PDP Minister to Army Chief: Leave Education to Us, Do Not Sermonise
Why is there a JK map and an India map in Valley schools, asks Gen Rawat
SRINAGAR: A senior minister in the Jammu and Kashmir government today took on the Army chief, General Bipin Rawat, for advocating control of educational institutions and “totally unfair and unacceptable” remarks that young students were being radicalised at schools in the Valley.
Syed Altaf Bukhari, who is the Education Minister of J&K, censured Gen Rawat today on the sidelines of a function at a government run school in summer capital Srinagar, for “unnecessary remarks beyond the Army’s constitutional mandate”.
“Education is subject on State list and not concurrent list. We know how to run our education system. Army has its own role and let them do their job with utmost responsibility. The Constitution has given different roles to different people. I would be glad if they (Army) do what they are supposed to do and leave to us what we are mandated to do,” Bukhari told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
Earlier, on the eve of the Army Day commemoration, Gen Rawat advocated controlling the seminaries and schools running in the Valley where he alleged that the students were being misguided.
“In the schools (of J&K), what teachers are teaching should not be taught. In their schools, there can be seen two maps, one of India, another 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,” he had said.
A close aide of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Bukhari said the Army chief is “well decorated officer” but he should “restrict” his views, “He is not an educationist so he can’t give us sermons on education. I don’t think any society will accept sermons on education from non-academicians.”
“We have our own education system and we will fix our own problems, if any. Those who are not experts on education should desist from making unnecessary comments. They can not tell us which map to use in our schools. This is totally unwarranted and unacceptable,” Bukhari said.
In a terse response to Gen Rawat, Bukhari said “those sermonizing us should do their duties in a more professional manner so as to ease the sufferings” of common people in Jammu and Kashmir.” The Army was blamed for the recent killing of a civilian, one of the many cases where the role of Army is being investigated.
Earlier in the day, security forces defused an IED that was planted near the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway on the outskirts of the summer capital, ahead of Mehbooba's visit to the tourists resort of Gulmarg.