A boy from Hajin Bandipora named “Saqib Bilal” was killed in an encounter along with terrorists from Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba on December 9. Saqib was seen in the film Haider starring Shahid Kapoor in which he did a small cameo. Saqib was a theatre artist.
He gave a performance in a stage show titled ‘Weath chi Yeahi (This is the river)’ at Tagore Hall in which he was the protagonist. Saqib even bagged an award for his performance, told Aijaz He got an award and even went to Odisha to repeat the performance,” Aijaz said (Bilal’s maternal uncle).
The boy was just in his 6th standard when he appeared for two quick shots in Haider. In case you are a movie buff you might probably remember a shot in which a kid appeared as a ‘chocolate boy’ and in another, he played the part of a bus accident survivor,” Aijaz said.
Saqib and a 9th standard boy both left their homes on August 31. They were last seen riding behind a third person on a bike said Aijaz. While the family is still baffled, they have no idea as to why Saqib joined militancy. This brings us to one major question “Why youth of Kashmir is drifting towards militancy?”
As per his Maternal uncle, Saqib had a good interest in engineering. Then how come a teen decided to pick up guns and that too in such a small age.
Ground Reality in Kashmir
Don’t try and look for me. Jehad is the only way forward. It is the only way to deal with the atrocities faced by Kashmiris.
– Zakir Rashid Bhat(A militant who was shot to death
While many believe that the situation is changing in Kashmir. We dug into statistical figures and as per records, in 2013 31 local youth joined militancy. The number rose to more than twice and jumped to 66 in 2015 according to police records. But why the youth is switching to picking up guns despite knowing that the only way out is death for them? The trend is worrying considering the fact that 60% of the population of Valley is below the age of 30.
As per Lt Gen Satish Dua, Commander of 15 corps, “Pakistan has a new strategy to recruit locals and give them rudimentary training in the hinterland as Pakistan has not been able to sneak in terrorists across the Loc”.
Why Youth of Kashmir is drifting towards militancy?
“Everyone is feeling choked because the political system has failed to deliver:
It is true that in order to keep the valley secure from terrorist activities, the entire valley has more soldiers than population living there. With more than 70 years of independence, we have still not been able to restore peace in the valley. This has made the citizens of the state feel choked and confined resulting in outrage and stone pelting says “Farooq Abdullah”.
Local police conducted a survey in which it has been observed that mosques in the region which are supposed to teach them good things about Islam were becoming congregation places where Maulvis hold animated discussions on a threat to Islam and Kashmiriyat.
Unemployment and Education in Kashmir:
The unrest in the valley can just not be due to religion and their urge for freedom. The roots to the problem can be socio-economic problems as well. While we all know Kashmir for its beauty, the only way of employment in Kashmir turns out to be tourism. And with every military operation in the valley tourism takes a hit. This has resulted in higher unemployment ration in the stated. Earlier 24.6% of people of age 18-29 were unemployed as per Economic Survey 2016. This statistic boomed up to 57.7% during massive protests in 2016 to 57.7% against 19.8% national average of the country.
A conversation by Sheikh Saaliq will clear the picture of how people in Kashmir are thinking: This is a conversation with Muzzafar Wani in his village home in Sharifabad, could give us a picture of how Kashmiri people might talk to each other.
So what are the main motto of Burhan and young boys like him?
Freedom from India. It’s not only his motto but everybody. Even mine… Look at the current incident of beef ban where a truck driver was lynched in Jammu only because he was a Kashmiri, a Muslim. This has happened so many times before also. Beef is halal for us (Muslims), we sacrifice it, and they have banned it.
But isn’t it hard to win against the might of Indian army? The insurgency is now 26 years old.
Yes, it’s very hard. Everyone knows it. It is a hard task, but a Muslim has his faith in God. He knows if he dies in the path of God, he goes to God. In our religion, whosoever dies because of the oppression from India, or by an Indian bullet, doesn’t die. He goes from this world to the other world (as promised in the Quran); there will be no disease in that world, no oppression. This is what our Islam tells. That’s why Muslims don’t fear that. We prefer dying with honor rather than living a life of shame under oppression.
You know Burhan will be killed one day… That is the outcome of the path he has chosen.
Yes, I do get a bit disturbed but our Islam says that God, the Quran, and the Prophet are bigger than anything, even bigger and more important than our sons. It’s not the other way round. If our God is not happy with us then we don’t need our sons. Our God should be happy with us even if my son’s or my sacrifice is needed for that.
Hemmed in by bunkers, curfews and frequent internet bans, people are looking their way out for dignity, freedom, and justice. The pain lies in that it has been 70 years and more of Independence and neither Srinagar, not New Delhi is looking beyond security perspectives. It’s time we need to bring a lot of things along with education and infrastructure into the valley. With Education as a weapon in hand, we can surely kill a lot of militants out of their roots. Don’t you think so?