The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Opinion

November 11, 2013

Education is a vital lifeline for Kashmir

NORMAN — It was a long and hard struggle for Kashmiris to come out of the quagmire of illiteracy, political marginalization, cultural sterility and social decrepitude into the enlightening institutions of education, spaces of democratic debate, political enfranchisement, cultural revitalization and social progressivism.

For a long time, Kashmir remained a source of casual, unskilled labor, where they were treated as beasts of burden. When the first few Kashmiri Muslims to have obtained degrees at institutions of higher education — like the Aligarh Muslim University in British India, returned to the state in the 1920s — they were imbued with fresh and modern, at the time, ideas of nationalism, liberty and democracy.

We, Kashmiris, as a people, cannot afford to play havoc with the empowerment that critical intelligence gives us; the credibility that articulate expressions of our situation give us; the intelligence that we employed to create a national identity.

We have witnessed the militarization of the sociocultural fabric of Kashmir. We watch, with remorse, the clamping down of intellectual freedoms in Kashmir and the growing influence of extremist elements in that polity.

We mourn the erosion of women’s activism in Kashmir by reductive portrayals of their identities. We grieve the relegation of sane voices in civil society to the background.

Well-educated Kashmiris can give the clarion call for a much-needed social consciousness, for a society and polity that recognizes the need to revitalize stagnant political and bureaucratic institutions, for a democracy that would enable them to fully participate in institutions and rule of law that specifies the limits of jurisdiction and call for decentralization of power.

We educators and students must recognize and avail ourselves of the myriad political, sociocultural and economic forums that a good education can create for us.

To question inequities — the alteration of the political and cultural milieu by the forces of rampant corruption, state-sponsored institutions where young boys are indoctrinated in religious fundamentalisms of various hues and Pakistan’s shift in strategy that revolution has to be built in target areas by various means, including indoctrination and inducements — we require an education to resuscitate democratic institutions.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014