The Kashmiri Professor's Posers Are At Least Not Postures

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“Are stone pelters the real heroes?” is a question that is on the minds of many Kashmiris. In a winter that follows a summer of over a hundred deaths, would they have gone cold and numb?

Were these the thoughts in Professor Noor Mohammed Bhatt’s mind?

A Kashmir University professor was arrested on Friday for framing a question paper for first-year BSc students that included, “Are stone pelters the real heroes?”— referring to the three-month agitation across the Valley this summer in which more than 110 people were killed.

The second impugned question sought translation of a passage from Urdu to English, which contained a diatribe against Kashmir’s “occupation” with provocative passages like “Kashmiri blood is being spilled like water, Kashmiri children are being killed by the police and Kashmiri women are being showered with bullets.”

Besides his arrest, it has caused embarrassment. Why? Aren’t they embarrassed by the situation in the state? Aren’t they embarrassed by the manner in which the struggle gets overtaken by outside sympathisers who reduce their struggle into a Pakistani add-on?

Protest movements have used such methods in the past. This is the equivalent of flyers and posters, only it used a more potent and legitimate source to get back at a potent and legitimate force. University politics is not unusual and it is very clearly run by political parties. In this case one is not sure. I am just wondering what would have been the reaction had the question been, “Is Omar Abdullah the real hero?”

Prof Bhatt’s colleagues reacted with shock saying they were puzzled because he was not known for his extreme views. Most, instead, believe he was trying to kick off a debate among the young on the futility behind endless protests and their chosen method of pelting stones. The examination controller is now scrutinizing all the other question papers to ensure no more such nasty surprises await students.

His colleagues obviously do not understand what extreme views are. There is no allusion to ‘futility’ here. Indeed, the reference to ‘occupation’ is unfortunate, but he is most likely trying to push the envelope. And anyway, why blame a Kashmiri Professor who lives there and has seen the bloodshed and has taught at the university for 20 years saying it when others come and barf this stuff from the dais?

He has had no chance to go to the media and create a sympathy or rumour wave for himself. He has been arrested. It will be for misusing his position, misleading students, causing unrest…what else? Has any Kashmiri leader come to his rescue or spoken up on his behalf, even if it needs an apology for using the wrong forum? Where are the azadi people? Come on, fess up?

The authorities will be careful from now on, but the question paper went through. Maybe the disaffection is deeper and far more widespread than some fantasies would like us to believe. These are BSc students and will probably want to graduate and get jobs. Will they get jobs?

The newspapers smartly added a boxed item to this report about how 13,000 Kashmiri youth turned up braving the cold, riding buses and motorbikes (and this is like important news…isn’t that how people go anywhere?) to fill up 232 vacancies for the post of constables.

What is this supposed to mean? That the youth is so happy? Or that 12.768 people will return in the freezing cold, riding buses and bikes to their homes and gather stones?


  1. There is a line between educating children and politics that must not be crossed -- politics is for adults only.


  2. FV,

    The state of J&K is enormously subsidised as it is.
    Economic opportunity will only arise in a climate of peace, not when people start thinking that throwing stones is the way to go, which will happen if that is what their "college education" teaches them.

    I think we all know what happens when colleges start getting all political. All of this deliberate poisoning of impressionable minds with a political agenda is not going to help anyone. I, for one, am glad they hauled the lecturer out of the place.


  3. Protest cannot be considered a legitimate form of public reaction, when there is no public tendency to maintain the peace. All of this excessive and moronic marxist rhetoric is getting combined with religion and going new places. If they want to start being violent they know that the response will be, but they choose to do so time and again, instead of doing something productive.


  4. FV, Now I don't think the Nation.com website link I sent you was the job of a hacker. Someone is actually writing such articles!! What a hoot.


    PS: Here is another article called 'India's True face" that does not say what you think it normally would.


  5. The thugs of Kashmir deserve bullets and not talks. Their so-called freedom struggle is simply a disguised jehad and must be defeated at all costs. They believe that a Muslim majority state can not be part of a Hindu majority country. Unfortunately, our inept govts have failed to discredit this propaganda effectively. If Sikh-majority Punjab, Christian-majority Goa and Nagaland, Buddhist-majority Sikkim can be part of India, there is no reason why Kashmir can not be. All that talk about Kashmir being a separate nation throughout history is also c**p. At some point of time, there was a Maratha nation, a Jat nation, a Rajput nation and a Tamil nation too. That doesn't mean we turn the clock back. Police and Army must be given a free hand to pump as much lead into these maniacs as possible.

  6. Al:

    These are adults and eligible to vote. I think you should complain when adolescents are hauled up, imprisoned and even killed only on the basis of suspicion. And this is before the stone pelting.

    Every single political party has its presence in universities and their youth units, like the ABVP have tremendous clout. So why get all worried when it is in J&K?

    I agree that religion coming into the picture complicates the issue, but what is subsidised in J&K? If we have 'peace' in others regions, are there opportunities for everyone?

    Yes, these protestors are ready for the consequences. They have been for two decades.


    I know history is some distance away, but not too far. The so-called jehad was never an issue for years. And please read up on how we landed up with Kashmir in the first place.

    Goa is NOT Christian dominated; it is majority Hindu. And you talk as though there is peace in Nagaland and Punjab never had a problem. Heck, even Goa does...and Sikkim took its own sweet time.

    Of course, talk of pumping bullets sounds macho, so go on...

  7. FV:"Yes, these protestors are ready for the consequences. They have been for two decades. "

    FV< I suppose these protestors are ready to be dead like the 100s of other before them who are now dead and gone. I am sure their wish will be fulfilled.

    The consequence of taking arms up against the state is usually death, which will be gladly dispensed by the Republic to anyone messing with it. If the protestors want to challenge the constitution using violence, then they will get pushback from the establishment which will involve more violence than the Kasmiri youth can muster. There are constitutional means to register such protests, as is done in other parts of India, and same holds for these youth too...no exceptions.

    Unfortunately, this response from the State0 will not change no matter how "ready" the Kashmiri youth are to get themselves killed for no good reason. But I guess they have made their choice to be "ready" and nothing anyone can do about it.


  8. 'what is subsidised in J&K? If we have 'peace' in others regions, are there opportunities for everyone? "

    The central government can only provide finances for KAshmiris who want to start businesses -- there are other subsidy programs for J&K, but this is just one of them.


    Note the date on this program (around 2002, and continues till today).

    There is no shortage of programs for KAshmiri youth but just like other states, the money for these programmes is being stolen by the people running the J&K State government.

    There is a lot of blame to be passed around to the Indian government, but that is not for lack of trying....every plan like the above fails because the Central and State govts. do not really care to pay attention to whether such programs are implemented properly....just take the money and run.


  9. Why J&K, this is how the Indian govt. treats people outside of J&K


    So why exactly are these Navodaya schools exempted while the rest of the public schools are not? Not for us idiots to ask, the geniuses in the HRD have decreed and it shall be so. Some Indians are just more equal than others, and it has everything to do with money and the influence that flows from lots of it, not religion or culture.


  10. Al:

    Agree with parts of your comment, but the fact remains that J&K has different set of rules IN the Constitution for them. Besides, the youth have had a violent history to deal with - militancy, security forces (not always above board) and infiltrators.

    I think my position on the subject has been reiterated often enough...


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