Agha Shahid Ali's poetry is said to have inspired separatists in the Kashmir Valley | Image: Twiiter
Poetry and prose written by Agha Shahid Ali and Basharat Peer are likely to be removed from the literature curriculum of the MA (English) course of the University of Kashmir. Grouped as "resistance literature" the decision to remove the work of these authors from the curriculum of Kashmir University comes after authorities decided to dismiss the services of the university's public relations officer Faheem Aslam who the Jammu and Kashmir government considers a "threat to security".
"Authorities are likely to stop the teaching of ‘Resistance Literature’ that earlier was part of the English course. Poetry and prose of known writers, Agha Shahid and Basharat Peer will be removed,” said a Kashmir University professor.
Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001), an Indian-American poet, was once regarded an icon of 'resistance literature' and an inspiration for the Valley's separatist movement. His collections of poetry -- Country Without A Post Office and Rooms Are Never Finished gained immense popularity among separatists.
Basharat Peer, a journalist and author based out of the United States.
Both Ali and Peer have been regarded as writers propagating a separatist mindset in the Valley.
Prose and poetry of writers are seen to be used for propagating a separatist mindset in the Valley.
Meanwhile, Faheem Aslam, the Kashmir University public relations official who was recently dismissed, is said to share close relations with Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik.
A CID official, on condition of anonymity, said the termination of employees on terror links is an 'ongoing process'. A list of more government employees, including university employees, is being prepared and evidence is being collected to make a water-tight case, the official said.
At least three government employees have been dismissed from service recently. They have been terminated under provisions of Article 311 (2) (C) of the Indian Constitution. Article 311 provides for the dismissal of a person employed in civil capacities under a Union or a state.
In June 2023, the Jammu and Kashmir administration terminated the services of two doctors. In October 2021, Anees-ul-Islam (grandson of Syed Ali Geelani) was terminated from service. It is said that Anees had managed to secure out-of-turn employment as a research officer in SK International Convention Centre, a subsidiary of the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department when the Mehbooba Mufti government was in power back in 2016.
In August 2022, Syed Abdul Mueed (son of Syed Salahuddin, a Pakistan-based official of the Hizbul Mujahideen) and Assabah-ul-Arjamand Khan, a KAS officer and wife of jailed terrorist Farooq Ahmed Dar, were among four government employees whose services were terminated by the Jammu and Kashmir government for being threats to the security of the state.