When a child is born, for the first few seconds he or she is born devoid of a religion or caste or creed. The child does not belong to a race. The child is not taught to belong to a religion, or a nation for months together until when the schooling of thoughts begins at home.
The first few years of life is when a child imbibes most of the values and thoughts that are carried forward and employed in life. These are also the years when the formal academic schooling begins.
Take for example the case of our neighbouring country. Schools there actively instill hate against India through literature that has been prepared that way. Children in our neighbouring land grow up with a hate that they cannot define but know to be valid. Most of them grow not to become Tarek Fatah and everytime. The hate is evident so much so that Indian unrest is a huge part of our neighbour’s Policy. Every time there is internal turmoil a cross-border attack mollifies the anger of the entire population.
This is a result of teaching students there to hate India at home, school and other social avenues. The school of thought is instilled and almost impossible to remove from the affected heads. How can that hate ever go?
Now compare that with an attempt by a school in R.S. Pura Jammu to educate children about the power of hope. The children in this school, a few of them atleast, would grow up to believe that peace is possible between India and Pakistan.
Media across Jammu has written exceedingly critical reports of a Convent school in R.S. Pura which uses notebooks that have both Indian and Pakistani Flag on the cover.
Now, many of us associate hating Pakistan as a nation as part of nationalism. Everyone wants peace but not one soul works towards it. The problem gets exacerbated everytime there is shelling in the border belt facing Pakistan and lives are lost on both sides.
The notebooks have a piece of writing which reads, “Peace is Possible.”
To most it is a clear pointer that the relationship between the two nations is what enemies share. But, to others who look for prosperity, happiness and peace, the writing is reflection of the need of change in thought process.
If someone has a problem that the two flags cannot be shown next to each other to impressionable young minds, then these students should not be taken to Wagah border either. Will the young impressionable minds not question how two men, from different soils, stand next to each other every evening? On top of that a Sikh from Pakistan is part of the ceremony now. The young minds would simply be dazed and scarred for life wouldn’t they?
Ask the youth in Jammu how it feels to be jobless. Most know that it is not article 370 that hinders job production in the state but the fact that most organizations just do not come to our state because of fears of militancy. Granted that red-tapism and corruption are additional barriers but they can be overcome if someone is genuinely interested. There are just not enough private jobs.
Peace is generally a good thing. From what is known, peace has not killed anyone ever. Most people are stressed out and even as the idea of peace in a state such as ours is Utopian, can we not work towards it, in our own way?