Kargil to Silmo photo story

Here are some beautiful scenes I have seen through the lens of my camera this summer. I clicked them randomly while I was on reporting to Silmo village. I don’t remember the name of these villages. Name them if you know. Mention the image No. and type down name of the village in comment. Photo credit: Anwar Ali Tsarpa

0013
001

 

0019
002

 

DSC_0004
003

 

DSC_0005
004

 

DSC_0009
005

 

DSC_0011
006

 

DSC_0012
007

 

DSC_0013
008

 

DSC_0014
009

 

DSC_0017
010

 

0011
Only this picture is in Wakha, clicked on another day.
Advertisements

Desires in Kargil that need control

Dreaming about a new house

By Anwar Ali Tsarpa

A permanent resident may not have observed what I, as a temporary visitor, observe the change. With an intention to observe some transformations I took out for a walk in the morning after prayers. I observed many new constructions one after another, seemingly competing each other. Even a family of five to six members, possess a huge three storey house with 12 to 15 rooms. This is not what I saw only in my village but almost in all other villages.

I am not a pessimist denouncing the construction of houses in Kargil. Because shelter is one of the basic need of all animals including human animal. A “basic shelter” as a basic need should be the priority over many other things. But I would say that construction of “luxurious house” is ridiculous if prioritised over other essential things.

I find it “ridiculous” because many have given the preference to construction of “luxurious houses” over children’s education, future source of income, future planning, fertile agricultural land, and need of the society around him/her. Let me explain all these points one by one.

Firstly, many people have chosen to build a luxurious house and a car over a quality education of his children. In a random observation of many villages in the suburbs of Kargil town I found many people deprived their children from a reputed school or from higher education outside Kargil. In this case your children, when become a wo/man, will be less or unproductive. Your future will fall in risk.

Secondly, if your children are having a quality education it is still not guaranteed that they will get a good job. Because, now every household have a number of people holding Bachelor, Master, and PhDs degrees. So, in a zero industrialised area like Kargil or in whole Jammu and Kashmir the government would not be able to ensure good job for each and every one. My argument would be reliable if you look at the number of unemployed youth in Kashmir valley, which is relatively much higher than other states of India. In this case you need to save this money to make an investment for your future generation to come. Or you have to invest the money in such a way that they produce a good economic return for you. Because, building an expensive house is not going to give you a return revenue.

Thirdly, construction of such a huge house has been spoiling fertile agricultural lands. At the same time, I came to know that many people have sold their lands to finance the construction of “unnecessarily luxurious” house. In this case we are depriving our future generation from their rights for our prolonged selfish desires. And the higher middle class (because Kargil currently don’t have an economic higher class) who is purchasing those lands are getting richer day by day, creating a wide gap between rich and the poor.

Fourthly, if you have enough money to fund both your children education and to invest to make their future secure you have another responsibility. It is your ethical, moral, rational and religious duty to look after those who need your money more than you. The poor who can’t make their bread, shelter and education are those whose bread has been reached to your dinning table. According to Imam Ali (a.s.), if someone has received more rizaq than what he actually needed than consider that someone’s right has been deprived. Allah and the Apostles (peace be upon them), don’t want you to close your eyes on the poor. You are the chosen one by God to deliver other’s right; and this is really a privilege and pleasure for you. If you remain deaf to them the God will be displeased.

Tentative Solution

Many of my respondents said that a “big house is needed to facilitate people on “rallphut” (public events). Yes, this is really a weighty need of the hour. But, construction of a community hall would fulfil the need while saving huge investment and agricultural lands. Houses should be small and the events should conduct in community halls which could be constructed to suit the events. I hope this topic will open for debate among intellectuals, clerics and community leaders in all villages to mitigate this unnecessary ridiculous competition.

The author (Anwar Ali Tsarpa) is a PhD scholar at Nelson Mandela centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace Building. The article was first published in weekly Voice of Ladakh Volume – 6 | Issue – 12 on 26 May 2018.

Influential religious organization in Kargil calls for shutdown against Kashmir killings

Ladakh Express 20th July 2016: ikmt-headerIn a recent press note, influential religious organization Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust Kargil calls for a complete Shutdown in Kargil District on Thursday 21st July 2016 against the human rights violation in Kashmir valley.

As per the press note the organization has planned to stage a protest rally at Kargil town following by the Zuhar Prayers at Jamia Masjid Kargil.  Beware that the recent conflict in Kashmir Valley has killed more than 50 people and more than 3000 have been injured. As per the media reports many of the casualties are in critical condition.

A new row of demonstration and killings have been erupted in Kashmir valley after the killing of young militant leader Burhan Wani on 8th of July.

Why Kargil must have a centre for UGC-NET exam?

Taxis charge ₨ 700-800 for one side from Kargil to Srinagar while buses charge ₨ 400. Most of the students choose to travel by bus because they can’t effort an expensive journey. It goes around ₨ 2000 after calculating the both side travel, food and accommodation charges. I came to know that four buses are leaving for Srinagar from Kargil on 9th of July 2016 in which most of the passengers were students going to appear in the UGC-NET paper scheduled on 10th of July.

Kargil

I was one among the students who were going to appear in the paper. Before dawn we proceed towards Srinagar. After travelling 190 KMs, passing through the rough, dangerous and road from among the high mountains of Zojila Pass, in the chill weather of morning we reached at Sunamarg at around 11:00 AM. Whenever we set to travel via Zojila Pass we use to say a warm good-bye to our family members. On the way till Sunamark my fellow travellers received call once in an hour from their family members. These calls were because of the fear of the dangerous route to Srinagar. Unfortunately after reaching to Sunamark we came to know that Srinagar city is on strike, demonstrating against the killing of militant leader Burhan Wani and his two associates.

We had planned to take the breakfast at Kangan as we like the food quality there. Because of the strike Police doesn’t allowed the vehicles to proceed towards Srinagar. We entered a Kashmiri restaurant at Sunamark to have breakfast. The restaurant Wala lied that because of strike all the restaurants in Sunamarg don’t serve bread; so we had no choice other than eating rice in the morning which is not a routine in Ladakh and Kashmir. Since then we anxiously waited to through the road till 5:00 PM in the afternoon. Suddenly there was a rumour that the UGC-NET paper has been postponed. A guy told that due to poor network he had received only the half text of a message regarding the postponement of the exam. After receiving the whole message his phone got switched off due to low battery; but before showing it to anyone else. This created more curiosity among the students to know the actual information.

I took the guy to the tourist Bungalow and charged his phone, than only the students came to know that the exam has been postponed and the next date to inform on a future date. When the students came to know about this, three of the four buses, many small commercial vehicles and private vehicles set back to Kargil as hundreds of those students were going for the same exam. Passing again through the rough and high mountain passes we reached back to home at mid-night in a tired and very poor condition.

Some students who had travelled a day before to Srinagar faced more problem than us. When I contacted some of them I came to know that they had no food to eat due to strike in the valley. Some of the vehicles carrying students were attacked on the way by the stone-pelting. This is not the only trouble Kargili peoples, especially student’s face but there are uncountable concerns to raise here. But this time I am only focusing on the UGC-NET issue. The students have been demanded many times to the concerned authorities to establish a separate exam centre in Kargil for UGC-NET and other such exams. After travelling such a long journeys how we can expect a student to face a competitive exam? Why a student should risk his life to achieve one of his fundamental rights? Is not this a structural injustice, discrimination and humiliation of citizens in a democracy? If yes, than this issue should be solved before conducting the next exam.

By Anwar Ali Tharpa

Exclusive interview with President ISK Sheikh Nazir

After the disputed presidential election in the Islamia School Kargil (ISK) on 5th April 2016, a new phase in the history of Kargil as well as ISK seems to be emerged. The “reformation” which I mentioned in former articles as a “peace process” really seems to be a “long” and tiresome process. The enigma of turning 30 years back, the power sharing formula to the newly elevated Chief Patron Syed Jamal Musavi and to know the details of Sheikh Nazir’s tour to Delhi, Ladakh Express had an exclusive interview with Sheikh Nazir Mehdi Mohammadi. Here is the interview.

DSC00286
Sheikh Nazir Mehdi Mohammadi

Ladakh Express (LE): We heart that, in your tour to Delhi you met with prominent personalities, who were they and what were the agendas in the meetings?

Sheikh Nazir Mehdi (SNM): First of all we met with the representative of Wilayat e Faqi, Ayatollah Mehdavipur, in which we discussed the issue of reformation in the society. It is decided that the issue of Jama Masjid is to be solved first, without that nothing else will be discussed before. If the issue of Masjid is solved than we will discuss other issues as well; and if this is not solved than we will not be ready to discuss any other issue. He (Mehdavipur) also ensured us to solve the same first and we hope this will be solved soon. However two meetings with IKMT were held recently but ended without any result. One more meeting is being scheduled after Ramazan let’s see what happen in that.

We told him (Mehdavipur) that the points Ayatollah Mehdavipur mentioned in his letter over the issues of Kargil are not the primary concerns. The major concerns are issues in belief and jurisprudence, which include jurisprudence issues like – Jama Masjid, Mutahhary School, Qatilgah, the usurped money of Wash Rooms, moon issue, judiciary; and belief issues like – innovations they have created in the religion. All these will discuss one by one but only after solving the problem regarding Jama Masjid.

In addition we met with the representative of Jamia Al-Mustafa – Aga Salihi, in which we discussed some social issues and issues related to Islamia School.

We went to Mukhtar Abass Naqvi to congratulate him on joining Rajya Sabha. During the meeting we discussed some primary issues of Kargil. The most important among them was Zojila Tunnel on which he assured us to start work as soon as possible. Secondly we requested him to provide helicopter service for serious patients during winter season. Thirdly we discussed the airbus service for Kargil. On these issues he didn’t refused but assured to take the issue to concerned authorities. Moreover we discussed the Ladakh Scott issue and many other issues as well. We hope that all this will fulfil soon.

 LE – The points you mentioned in your last speech (on 27 June) and the points you mentioned in your former speech (on 23 May) in which you manifest to go 30 years back were contradictory.

SNM – In my first speech I told that we wish to live a life as we were before the conflicts, 25-30 years back. The idea was that at that time we had no possession over heritages. In addition we had no innovations in the religion as they (IKMT) have created. My idea was to live such a life without imposition of any innovations. Let us embrace our religion without any additions.

LE – What do you mean by innovations and additions?

SNM – Whatever is present there (in IKMT) and not here is innovation. It was not present before; i.e. was Waqfas (supplications to Wilayat e Faqi) present before? No it was not. Was chanting slogans on Ashura present before? No it was not. All these are innovations which should abolish because these are causes of conflict in the society. Why they are doing this? Is this Mustahab or Wajib; then why they are doing this? All these are issues of belief and jurisprudence which I mentioned in detail in my last speech.

LE – In the same speech you mentioned that ISK will keep politics on bay. Up to what extent you would deal with politics?

SNM – I told it before also that political issue will not be discussed inside ISK premises. We will setup a wing to deal with political affairs and would not let politics to get interfere in ISK premises.

LE – To whom you submitted the white cloth which was signed by 3300 people and what was written on that?

SNM – I wrote whatever I told you here (above).

LE – This will be my last question. Chief Patron Aga Jamal Musavi told that he will be awarded the same power as Zakiri have in IKMT. When this power sharing formula will be decided?

SNM – Here, no power is going to share with anyone. If Zakiri have the power than tell him (Syed Jamal) to have it from Zakiri, he will not get any power from us.

LE – Thank you for giving your valuable time.

ISK committee vows to continue the peace process

After receiving a letter from the representative of Wilayat e Faqi, ISK Chief Patron, Syed Jamal Musavi conducted a meeting with the “empowered committee” chosen from ISK to continue the peace process. The five-members committee which include Sheikh Ghulam Hassan Waizi, Syed Mehdi Musavi Tambis, Sheikh Asgar Zakiri Chanigon and Syed Kazim Sabiri pledged to continue the peace process while the other two – Sheikh Ali Naqi (He is not a signatory of the deal while he was present in the committee) and Sheikh Mohammad Fikr – are said to be out of station.

IMG-20160409-WA0008

In the supervision of Syed Jamal Musavi the attendants of the meeting signed an agreement pledging to continue the peace process. Speaking to the correspondent of Ladakh Express, Syed Jamal Musavi told that Ayatollah Mehdavipur has asked to continue the peace process and report back to him. He further ensured that the next meeting will be scheduled soon after reaching back the other two members of the nominated five members group.

Beware that the other faction of the ISK led by Sheikh Nazir Muhammadi is in Delhi. Sources told that he has carried together the white cloth signed by more than 2000 people. Syed Jamal pronounced that nothing has been written on the cloth. The two members of the empowered committee are also present with Sheikh Nazir in Delhi.

A five-member group from both the influential groups of Kargil met with the representative of Wilayat e Faqi in Delhi on 4th of April for the first time to embark peace talks. In addition to this five-member group another committee of three-members has also been chosen. It seems that both Syed Jamal led faction in ISK and IKMT are dedicated to reach a comprehensive peace agreement between the two groups, among whom the basis of the conflict are more ideological than interest.

During the interview Syed Jamal declined to speak anything regarding the current political instability in the LAHDC Kargil. While on the other side the politicians are associating themselves with the ISK and told that the “Council” belongs to ISK. Former Executive Councilor Rasool Naqvi blamed PDP to “divide ISK and IKMT on the same line as RSS divide Muslims into factions”. Former CEC Hanifa Jan told that “PDP has betrayed ISK not NC”. His statement also indicates that the council belongs to ISK.

Syed Jamal’s three-point agenda for ISK, Peace Process on priority

Ex President and current Chief Patron of the Islamia School Kargil (ISK), Syed Jamal kept three point agenda to accomplish in his tenure. The three agendas he mentioned in an exclusive interview with the correspondent of Ladakh Express are: to continue the Peace Process with another influential religious organisation of Kargil “ Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust”, not to re-establish the Youth Wing and keep politics at bay from the organisation.

Aga Jamal

He mentioned the same point earlier also in his address on the occasion on which he himself was appointed as the Chief Patron. A new row of controversy has been emerged in the organisation after the “illegitimate election” conducted by only “a portion” of the organisation “without the consent” of the continuing president, Syed Jamal.

Syed Jamal announced to conduct the five-yearly election for the executive bodies of the Islamia School Kargil. On the day of election on 5th May, a faction asked to launch ballet box system about which Syed Jamal was not aware. However the former trend was to raise hands by the electoral board which is only 310 in number. This new demand for ballet box was declined by Syed Jamal by saying that it need proper arrangement and moderate conducting team. This issue soared into a full-fledged conflict; as a result Syed Jamal postponed the election and walked out. In the absence of the opponent the rival group declared Sheikh Nazir-ul-Mehdi Muhammadi as the new president showing a majority of votes gained by Sheikh. After the Friday prayers on 6th of May a proper announcement was also made declaring Sheikh Nazir as the new President. On the same day Syed Jamal issued a new public notice to the media and declared that the election has been postponed and the result shown by the rival group is not true. He also posed himself as the continuing President of the organisation. On 8th of May a public meeting was also conducted in Sankoo by the Syed Jamal faction, in which the election process was condemned and declared as illegitimate.

On 10th of May, in a Public meeting Syed Jamal was nominated as the Chief Patron in which Syed Jamal accepted Sheikh Nazir as the new president and pledged to support in all affairs, “if Sheikh believes on him”. He kept the three point agenda for the first time on that day. On the occasion of Eid e Baraat (Birth Anniversary of the 12th Imam) Sheikh pledged to reform the Youth Wing and maintained that the peace process is a long way to peace. He proposed to go 30 years back in order to sustain peace in Kargil. These two agendas seemed to be in contrary to Syed Jamal. To get more insight into the matter Ladakh Express conducted an exclusive interview with Syed Jamal.

Syed Jamal declared the election as an “act of goons” sponsored by some political figures. He declared the election as “illegitimate, goons act and politically motivated” both in his meeting at Sankoo and during the interview. Syed Jamal accepted the position of the Chief Patron and conceded election of Sheikh Nazir as the new President. Explaining his acceptance to the “illegitimate election” he told that “Clerics made down-to-earth request to him” which forced him to accept it. He accepted the position of the Chief Patron on the condition to have the same powers as “(Sheikh Hussain) Zakiri of IKMT enjoins”. The power sharing formula between the Chief Patron and the newly elected President is still inconclusive. As per Syed Jamal this is expected to be decided soon in a couple of days.

Syed Jamal has vowed to continue the Peace Process with the IKMT for which he will urge the appointed committee to continue or will replace it by a new one if needed. Secondly Syed Jamal is totally against the formation of Youth Wing. He believes that like the past “we (ISK) are not in a state of war; neither our opponents are in such a state, so we do not need a youth wing at all”. Lastly, he wishes to keep politics at bay from the organisation which creates lot of problem. He wants the people interested in politics to meet with the ISK Command in their office and not allow them to carry out political functions in the organisation premises. This stand of the Chief Patron has been advocated by the newly chosen President of the ISK, Sheikh Nazir Mohmmadi as well.

In case of not fulfilling the three agendas, Syed Jamal has vowed to “compete with them (the rivals within the organisation)”. He told that to be an antagonist of the IKMT is not good for the welfare of the society. He said that he has no problem in sending supplications to the soul of Imam Khomeini who was a Mujtahid, of whom he himself was a follower. Politicising and propagating this conflict is not good only but disadvantageous as well. Similarly in celebrating the death anniversary of Imam Khomeini is not bad as like we celebrate the death anniversary of Gandhi and Nehru, nonetheless “Khomeini was our Marja-e-Taqleed”.

ISK has received a letter from Mehdavipur to send back the representatives for peace process to Delhi to resume the talks as soon as possible. Accordingly Syed Jamal has planned to sent the delegation to Delhi and resume the peace talks. The continuing ‘Mehdavipur Peace Process’ is slightly different from the ‘Karcha Peace Process’. The Karcha Peace Process was embarked when a group of clerics from Karcha took an initiative to mediate talks for integration between the two influential prominent organisations of Kargil. The representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Mehdavipur also encouraged the effort for integration. The prominent well-wisher and representative of Ayatollah Sistani, Molana Qalbi Sadiq from Lucknow also urged the two organisations to cooperate in integrating the two groups. Unfortunately the Karcha Peace Process didn’t last for a long time. In the later stage Ayatollah Mehdavipur called five members delegation from both the contending parties to Delhi to embark a new round of talks.

In the past talks both the parties almost have been agreed to negotiate the Peace Talks. As a move towards a comprehensive peace agreement an incremental peace agreement was signed between the two contending parties in which both agreed to abandon hate speech against each other. This move could be seen as an availability of potential to continue the peace process. Unfortunately the current reshuffling in the apex body of the Islamia School Kargil has stalled the peace talks for a time being. With the pledge of Syed Jamal this is expected to resume soon.

By Anwar Ali Tharpa

Let’s make India safe for women

In the movement of empowering women, zealous efforts have been made in the history of humanity. But still the goals of empowerment are unclear even to the feminist activists and organisations. Different people from different region, ideology, ethnicity etc have different connotation for the term, women empowerment. But all have one thing stranded in mind is empowerment. Millions of organisations conduct conference, talks, seminars, papers, research works etc. Eight March of every year has been celebrating as women’s day in all over the world. But, because of the unclear goal, results of these events are still blurred.

women-on-national-con
Women celebrating the Birth Anniversry of Lady Fatima Zehra (s.a.) in Iran. PC – IRNA

Generally in the prevailing history United State is considered to be the first country to give women the right to franchise, equality, economy etc. Countries like France feel liberty and equality in looking women without modesty. Many countries feel themselves developed as providing more space for women in parliament, organisations, institutions and other jobs. In this contemporary connotation of women empowerment third world countries and especially the Islamic countries are first from the bottom. The “imposition of modesty”, ban on driving, less space in political arena etc are the issues for which the Islamic countries are being criticised.

When we turn older pages from history we find the same Islam to be the first in empowering women. There is nothing new in the “Bati Bachao Andolan”, Save Daughter Movement. In 7th century when there was a tradition of burying female child’s alive, it was Prophet Mohammad who not only saved daughters but also provided respect and dignity for them. Prophet not only franchised but also gave a status of political advisor to his daughter Fatima Zehra. His revelation “Quran” carried a complete chapter on women.

Prophet Mohammad proposed his daughter as a complete role model for humanity. Every aspect of her life can be seen as a guide to human life. Her role as a daughter, than as a wife and as a mother are awe-inspiring. As a daughter her obedience to her father was unattainable for any other human being. After all Prophet Mohammad in praise of her said, “Fatima is part of my heart”. In the incident of Mubahila when Quran asked Prophet to bring their women (plural means asking for more than one, but) prophet did not find anyone better than Fatima.

As a spouse she was the bravest woman of history. She assisted Ali in his political affairs. She provided aid to the wounds of Ali, than she used to encourage Ali to go in field on the coming day. Her hand was the saviour of the poor in the city. She encouraged Ali to distribute their wealth among the needy. In all those days of tyranny from antagonist she did not drop her faith and passion for the path of justice.

In this era of 21st century women is still suppressed in the jaws of tyranny. The patriarchal thinking, using women as sex slaves by human traffickers and terrorists, taking hard work from women as workers, prostitution, dowry etc are the major concerns of women in all over the world. However the numbers of small but disadvantageous issues are inestimable. To cope up with these common concerns there is a need to follow the path of Lady Fatima Zehra. It is true that her era and issues were different from the contemporary one but the principles to tackle them never change. Her principle of morality, resistance against injustice, propagation of right and justice still urge humanity to follow the path. Secondly it’s well said that history influence the current issues. So to deal with them learning history of great personalities like Lady Zehra is significant.

On the birth anniversary of Lady Zehra let’s salute her, let’s salute all the women of our society. Let’s pledge to respect all women as Prophet Mohammad did to his daughter. Let’s make India and the world safe for women.

By Anwar Ali Czarpa

Why I shield DC Kargil?

Since last few days, the wattsapp groups and other social media pages are flooded with comments regarding the “hot topic” of general line teachers’ recruitment. Some comments seem logical while some of them lacking in logic. Few of them write in a diplomatic and soft way while others write in a straight forward and striking way; some even use abusive languages.

silhouette with a question mark
Why I shield DC Kargil?

It’s true that in the exam there were some “gross negligence” from the administration side. Yes there were only 40-50 supervisors to look after 7000 applicants. The examinees used mobile phones, and mass cheating was also happened during the exam. There was no proper sanitation system, drinking water facility and other basic needs. Amid all these the DC Kargil allegedly used “abusive language” on loud speaker.

But despite of all these I rationally do defend the DC Kargil. The first mistake we are doing in examining this GLT exam is comparison with UGC and other state and national level exams. Keep this on weighing scale with the other same exams in the past. The DC removed the interview and conducted a written test. In order to avoid any type of paper out, he arranged full security for the paper. In addition he kept all the 7000 students at a same place so that he could self supervise the exam. Keeping all applicants at one place was also “wrong” for some, but it was a positive effort from his side. However, taking bribe was almost avoided in this exam which is also an achievement of the DC. The only and only loophole in selection process was “mass cheating”, while the other problems have no direct link with the selection process. As a result of mass cheating many applicants from same families have been selected. In mass cheating the students are more responsible as they did such a cheap act. Nonetheless, while criticising all these we should not forget that we are under the regime of “four under-matriculations”. We can’t expect anything more fairly in this regime.

All the above could be a reason behind appreciation by religious organisations like IKMT. Some argue that IKMT had no need to say this at such a critical movement. But this is just a difference of opinion. IKMT may think that appreciating DC for his efforts is necessary at such a time when the whole district is against him.

On the other hand it’s also appreciable that the youth are taking serious action against the “mass negligence” at the exam. This is a precursor of growing intellectuality in the region. In the mean while it’s noteworthy that they should possess a cat eye rather than a rat eye. Rat eyes always show you the front side only.

Second, the students as being the first educated intellectual of the district should come with a panacea to come out from this trap of “unfair recruitments”. I mean, they are ought to propose a way to conduct a fair and standard way of entrance exams.

By Anwar Ali Czarpa

 

It’s Now or Never, Kargil!

After much speculation the ‘improbable’ list of General Line Teacher selection in Kargil has been declaredby the District Subordinate Service Recruitment Board (DSSRB) Kargil on January 14, 2016. It put in dizzy almost the entire population who were under the impression that the list will never see the light of day owing to all the unfair means witnessed during the examination like, mass copying, use of mobile phones, group discussion, moving from one place to another and so on which took place during the examination in public guise.

Teacher Exam 1
Applicants can see sitting for the Exam at Khri Sultan Cho Stadium at Byamathang Kargil

To cut a long story short, the screening test was attended by 7000 applicants (combined both morning and afternoon shift) in a mega sitting arrangement typical to that of a community “mela” or fair with no proper sitting arrangement to sit and no temporary shelter to protect the sunlight, and with the absence of drinking water and sanitation facilities. Moreover, the candidates were asked to sit straight in a line alongside a rope and instructed to keep a seven feet gap between each other which was literally measured by a measuring tape,with no other signs of demarcation to mark out the rows or seating place resulting in a fury and noise among the candidates. To add to that only 23 supervisors and equal number of assistant supervisors were there to supervise more than 4000 candidates at a time. Despite all this the examination went on which was proof enough to doubt at the sanctity of the examination.

To put the record straight here, immediately after the test on the same day, the Youth Action Committee Kargil rallied strong protest against the administration terming the screening testas highly ‘unacceptable’ and ‘objectionable’ and blamed the administration for miserably failing in conducting a “free and fair” screening test while demanded for its cancellation and re-examination in such a way that would do justice to all the candidates equally. The candidates consistently continued their protest until a week. Several Kargil Students’ Unions wrote letters to the authorities expressing their dissent with the way in which the screening test was conducted. But the response from the authorities was lukewarm.

Despite all this the Deputy Commissioner Kargil, also the chairman of DSSRB,while pretending to be ignorant termed the entire episode of selection process as“completely transparent and fair”. Although in an interview at All India Radio Kargil he reportedly said that “some disgruntled elements were found indulged in mass copying but the administration will take care of them”. This confession andthe examination taking place in an unjustly manner in full day light at Khree Sultan Choo Sports Stadium, Beamathang was somethingwhich nobody can shy away from.

Even after the selection list came out, apart from the above facts, the allegation of nepotism and favoritism start ushering from across the board with some reasonable facts to support their claims. Some of them being, for instance, siblings scoring equal number of high marks in written examination who happen to sit alongside each other during the examination and the highest probability of selected candidates were those who were in same line either next to or parallel to each other.The question papers were neither signed by the invigilator nor did it have any official stamp. Also few candidates have applied in reserved categories more than one and so on.

However, in the entire episode the scariest part is the silence of the people, both the candidates who appeared and the general public, which makes them equally responsible in this crime.Apparently some ofthe candidates who were found shouting slogans soon after the examination about the “unfair” examination are now dead silent only because the person him/herself got selected or a relative or friend is selected. This hypocrisy is saddening to say the least. Much more depressing and upsetting is the general attitude of the people who carry the same old traditional attitude that ‘nothing is going to happen’. Although most of them believe that everything went wrong in the selection process but they don’t want to raise a voice or resist against this kind of injustice.

The only positive light is coming from a group of young people lately. A group named Youth Action Committee (YAC) wrote to the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to intervene in the matter. Following that the All India Kargil Students’ Union (AIKSU) with the support of Kargil Students Union in Jammu, Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar and Zanskar Union, in a letter circulated on social media, has decided to “challenge the case in the Court of law through a writ petition”. The students ’ unions are reportedly appealing the Court to hold an inquiry in the whole matter and take a decision which is suited in the best interest of the candidates. This is a welcome step at least against the administration and the rulers which has the attitude of getting away with everything and anything which they feel like. It is hoped thatall the progressive forces in and outside the district would come together and fight against this kind of injustice to seek justice and prevent such things from happening again in future.

This is the time to challenge the thugs of power. The question really is what are we waiting for? Who are we afraid of?Remember Kargil, it’s now or never.

Written by a Kargili student at Delhi.

The author provided the article to Ladakh Express with the condition of anonymity. Ladakh Express is not responsible for the views of the writer.