Monday, July 6, 2020
Home India India: Kashmiri Youths Defy Threats to Join Armed Forces

India: Kashmiri Youths Defy Threats to Join Armed Forces

“I don’t care about the threats. If these threats begin to scare us, we will not be able to do any jobs."

Gulfam Asim Khan is among thousands of jobless and educated young Kashmiris who are defying warnings from armed separatists by pursuing careers in the Indian armed forces and security services.

Last week, the 22-year-old appeared for a written test that is a prerequisite for signing up with the army.

“I am passionate about joining the army. I am hopeful that I will clear the written test, and my dream of becoming a soldier will come true,” Khan, a Kupwara resident, told BenarNews.

He was one of 12,000 potential recruits who underwent a series of rigorous physical tests in the volatile Kupwara district of Indian-administered Kashmir between May 19 and May 21, although the banned separatist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) had recently threatened to kill anyone who joined the Indian military or security agencies.

Six hundred of the applicants were shortlisted for the written exam.

But just a day before Khan sat for the Indian Army entrance test on Thursday, army porter Liyaqat Ali, 22, was gunned down by suspected HM militants in Kupwara.

Khan, a resident of the district, shrugged off the threats.

“I don’t care about the threats. If these threats begin to scare us, we will not be able to do any jobs. Where would educated Kashmiri youths like me go? There is already a massive dearth of jobs in the private sector in the state,” Khan said.

A new trend

A separatist insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, which is claimed in its entirety by India and Pakistan, has killed more than 70,000 people since the late 1980s.

Kashmiri applicants sit for the Indian Army’s entrance exam in Kupwara, Kashmir, May 21, 2016 Image Source: BenarNews
Kashmiri applicants sit for the Indian Army’s entrance exam in Kupwara, Kashmir, May 21, 2016 Image Source: BenarNews

The Indian Army said it had advertised 55 vacancies, for which it received more than 12,000 applications – a sharp contrast to the early 1990s, when Kashmiri youth stayed away from joining the armed forces.

“It is a good sign that more and more Kashmiris are gradually showing interest in joining the army so that they can contribute to nation-building in a better way,” Col. C.B.S. Bhadwal, commanding officer of the Kupwara-based 160 Territorial Army, responsible for the recruitment drive, told BenarNews.

The results of the written exam will be publicized in June, Bhadwal said.

Ishfaq Ahmad, a 25-year-old graduate from the town of Karnah, which is close to the Line of Control (LoC) – the boundary that separates the parts of Kashmir that are claimed by India and Pakistan, respectively, said the army should have advertised more vacancies.

“Considering the joblessness in Kashmir, the army should have advertised at least 1,000 jobs so educated youths in the state have enough opportunities to make something of their lives,” Ahmad told BenarNews.

According to official figures, about 600,000 Kashmiris between the ages of 20 and 30 are unemployed.

“The threats from separatists notwithstanding, we have to work to earn money. Besides, one who aspires to be a soldier must be prepared to face and overcome such challenges,” said Shamim Ahmad Khan, 24, who applied for one of the 55 vacancies.

“The pay in the Indian Army is decent so I didn’t want to lose out on this opportunity,” Khan told Benar. (Source: Benarnews)




Most Popular

Infant Sleep issues Linked To Mental Health Problems in Adults

Researchers have found that sleeping problems in early childhood may be linked to the development of certain mental health disorders in adolescence. The study, published...

10,000 Bed Sardar Patel Covid-19 Centre To set up at Delhi

The 10,000-bed Sardar Patel Covid-19 Care Centre and Hospital, inaugurated here on Sunday by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, which will serve as a major...

UP Government to Set World Record in Tree Plantation Drive

The Yogi Adityanath government is all set to set a new world record by planting 25 crore trees on Sunday in a massive plantation...

Queer Representation in Bollywood

Soon, Akshay Kumar will be seen essaying the role of a transgender in "Laxmmi Bomb". Sonam Kapoor has explored the complexities of being a...

WHO Stops Hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in Covid-19 trials

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir...

Coronavirus Cases Sets Record Daily Jump : WHO

The world saw a record 24-hour increase in the number of coronavirus cases Saturday — 212,326, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. The United States,...

India Confident of Covid Vaccine, Trial Stage Marks ‘Beginning of the End’

As India races to bring a vaccine for Covid-19 by mid August, the government on Sunday said that it is entering the human trial...

Malaika Arora Shares Home Remedy to Boost Immunity

Dancing diva Malaika Arora has shared a "make in India" home remedy to boost immunity. Some people have started stepping out for work, but relaxed...

Recent Comments