NIT-Srinagar May Be Victim of Politics
Srinagar: The quiet National Instituteof Technologycampusat Srinagar seemed to have sunk in despair, after hogging headlines for almost two weeks this month.
Abandoned classrooms, silent laboratories, void playground, locked hostel rooms and sparse attendance in canteen — it is a caution and reflection of what politics can do to institutions in Kashmir.
Thecampus,whichsawstudents shouting out their “national” or “anti-national” stand some days back, is almost empty now. More than 90% outstation students, who are a majority here, have left the campus. Classwork, suspended in wake of tension, would resume on April 25 and exams have been rescheduled for outstation students for May 5. The uneasy calm on the campus is punctuated by the shrill of construction workers, who as per the administration are working on the master plan to redevelop the NIT.Around10SashashtraSeema Balpersonnelhavebeenstationed outside the boys’ hostel. On the opposite side, at the main gate, are two vehicles of J&K police with a few policemen.
“We come here after studying physics and chemistry, and not history or political science,” said Amitabh, an eighth semester student from Bihar who gave only one name. “We used to get agitated after hearing pro-Pakistan and Pro-freedom slogans, but not now. Kashmir is a different place, which juniors take time to understand.” Most of his friends, who are completing degree this year, haven’t moved out of the campus after the scuffle between locals and outstation studentsafterIndia’sdefeatintheT20 WorldCup,whichwasfollowedby police baton-charge and faceoff between students and the administration.
“Youngsters have created the issue and it will die down,” said another student.
The police, state government, NIT administration and the Ministry of Human Resource Development are separately investigating the incidents.
Religious and political diversity at NIT is a reality. Individual bonhomieamonglocalandoutstation students evaporates in the heat of political exchanges. Such kerfuffle isn’t surprising on the campus, especially for the hostlers.
“We (outstation and local students) are very good friends. Right now I got a call from a friend, who is in New Delhi but when it comes to political stand, we differ,” a fourth semester local student, who had come to the campus for a football match, told ET.
“We come here after studying physics and chemistry, and not history or political science,” says Amitabh
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