Kashmiri scholar Misbah Reshi chosen for Rhodes Scholarship, to study at Oxford

Misbah has worked extensively on the recently launched ‘Internet Gag’ report by JKCCS

Srinagar: 24-year-old researcher with JKCCS (JK Coalition for Civil Society) Misbah Reshi’s phone has not stopped ringing since Sunday when her name was announced for the Rhodes scholarship.

The Rhodes Scholarship is a fully funded, and most prestigious international scholarship programme, enabling ‘outstanding young people from around the world’ to study at the University of Oxford for two years.

Hailing from Downtown Srinagar, Misbah, has studied in Delhi since her childhood, however, her interest for her motherland and its people has never faded.

Her interests revolve around Human rights law, international law and criminal law.

She has been a fellow researcher with JKCCS and has extensively worked on the 125-page report on internet gag in Kashmir after the abrogation of article 370 which was released under the title ‘Kashmir’s Internet Siege’ in August 2020.

“I am extremely happy to have been selected as a Rhodes Scholar. I have been receiving many calls and messages from my friends and relatives. I am really excited to study at the Oxford University. For me, to have been selected for the scholarship has meant a lot for my parents and my family. They are elated,” Misbah told Free Press Kashmir over the phone.

“It was an extremely emotional moment for my family as it was my grandfather’s dream, who was the headmaster at Islamia High School in Srinagar, that someone from his family should study at Oxford,” she said.

For the scholarship programme, a person has to have some qualities in addition to academic excellence. Playing an active role in extra curriculum activities, truth, courage, devotion to duty, having a sympathetic approach towards weak and underprivileged people, a moral force of character, and ability to work in a team are a few of them.

“I went through three rounds of virtual interviews with panellists from various disciplines including anthropology, law, biology, and economics, and then I got selected for this for the programme,” Misbah said.

“During my interviews I mentioned my work on the internet report that I had done with JKCCS. It was something that the panellists were interested in discussing. One of the panellists had a hardcopy of the report and they really liked my work, and questioned me about the internet gag and its impact on Kashmiri youth in my interview,” Misbah noted.

Misbah is a Philosophy Hons graduate from St Stephen’s College in Delhi and is currently a final year law student at Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.

“I will be applying for the Bachelor of Civil Laws (LLM program) through this scholarship at Oxford University. I have not applied it yet,” she said.

Besides, her excellence in academics she is also the student convener of the Legal Aid Society at St Stephen’s and has been a contributor to human rights reports on minority rights in India and human rights violations in Kashmir.

She has also worked with a Delhi based collective, Citizens Against Hate (CAH) for the victims of pellet guns and its impact in Kashmir which was released as a report in 2019.

Besides Misbah, another final year law student at NLU Delhi, Anupriya Dhonchak have been selected for the scholarship.

Anupriya Dhonchak’s CV includes the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Communication Summer School on Law, Technology, Democracy, an exchange semester at York University’s law school in 2020 and a Herbert Smith Freehills training contract offer and vacation scheme.


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