Organize and mobilize for social change

      Comments Off on Organize and mobilize for social change
Spread the love

Well Said Dr. Nyla Ali Khan, ““The youth with no means to prosper tend to glorify reactionary movements!” she said.”
Mike Ghouse

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 3:15 pm
By Nyla Ali Khan Special to the Sun

In the wake of destruction caused by the Taliban and ISIL, it is even more important that disputed territories such as the state of Jammu and Kashmir obtain stability. History teaches some bitter lessons including the slaughter of six million people in Germany. We need to prevent such atrocities from happening again by drawing attention and recognizing the genuine political and democratic aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

She stressed in her presentation that women can play an important role in building and sustaining peace. She advocated democracy, equal human rights, separation of state and religion, protecting rights of minorities, building bridges and the development of a civil society as opposed to belligerent military establishment and incoherent state policies.

Known as “Heaven on earth” for its beauty, Jammu and Kashmir is surrounded by the Himalayas in the South and the Karakoram Range of the Pamir’s in the North. The state of Jammu and Kashmir depends on India and Pakistan for its economic growth. Kashmiri arts and crafts and tourism industry have greatly suffered by the ongoing conflict that has plagued the lives of every day Kashmiri people since the bloodied partition of 1947. The welfare of the people of the state deserves responsible use of political and military powers by both countries.

The former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is presently divided into three areas that are administered by India, Pakistan and China. It is time to question, what the militarization and militancy have done for the region. People are poorer on both sides with the resources going into senseless killing and fighting. Investing into hospitals, schools and justice system for the welfare of their citizens should be the primary focus of the governments of both countries. There is a need to move beyond the troubled past as Hiroshima and Nagasaki have; green and beautiful, a proof that life is possible after destruction. It takes mothers to see it!

She mentioned concerns of the quality of the education in nationalized academic institutions in Kashmir and suggested privatization to promote healthy competition. She expressed the ideas of creating jobs in traditional tourism and advancement in science and technology. “The youth with no means to prosper tend to glorify reactionary movements!” she said. The other ideas presented by Dr. Nyla Ali Khan included the importance of pluralism, interfaith dialogue and the search for humanism in one’s own religious tradition. She writes, “People must learn to work together across ethnic and ideological divides and insist that everyone be included in democratic decision-making and be given full access to basic social services.”

Conscientious citizens in the United States, India, Pakistan, Kashmir and the rest of the world need to organize and mobilize for social change. There is need to bridge the divide between the civil societies of the world in order to improve lives for the coming generations. She said, “The identity of a state or a nation cannot be built on unquenchable hate and certainly not on cashing in on the pain and grief of other people”. Dr. Khan concluded her talk by a thought provoking statement, “Perhaps it is time to seriously consider a new regional order which would be capable of producing cross-economic, political, and cultural interests among the people of the region”.

NYLA ALI KHAN is a visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma. She has written several books including “The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism” (Routledge, 2005) and “Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Khan is an Edmond resident.

Spread the love