Burning schools

Is it madness or a strategic design?

On 31 October 2016, the J&K High Court directed the state Police and Administration, to ensure protection of schools. In the last four months, 26 schools in the Kashmir Valley have been burnt. The Court directed the administration to unmask the enemies of education and deal with them with an ‘Iron Fist’. Over the week-end, four schools including the Higher Secondary School, Anantnag, were torched. There have been no reported casualties. Schools in Kashmir, have been closed for four-months now; since HM terrorist Burhan Wani was killed by security forces, in July 16.

What has the Government Done?

People are also piqued with the state government because they have announced that exams shall be held in Nov 16; even though classes have not been held. Curfew was imposed for more than 100 days, since July 16. The police claim to have detained 14 persons, in Anantnag and Kulgam but no concrete breakthrough has emerged, so far. Other than blaming separatists and Pakistan the government appears to have done little, to address the issue.

Why are Schools being Targeted?

By targeting schools, terrorist achieve twin objectives; impede modern education in the Kashmir Valley and create disorder, as well. This is a new strategy to undermine the aspirations of youth, in the Valley. By depriving the youth of modern education, they also render them uncompetitive for jobs, in India’s growing economy. Uneducated and disillusioned youth are more easily indoctrinated, for terrorism.

Assessment

Having failed to win Kashmir through the Gun, terrorists have come to realize that the ‘centre of gravity’ of the insurgency, is the people of the Kashmir Valley. By targeting the education system – the hope & aspiration of the youth, they undermine the achievements of the Indian state, in the eyes of the people. The Kashmir Government would do well, to restore schools and schooling in the Kashmir Valley, on a war-footing.

Sources: Times of India, NDTV

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