Students of Central University of Kashmir in dire straits

By Ruchika Raina. Dated: 12/7/2019 11:56:51 AM

Waiting for the sanguine spring……

In this autumn of Kashmir, there are not only the Chinars that have shed their leaves but the paradise of earth has shed its normal living, educational institutions, business and markets pushing the whole valley into uncertain circumstances and future. Nobody in the valley either knows or predicts what is going to be next. What would happen in 2020? What would happen in a new Union Territory? Is there any end to shutdown of markets and shops? Would students be back to their regular studies? When they would be back to the 21st century and in the Digital world? The University of Kashmir and Central University of Kashmir are waiting for their students and scholars to go back to their regular schedules; the professors are waiting for their students and the hostels are waiting for their hostellers. All the gardens and lakes of Kashmir are looking too lonely without their visitors. The season of autumn in Kashmir this time appears too secluded and quiet. The media fraternity of Kashmir has to wait for hours to get internet connection to compile their work with limited time and a huge rush in the media centre. The shopkeepers have to wait outside their closed shops to take the customers in their houses to sell their products. At some places, the market areas are partially opening in the morning and evening hours just to access/get some necessary items of day to day life. The jamming of the Lal Chowk and Amira Kadal Bridge is not the same as before August 4. The immediate exit of tourists and students from the valley has not only impacted the economy of these 4 months but it seems to have impacted the future too. The shop owners are afraid of their property loss if they resume their normal schedules. The students from different backgrounds and streams have different issues regarding internet services, university arrangements and travelling conveniences from their place of living to their respective campuses. The tense atmosphere of insecurity and fear in the valley has frustrated every sphere of life in the valley. The university authorities (particularly the Central University of Kashmir) in their zeal to display that they have not been impacted by the present situation of Kashmir are calling the students, scholars and university staff for regular functioning of the prestigious institution. However, they are not accommodating their students/scholars in the hostels due to improper security arrangements but trying to arrange the regular class works in various departments of the University. The students from inside and outside valley are facing tremendous problems of housing due to the double standards adopted by the university authority. The scholars and students from inside and outside the valley who are actually hostellers and paid the hostel rents (which is also very high in comparison to various other state and central universities in spite of staying in government buildings) are forced to find the rooms on rent and guest apartments by paying additional charges due to inability of university administration in the valley. If the students are not safe in the university hostels i.e. within the university premises, what is the guarantee of their safety outside the university when they are living on rent? The students and scholars of central university of Kashmir are being financially and mentally harassed by the university authorities, leaving the students to manage their accommodation and food (in absence of Mess in hostel) on their own whether in the matter of shifting of university campus from Nowgam to Gandarbal (which took approximately one year) or in the present situation of Kashmir Valley. The authorities of the Central University of Kashmir have deprived their students from proper hostel and security facilities. There is no concerned authority in the university or in the government right now who hears or can provide the students safe and secure accommodation and other facilities within the university. The local transport in the valley is also being affected by the actions of the central government over Kashmir. The education in schools, colleges and Universities is going through a tough phase with almost no classes, un-informed exams, irregular transport and absence of hostel security. The university officials on the one hand are ignoring the difficulties of the students and scholars they are facing due to their incapable security arrangements in the campus and on the other hand they want to show the central government that universities are regular and functional as there is nobody who is raising voice against university administration in this tense situation of the valley. Other than university arrangements, Most of the students of the valley have suffered in these four months by missing the information about central level and other academic or competitive exams due to the lack of access to internet. The students, shopkeepers, apple traders, auto drivers, shikarawalas and almost all common professions have undergone an arduous journey in these four months and still in that situation. In Kashmir, the situation of uncertainty is prolonging from the last 122 days. The educational institutions are trying to be functional but in reality, they are not.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration is trying to show that the working in Kashmir is normal but in reality, it is not. The postpaid phone services and internet services in DC offices only cannot demonstrate the normalcy of Kashmir. The situation of Universities and other educational institutions of the valley and sections devoid of normal living should be the primary focus of the new Union territory's administration. They all are waiting for the sanguine spring.
*(The author Research Scholar at Central University of Kashmir and can be contacted at rraina730@gmail.com)

 

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