They have good food to eat. They live in a safe and friendly environment inside a lush green educational campus run by the Government of India. They have all modern communication facilities available at their hands, but an uneasy calm has gripped the students of Kashmir studying at the Central University of Jharkhand.
With most of the communication means being suspended in the valley, it has been over 10 days that the students, studying engineering at the CUJ, could talk to their parents and family members. So much so that they did not celebrate Eid on August 12 due to the anxiety that is increasing with each passing day.
“No, we did not celebrate Eid this year. How can one celebrate a festival when one does not even know the well being of one’s parents and family members? We are virtually stuck here. We cannot go home and can’t contact our family back home. On the day of Eid I tried to call my parents more than 100 times, but could not connect,” said visibly upset Naseer (25), a student of MTech at CUJ.
“The facilities being provided at the Collector’s office in each district are of no use to people living in hilly areas as one has to travel to long distances and then wait for hours to use the telephones installed there. Moreover, we have heard that they do not allow one person to talk for more than 30 seconds at one go,” said the engineering student, a resident of Baramulla district in Kashmir.
On being asked, whether they have any opinion about the recent political developments in Kashmir, another engineering student Khurshid, who also belongs to Baramulla district, said that in the long run the situation might be better in the valley, but at present the situation is grim in the region and it may explode anytime soon.
“We are a bit elder and mature but think about teenaged students studying in Class XI, XII or may be first or second year of graduation in various parts of the country. Imagine, how would they be feeling when they are unable to communicate with their parents? It is one of the most difficult times for us,” said Khurshid.
Both the students, whose parents are involved in apple business, did not celebrate Eid and they did even take their meals for the day. “Our pocket money is also going to end soon. We have come here for education, but now we are more concerned about our families. Similarly, our parents must also be concerned about us. If we could not contact our families in few days it will be very difficult for us to reach our villages in the prevailing circumstances, but at last we have to make a decision,” he said.
The students agreed that they have not faced any trouble in the city and the campus, however, some news reports relating to mob lynching have instilled fear among them. However, they are apprehensive that the real trouble in their homeland might begin after prohibitory orders and curfew is lifted from the disturbed areas of the valley.