Indian state terrorism has forced Kashmiri youth to pick up weapons: Washington Post

Indian brutalities and state oppression against Kashmiri youth has given rise to grave human rights concerns in the current decade particularly. According to a recent report released by Washington Post, titled ”From scholars into militants: Educated Kashmiri youths are joining an anti-India insurgency”, the author at the American reporting source pens down how educated youth in Indian-occupied Kashmir is letting go of the books and joining militant groups for freedom.

Author Joana Slater writes that educated Kashmiri youth is more inclined towards militancy and freedom struggle as an aftermath of Indian brutality in the region. She shares account of a professor Muhammad Rafi Butt. He could not attend a faculty meeting at the University of Kashmir on a Friday afternoon last year and no one knew about his whereabouts. Two days later, the students got to know through the television screens that he was killed by Indian troops during a cordon and search operation in Badigam village of the Shopian district.

Rafi was a loved and followed teacher. His students depended on him for advice, help and small loans. Not just the people he taught, but his colleagues in the Sociology department also found him highly reliable. Among those standing firmly against Indian oppression are highly qualified people like Butt, others are school dropouts from the villages. The brutal tactic that Indian forces use against the unarmed civilians is ‘daily humiliation’ – which has only bred intense anger.

Dr Butt was a capable young man, only 31 years old, who received a PhD from the University of Kashmir as well. The students were absolutely devastated to know about his death. The feeling of hopelessness has driven more people towards armed resistance.

”Paramilitary personnel stand guard on bridges and roads in Srinagar, Kashmir’s largest city, against a backdrop of stunning snow-capped mountains. It said that some walls still bear graffiti with the name “Burhan,” a popular youth leader martyred by Indian troops in a fake encounter in July 2016. His killing sparked massive protests to which India responded with brute force” – the report read. 

Nayeem Fazili remembering his son, Eisa Fazili, says that they always say to arm the youth with knowledge and books, but what did the degree give him?  Eisa Fazili was a young engineer who was martyred in the 2016 mass uprising.

“Critics say heavy-handed tactics by India have bred anger and despair. Kashmiris describe a sense of daily humiliation, sometimes petty and sometimes grave, together with a feeling of suffocation by a conflict that shows no hope of immediate improvement,” – the report added.

A doctoral student, Umair Gul, said that educated Kashmiri youth has for long been resisting against Indian oppression. However thanks to social media, their struggle is now gaining prominence.

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