August 2016 News

Muslim Clergy Urges Govt To Put Best Face Forward With Kashmiri Youth

30 August 2016
The Economic Times
Vasudha Venugopal

New Delhi: Three groups of eminent Muslim clergy and intellectuals have met Home Minister Rajnath Singh thrice in the last one month, urging the government to put forward 'its best human face while dealing with Kashmiri youth'. In the last two meetings held in the last week of August, the groups have made a strange request to the government asking it to consider shifting its entire free higher education scholarship for Kashmiri youth now applicable in all major states to south Indian states alone. The group has said Kashmiri youth face a lot of apathy, discrimination and violence in north Indian states because of a 'prevalent anti-Kashmiri feeling that is not seen in south Indian states'. Former UGC member, CIC and interlocutor on J&K M M Ansari was also part of the delegation. The meetings were facili facilitated by M J Khan, agriculture consultant, associated with the Peace Party and BJP. 'Giving them more scholarships in states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will help them become goodwill ambassadors of the Indian state,' the delegation has told Singh. The delegation has also pointed out that in some universities the issue of some Kashmiri students cheering for Pakistan in cricket matches was blown out of proportion, which affected the morale of the Kashmiri youth studying across the country. In 2014, such instances were reported in Meerut and Noida. Under the Prime Ministers Special Scholarship Scheme for the students of J&K, nearly 5,000 students from the State are facilitated to study in most Indian states with the State providing for their academic and living expenses. In their 30-point agenda, there is also a request that the BJP tones down the language of its spokespersons on TV and asks them to speak in the language of 'love and care' rather than 'punishment and violence'. The delegation has also requested the government to check on media that it feels 'has given out an impression to Kashmiris that the whole of Indian state is at war with the J&K,' a member of the delegation said. Additionally, they have requested the Centre to have awareness of history of J&K in schools and colleges so that people understand the predicament of the youth and not label them as potential terrorists. 'The history of J&K is complex and it takes time and effort to understand the grouses of people there. There has been a chain of broken promises by governments which need to be looked at,' Khan said.