In a sharp criticism of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Jammu and Kashmir Education Minister Altaf Bukhari on Saturday said that the chief is not an educationist and since education is a state subject, the government knows how to run schools. The criticism came in the wake of the COAS statement, saying school education system in government schools in J&K has been corrupted, and that they have two maps in classrooms: one of India and the other of J&K.
Bukhari told reporters, “Everyone has his own domain. Those who have no link to education are talking about it. It is not a fair comment and we do not accept it.”
Bukhari said that the state has its own constitution and the Indian constitution, similarly, every school has a state map as it is needed to teach students about the state. Bukhari said, “There are two flags in the state, we have J&K constitution and India’s constitution also. Every school has a state map as it is needed to teach about the state.”
On Friday, Army Chief Rawat, while addressing the annual press conference on the eve of Army Day, had raised concerns about social media and schools in the state playing a major role in radicalising youth.
General Rawat said, “If you go to any Kashmir school you will find two maps — one of India and the other of J&K. Why should there be a separate map of J&K! Then there should be a map of every state. This leads children into believing that I am part of this country, but I also have a separate identity. The basic grassroot problem lies here, the way the education system in government schools in J&K has been corrupted. Because the teachers coming to these schools have also so been brought up in the same education system.” He added that the education system in the state needs to be given a relook.
Bukhari in a harsh attack on the Army chief said, “Let him (Army chief) do his own job, I am doing mine and if the borders are protected, the incidents of violence will come down… perhaps they are not doing their job properly because of which we are suffering.”
Stating that “terrorism in J&K is not over”, Gen Rawat had said that the Army will shift its focus to north Kashmir this year, after having focused on south Kashmir last year. This, he said, will lead to cutting off routes of infiltration used by militants after crossing the LoC, from where they move to south Kashmir.
(With inputs from agencies)