YOUTH AND THE MILITANCY

A lot has been written about Youth of Kashmir and radical tendencies among them. Analysts and experts have given diverse reasons behind the issue of their joining in militant ranks but so far no specific reason has been indicated as to why the youth show interest in the militancy despite the facts that the average lifespan of a militant is very less. A lot of militants were killed within few months or within few days after their joining. The people who join the militant outfits are fully aware about their future in militancy and about period of their life span in this industry. Being a militant one has to face tremendous and unimaginable hardships to survive for a day considering pressure mounted on them by security agencies. Knowing all this the youth still follow the path of destruction and prefer to die. This makes the question more complex to answer as to why they want to die! From last more than 30 years of insurgency, not an inch could these militant outfits change in Kashmir. If they could change anything that are the miseries they brought into the lives of Kashmiris.

These are not uneducated youth but some of the militants who are highly educated and have promising careers ahead of them and many among them are high school dropouts. Assistant professor-turned-militant Muhammad Rafi, who lost his life in district Shopian just less than 40 hours after he had gone missing. Whole Kashmir particularly youth are fully aware about the fate of a militancy but still Mohammad Rafi joined a militant group and lost his precious life. A lot of these militants have engineering background while some others are post graduates and graduates. Among them were scholars too like Mohammad Rafi and Manan Wani. Manan Wani of Kupwara district used to write articles about Kashmir situation which have appeared in media. School dropouts are also there in militant ranks and there number is also good. The former operational chief of Hizb Riyaz Naikoo was a non-medical graduate and Zakir Moosa, chief Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind was studying engineering. Eisa Fazili of Srinagar, Syed Owais Shafi of Kokernang and Aabid Nazir from Shopian were also well educated. Top Hurriyat leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai’s son Junaid Sherai of Hizbul Mujahideen was an MBA from the University of Kashmir but preferred death. These people do not come from poor families but rich families having every luxury of life available.

Zakir Moosa’s father is a senior government engineer and his rest of the family members are also very much settled. Zakir left every thing, joined the militancy and finally encountered the same fate like his predecessors. Teenagers like Ishaq (Known as Newton for his sheer brilliance) from Laribal Tral had scored 98.4 percent in class X and 85 percent in class XII examination. In 2016 joined Hizb and in 2017 he was killed in a gunfight. Other experts attribute militancy as a result of both poverty and unemployment. When people are poor and jobless, they tend to be easily used by militants but fact of the matter is that Kashmiris are not poor as we see in other parts of the country.Facts are totally in complete contradiction with the opinion of those who say that unemployment and poverty is the reason behind Kashmir new age militancy. There are cases where government employees left there jobs and became militants. Many Policemen also left their jobs and joined militant outfits and got killed in encounters.

Critics say heavy-handed policy of India to deal with separatism in Kashmir have bred anger . Youth describe a sense of daily humiliation and suffocation but those who argue that only security agencies misbehaviour force youth to join militant citing Burhan wani’s example need to review their opinion. Rest hundreds of young men were not harassed anywhere by any security agency even in 1989 militancy did not erupt due to harassment of security agencies in Kashmir but yes the rigged election was a cause of 1989 militancy. However some experts are of the view that funerals procession of these militant are fertile grounds for recruitment of militancy. The heroic see off, sloganeering, gun salutes by militants during funeral processions, the last phone call of a trapped militant to his family and social acceptability to gun culture promoted desire for joining militancy among the youth. Use of social media to glamorize gun culture can also be one among the reason behind entertainment.

Courtesy :- Fida Firdous

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