Moral policing on the KU campus is something that raises many questions
Having gone through Aamir Hussain Shah’s open letter to KU VC titled ‘I have a few questions to ask…’ in GK, 10th July, 2015, couple of things compelled me to respond.
As a foreign student at Kashmir University, I think, expressing these issues may open up the discussion further.
By opening such discussion up the campus community that includes students, teachers and other staff, may get few important questions answered.
I have witnessed some similar cases that Mr. Aamir experienced in the campus. Once a boy and a girl, sitting in front of the convocation hall, were caught by a uniformed personal. It was around 4 PM. A few foreign students including me were sitting in a circle near by.
We saw that after checking them and threatening them of calling their parents the uniformed person left taking a 100 Rupee note. I am still confused, what was wrong there? If the boy and the girl did something wrong by being together, and talking to each other one afternoon on the campus! And if that was wrong, what did the person in uniform do by taking that 100 Rs note?
Who gave that person the right to judge people’s interaction? He was there to threaten the students that he will inform their parents, but who was there to tell him that, I will inform your young children that your father is feeding you with the money taken as bribe? If sitting together is bad in the lens of society, isn’t the second one worse?
Another day, a non-Muslim, non-Kashmiri student was suggested not to wear a particular dress citing that it is ‘Un-Islamic’.
Who is someone to insist a non-Muslim to be dressed like a Muslim? Isn’t it hypocrisy? History says Islam didn’t conquer the land of Kashmir but the hearts of people, through peaceful means. Now why should we force things in the name of Islam? Isn’t there any peaceful way left to propagate Islam?
The people of Kashmir had never liked the use of ‘hard-power’ upon them by any external force. Then why should they use similar ‘hard-power’ on others? Why not to explore the beauty of ‘soft-power’ that all the Sufis and Saints did?
(Zakaria Polash is a Bangladeshi, studying MA in ‘Kashmir and South Asia Studies’ at the University of Kashmir).