Campus Politics! Why Selective Treatment?

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I asked my teacher why these people are making lot of noise as our classes are getting disturbed, when he replied to my question it still strikes my mind.  The teacher said: “if students will not do such kind of activities in University or at college level how he can learn things to manage affairs of our society and otherwise there would no fun to learn here in University.”

Showkat Jan

I was born and brought up in small village of Kashmir and after finishing my schooling I took an admission in one the Valley’s college. In my entire college days I found myself caged in prison cell. Colleges and universities in Kashmir provide a kind of atmosphere where students feel suffocated and isolated from rest of the world. The students remain confined to four walls of classroom and are unable to express their thoughts and ideas.

In Kashmir student’s engagement with political affairs is an important tool for every society, however, here we have to pass through many impediments. In the modern contemporary societies, students always play a dynamic role in nation building directly or indirectly but in Kashmir it is totally different as students are forced to remain glued to syllabus or session tasks.  

Last year I finished my graduations and appeared for PG entrance exams at the university of Kashmir, the results left me disappointed and I was not counted among ‘’meritorious students’’. For majority of Kashmiri students, University of Kashmir is the highest seat of learning. Kashmir University is the largest and oldest varsity in the valley but student’s freedom and expression is not only limited but restricted as well.

To give voice to students, there is no elected body of the students on the campus as the university authorities have denied permission to such kind of associations owing to which forcing university students to join hands together under the banner of KUSU (Kashmir University Students Union). The union is famous across the campus and outside but nobody knows who runs it as its office bearers are invisible.

This group represents genuine demands of the students and every time authorities snatch their freedom of expression. Amid turbulent situation in campus from 1990’s the union was banned many times, in 2009 the administration went a step further and sealed its offices and placed curbs on its activities.

Not losing faith and hope I appeared for entrance examinations but chose my luck in central universities common entrance tests. Luckily one evening I received a phone call from Central University Jammu conveying me that my name was among meritorious students who qualified the test making me eligible for a PG course.

Once again it was a huge disappointment for me, as I believed that Kashmir University is only institution where I can give shape to my personality. After receiving the call I was thinking whole night with my thoughts, whether to take this opportunity or wait for another year.  By waiting I could have lost one year of education, which was haunting me.

Finally I made my decision to seek admission in Central University of Jammu. On the very first day when I reached in the campus of – CUJ – I found myself among strangers, here atmosphere was totally different students were free to express their thoughts.

The each passing day taught me more and more lessons not only about student’s politics but about the rights of a student. One day our teacher was delivering lesson in the class room, outside I saw huge crowd of students assembled at the main entrance of university block chanting slogans – ‘’ Student Power Nation Power’’ and  ‘’we want Justice’’.

I asked my teacher why these people are making lot of noise as our classes are getting disturbed, when he replied to my question it still strikes my mind.  The teacher said: “if students will not do such kind of activities in University or at college level how he can learn things to manage affairs of our society and otherwise there would no fun to learn here in University.”

I was paying hardly attention towards lecture I became curious to know why students staged the protest and wanted to know more about students leading this protest. After finishing lecture I quickly reached the spot where this protest was going and in the group I saw one of my classmates among the leaders. After few minutes some other classmates also arrived there and I asked one of my batch mates why she skipped the class to lead this protests. And the back came her reply – Brother she belongs to “AVBP” and all protesters are its members.

After knowing entire history of AVBP I was curious to know about other student groups and the answer was same AVBP is sole dominating party and no other student group emerges here so powerful. After couple of weeks underneath of shade of famous dhaba the foundation of the second party SFI (Students Federation of India) was laid. 

University authorities gave permission to both the parties to run its affairs in the campus.  After spending months here, I have experienced better atmosphere than my native place, no such kind of restrictions in educational institutions where we feel ourselves caged. Students have freedom of expression to express their views, even power in decision making. Kashmir is only place on the earth where students are not allowed to fight against injustice. Both Jammu and Kashmir belongs to same state than why selective treatment?       

The author is the student of journalism at Central University Jammu.                          

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