitude leads us to closely follow what our daughters are doing! Where do they go, who are their friends, are they regular to their schools, whom do they talk to, how much are their phone bills etc. But the opposite is the case with our sons. How else can one explain young boys roaming in Lal chowk or outside coaching centres when they should be inside their classrooms or in the playground or at their homes.
Parents have a major role to play in the non performance of boys. As a society we have started confusing independence with broad mindedness. As a society we have a different set of parameters for our girls than for our boys. Parenting is not an easy task and the short cut we have found to appear as good parents is to allow our sons freedom without questioning how they are using that freedom, buying expensive phones for them without keeping a check on how it is being used, buying cars and bikes for them without keeping a tab on where they go and with whom? This kind of attitude has made our boys drift far away from the realities of the modern world. We have made them like frogs in a well who feel that they are the kings of the world. But when they are faced with the realities of this competitive world they start faltering and are not able to accept the hard realities.
The prevalence of unemployment in the state could be a factor for non performance as it makes them feel that there is no scope even if they work hard. But squarely blaming politics of the state for unemployment is not justified. Kashmiri boys have lost sense of dignity of labour. Everyone wants a degree for the heck of it even if the degree might not be relevant in the job market. Everyone wants to be a babu sitting on a table even if it means a meagre income. We have to realize that this is an age of skills and whosoever has the right skill will be in demand. Kashmiri boys and parents need to understand that medicine, engineering, and bureaucracy are not the only respectable professions in this world. Also everyone is not really cut out to crack tough entrance exams for the same. We all have our abilities and limitations. Stop comparing yourself with others. There are other professions too which are highly paying without compromising on good values and ethics. Just to give an example: Why is it that most of the hair saloons in Kashmir are being run by people from outside Kashmir and then we complain of unemployment? Can't you go and acquire skills in hair cutting! Why is it that a carpenter’s son feels ashamed to carry forward his father's profession when he can actually bring fresh touch to the business by acquiring modern skills related to it? We have to stop chasing degrees and marks for the sake of showing off to the world but be more practical in what can earn us a better livelihood without compromising on good values and ethics.
Giving due credit to our girls for their achievements I will like to point out that the biggest factor why women all over the world tend to work harder is because they have realized that there are glass ceilings in every sphere and the only way to break those is to work harder. Also employers tend to prefer females because in general they tend to be more loyal to the companies and switch jobs less often. I don't see this as a dangerous trend because as I said it is the skills which matter and what you bring across the board for a company. Those advertisements which ask only for females are very limited in comparison to those which are open to both. If you apply to most of the MNCs you are asked not to mention your religion or your sex. Also I tend to disagree with the writers statement that most of the women in Kashmir are forced to work because men are not earning enough. This might be a factor but globally women tend to join the work force to gain independence and prove that they are equal to men. If societies all over the world, including Kashmir, had given women their rightful dues and respect this would not have been the case. Being a mother and a wife is treated as a thankless job How many times have we thanked our mothers for being there for us when we come back home all tired from school or work? How many times have we appreciated our wives for taking care of our homes and building our families? That is why our mothers tell their daughters to build great careers for themselves. It is time for all of us to do a reality check of everything going wrong in our lives rather than simply blame the Kashmir conflict for all our woes.
Once again kudos to our girls for their achievements and my salute to them! But I will like to point out to my younger sisters that they should read accounts of the baby boomer generation who achieved great success in their professional lives. Now they feel the vacuum of stable homes and families. As you climb the ladder of success in your professional lives, don't lose sight of your being a mother, a home maker and a home builder. Strike a balance between the two.
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Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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