Jammu and Kashmir have been a hotbed of conflict between the Govt and the separatists backed by Pakistan for decades now. The issue has been raised, in vain, by Pakistan in various international forums to keep its relevance alive. Since, the misconception of ‘Azadi’ has completely lost its foothold in the valley, the Pak based terrorist groups have shifted to radicalizing the misguided youth of Kashmir on the basis of religion. This has had far-reaching pernicious impact on the lives of people living in the region.
Religious radicalization is a complex phenomenon that has multiple causes. In Kashmir, several factors have contributed to the rise of religious radicalization among youth. One of the primary reasons is the lack of opportunities for the youth. High levels of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, and economic deprivation have left many young people feeling alienated and disconnected from mainstream society. Terrorist groups exploit this sense of alienation and try to offer the youth a sense of purpose and belonging no matter the consequences. The use of social media has also played a significant role in the radicalization of youth in Kashmir. Terrorist groups use social media platforms to spread their ideology and recruit vulnerable youth. The anonymity provided by social media platforms makes it easier for these groups to operate without being detected by the authorities. Another prominent reason for radicalization is that Kashmiri society is deeply divided along religious and ethnic lines, with a recent history of violence between different communities. This has created a sense of mistrust and hostility, which can be exploited by terrorist groups to promote their agenda.
The rise of religious radicalization in Kashmir has had several consequences, both for the region and the country as a whole. One of the most significant consequences is the increase in violence and terrorism. The radicalized youth are often recruited by terrorist groups and trained in terror activities. They carry out attacks on security forces and civilians, leading to loss of life and property. Another consequence of religious radicalization in Kashmir is the erosion of social harmony. Kashmir has a long history of communal coexistence, with people of different faiths living together in peace. However, the rise of religious radicalization has created deep divisions along religious lines, leading to a breakdown of social harmony. The radicalization of youth has also had a negative impact on the economy of the region. The ongoing conflict and the rise of extremism have scared away investors, leading to a decline in economic activity. The lack of economic opportunities has further contributed to the radicalization of youth. The rise of religious radicalization among youth in Kashmir is a cause for concern for both the region and the country as a whole. It is a complex phenomenon and addressing it requires a multifaceted approach. The government needs to create more economic opportunities for the youth and address the underlying issues that contribute to their sense of alienation. There is also a need for better social media regulations to prevent terrorist groups from using these platforms to spread their ideology. Finally, efforts should be made to restore social harmony and promote communal coexistence in the region. Only then can we hope to tackle the issue of religious radicalisation in Kashmir Valley.
Ideas, Opinions and Views expressed in articles are Writer’s own and may not be in accord with those of THE MORN