Revamping edu, control over mosques, madrasas in J&K need of hour: Rawat

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/13/2018 2:12:39 AM Front Page

'Will inflict pain on Pak Army for supporting terror, focus on South Kashmir now'

JAMMU: Claiming that government schools and social media in Jammu and Kashmir are spreading a 'disinformation campaign' resulting in radicalisation of youth, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday called for 'some control' over mosques and madrasas in the state.
Asserting that a 'major revamp' of the education system was needed in J&K to deal with the problem, Gen Rawat also said that the issue of exercising some amount of control over mosques and madrasas to check the flow of disinformation was being looked into.
Rawat also opposed the practice of the students of the government schools in state being taught from two separate maps, one of India and another of J&K, claiming that the practice has sowed the seeds of thought of some kind of 'separate identity' among the children.
"The damage done to us is through the social media. A very large amount of disinformation campaign is being spread in Jammu and Kashmir which is radicalising the youths through the social media and through the schools," he claimed.
"The other issue is the madrasas and masjids -- what is being informed to them (the students) or incorrectly informed to them is through the madrasas and masjids. I think some controls have to be exercised there and that is what we are looking at," he said while addressing a press conference on the eve of the Army Day in New Delhi without elaborating on what kind of control he was suggesting over such institutions.
Suggesting that some stone throwers in Kashmir were youth from government schools, he also stressed on the need to reform the education system.
"If you go to any Kashmir school, you will find two maps -one is the map of India and one is the map of Jammu and Kashmir. There are always two maps in every classroom. Why should there be a map of Jammu and Kashmir. If you are putting a map of Jammu and Kashmir, then you may as well put map of every state.
"What does it mean to children that I am part of the country but I also have a separate identity. So, the basic, grassroots problem lies here is the way the education in Jammu and Kashmir in government school has been corrupted," said Rawat, batting for more public schools and CBSE schools to be opened in the Valley.
"It is the way forward. Students from schools like DPS were not found involved in activities like stone-pelting," he said, adding that is why the 'goodwill schools' run by the Army are accorded higher status.
"In the schools in Kashmir -- the government schools -- what is being taught. I will only be happy if you can visit some of the schools and attend the classes and see what is being taught," Rawat said, without elaborating.
Meanwhile, shifting the conversation toward the militancy in the state, Rawat informed that the Indian Army in a bid to curb growing insurgency is all set to shift its focus in 2018 from South Kashmir to North Kashmir, where it had conducted a series of operations and raids in South Kashmir with unprecedented success flushing out terrorists last year, as part of Operation All Out.
General Rawat said, "In 2017, our focus of the operations was in South Kashmir. This year it will shift its gaze to North Kashmir's Baramulla, Pattan, Handwara, Kupwara, Sopore, Lolab valley and some northern areas of Bandipore so that the infiltration can be thwarted there."
On the increased cases of ceasefire violations and cross-border firing in Kashmir, the COAS said that India is ready to retaliate against any threat and will continue the approach till it sees a decrease in violations.
He said terrorists in Pakistan are "disposable commodity" and Indian Army has been focusing on punishing Pakistan Army posts which often provide cover fire to push terrorists into India.
"Our approach has been to ensure that Pakistan Army feels the pain," he said, adding the Pakistani side has been feeling the pressure of India's aggressive retaliation.
He said Indian Army has been targeting Pakistan posts which support terrorists to infiltrate into India, adding Pakistan has been calling for de-escalating the situation.
"Unless Pakistan Army feels the pain, it would continue to send terrorists who are disposable commodities for them. We will continue to destroy the Pak posts pushing the terrorists into India. Pakistan has suffered three-four times higher casualties due to the retaliatory fire," he said.

Comment on this Story