The recent mess at the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar caught the eyeballs of a large chunk of people both inside Kashmir as well as outside. Every political Pundit has been giving his/her opinion about the issue however far from reality it be. But, what has hurt the most is the way this incident was blown out of proportion from petty political gains and TRPs and that caused the wedge to further widen between the communities and gave a communal colour to an altogether different incident as a consequence. It was only after a week that Handwara incident happened in which five people got killed. Protests erupted in Handwara over the allegations of molestation of a minor sixteen year old girl by army men. Media wasn’t allowed to enter the area and was under curfew for many days. At the end banker was removed with which state silenced the people and ignored justice to victims. These two incidents showed the bias and prejudice of Indian media and political analysts.
I came to know about the NIT incident when one of my juniors from the college called me for help. The moment he told me about the situation at the campus, my alma mater, I could sense that another JNU kind of issue was in the making. The news shocked me as I know NIT as a place where non locals and locals live in harmony where they seek each others help. Following which I continuously visited the campus to take notice of the college. It was the defeat of India by West India in the semi finals of World T20 that led to crisis. Celebration of Indian defeat is not new in India. Whenever India loses match Kashmir celebrates that shows the anger of Kashmiris towards India for their killings and torture in Kashmir. If students are believed main protesters are the people who have lost money in betting which is always a routine at the NIT during World Cups, IPL etc. and have maximum backlogs. They mobilised other students to divert attention and seek relaxation in tests. In Handwara case state tried to oppress Kashmiris by imposing curfew and banning internet for few days that again shows the bias of Indian state.
That day at the NIT, after Friday prayers, the poor delivery boy of one courier company was asked to say, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” which he refused and was beaten up. A Kashmiri teacher came in between to stop the fight for which he was beaten too. After these incidents, some non-local students protested and tried to host national flag of India but local students didn’t allow.
The question arises where did the flag come from in no time? How people like Anupam kher tweeted in no time? As there are no flags available in college in the first place. Watching videos and photographs it all seemed to be planned. If students are to believed everything was pre-planned by some non-local students and one faculty member who is heading a department also and has been member of the radical Hindu outfit RSS .
In 2010, the same faculty member was in charge of hostel mess and started controversy by propagating cooking of non-halaal meat in mess. In 2011, the teacher went for doctorate on study leave and joined college two months back. On Saturday and Sunday just a day after crisis National Research Conclave was also conducted in the college smoothly to which media gave no hype, showing the bias.
Next day, some non-local students tried to stage a protest in the college. For which police used force to maintain law and order that is a routine in Kashmir. Some Indian activists questioned the patriotism of the police. It is the same police that killed more than 200 Kashmiri students in 2008, 2010 agitations. The classes were resumed by locals later.
The media gave it hype and activated the central government, following which the paramilitary forces were deployed in the campus and high level MHRD team visited the college to take stock of the situation. They met with the students. The state’s deputy Chief Minister also met non locals and assured them of safety, electricity and other demands. However, they refused some demands like shifting of the NIT Sgr to somewhere else that was good for Kashmiris as only 11% Kashmiri students study at the college. The most annoying thing was allegation of non-local girls like threat of rapes, killings etc but the same girls demanded more relaxation in the outing time.
The NIT should make news in the field of science, technology and engineering for which it is meant. Let non-locals and locals live in harmony. Let them pursue their academic career. Let us not communalize and politicize education and educational institutions. These two incidents again showed the real face of Indian State and its media. We don’t want justice we want a resolution of Kashmir issue and that will end all the miseries of Kashmiris.
The author is a student and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org