Jammu: As they made it to the NCC camp here, leaving behind stones-scattered streets and youths raising ‘azadi’ slogans, the girl cadets echo one message – “shun stone-pelting, sloganeering and enjoy the real azadi in India”.
These female NCC cadets from Kashmir are among the 500, of which 147 are girls, undergoing training at a National Cadet Corps (NCC) camp at Sainik school, Nagrota, in the outskirts of Jammu city.
They are participating in the 10-day camp to select a 40- member Jammu and Kashmir Directorate Thal Sainik Team, which will take part in a national-level camp at New Delhi soon.
Soft-spoken Aneesa of 1 JK Bn Srinagar, and a student of government women’s degree college in Anantnag, said she was the only girl representing her college at the camp.
“Most of the girls wanted to come. But were disallowed by their parents citing the prevailing situation in south Kashmir,” she said.
Addressing those advocating ‘azadi’ and taking the path of violent protests, the cadets asked them to “taste the freedom enjoyed by them outside Kashmir”.
“I want to tell them that the real azadi (freedom) is here. If you want azadi, it is here,” she said and asked the youth to shun stone-pelting and sloganeering.
“Please don’t go towards the bad things like protests, stone-pelting or getting involved in sloganeering for azadi. Azadi is nothing. If you want azadi it is here,” Aneesa said.
She said she was initially worried when she joined the camp.
“Before I came to this camp, I was very much worried and asking what will happen in the camp. What type of activities will be there?” she said.
“But the camp commander lifted my morale. The camp commandant is very nice person and motivated me. I am enjoying a lot here. I want to suggest all girls to come forward if you want to live a life of freedom which is here,” she said.
Another cadet Syed Rabia, also of the same battalion, said she alongwith two other girls, had come from Army Goodwill Higher Secondary School Uri in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.
“We are three girls here from our school. We are very lucky to be part of the NCC because we do not only learn discipline and unity but it helps us in our overall development,” she said.
She said she would like to suggest the girls from across the state especially in the Valley, which has seen violent protest recently over several issues, to be part of the NCC for overall development.
The morning activities at the camp begins with physical training, yoga and drill followed by training in obstacles, firing, field and battle craft and health and hygiene. In the evening, games and obstacles crossings are performed.
J-K deputy CM defends Kashmir NCC cadet trolled on FB over azadi comments
Backing the NCC woman cadet from South Kashmir, who was trolled by Facebook users for urging the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to shun stone-pelting and azadi campaigns and to enjoy “real freedom” in India, deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh on Wednesday said the girl has “spoken the mind of the Kashmiri youth” who want to live in peace.
“She has spoken the mind of the Kashmiri people. It is the actual feeling of young minds of Jammu and Kashmir, specially of Kashmir because she is representing the people. The youth here wants development and peace and who believe that their future is the largest democracy in India and there is a huge scope out there,” Singh told the media here.
When asked whether the girl will be given security, Singh said the government and the security forces will take care of everything.
“Security forces, Police and the government will take care. Everyone in India has right to speak their mind,” he added.
The Kashmiri government college student and NCC cadet was trolled for speaking out against the recent incidents of stone-pelting and for urging the youth to shun sloganeering.
According to initial reports, the cadet was slammed for raising her voice against stone-pelting and is now even facing death threats on social media platforms.
The trolls, mostly men, commented using foul, gendered abuses. A few others abused her and her parents for ‘letting down Kashmir’s azaadi movement’.