Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Juvenile Delinquency is a Growing Menace in Kashmir

Iftikar think school teachers can be most helpful in tackling the social disorder

Fighting the evil

Iftikar Rashid Wani (Rising Kashmir)

Finally an institution of international repute woke from a deep slumber to have deliberations on a serious social problem - delinquency. While interacting with people, a galaxy of eminent academics stressed teachers to play their role to fight juvenile delinquency.

Teachers are supposed to handle these cases with care so as to motivate and help the delinquents to live their normal life. Most of the people are ignorant about this ever increasing problem.

Juvenile delinquency is a social problem that is embedded in the changes of the society itself; rapid changes, unsustainable development and other activities have shaken and uprooted the old institutions and established new norms of behaviour which are some times undesirable to the people. Technically child is delinquent when his anti social tendencies appear so grave that he becomes the subject of official action.

Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed many such cases. However, due to certain reasons law enforcing agencies these are dealt with under prevailing laws. Because of the disturbed conditions in Kashmir the percentage has gone up manifold and according to an estimate it has risen to 70% from 30% over a period of 20 years.

The Valley of Kashmir is passing through a critical stage. There is chaos and confusion everywhere. The children got hit by violent atmosphere. Unemployment, unnatural deaths of their elders, victimization by different agencies, drug addiction and other such evils add to volatile situation pushing the society towards fragmentation. It is strange that in Kashmir we only a few rehabilitation centers. Keeping the present scenario of Kashmir in mind there should be a counseling center in every district

According to repots published in local dailies majority of the offenders are male teenagers and their offences range from theft to murder and most of the juveniles apprehended were in the age group of 12-21 years. The problem is rapidly spreading with increased urbanization of the state. Though such cases are more frequent in cities but rural areas of Kashmir have also started getting affected. The excessive outdoor indulgence of house wives and general tendency on the part of educated women to get a job has disturbed the harmony of family structure of Kashmir. Modern woman is no longer confined to her domestic duties with the result the internal discipline of the family is disrupted. Due to this child is overpowered by the evil influence. Thus the lack of care and affection on the part of parents results in their detachment from their family and ultimately leads them towards the world of crimes. But it is important to remember that there is no single factor, but a combination of factors working mutually, responsible for delinquent behavior.

There are various causes responsible for the juvenile delinquency and unless these things are checked well in time the rate of delinquency will go on increasing. The ever changing life style of people imitating the fast life style worsens the situation. Hence a lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of parents and teachers. Normal there is no contact between teachers and parents. Both are ignorant about the problems of the students and their insensitiveness compels some students to search other ways and means to solve their problems which ultimately makes lose track of things. Thus to ensure the safety of the students there should be a mutual cooperation and contact between the teachers and parents so as to keep an eye on students.

Teachers are expected to play an active role to curb the problem because it is only through education that the rate of crime in the society can be brought down. It has been found that 75% of delinquents were illiterates and this rate decreases in those parts of the country where the literacy rate was high.

It is our collective responsibility to root out the problem and everybody has a role to play. In recent past it has received the attention of sociologists, criminologists and other social workers of the our state and conducting of this type seminar after a long time is certainly a welcome step and it will definitely play a great role in making people aware about the problem of juvenile delinquency. Law enforcing agencies are also required to be educate about the problem so that they can treat these cases properly. If things are to be set right every member of the society has to play a role.

The government should take the steps so that the very condition that gives birth to this evil is targeted. By creating more employment opportunities and by lifting the standards of education we can create a situation that will direct the energies of our young generation towards desired goals. Sports and other activities also can be beneficial in this regard. It is good that the state government is promoting the sports activities at Panchayt level to direct the attention of youth towards the sports fields consuming their energies in harmless activities.

All said and done, teachers have the main role to play if our younger generation has to be saved from the ignominy of crime.

No comments: