The battle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has been the longest conflict till date. The conflict has been affecting development of the state in different aspects especially the youth of Kashmir.
For the first time in history the newly formed alliance between the PDP and the BJP, the north pole and south pole alliance hasn’t improved the conditions for the locals living there. The government needs to pay attention to the aggressive youths which are taking the wrong paths instead of developing the economic condition of the state.
There are various factors which have been affecting the behaviour of youth which has turned volatile in recent past years. The brutal killing of Army lieutenant Ummerfayaz[i] is such an example. As the 12 terrorists which took part in the killing of Ummerfayaz in shopian bazaar consisted of local Kashmiri youth. What prompted these youths to kill him? He wasn’t armed while he was killed nor he was playing the role of an army officer.
These factors have majorly affected the youth of Kashmir. The unrest in the valley is not just about freedom but its also about these factors contributing to their state of behaviour. Tourism has been the major employment source for the locals but due to the arising conflicts in the valley the tourism has been crashed greatly, which has turned them as unemployed. The problem of unemployment has been increasing among the youth and locals living in the valley. There are various programs by government like ‘hamayat[ii]’ and ‘udan[iii]’ where youth aged between 18-25 are aimed and trained for the technical and corporate jobs. These programs were launched by the government in the hope of developing skill set among youth which can give them a platform for employment. Youth which are school or college drop outs are the main segment of focus. Even after various institutional structures and schemes the youth has been taking the wrong path. 25 schools were burnt last year and others locked down due to the rising conflict in the valley. If children will have such environment to grow will they be able to get the education to compete in the corporate world?
How will children who are the future of the state grow in such an environment?
Jammu and Kashmir has been one of the states with the highest corruption rate in India. The youth of Kashmir is forced to believe that “Joining terrorist groups will fetch Freedom” on the cost of favouring Pakistan. The death of ‘Buran wani’ and ‘Sameer Bhat’ is the perfect example. The viral video leaked by Buran showed him encouraging local youth of Kashmir to join Hizbul Mujahideen to terrorist group and kill the Indian army officials. When asked from Burhan’s father on him becoming a militant , he replied “ he became a militant not only because he was oppressed but because he saw so many others being oppressed by the army. He couldn’t take it anymore”
The state actors India and Pakistan along with non- state actors like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish –e-Mohammad has been collectively creating chaos in the valley. 71 percent of the population in the valley is youth and their behaviour against India has been shown at various instances every other day they have been participating in stone pelting against police vehicles or Indian army. Its sad to see that we are on the verge of losing the youth of Kashmir which will eventually lead to the loss of Kashmir.
[ii] http://himayat.org/AboutHimayat.aspx, himayat programme.
[iii] http://www.skilldevelopment.gov.in/udaan.html, udan programme.