University convocations rarely witness both the chief guest and the vice chancellor being women, but the 20th Convocation of the University of Kashmir proved to be a remarkable exception. Nari Shakti, the essence of women’s power, took center stage in this extraordinary event, epitomizing Kashmir’s historic commitment to women’s empowerment.
The University of Kashmir hosted President Draupadi Murmu as chief guest. It marked her first visit to Jammu and Kashmir, and her presence added a layer of significance to the occasion. She presided over the Convocation in Srinagar, a city steeped in history and culture.
The University of Kashmir holds a unique place among the ten universities in Jammu and Kashmir. It faced immense challenges during the separatist insurgency of 1990. Violence marred the campus, leading to severe restrictions.
Tragically, the campus lost two professors, including a young Muslim lecturer from Uttar Pradesh, who fell victim to gun violence. Militants took the lives of several students and scholars, or security forces confronted them after luring them into militancy.
Controversially, Professor Mohammad Shafi Khan, from the Department of Persia, became the biographer of hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Khan was apprehended over a decade ago and remains in detention.
The university campus grabbed the film industry’s attention when Vishal Bhardwaj’s crew paused filming to hoist the Indian national flag in a ‘Haider’ movie scene. This incident underscores the University of Kashmir’s complex and multifaceted history.
The 20th Convocation not only celebrated academic achievements but also symbolized the resilience and spirit of women in leadership positions, creating a defining moment for the University and the region it serves.
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