Srinagar, May 18: In an shocking incident, Indian nationalism witnessed a severe blow by the separatist mentality in Kashmir valley. In a function in the Kashmir University some of the pro separatist Muslim students and University officials insulted the national song Vande Mataram by refusing to sing.
In an international conference organized on 12th May in which Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vora was a chief guest, some Muslim students and apparently a section of officials remained seated while Vande Mataram was sung at the opening of ceremony.
Governor N. N. Vora took serious note of irresponsible behavior of fraction of students and officials. He conveyed his concern to Kashmir University authorities over a section of the audience not rising to its feet when the national song was played.
He has taken up the matter with the vice-chancellor, Prof Talat Ahmad, and other university authorities and directed them to ensure that everyone there shows respect to the national anthem and national song as this wasn’t the first time students had shown disrespect to the anthem.
“Governor sahib asked the vice-chancellor to take measures to ensure that such incidents don’t recur,” a university source said.
However, despite taking appropriate steps to stop anti national behavior on part of a fraction of students who are haunted by separatist mentality, the vice-chancellor has shown his incapabilities to restrain students from insulting national song. He said he could not use force to discipline students.
“I can only counsel the students to show respect for the anthem which I am doing. Such things have been happening here for the last 20 years,” he said.
“But obviously, such incidents send a wrong signal across the country”, he said.
This is not the first time when students showed their dis obidiency towards national song or national anthem.
The sources said most of the students did not stand up when the anthem was sung during the opening session of a three-day international seminar on “Impact of Peace, Conflict and Disturbances on Economic Development Processes”.
In October last year, students had hooted while the anthem was being played at the university during a seminar. Vohra was present then, too.
Ahmad has blamed school system in Jammu and Kashmir for student’s disrespect towards India as schools are not teaching them ‘how to respect the nation.’
Ahmad said, “Students were “not taught” such things in school”. “I am approaching the schools in the Valley to inculcate these things,” he added.
The professor, however, claimed that only some pockets (pro separatist) of students did not stand up and denied that officials had remained seated. The sources, however, said most of the students and some officials did not stand up.
Rozanama Rashtriya Sahara (Urdu daily ) reports in its edition of May 15, 2012, the chief Proctor of the University Md Afjal Zargar responded to Governor stating that honouring of national song was a ‘personal matter’ and they could not order students to honour it. Nor could they ask them to stand while Vande Mataram was sung.
The Kashmir University was in the past a hub of pro-separatist activism, prompting authorities to ban student bodies in 1990, though many of them remained active for years. The university has not had a students' union ever since the curb on the activities of the Kashmir University Students' Union (KUSU) after the outbreak of insurgency in the Valley in the early 1990s.
However, Kashmir University floated a students’ body Kashmir University Students Union in 2008 without the requisite permission from university authorities, and was forced to fold up soon after. Authorities have strictly banned the campus politics including holding of any political seminars and symposiums within the University.
In 2007, the university lifted the ban only to impose it again some time later when student bodies openly supported the separatist cause.