Burning schools as part of ongoing protest in valley, has startled human souls. For they think, it tantamount to ‘digging own grave’ and has resurfaced the imprints of burning of famous Nalanda university of Magadh now Bihar by army of Muslim Mamluk Dynasty under Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1200 CE.
The masterminds of ongoing valley agitation are torching govt. schools. Thirty six schools have so far been burnt. If education as per Oxford dictionary is : “ A process of teaching, training and learning especially in schools and colleges to improve knowledge and develop skills”, one is left aghast and wondering what do the masterminds of valley violence aiming at by targeting centres of learning, that too of government built through scarce public funds.
J&K is a blessed state where education institutional network, is extensive. Under Chief Ministership of late Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah, a teacher himself, government spread out this network following policy of establishing one school after every 2 kms. These schools are because of strenuous effort of locals. Torching these is savage and most reprehensible. It amounts to cutting roots of human civilisation ‘tree’. The local people protected them against vandalism by those who were unfortunate to have not tasted this invaluable wealth.
Burning centres of learning is an unpardonable sin. One understands knowing holy Islamic religious texts: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim” –Al. Tirinidhi Hadith 74; “One who treads a path in search of knowledge has his path to Paradise made easy by God”- Riyadh-us-Saleheen; “Acquire knowledge and impart it to people”- Al. Trinidhi Hadith 107; “A servant of God will remain standing on the Day of Judgement until he is questioned about his time on earth and how he used it; about his knowledge and how he utilised it; about his wealth and from where he acquired it and in what (activities) he spent it and about his body and how he used it.”- Al. Tirinidhi, Hadith 148.
Bijral imploring those burning schools to follow their religious text, understand words of wisdom of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad , India’s first education minister: “Education imparted by heart can bring revolution in the society”; of former Indian President APJ Abdul kalam: “Dream dream,dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action”, sought of them to not be enemy of their own generations by destroying schools. For wisdom of Azad, his birthday on 11th Nov. is celebrated as National Education Day.
When “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today (Malcom X), Bijral former professor who retired as IGP and serving as state spokesperson said where is the wisdom in burning schools & ensuring future doom? He called upon people to protect this wealth of their children for their future.