A day after Army chief General Bipin Rawat told the media in New Delhi that schools in Jammu and Kashmir are teaching things that should not be taught, thereby radicalising the youth, the state government on Saturday said that it will not take “sermons from anybody”, and that the Army should do what it is “meant to do”.
“This (education) is a state subject and I don’t think I will take sermons from anybody,” J&K Education Minister Altaf Bukhari said. “They (Army) should do their job — their job is to secure the borders, and if the borders are secured incidents of violence will come down.”
Bukhari was reacting to Gen Rawat’s annual media conference ahead of the Army Day. According to reports, Gen Rawat told the media on Friday that schools in J&K are “teaching what should not be taught”.
He also said that schools in Kashmir are teaching the students two maps: one of India and one of J&K. “Why do we need a separate map for J&K? What does it teach the children? Most misguided youth come from schools where they are being radicalised,” the Army chief said.
Bukhari on Saturday said there is no shortcoming in the state’s educational system. “I don’t know what the Army chief said. I don’t know in which tone he said it. I don’t know where he said, and to which gathering,” the minister said. “But what I know is this: my children are not radicalised. There is no shortcoming in our educational system, and our children are not going towards extremism.”
Asked about Gen Rawat’s remarks that some control has to be exercised over madrasas and mosques, Bukhari said, “India is a democratic country. Here the Army cannot have control on anything. Perhaps, he (Gen Rawat) knows it, and I know it very well,” Bukhari said. “Our Army is doing a good job. It should do what it is meant for. My job, as an education minister, is to get the students taught well, and I am doing that.”
About the Army chief’s comments on two maps being introduced in schools, Bukhari said, “Every state teaches four maps. A physical map and a political map of the country, and a physical map and political map of the state. We are also teaching that”. The minister said that he will take orders only from the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti: “I have a boss, who is the Chief Minister. If she finds any fault in the educational system, we will do it. We will only go by her sermons.”