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An Apology – OpEd

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Kashmir has a very rich past and heritage. Kashmir is one among very few human societies that has a written past.

Moreover, language is one of the important sources to interpret the genealogy of a society. There is hardly any social issue and phenomenon that is not preserved in Kashmiri language. Whether it is in the form of folk tales or proverbs the social set up and social relations are secure. While decoding these proverbs one is really stunned to learn that what earns modern and post modern theorist name and fame has been already propounded by our ancestors. I am not here to electrify and celebrate the past of Kashmir, but attempt to start my open letter to Director School Education Kashmir, Dr. Shah Faesal with Kashmiri proverb, for a reason.

Reason: modern linguistic theories argue that a word loss its appeal when translated into another language. The appeal, sense and feeling do not remain the same. I have personally experienced and encountered so, on many occasions but I would like to share a recent experience. While having an informal and accidental chat with a professor of History on the same issue, he said, that during his schooling days ‘one of my colleague was deliberately hit by our classmate, after sensing the pain caused by the act he (classmate) said sorry to my colleague and he (my colleague) replied I was not hurt by your blow, but sorry.

There is a famous proverb in Kashmir, “Yaell Zaeth Karan Kaeth, Laktien Paiz Sup Karien”, (When elders are in conversations young should listen). Following post modernist tradition and the methodology of deconstructionists the proverb can be decoded as: when experts and intellectuals say something that should be accepted and not objected especially by those who are having lesser knowledge. I am very well aware of my humble background and know the status and position of honorable director of school education. For me to speak in front of him or to counter is nothing but, “Aaftabus Choog Havun” (to hold a candle in comparison to sun).

The famous Kashmiri proverb “Haeth Vahris Kavas Pei na aakil, Saet vahris Kavas pei” ( a hundred year old crow could not think of what a seven year old crow could) is the only thing which motivates me to dare to say something.

First, of all I would like to apologize – apologize for misinterpreting the learned director of school education in Kashmir.

Dear Sir, I am very sorry for misinterpreting you. I would like to remind you of the circular (No. DDc/Bpr/2015/P5/21-78) published almost one year earlier on 29/04/2015 by your good self when you were serving as District Development Commissioner of Bandipora. I am finding no place to hide my face in shame not only for misinterpreting your order, but for publishing and publicizing that. It was only after reading your article in a local daily: “Legend on Legend: Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki on Khwaja Ghulam Saiyidain” that I have a sense of “guilt”- the “guilt” of misinterpreting you. Again I would like to say SORRY! I thank you for writing this article. The article not only made me realize my mistake, but gave me the context to interpret your activities which you have taken to “reform” the education system of the Valley of Kashmir.

I would like to remind you that the circular was to memorize the elementary grade students last stanza from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” …

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

That time I interpreted you as nonconformists throwing into winds the theories of educationists, sociologists and psychologists. After reading your write up I understood many of your activities carried out to reform the education system and restore the dignity of teaching community. I understood that Khwaja Ghulam Saiyidain, former director of school education is your role model and inspiration. The inspiration behind your activities is Khwaja Sahab, and issuing the order to offer a seat to a teacher at your office is just an inspiration borrowed from him.

Interpreting your actions in the light of the circular (issued by you as DC of Bandipora) and the recent write up, it is obvious that you don’t want to sigh by taking a road which has not been travelled yet. You don’t want to take the steps which have not been taken with respect to education? You don’t want to change the system?

Let me finish with the lines of Nund Reshi, hope this will make some sense, “waqhtich Nimaaz Chaie Takhtus Randay, Be wakhteach nimaaz chea mazaak taie fandayee” (The prayer on time can galvanize and the same at late is just fun and deception)

Following the tradition of Rona Barth, (Death of the Author) it can also be derived from the above lines that, an action on time and particular context can yield unlimited fruits but the same action at different time and context can complicate the problem.

I hope some sense will prevail and some good may avail!

*Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, is a student of Sociology, social activist and currently teach Sociology at Government Degree College, Sumbal Sonawari, Jammu and Kashmir, India. He is an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.Dr Fayaz is working on new concepts and terms like mal-education, Hidden steering, self syndrome, Multi grade holding, Islamic lag, , Educational Shephered and Triple burden


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Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat

Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat

Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat is a student of Sociology, social activist, teaching Sociology at Government Degree College, Banihal, India. He is an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia. Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat has many research publications to his credit. His columns and analyses appear in international, national and local newspapers, web portals and blogs. He has awards and fellowships to his credit as well.Dr. Fayaz has proposed and developed many concepts and theories and has been in news for his theory of “mal-education.” He has received invitations across the globe to present and share his research, opinion and views in academic, seminars and conferences.He can be reached at: [email protected]

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