BY EYRAM HAMID KHAN
Kashmir has a long history of consistently generating intellectuals and critical thinkers who have made significant contributions to the growth and success of the nation. But it is really concerning that critical thinking has been gradually declining in Kashmir over the past few years.
The ability to critically analyze and evaluate data, claims, and arguments in order to reach well-informed conclusions or judgments is known as critical thinking. Before delving sufficiently deep into the causes, I would like to describe what critical thinking actually is. It involves questioning assumptions, taking into account opposing opinions, and judging the veracity and applicability of the facts.
The high standard of education in Kashmir is one of the major unsolved factors contributing to the decline of critical thinking. The outmoded educational system in Kashmir discourages critical and logical thought, which is essential for creating a prosperous future. The emphasis is mainly on memorizing, rote learning, and knowledge regurgitation. As a result, pupils are not given the opportunity to learn how to critically assess information and draw supported deductions. Universities, colleges, and schools no longer value disagreement or reasonable thought. In Kashmir, there is a clear absence of critical thinking abilities in a number of areas of life, including politics, the media, and business.
Lack of intellectual conversation is contributing to Kashmir's decline in critical thinking. Intolerant attitudes toward opposing viewpoints and ideas are pervasive, and social media platforms make this attitude very clear. People who voice their opinions on numerous topics are frequently the target of harassment, abuse, and even violent threats. Critical thinking is discouraged by this intolerable society since people are afraid to voice their viewpoints for fear of being ridiculed or targeted.
The media has a critical role in shaping public opinion and promoting logical thought. Due to lack of exposure to alternative ideas, critical thinking is more strongly discouraged.
The overall atmosphere in Kashmir is another significant factor in the decline of critical thinking. Our different collectives frequently use populist rhetoric, making erroneous and hasty promises and offering oversimplified answers to complicated issues. This political philosophy does not promote critical thinking or sensible, well-informed decision-making. Critical thinking is further weakened by the frequent use of propaganda and false information at various levels to sway public opinion.
In Kashmir, intellectual endeavors and critical thinking are also generally undervalued and receive little praise. Intellectuals and critical thinkers are frequently ostracized, dismissed, or labeled as "psychos." This marginalization is a result of the media, political culture, and educational system. As a result, there is not enough motivation for people to engage in intellectual activities, and critical thinking is not respected.
There are significant ramifications when thinking brains disappear in Kashmir. It has led to lack of creativity, and sound judgment in a lot of disciplines. Because people are unable to critically evaluate and question, there is a dearth of critical thinking, which has also contributed to the persistence of social and economic inequality.
All parties must put in concerted effort in order to address this issue. The educational system needs to be changed, with a focus on problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking. Diverse points of view should be fostered, and the media should be more impartial and objective. Politicians must encourage educated decision-making and productive debate in order to transform the political culture. The public and the media need to recognize the achievements of intellectuals and critical thinkers, and there needs to be a better appreciation for intellectual endeavors and critical thinking.
To sum up, the disappearance of critical thinkers in Kashmir is a serious issue that has to be addressed with urgency. In order to address this issue, the public, the media, the political culture, and the educational system must all work together. Kashmir may overcome its current problems and take steps toward a brighter future by encouraging critical thinking and intellectual pursuits.
The writer is a columnist and is pursuing a PhD in life science Glocal University, Saharanpur, India and can be reached at: email@example.com