Going through the pages of 'Greater Kashmir' yesterday (July, 11, 2021) was quite painful and at the same time a moment for deep reflection on how our social fabric is collapsing.
There can be multiple reasons for decay and collapse of societal institutions which more often than not act as the shock absorbers for the society. One earth-shaking news was that a teacher and a student die of heart attack in Kulgam area in South Kashmir.
The student was just fourteen years age and the teacher just thirty seven. In yet another tragic news a women hangs herself to death in Qazigund area whose husband, an alleged militant, was arrested in 2020.
In this column we have over a period of time been giving vent to some concerns and issues which have taken heavy toll of mental and emotional health of the people. Some of the issues that deserve serious attention need to be made subject matter of discussion and voluntary action by self-help groups and civil society actors.
First, Kashmir is not the only place where we face problems on account of youth bulge, unemployment, loneliness, conflict etc. Due to Covid 19, life for all sections of our society everywhere has become boring and in some ways hellish.
The thinking that we alone are in the line of fire and fury needs to be avoided and fought through all mechanisms. Second, Kashmir is a place which has seen lot of violence, death and destruction.
There are multiple challenges for all but mostly for state managers (with lot of resources) to step in and find speedy mechanisms to address issues so that people have access to right to life, liberty and property. The different political parties having their organizational presence on ground need to recalibrate their party ideology and programme by bringing in issues of day today life and also mobilizing their workers towards rebuilding the society.
There are examples when some leaders in India and China called for closing down schools and colleges and diverting the youth power towards fighting social ills. Third, our teaching community right from school to university level need to put their ear to the ground and start mixing up with common people in order to understand their own society.
Many baby steps can be taken to induce an element of freshness in the society if education leaders can understand that their job lies as much in the class as outside it. Lastly, the neighborhood institution needs to be reinvented by means and ways not difficult to understand. It is quite painful that a society like Kashmir is fast losing its social cushions and shock-absorbers to new consumer culture and individualism.
More and more academic seminars need to be held on ills and problems that people face. It is never good for any society to look towards the government for resolution of all its problems.
The state has long ceased to be what we used to call it "Mother-Father" Sarkar. The elite and middle class need to wake up to the new challenges. Different institutions can be established through which needy sections of the society can be helped.
The culture of philanthropy needs to be institutionalized and encouraged.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.