`It is a known fact that “Gurus or Teachers” are the torchbearers of the society. It is the seeds of learning that they sow in young minds that bear the fruit of prosperity and success for the society and country as a whole. However, it is a real dreadful threat for the society if the role of a teacher or guru is compromised and not executed judiciously. It is this aspect that has been witnessed in J&K for multiple decades or so that has proved to be a solid threat for the people of J&K.
Propagation of extremist ideologies and radicalism was on the rise by banned groups like Jamaat-E-Islami. The government schools & Madrassas that flourished under the regime of Jamaat-E-Islami and the venom of extremism was infused into the delicate minds of the younger generation regularly since 1989 wherein the armed insurgency saw its commencement. An erstwhile teacher and resident of South Kashmir who worked in prominent ranks across the organisation of Jamaat-E-Islami, used his position and influence to poison young minds and to dilute the thought process of the parents from the economically weaker section of the society to refrain from sending their wards or children to English missionary schools. It was widely popularised through the Friday prayers that these English Missionary schools were breeding ground of evil wherein the reality was that the grand children of this very person from the Jamaat ranks and the wards as well as grandchildren of many other prominent Jamaat leaders were all studying abroad or in high class English missionary schools. They did so as they wanted to secure the future of their future generations by providing them superior education whereas their hypocrisy came to the fore as they spread the rumour of English missionary schools being evil so that the children of the general Kashmiri people are stuck in the world of radicalism, illiteracy and backwardness.
There are also instances of negatively influencing the delicate minds of young children and youth by an Assistant Professor who orchestrated the sad event of pelting stones on our security forces in 2018 in Redwani Balla of Kulgam. He not only polluted the minds of young children but also led the common masses astray against the security forces of the land to feed and harbour his political aspirations. He wanted to bounce back into mainstream politics after witnessing a crunching defeat in the assembly elections of 2014 which he was fighting in the district of Anantnag from his home constituency of Hom Shali Bug, Kulgam. To ensure that he climbs the ladder of politics he swayed and played with the sentiments of the common public so that he could gain sympathy for the terrorists who would in turn favour him to meet his unscrupulous agenda. It is the dangerous presence of people like this who behind the veil of being in a noble profession of teaching use their position or role to orchestrate anti-national and anti-state activities that not only lead the youth and children astray but also spoil their future thereby pushing Jammu & Kashmir into the vicious path of terrorism & conflict. This only resulted in no or zero development for the people of Kashmir.
The people of J&K have been in a long standing need of having a government that works on a development plan which is holistic in nature that not only develops the state but also nurtures the young minds to have prosperous thinking. This had not been possible with the erstwhile governments as they were infested with radical elements and cadres from Pakistan who always ensured that Kashmiris were always burning amidst some of the other terror activity or conflict. Detrimental associates and elements from the Pakistani side have been functioning potently from both internally & externally in the government establishments and institutions. These anti-national elements have ensured that they drove programs and propagated campaigns that diluted as well as infiltrated the young minds with radicalism that would hamper them in the long run and would prove to be a real threat to a flourishing future.
A key element that one needs to have to progress and move forward in life is “A Ray of Hope”. One of such lifelines for the society in Kashmir is Roohi Sultana who works as a teacher in Tailbal Srinagar at a Government Primary School Danger Pora. She has been recently awarded with the National Teachers Award on the teachers day of 5th September 2020 by respected President of India, Ramnath Kovind. Her teaching tactics and mechanisms of “Play-Way” really helped shape the young minds of Kashmir. She propagated the method of learning based on activities and has really been the pioneer of innovative teaching methods. She leads by example of bringing the best out of nothing, as she collected waste materials like chocolate wrappers, sawdust, used bottles, plastic covers etc. and used them as elements that could help her teach. She used sawdust and dried tea leaves as we would use clay to teach about letters. Alternatively, she used wrappers of toffees etc. to write letters which she would give to the students to arrange in a particular order that helped the vocabulary development. She would use plastic covers as bases where students could do their writing exercises and plastic bottles were used to write meanings of words etc. that helped the language skills of the students. She has been a true inspiration and has been instrumental in shaping and influencing young minds in a positive manner that will help them become responsible individuals as well as good citizens for the country in the near future.
There are other encouraging stories of people like Sajjad Ahmad Sofi who is a budding businessman and along with his friend had set up a temporary school in their residential areas which supported students from approximately 2000 families. There are also individuals like Aaqib Ahmad, Rashid Ahmad & Mohammad Maqbool who have volunteered sizeable amount of their time to volunteer as teachers so that they could guide and steer the young children towards the right stream of thinking while developing the nation.
Conclusively, it is important that there is ample focus and efforts laid in identifying elements, scholars and teachers who are working in the scope of anti-state machinery by poisoning the young delicate minds with thoughts that are not only dangerous for their lives but are detrimental to the prosperity of the Kashmiri society as a whole. It is a common belief across a section of people that policies to identify such anti-state elements are unfair or unjust, however, one needs to clearly understand that to prosper and flourish as one nation, India needs to have a youth that is free of radicalism and hooliganism, thereby, bringing in the strong need of having facilities & policies that could abate the presence of anti- national thought processes which could be a negative influence on young delicate minds