NIT-Sri­na­gar May Be Vic­tim of Pol­i­tics

The Economic Times - - Pure 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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