Srinagar, Jan 12: As Manan Wani, a 25-year-old Ph D scholar from Aligarh Muslim University, chooses might of a gun over the strength of pen, The Kashmir Monitor speaks to scholars across universities to learn their views of the lethal commitment he seems to have made.
Not surprisingly, however, not many seem to agree with him, though arguing that he, too, might have felt choked for options.
A science scholar at Kashmir University: “I see it in two contexts. Firstly, it’s a grim reminder that Kashmir needs a permanent solution. Not the first time, an educated youth has taken to arms. He won’t be the last if the stakeholders don’t find a solution. Mannan has once again punctured the manufactured state narratives.”
“As a human and a Kashmiri, I don’t want to see Mannan joining the long list of martyrs. If I don’t want my brother or friend to take up arms, I shouldn’t want others to join the militants either.”
Science scholar from Islamic University of Technology: “It may put Kashmir cause in limelight as Burhan's emergence did, but for me, I take guidance from my religion and I don't feel we gain anything from this ongoing trend. We are just losing a budding researcher. Maybe he could have used himself in a different way, as he must be aware that he can be trapped and killed within few hours. The house, in which he may be hiding, will be bombed and a bright mind lost.”
Scholar in Literature at Kashmir University: “Although I respect his sentiments and understand his feeling or frustration, I believe a scholar can contribute more by creating more knowledge about the conflict. A scholar can ensure that India doesn't succeed in pushing forth the narrative of a primeval violent Kashmiri pitted against the successful civil servant. Militancy has had its moment and we have seen it fail in ending this occupation. Now, a scholar may be more useful to the idea of our resistance.”
Media Scholar at Kashmir University: “This is the outcome of the long term symptom we have been ignoring. Most of the educated youth who pick up guns first try to seek answers through knowledge, by developing an understanding of critical issues, history and context of the problem. But that in turn builds up the frustration because of the hegemonic structure that is evident even in our education system.”
Scholar at National Institute of Technology: “Our youth is very enlightened and a large change can be brought with excellence in education of which Manaan could be a part. It’s a big loss to us as a nation, but this disturbing trend will continue till people unite with a vision. We are breeding two strata’s in our society, one who have no courage and spine and others who die for their uprightness and moral duty towards people as a whole. It’s high time that we people must shift from mourning to action and unite for one cause.”