Rameshwar Singh Jamwal
The Narendra Modi government is investing a lot to encourage the youth of J&K to participate massively in sports activities at J&K. A new sports policy was developed for J&K in January 2022 which, through a laudable goal, envisions and encompasses five levels of goal progression in a pyramid form. Each goal has a set of clear objectives that the policy aims to achieve through a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) strategy. 4,500 rural youth clubs are being established and major sports facilities at J&K are springing up across J&K UT, and all of this is a welcome step. In line with this policy, these initiatives are equally effective in channeling the energy of citizens constructively, regardless of their socio-economic group. can also help young people stay away from drugs and stone throwing, two issues of concern to the mandarins of the Ministry of Interior and the PMO.
According to experts, exercise is the best medicine for a myriad of our ailments and has been shown to extend our life cycles, improve memory and learning, and even slow mental decline. Involvement in sport, physical exercise, has been conceptualized as an antidote to multiple problems, young people in J&K show off because it can also lead to venting against the system, much like a pressure cooker, where young people may give expression to their feelings of unemployment, anger at the system, or the conditions prevailing in J&K’s UT.
Lieutenant Governor, J&K, Manoj Sinha showed keen interest in providing the necessary impetus for the participation of more and more young people in sports activities and stressed the need for a special targeted approach to be adopted by the Department of Services to youth and sports. The decision of the UT government to involve up to 17.5 lakh boys and girls from all over Jammu and Kashmir in different sports disciplines was a welcome step. This necessitated the creation of assets at enormous cost stemming mainly from the Prime Minister’s development programme, and it was felt that the youngsters of J&K should not be left idle, but used not only for routine sporting activities, but in the goal of excelling in selected disciplines under the guidance of professionals in order to be able to participate in national events.
But there is also the other side of the problem. Certain contact sports, where body contact is visible and where rivalry is intense, such as hockey, football, boxing, kick boxing, karate, judo, fencing and many others, can exacerbate the problem of violence and aggressive behavior, as has been proven in numerous studies indicate that certain sports activities also lead to problems of aggression in later stages of life. Contact sports frequently produce dangerous concussions that have been linked to triggering violent episodes and a subtype of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been found in these players, who play contact sports. It is for this reason that many high-profile actors have ended up behind bars around the world, for offenses ranging from violent incidents to homicides.
Violence can be the result of a cauldron of biological and psychological factors, which include fetal programming, genetic predispositions, evolutionary inheritance, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and none of these factors were counted as the factors that may have been responsible for the observed sharp increase in J&K’s violent behavior. Not all of J&K’s violent offenders, those who kill innocent people or those who throw rocks are sportsmen and there are many other reasons for the type of personality twists that J&K’s UT residents have had over the past few years. decades, which all the factors and reasons cannot be spelled out in this brief article, but have been sufficiently explained in numerous article presentations by the author. But all is not lost yet, there are opportunities for mid-course fixes, provided you diagnose the problem and take proactive action. This can include introducing concepts of cultivating legality, starting yoga, and using other Indian philosophical concepts like Sankhya, which help calm restless minds. The World Health Organization has recognized the health benefits of yoga when it highlighted the key role yoga plays in tackling the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), providing benefits both preventative and curative (Events WHO 2018). Randomized controlled trials and studies of rehabilitation in prisons (Muirhead 2015) and its positive effect on the dimensions of obsessive-compulsive, paranoid ideation and somatization symptoms have been carried out (Sfendla et al. 2018). Another randomized controlled study on the impact of yoga in correctional settings found that physical activity, including yoga, significantly reduced inmates’ level of psychological distress.
Yoga practice improved all primary symptom dimensions and its positive effect on the BSI’s obsessive-compulsive, paranoid ideation, and somatization symptom dimensions remained significant even when compared to the control group (Kerekes et al. 2017) . The Global Peace Initiative has recognized leading meditation-based, scientifically established “consciousness technologies” that counterbalance individual and social tensions, restore balanced brain functioning, and clearly decrease crime and social conflict (Das 2018).
The world relies on and benefits from the intellectual contributions of Indian thought in areas like yoga and here at J&K we are always groping in the dark for solutions to our cycle of governance mess, death and destruction, which seems to be going on unabated, as our policy makers and implementing agencies continue to follow the same old traditional paths, which led us to the same situation in the early 1990s, and as minorities once again consider leave Kashmir.
(The author is a practicing J&K High Court Barrister and President of the Society of Criminologists)