BY DR.ABDUL AHAD
For the last couple of years Kashmir is witnessing loads of changes that are overtaking its youth awesomely; inspiring them to redraw its cultural boundries along the lines dotted with idiotic TV, unrestrained mobile, unbridled internet, uninhibited face book and unbolted twitter the most exciting objects of pleasure they indulge in too often without any inhibition. They are increasingly infatuated by this stuff to the extent of madness and are always on the prowl for ways to augment the kitty of their entertainment.
The intention here is not to pour scorn on the innovations of technology or to underplay their role in nation building. They are truly essential tools of development and the inalienable components of modern civilization whose importance as the economic backbone of a society and power house of knowledge is indisputably recognized by all and sundry. Being inseparably intertwined with our socio-economic system and having direct linkage with collective growth of a society we can’t, therefore, imagine growing to enjoy a smooth, dignified life without these real blessings of technology.
But what is really the most disquieting part of these innovations is the misuse they are put to ruthlessly by the youth. The young men have yet to grasp the real worth, the educative value, the social relevance and the economic import of these novelties. For them they are nothing beyond items of amusement, enjoyment and entertainment heavily laden with a lot of fun and fantasy in which they seek refuge all too often to break the dullness of their routine life. They have seized them so overwhelmingly that they pay no heed to their responsibilities and academic tasks. Their increasing love affair with TV, Mobile, Internet is, in fact, a malaise that afflicts them badly from top to bottom, exposing them to the most hazardous vicinity of Cyber-crime; plaguing them with treacherous thoughts of Cyber-relationship, Cyber-sex, porn and what not.
The youngsters, therefore, need to be set free from the clutches of this beast of fantasy and dissipation by dissuading them from bad use of technology. It is subtly and undetectably inundating them with a burning thirst for the bikini, spicy, brash, piquant, rakish culture of the West: its life style; its evils and its profligacy; eroding their huge productivity capacity; frittering away their working hours worth crores of rupees by engrossing them in the games of blood and gore; disassociating them from their roots, identity and history to underline their rather more nonchalant attitude to indigenous culture and ethos. Such a trend has malformed them culturally, denuded them intellectually and reduced them to a driftwood that is floating quietly and digitally by the verdant banks of River Thames unmindful of the trials and tribulations their native river, Jhelum (Vitasta) has gone through in bringing them up in the course of shaping the narrative of their evolution.
This drift is precipitated by the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities who for their petty political interests don’t recognize Kashmir history as a subject worthy of teaching at school and college level; leaving the youth, thus, so desiccated that they have lost all the moisture and wonderful aroma of indigenous ethos and have become intellectually dwarfed, linguistically disabled and culturally alien.
Having penetrated deep into our system this widespread disease has virtually estranged our youth from Nila Naga, Suya, Lalitaditya, Kalhana, Ksmendera, Budshah, Nund Rishi, Lal Ded, Mukhdom Sahib, Gani Kashmiri, Habba Khatun, Hyder Malik Chadoora, Arnimal, Hassan Khoihami etc.: the spiritual, the intellectual and the moral mentors of yore whose contributions distinctly marked with the message of love, peace, harmony and truth have been hugely constructive and pro-people. With great ardour, intense feeling and enormous fortitude they, for centuries, have toiled away serving nectar of humanitarianism to the people of Kashmir; giving a distinctively unique, radiant, healthy texture to their ethos; enriching their identity; making their economy incalculably energetic and vibrant through an industrial and commercial morality that found its expression in the establishment of Karkhanas, bazaars and marketing outlets to boost the production and sales of textiles and handicrafts which, subsequently, contributed about 50 and 15 percent of Kashmir’s and Mughal India’s GDP respectively. Apart from reorganizing production relations on new lines and spiraling division of labour upwards, the new-fangled environment proved more congenial to the growth of Merchant’s Capital; an exceptional phenomenon that was yet to strike its roots anywhere else in South Asia at that point of time. lt also created a well-endowed milieu capacious enough to accommodate gradual social variations, plurality of thought and conflicting ideas strikingly and prominently incompatible with the established dogma that had blinded the masses to the real needs of their society.
..to be continued
Dr. Abdul Ahad is a well-known historian of Kashmir. He presents a perspective on the Kashmir issue and talks about Kashmir’s history and individuality and personality.