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Caged Minds and Choked Voices

Abid Hussain Rather

We are living in the twenty-first century- the age of scientific and technological revolution. Every day new scientific concepts and new inventions are revolutionizing our lives and we are crossing higher levels of development with every passing day. Still, the world is divided into developed and underdeveloped nations. The cognitive processes among the people in the developed regions of the world have risen from the common level to the higher ranges and these regions are progressing rapidly for the welfare of their common masses. People in such regions have a very comfortable lifestyle and their socio-economic conditions are favourable for their better livelihood.

On the other side, the socio-economic conditions of people in underdeveloped nations are very unfavourable for their development and these people hardly make their both ends meet.  Have we ever noticed what makes a nation progressive over the period of time and how its youths touch the zeniths of success and open up new horizons in different fields of life and what makes a nation to linger in this race? After cogitating on this problem we will find that among many other things it is the free-thinking ability and freedom of expression of new thoughts and new ideas among the people of a nation specifically it’s youth folk which opens up new doors for its advancement. Unless and until a free-thinking environment is not created for the youth, so that they can unfold their potentials for the positive changes of their society, a nation can never advance in different fields of knowledge and corollary it can seldom develop.

A nation is made up of its people and its furtherance depends on its people, so obviously, their minds should never be caged and their voices should never be choked. If such an oceanic blunder is committed, a nation is supposed to remain in darkness forever and ultimately it will get vanished in the corridors of time.Kashmir is known for its fertile land since from ages. From ancient times it has given birth to numberless philosophers, scientists, poets, authors and many historic personalities. Kashmir has a rich history and here environment was peaceful and favourable for the development of the potentialities of the people. People were free to think and express their ideas. This paradise on earth was world over famous for its scenic beauty, moderate climate and peaceful environment. But the story has changed now and the paradise is witnessing the world’s worst political turmoil. Normalcy has become a phantasm here. This political unrest has badly hit each and every corner of our lives. It has affected our psychological behaviour and mental abilities. Our youth are in utter frustration and they can’t think rationally. 

When the world is exploring new areas of knowledge, the thinking capacity of our youth is restricted to internet blockade and the data speed. Every now and then we keep discussing on whether the internet will be blocked tomorrow or not and whether the data speed will be restricted to 2G or 4G. When the people over the world are sharing their thoughts and discussing new ideas on social platforms, we are searching for different VPNs to access social sites. Our minds have been caged and we can’t think freely beyond this circle. When different kind of policies are framed world over for the welfare of students, our children remain in doubt whether they can attend their schools or whether it will be a strike call and the schools will remain closed because of abnormality. Development of our young generation and progress of our nation in such a situation will be a chimaera forever.  There should be a stress-free environment to increase the proficiencies of our children, but the political turmoil of Kashmir has changed its scenario and the mental frustration of our children is increasing day by day. The work culture of our valley has got badly affected by the political unrest of the valley. It is not astonishing to say that the valley usually remains closed wholly or partly for all type of activities for two or three days a week due to shutdowns, curfews, encounters etc.

Added to these miseries it that the voices of people are choked and they can’t express their ideas freely and they are strictly prohibited to share their thoughts either through social media or through any other platform. Every new day we have to face new restrictions which are clearly violating our fundamental rights.On a cursory look at the other parts of the country, we find that no other region is passing through such a political turmoil as Kashmir and it has become the main reason for Kashmir to lag behind the other regions in terms of development. Experts say that it is not only the Kashmir itself but the whole Indian subcontinent which is going to be affected by this political turmoil and it is the main problem in the economic development of the subcontinent. The need of the hour is to create a peaceful atmosphere in Kashmir so that its people can freely express their ideas. Let their minds be stress-free to develop and work for the betterment of humanity. Let this land once again become an abode of world-class scholars, scientists, writers and poets. Let us all pray for peace in Kashmir.

(The author teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at
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