Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
JAMMU: Kashmir’s mainstream politicians, many of whom have enjoyed power while simultaneously glorifying terrorism and encouraging hundreds of young students to become militants and stone-pelters in the yesteryears, are now seen greeting the youngsters over their success in different examinations. Some of them took to Twitter and others issued statements extending congratulations to the students who on Monday, 8 March, passed the Class 12 examination of the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education with distinction.According to the BOSE notification, 58397 students, including 30960 and 27437 girls from Science, Commerce, Arts and Home Science streams had appeared in the annual examination taken during the Coronavirus pandemic in the Kashmir valley in November-December 2020. Of them, 46987 students- 24291 boys and 22696 girls-have been declared qualified. In other words, 80.46% of the qualified candidates include 78.46% boys and 82.72% girls.As many as 23207 students have qualified the exam with distinction, 17666 with the first division and 5670 with the second division.Interestingly, girls have dominated the top rank ranks across all the streams. Of the 178 candidates, who have bagged the top 10 positions across all the streams, as many as 141 are girls. In Science stream, 19 students figure on the top 3 positions. Fifteen of them are females. In Commerce, 5 girls have shared the top 3 positions. Arts and Home Science streams have also shown similar results.More interestingly, the students of the government schools have fared better than those of the private schools who have been allegedly fleecing the parents for the ‘quality education’ they give to their wards. Of the 178 top 10 position holders, as many as 108 students are from the government schools. Of the 124 students-92 girls and 32 boys-who have bagged the top 10 positions in Science stream, 70 are students of the government schools. The girl students’ pass percentage in Science is 88.97. There are similar success stories across other streams-girl students and many from the government schools grabbing the distinctions.Nazimul Islam, the son of a daily wager Ghulam Muhammad of Kultoora village of Kupwara, and a student of Government Boys Higher Secondary School Handwara, has secured the 5th top position in Science stream while securing 495 out of 500 marks. He is one among hundreds of the educationally and economically depressed students who has passed the exam with flying colours.In the pre-2019 era, different characters of the militants’ support structure, politicians and intellectuals in particular, would compete in cultivating a sense of injustice and victimhood and glorifying the gun culture while audaciously blaming New Delhi for all evils in Kashmir. They would ensure the best quality education and job opportunities for their own children across India and overseas but push thousands of the downtrodden families on the path of conflict and confrontation with the Police and armed forces.Thousands of the young and brilliant students were encouraged to become militants and stone-pelters and they perished in clashes and encounters. They included the youngsters otherwise shining in their academic excellence. Many of them were post-graduates, graduates and undergraduates in science, technology, engineering, medicine, business administration and humanities. Their families are now confronted with untold miseries and many of them living penurious lives. All they got was a gun salute to their bodies from militant groups, a funeral procession and a front-page coverage to their death in the local newspapers.Days after Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took over as Chief Minister of the PDP-BJP coalition in March 2015 and the noticeable separatist Massarat Alam was released and permitted to hold a massive anti-India and pro-Pakistan demonstration outside the J&K Police headquarters in Srinagar, nineteen-year-old Ishaq Parray aka Ishaq ‘Newton’ of Laribal, Tral, joined Hizbul Mujahideen.Locally known as ‘Newton’ due to his passion for physics, Ishaq Parray had secured 98.4% marks and got the 9th top position in his Class 10 exam, followed by 85% marks in his Class 12 exam. With Burhan Wani growing as an icon for Kashmir’s young militant supporters, thanks to his free access to social media in 2015-16, Parray was transformed into a die-hard terrorist. British-Kashmiri writer Mirza Waheed’s novel ‘The Collaborator’ was among the books he studied before joining the militant group. Before completing one year of his tryst with terror, Parray returned dead after an encounter on 3 March 2016.Encouraged by a vast ecosystem, 32-year-old Mohammad Rafi Bhat of Chhundana, Ganderbal, became a militant one year after completing his Ph D in 2017. The University of Kashmir recruited him as a junior professor for the post-graduate department of Sociology. Before his doctorate in Sociology, Bhat had qualified JRF once and National Eligibility Test (NET) twice. In just 40 hours of joining Hizbul Mujahideen, Bhat was killed along with four top wanted militants in an encounter at Badigam, Shopian, on 6 May 2018.Twenty-six-year old Manan Bashir Wani of Lolab, Kupwara, was a Ph D scholar in Applied Geology at Aligarh Muslim University when he disappeared in January 2018. A day later, Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Salahuddin confirmed his admission into his militant organisation. In less than a year, he was killed in an encounter in Handwara in October 2018.Manan Wani and Rafi Bhat were projected as the Kashmir militancy’s intellectual faces and successors of Burhan Wani who had been killed in an encounter in Bamdora, Anantnag, in July 2016. The cult of posting pictures and videos and announcements of the unmasked youths’ joining a militant outfit on social media ended with Wani’s and Bhat’s death in 2018, in weeks of the termination of the PDP-BJP government.
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