Apart from keeping a vigil, the army across Kashmir valley is busy in another job these days. It is learning Kashmiri language to come “close to Kashmiri people and win their hearts”.
The endeavor is to have at least one soldier or an officer in every unit, post or a bunker who would be able to converse with local people in Kashmiri.
At the Human Resource Development Centre at the Army’s Srinagar headquarters, Officers as well as soldiers alike are tiring hard to learn the language.
“There are lots of people (soldiers) who are learning the Kashmiri language. It will help us in reaching out to the people. What we are trying to do is to make extra efforts to reach out to the people," General Officer Commanding of Srinagar based 15 Corps Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain told media after a public meeting in North Kashmir on Sunday.
The Corps Commander said the concept of these efforts was to use the "heart as a weapon". "To use the heart as a weapon, this is the doctrine, the methodology and the concept," he said.
Army’s Srinagar based spokesman colonel J.S Brar told Hindustan Times that about 300 soldiers and officers annually are being imparted training to learn the language. “We already had a provision for capsule course for the soldiers to learn Kashmiri language but that was occasional. Now we are continuously conducting the course. Once one course completes we start another,” Brar said.
The basic capsule course is of one month duration and the advanced course is of three months duration.
“To teach the language, apart from our educational staff, we are using the services of two regiments-JK Light Infantry regiment and JK Rifles- which comprise of Kashmiri residents,” Brar informed.
“It is happening at every level. We create a base of soldiers who spread out across the valley, where they train in their units and individual posts to their fellow soldiers,” he said.
“You can call it progression,” he added.