The UT of J&K has persistently witnessed violence and conflict due to Pakistan sponsored terrorism. They mobilised masses for an organised fight against India through proliferating false narrative and subversive propaganda. The barbaric acts of terrorists caused tremendous damage to the fabric of Kashmiri society. Feelings of desperation, anger and helplessness are created by the anti-national elements to push the people into abyss by creating propaganda and stoking dissent within the society. People were getting swayed by the false narratives and adverse publicity.

The people of J&K have started questioning the impeding radicalisation beliefs propagated to them. The common masses have shed cynicism after realising the futility of violence sponsored by deep state of Pakistan. Society of J&K has realised an urgent need to engage with the youth and wean them away from the desire to pick up the gun for a non-existent, self-destructive cause. The youth of J&K are highly capable of achieving anything and are at par with their Indian compatriots. They want to shatter the image of valley youth being portrayed as stone pelters and protestors. Efforts are being made to understand reasons behind the frustration that leads the youth towards pursuing mindless violence.

To encash the opportunity of effective utilisation of Kashmir’s youth bulge, efforts have been made by the administration to facilitate economic development of the region through provision of employment avenues. The government has been launching a number of schemes to provide employment to youth in the UT. Infrastructure in terms of schools, colleges, community development centres, ITIs etc have also been established to impart quality education and generate self-employment opportunities. Adequate emphasis has been given to sports to encourage the children and youth to channelise their energies in the right direction. The policy changes instituted by the Govt of India and administration of J&K have provided stimulus to the youth to realize their dreams.

Indian Army’s constructive engagement of youth has resulted in curbing the false narrative and nefarious designs of separatists and pro-militancy groups. Op Sadhbhavana and WHAM measures have been yielding fruitful results for development of the Awaam of Kashmir. Initiative such as Skill Training and Skill Development Courses, Kashmir Super-50, Project Himayat and Chinar 9 Jawan Club have contributed significantly towards restoration faith of local populace in Army and establishment of peace in the region. Measures such as Youth Employment Guidance Nodes, Vocational Training Centres and Project Himayat by the Indian Army has resulted in empowerment of J&K youth.

The Kashmir populace are keen to experience peace and stability.   Development in the region would generate employment thereby channelise the youth towards productive pursuits. Talent hunting and nurturing by the system should be encouraged to the maximum. Media needs to contribute proactively by exposing the separatists and pro-militancy leaders who have been carrying out false propaganda to suit their agendas to target the youth of J&K.

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