Separatist Kashmir women’s party Dukhtaran-i-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi doesn’t seem to practise what she preaches.
Andrabi, whose outfit (the name means Daughters of the Faith) is a constituent of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, has been telling students of the Kashmir Valley to boycott school and study at home. But when it comes to her elder son, 18-year-old Muhammad bin Qasim, she would like him to pursue his studies abroad.
This is evident from the student’s visa her son applied for in February this year.
Admitting that her son wanted to study in Malaysia, Andrabi said, “I approved of the Malaysia option because it is an Islamic state and my elder sister was insisting on sending my elder son there. But I will not send him abroad now after the Indian media’s propaganda to focus on my sons as my weakness.”
Andrabi’s elder son has cleared the entrance exam for Kashmir University’s five-year course for a Bachelor in Business Administration degree. Her younger son is in class 4.
Revelation of this dichotomy in Andrabi’s stand has angered the man on the street. “She cannot send her son abroad and ask other children to die on the streets,” said Quratulain Bhat, a mother of two children.
But many moderate separatists who send their children to school defended Andrabi. “I think both things will have to go hand in hand -—agitation and studies. We need educated people who can plead our case better in world forums,” said Shahid-ul-Islam, a moderate Hurriyat leader.
Andrabi, however, insists that students in Kashmir should study at home. “Freedom does not come on a platter, but only after sacrifices. We have to sacrifice. So what if we lose one year of studies?” she argued.