A new beginning: Kashmir the troubled State of India
Kashmir - an invader King called it "Heaven on earth". Since then, it has been in turmoil. The religious leaders tried their best to bring peace to the valley's inhabitants. It just did not work - a Great Teacher: Guru Tej Bahadur even laid down his life to end the killings and the sufferings of the people of Kashmir but to what effect? Despite the valley is famous for its Sufi teachers and preachers, the people have not seen too many years of peace. Short intervals, yes... but not a lasting peace that would allow them to sit back, re-consider their place on earth ... grow... and evolve.
To this, add the bigotry and the selfishness of the leaders who have been thrown up in Kashmir since their so-called independence as a state. Which too only because of the treacherous game the Government of Pakistan played 70 + years ago and continues to play even today.
There seems to be an intellectual vacuum there; no clear thinking at all. The so-called intellectuals wear either glasses from the past or sent out by the extreme Muslim fundamentalists' groups based in Saudi Arabia - the fundamentalists from whom the family of Muhammed the Prophet ran for their lives and hid this side of the river Sindh. These fundamentalists have only one agenda - turn and convert everyone to their form of Islam by brain-washing people or buying them with the lure of money. These groups have right under the noses of the leaders of Kashmir and in some cases in connivance with them slowly but surely entered and formed a network in Kashmir valley. A network of Madarsas from where they preach their message of deceit trying to drown the voices of the Sufi saints who made Kashmir their home - these saints did so as they were also hounded out by these very fundamentalists.
The youth of Kashmir are stuck in the middle. On one side they have groups of so-called self-seeking, money making and money giving freedom fighters/separatists /jihadists who have nearly perfected the art of blackmailing India ;living in Kashmir or living in Pakistan or Pakistan occupied Kashmir who play them as puppets on a string - offering them money or heaven to play with houris - brain-washed by the Saudi trained preachers who have the free run of the madrasas to do so. On the other hand, the corrupt bureaucracy that has a grip on nearly every aspect of living free in a democracy. This bureaucracy nutured successfully by the various governments that ruled that part of India for the last 20 /25 years.
The present Government in India - an Indian government after such a long period of time - with its inherent contradictions of the past and the present has a very tough time on its hands. Clean up the bureaucracy, close down all the Saudi funded madrassas, start quality educational institutions to educate the youth in modern education at par with what is available to young people in the rest of India. Integrate them with youth systems like National Cadet Corp, Bharat Scouts, NSS - both at the school and college levels. The youth of Kashmir is the future there. They need the physical, psychological and educational back-ups to weed them away from all those mindsets who have been brain-washing them for so long. There lies the future!