Kashmiri Youth Shouldn't Be Stereotyped: Faesal26 May 2010
New Delhi: He may have topped this year's civil services exam but Shah Faesal feels his achievement will be realised only when stereotypes associated with Kashmiri youth are done away with and they are able to overcome their 'identity crisis'. The 27-year-old, who became the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exam, said some kind of an 'identity' is imposed on people from Kashmir and they are 'pushed to the wall' due to misconceptions by people in the country and their dreams have been 'curtailed' and 'axed'. 'One person topping the civil services is not an achievement. What about the seven lakh educated youth in the state? When will they be able to realise their dreams? When some kind of an identity is imposed on people from youth, he is pushed towards the wall,' he said at a felicitation programme organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce. 'My achievement will be realised only when those stereotypes and prejudices are done away with.' Faesal hails from the remote village of Lolab valley in Kupwara district and graduate in medicine from Sher- i-Kashmir Medical College. He said millions of Kashmiri youth want a space in the mainstream to contribute to the development of the nation. 'Whenever a youth from Kashmir goes to any metro in the country, they brand him. They tell you are a Kashmiri, you are a Muslim, you are a separatist and then you are a terrorist. This should change,' Faesal, whose father was killed by militants in 2002, said. He also appealed to IT and BPO sector to come and invest in the Kashmir Valley as the climate is conducive for setting up such companies and also given the fluency in English the youths there have got. 'We have the required human resources and Kashmiri youths are well-versed in English language. But unfortunately, nothing has happened. How long do we wait? When will the circumstances improve? Politics and violence are there, but life has to go on,' he said. The medicine graduate, who will soon take up civil services training, said the misprision that 'whoever goes to Kashmir will get killed' should change. 'I have been shuttling from Delhi to Kashmir for the past several years and no one killed me. And not that everyone in Kashmir is killed. Business people should come and invest in Kashmir,' he said. He also termed as 'absolutely illogical' and 'unjustified' if somebody asks a Kashmiri to to prove his loyalty to the nation. 'These things should go. Kashmiri youths want a space in the mainstream to contribute to the development of the nation,' he said.