Prospective migrants queue up for a passport in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The much debated SRO-202 these days, issued on June 30, 2015 is total discriminatory in nature. It has brought forth the issue of how education or a teacher in Jammu and Kashmir is treated. The humiliation and other discriminatory policies regarding teachers, which were brought out be earlier regimes also, are still continuing. There seems to be no end to these harsh policies. It has put much stress on already stressed teachers, some married, some have to repay education loan to banks and some have to serve large families as well.
This discriminatory SRO has also violated the basic right of highly qualified Lectures, some UGC NET/JRF, and some M.Phil.and Ph.D. qualified from highly acclaimed universities from around the world. It is beyond understanding that the same Lectures in an institution will draw totally different type of salaries. In this fast changing and inflation prone world, how can a person survive on mere Rs. 10000 monthly salary? How can educated youth cope with the demands of the capitalist world? How can a highly qualified youth pay their loans and meet their daily needs.
It has now become clear that present regime is not interested in the welfare of education of the valley, otherwise the matter would have been totally different. The ministers and other bureaucrats would have understood this matter thoroughly and listened to the youths demands.
By merely announcing recruitment advertisements is nothing but making a mockery of youth and an attempt by the government to hide its failures. It is a joke not only with the highly qualified youth, but also a mockery of jobs. By paying pennies to survive, the present government is playing to the gallery or vote bank politics. But it should know that it will back fire. Time has gone, when youth of the valley were taken for the ride. The present youth are well aware of everything. They know what is being played behind the doors.
Earlier, much like the same, another draconian SRO vis RET teachers was implemented. Though it proved very beneficial to some extent by providing jobs to youth, but by paying monthly salary of 1500 for 5 years, it wreaked havoc to education system of Kashmir and blame lies on the government. Here RET teachers have no reason to feel offended, because facts cannot be put under the carpet for the long as some below par qualified were also selected through this scheme. And everybody today is blaming the government for that discriminatory policy. The government must not hope, that by paying some pennies and teaching level of the teacher sustains for long. It must not hope that a teacher will perform his duties with interest. May be some would say that a teacher has to perform his duties perfectly whatever the circumstances, and few may perform, but saying that for all amid high inflation and other burdens, is a big lie and ignoring ground situation.
The story has ananother part too. The Lecturers appointed through this draconian SRO-202 have to serve in far flung areas near border. And in these border areas, there is no phone facility available still in this 21st century. Ladakh and Gurez are cut off from the Valley for months. The conditions in these areas are too harsh. There is water scarcity and food scarcity as well. Roads are dilapidated Some Lecturers have to fetch water and other eatable stuff from 10-15 kilometres away from their residence. There are other areas, which are shelling prone from across the border. Recently shelling from across the border in Karnah area hit the school building where some Lecturers are posted. They somehow managed to survive in the dead of the night.
The present government has to understand that it cannot take the educated youth of the valley for granted. It cannot on the different forums claim that we are providing enough opportunities for the youth, but while on the other play with their careers and demands. The government by merely publishing advertisements cannot get rid of its responsibilities towards the education system of the state. It should know, that the present SRO is much like “Beigaar” thrust on the hapless Kashmiris by Dogra rulers. As soon as this discriminatory SRO is revoked, better for the government and education of the state, otherwise be prepared for the RET type disaster vis a vis education system of state.
(The author is pursuing higher studies at JNU)