Friday, April 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



J&K at crossroads: confusion prevails amidst business of politics, hawala

This has reference to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s articles “Jammu & Kashmir at crossroads: Confusion prevails amidst business of politics, hawala” (April 5). It is worthwhile to examine the state of terrorism in Kashmir though the picture does not seem to be as rosy as being made out to be after putting the forces on the border. The article is highly appreciative and rightly so, of the daring innovative suggestion of giving more powers in the affairs of J&K to Dr Farooq Abdullah.

The Prime Minister needs to give Dr Abdullah a free hand to tackle specially outfits of Kashmir origin and restoring Muslims’ faith in the system. India needs to invigorate its strategy. The terrorist outfits have been so hooked to bleeding India that they refuse to see the present reversals as anything but temporary. The tentacles of terrorism can be destroyed by firm action through Kashmir Muslims.

Within Kashmir, various divergent forces including the APHC are active to neutralise moves made through the process of dialogue aimed at creating environment in which the APHC may participate in elections. Dr Abdullah should be so empowered as to develop an inherent dynamism to withstand all kinds of pressure from Pakistan and its sponsored outfits.

The fact that Kashmir continues to remain mired in unremitting tension and deep distrust among different communities suggests that time has come to move beyond words. Fire cannot be doused by fire. It is mortifying to see people becoming refugees in their own country.


If Kashmir affairs is handed over to Dr Abdullah, it will send a clear message to the terrorists who create terror by dividing Muslims. Otherwise, the terrorist outfits will continue to mobilise Muslims through money and guns. The line dividing the cultured existence of society and fascist use of terror is crumbling. These weapons have been taken over by religious fanatics and are being used in a far more terrible way. In this new situation to woo separatists, Muslims should play a vital role by joining the electoral process.


Groping in the dark: Mr Hari Jaisingh has meticulously and sagaciously presented the confused and chaotic state of affairs prevailing in J&K. The rudderless state is obviously standing at the crossroads because of the apathy on the part of the State and Union governments. They don’t know which direction to follow. It appears the J&K problem has been put on the back burner at present as the communal disharmony in Gujarat has rocked the Centre. All attention has been focused on that sensitive state bypassing the equally sensitive J&K.

The government does not seem to have any crystal clear policy and the necessary will to tackle the J&K tangle. Of course with the deployment of army at the border, incidents of terrorism have been reduced considerably. Still the militants have the wherewithal, tactical support, information and contacts to strike at will. The recent attack on the holy precincts of the historic Raghunath Mandir bears testimony to it. This is because the governments at the Centre and in the State are working in opposite directions.

Pakistan, the mentor of militancy in J&K, keeps on growling and snarling from time to time and so does India. Nothing is done beyond that giving boost to the business of politics and hawala that finds conditions favourable to thrive. The steps taken so far to solve the problem have proved ineffective because they were taken half-heartedly.

There is no use of groping in the dark. The Government will have to clear the confusion if the set goals and objectives are to be achieved. The dithering and indifferent approach will have to be abandoned. It cannot be done unless the government makes up its mind to do the job.


Real challenge: Mr Hari Jaisingh has rightly observed that the real challenge in Kashmir actually lies in properly guiding Dr Farooq Abdullah. If he is made to deliver the goods in a transparent manner, the situation in Kashmir can change for the better.

The problem of militancy in the J&K Valley cannot be tackled effectively if the government is inefficient.


Deep-rooted malady

This refers to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s scholarly and thought-provoking article “What ails Indian universities?: wanted a premium on integrity and commitment” (March 29) in which he has analysed the deep-rooted malady afflicting institutions of higher learning in India. He has touched the right chord when he says that the crux of the problem in the universities is too much of politics and politicking. Universities slack academic autonomy and political leaders continue to interfere in their day-to-day functioning. Financially, they are in a tight position and are always beggars at the doors of the state governments, which always try to influence the decision-making process of the universities.

The VCs’ are selected by the Chief Ministers and this way the university becomes a department of the State Government where too much political interference by highly motivated political leaders and sycophantic bureaucrats vitiate the whole academic atmosphere. This is the bane of our polity as well as of academics. Besides, whatever is being taught to the students is socially irrelevant and does not cater to the requirements and demands of the market where liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation are the order of the day. After spending precious time, money and energy, the helpless youth find nobody to own them and they join the vast army of unemployed where they feel frustrated.

In the present-day market, merit is no consideration. A youth can aspire to get a suitable job as a lecturer with respectable wages only if he has got some strong political link or is willing to part with huge amount as a bribe. The selection making bodies like the Punjab Public Service Commission have become politicised and no fair selection can be expected. Such a vicious circle has been created whereby corruption and politics have made a mess of the temples of higher learning where we find pollution all around, thus leading to the deterioration of standards of teachers as well as students.

These centres of higher education should be depoliticised. Scholars and academicians of the highest order should be appointed to head them. Political leaders should be totally kept off the university system. Persons to be appointed as VCs should be men of integrity, dedication and deep commitment to certain ideals and values which they are expected to uphold. This is very essential to restore the dignity and quality in the academic field. We expect the government not to be a mere spectator; it should do something positive by generating gainful jobs to the educated youth whom we need for tackling the various problems of our country so as to put India on the right track on road to development where our youth can compete globally. Let the politicians not try to play with the youth, the system and the nation itself.

Prof K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

Crux of the problem: Mr Hari Jaisingh’s article “What ails Indian universities? is thought-provoking. He has rightly pointed out that the crux of the problem in the case of Punjabi University, as in most other universities, is too much of politics and politicking. Most of our educationists have transgressed moral and educational laws. They make a show of honesty or intellectual calibre whereas they conceal their desire for money and women.

The fact is that they rule by crime or intrigue than by education. They insinuate themselves into such surroundings that immorality gains strength. This is, indeed, the real malaise which the universities are facing today. Power, money and women have captivated them more than their minds are enlightened.

Clearly, there is no humanism in our educational system today. Our educationists and educational administrators like the VCs should be paragons of virtue. Only then would our education become more salutary.

HANS RAJ JAIN, Former Principal, MogaTop

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