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A Lawless Law in A Lawless Land

In Human Rights, India, Innocent Killings, Kashmir, People, Politics on 22 March, 2011 at 1:13 pm

What does one do for revenge? Or for wanting something from someone against his will? Or for hating someone’s guts? Or wanting to ‘teach a lesson?’ Or for bullying someone at school? One can either act on them or just be content without doing anything. A lot of them appear vague reasons, meriting no response. (Some of these reasons are stronger than what our government uses to arrest people (it uses no reason) as you will read later on).

How does one act to fulfil these wishes, if one can not be merely content? A person may kidnap another to ‘teach him a lesson,’ or ‘demand money’ or  ‘ just kill him.’ This person then will be considered a kidnapper or a killer, as the case may be. A sane democratic government will hunt this person down and then put him on trial and then behind bars.

Q. But what if a state wants to do ‘all of the above’, and get away with it? What can the state do?

Read the rest of this entry »

Of Hunger Strikes and Yasin Malik

In Human Rights, India, Innocent Killings, Kashmir, People, Politics on 23 February, 2011 at 4:01 am

In the early 90’s whenever there were plans by leaders to fast unto death or go on a hunger strike – a majority of the population would fast with them. Kashmir saw itself as one homologous unit, there were supposed to be no differences. Everyone had one goal: Azadi. There were no contours of this Azadi. It was crystal clear and above all, no one doubted the intentions of the leaders.

Today a hunger strike is seen more as an attempt to make ones presence felt than a tool of non-violent protest, as it is made out to be. And our iconic Hunger Striker is Yasin Malik, who has once again vowed to go on hunger strike for human rights abuses and etc.

Why do these symbolic gestures result in nothingness?

Symbolic gestures are essential, but have to be an extension of

Read the rest of this entry »

Inception, Introspection

In History, Human Rights, India, Kashmir, People, Politics, Srinagar on 18 February, 2011 at 6:33 pm

There one skill that we, the Kashmiris, as a nation, can always claim to have: protesting.

We protested the Gujarat riots, the hanging of Saddam Hussein (who, as India’s ally and friend, always stood against Kashmir & Pakistan. 98% of the Iraqis won’t even know what or where Kashmir is). Global events or not, news or rumors, true or wrong, by our own free will or under the cloud of threats and warnings, with or without consequences for Kashmir, we have stood up for every invitation to protest by anybody and everybody who either is somebody or a nobody. We have emerged as one of the finest protesting nation in the history of the world. Kashmir, let alone the issue of Kashmir, might not be well known globally, but we have given the world the Islamic Rage Boy. In the early 90’s Read the rest of this entry »

5 Years of Blogging

In Kashmir, People, Politics, Srinagar on 28 December, 2010 at 11:42 pm

5 years ago, this blog started with just a single sentence:

Ah! Kashmir: so near yet so far!

Kashmir, the dream of a Free Kashmir, remains so near yet so far today, as it did 5 years ago. It is near, for every Kashmiri breathes it and feels the pain of this geographical piece of land called Kashmir. These words may appear poetic, but they are not. The pain of Kashmir is felt, just like a cut by a sharp knife. This pain is as much physical as it is emotional. The images of Kashmir embedded in our memory are not, as most Indians might think and want to believe, of honeymooners, neither are they of a Kashmiri boatman selling shawls by the banks of Dal Lake. The images are of death. They are Read the rest of this entry »

Cherries & Chairs

In Politics, Srinagar on 29 May, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Greater Kashmir, a revolutionary newspaper once upon a time, is now creeping with tabloid journalism. It is ready to report anyone and anything as long as its needs are met.

Now, it is mostly about cherries.

Eating fresh: PDP President Mahbooba Mufti Monday eats Cherries from her residential lawns after speaking to media persons (Mubashir Khan/GK)

And, the APHC should really buy a few chairs:

731f67a6c34439

Both images courtesy of Greater Kashmir.

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Omar v/s Omar

In Kashmir, People, Politics on 11 May, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Its been weeks of Sundays since a new post appeared on this blog! Today, I end that hiatus. My next post would be ihrams – a new Kashmir that I see emerging. A Kashmir which is losing touch with reality. And this post, to an extent, is what the people, the politics and the media of Kashmir seem to be focusing on: an internetKashmir. A tabloid version of the Afghanistan.

What exactly is the difference between Omar and Umar – the two OUmars of Kashmir who represent, in reality, nothing. Both love designer labels. One can flaunt it, the other just doesn’t want to (or can’t).

The difference between them: one sports watches…

Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah (3)

…the other doesn’t.

Umar Farooq (4)

Umar Farooq (5)

Umar Farooq (8)

And, before I sign off – here is a little something about Umar and Omar:

The Abdullah wears the Hindus sacred thread Mali and Farooq wants to look a lot like his father.

Omar Abdullah (5)

Umar Farooq (9)

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The 3 Idiots of Kashmir

In Kashmir, News, Politics on 28 February, 2010 at 5:28 am

It has been long since this blog saw a new post and this sudden want to write, even though there have been unpardonable crimes against the people of Kashmir in the last few months, comes from one single desire: to speak when sense seems to simply slip away, and no one appears to be obvious to it.

It was on twitter that news of a brawl between the ruling NC and PDP came to light, that of a poster of the popular Indian film, theMourners at Sheikh Abdullahs funeral 3 Idiots, being spoofed to represent the three generations of Abdullah clan. One can not be joyous for seeing the traitors of Kashmir being made fun of in this way, for the singular reason that it included one person, one leader, who had fought many a battles for Kashmir. That one person is seen as evil by many, for the singular reason of not knowing that person. For being oblivious to his struggles for Kashmir. He is painted a traitor by every tom, dick and harry of Kashmir, just because they know nothing about him. No one will point a finger towards Omar Farooq, the self imposed Mirwaiz , even though his father fought elections for the Janta Dal – an Indian party, for the simple reason that we do not dare question and our perceptions are what we live by every day. Perceptions, not realities.

That one person, who should not have been made fun of, in this manner, is none other than the person, who brought education to the state of Kashmir, who did away with the Zamindari system (it was an effect of Moulana Abdul Kalam’s vision but that vision needed an executor and unlike Punjab, no man in Kashmir owns land enough to house three railway stations) and who spent 22 long years behind the bars of that very state, put there by one of his friends and then his daughter. That man is Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah – a lion or not for Kashmir that one can not comment upon, but a leader in the true sense of the word, without doubt.

It needs more than a blog post to write about this man and I need to refer to my notes, which I do not have access to right now, but the wikipedia article on this man is not a flawed read.

There are a few questions, that one might ask:

Mufti Smoking

Are the Mufti’s of PDP (Plain Dirty Politics) involved inMufti Smoking this?

Without an ounce of doubt, they needed to divert the attention of us, the fickle minded Kashmiris, and they have. And they needed to divert attention from something very terrible, they would not want anyone to think about:

Killings in Kashmir

These are the official oppression figures. Instead of defending their Healing Touch or speaking against these figures, they chose to fall very low and worked the 3 Idiots poster.

And this does not mean, in any manner, that the Abdullahs are not guilty of crimes. Farooq and Omar are without a doubt, but Sheikh Abdullah, a lot less than all the politicians combined who have willfully destroyed Kashmir. Be it the separatists or the mainstream politicians.

Sheikh Abdullah spent 22 years behind Indian bars, a lot more than the combined jail time of many of our present day ‘famous’ leaders perhaps.

We need to see events in the light of past and present, by being joyous over stupidities of another devil, will only push us further towards misery.

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The Writing On The Wall

In India, Kashmir, News, Politics on 17 April, 2009 at 8:31 pm

“We do not recognise UJC. They are carrying swords. We do not accept diktats,”

The Drunken Feast

Ansari said that his organisation was not in favour of enforcing orders on others and will leave it to the people of Kashmir to decide about the elections as per their “conscience”.

“Why are we people targeting Lone for contesting elections? Have you forgotten the late Sheikh Abdullah also contested elections after heading the Plebiscite Front,” Ansari said. The Hurriayt yesterday said it would not boycott the elections. ( business standard)

Hurriyat’s imminent failure.

Update:

Malik Sajad’s cartoon on Greater Kashmir depicts the situation more precisely than the writing on the wall.

Courtesy and Copyright of Malik Sajad (at www.GreaterKashmir.com

And don’t miss the color at Malik Sajad’s site: of nostalgia and the shattered truth of Kashmir.

 

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He Never Knew!

In India, Kashmir, Politics on 14 March, 2009 at 9:16 pm

“I was surprised to learn that most of people in New Delhi were unaware of the plight of Kashmiris. They think Kashmiris are terrorists and fighting against Indian rule without any rhyme and reason,” Geelani said. “A senior doctor in Delhi’s leading hospital was in tears when I told him about the Kashmir dispute and the suffering of Kashmiris at the hands of Indian security agencies. I told him under India’s so-called democratic system troops violated the chastity of hundreds of Kashmir girls and killed thousands of youth in the past two decades. He was shocked and he plugged his ears with his fingers.” (greater Kashmir)

Mr. Geelani you realise all this now!? They year we are living in is 2009, you know that, right? It actually took you a couple of visits and a two month stay in Delhi to understand something which has been obvious since like forever!

And Mr. Geelani is candid:

“The group told me that they had never heard this side of Kashmir dispute. I invited them to Kashmir and told them you should have courage to hear the reality and suffering of Kashmiris. But I cautioned them not to forget their identity cards otherwise they wouldn’t escape wrath of the troop,” said Geelani.

And laughs, when he needs not to!

“Now I have got a handful of supporters in New Delhi,” Geelani (laughing) said, “Truth will one day prevail upon the World. Sacrifices of Kashmiris will not go waste.”

Perhaps those are the only supporters he will ever have, in sometime.

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His Masters Voice

In Kashmir, Politics on 13 February, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Zahoor told the gathering that the present separatist leadership has failed to carry forward Maqbool’s mission. He disclosed that he is joining the separatist camp under the guidance Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and others. (etalaat)

They failed, however I shall still call them my masters!

Yasin Malik and Ammanullah Khan fell apart from each other many a moons ago and yet Ammanullah Khan’s representative wants to work under the leadership of Yasin Malik. It is sad that everybody out there is cashing in on Maqbool Bhat, perhaps a revolutionary,knowing in their hearts that they want anything but what Maqbool Bhat wanted. Hashim Qureshi, the prime accussed in the Ganga Hijacking Case, runs a Maqbool Bhat Trust in Srinagar. He hijacked a plane of India and the same government is letting him stay free – but we do have another killer free as well: Bitta Karate! That is India’s democracy in Kashmir: killing innocents and protecting the killers, for the Killers can help them one fine day; the innocents will always demand one single thing: Azadi!

 

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Ban Ki-Moon And Kashmir

In Kashmir, Politics on 5 February, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Ban described the Kashmir stand-off as the most important issue of South Asia…(hindustan times)

India is destined for a tough time on Kashmir, internationally. The recent fair elections seem to have had the least effect at the international front.

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Hurriyat’s Lies

In Kashmir, News, Politics on 2 February, 2009 at 11:28 pm

The Hurriyat Conference has claimed that it is closing district offices, slashing the pay of its employees and laying off employees as a restructuring measure in wake of the recent assembly elections. Mirwaiz has also claimed the global recession to be a cause of its financial cutbacks and layoffs.

The Hurriyat, whose death is inevitable, believes, as do the mainstream politicians, that Kashmiris suffer from short term memory loss. It was in October 2007 that Hurriyat had shut down its district offices because of the financial crunch it had been facing for some time and had planned then to lay off its employees. Recent elections, restructuring and introspection are mere deceptive words being used by an organization which is failing within and outside Kashmir.

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Nothing Ground Breaking, It Was Expected Years Ago

In Kashmir, Politics, Srinagar on 2 February, 2009 at 6:30 pm

From a previous post, I Can Kill Everybody , of this blog, written October 25, 2006:

Killing in Kashmir is not uncommon but gradually it appears that the police and the army see themselves as reincarnations of God on earth. Be it the illiterate gun totting policeman or his superior office, they both think that they are the Greater Beings, created to maim and kill the children, the young, the old and the women of Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has turned over the past decade and a half from an organisation supporting the freedom struggle to a people more than happy to kill innocents and it will continue to grow evil.

It has already graduated from beatings innocents to killing them, now they just need to expand their reach and increase the innocent death toll. Once India is confident that the police have been trained well to behave as colonial masters, as is the attitude of the army at present; it can reduce the presence of the army, flash a happy face to the world, confident and satisfied at the thought that the same role is being played by someone else.

Lessons from the colonial masters, the British, has always inspired India: import officers who can act and behave as colonial masters, obtain the major chunk of the force from the local population and impose evil through them.

The new Chief Minister hinted at increasing the role of the Jammu and Kashmir police as if that were a respite to the Kashmiris. Their deployment has already started and 20 police companies are ready to take charge of the Srinagar city- which already has enough respite as compared to the towns and villages of Kashmir that bear the burnt day in and day out. Once the police passes, what the Director General of Police called a litmus test, the Jammu and Kashmir police will then be the only force at the forefront. No surprises the police is all too eager to pass the litmus test! And Kashmir will remain, for sometime to come, a low intensity conflict zone – simmering within.

One may recall that one of the election planks of the PDP in 2002 was the disbanding of the Special Task Force in Kashmir. They were disbanded by being absorbed into the local police, which will now be taking charge of Kashmir.

A person with a gun will remain dreaded for Kashmiris, the name tag matters the least.

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Liquid Baron To Represent Kashmir!

In Human Rights, India, Kashmir, Politics on 22 January, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Days after a visit to Kashmir, which was followed by denial of interest in Kashmir politics; Vijay Mallaya, the Liquor Baron has been nominated by the National Conference for the Rajya Sabha seat. Surprisingly, some local newspapers, forgot or chose not to publish this news.

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The Baggage Of Kashmir

In Kashmir, Politics on 19 October, 2008 at 8:26 pm

For almost six decades Pakistan has been carrying the baggage of Kashmir, unable to resolve it. Musharraf was Kashmir’s best bet, his efforts now rest in history. Unable to bear the baggage of Kashmir anymore, Pakistan through a well thought of policy is throwing off the same. While as it might have been an over-sight and not much credence should be given to news items such as these

“Federal Information Minister Sherry Rehman was thrilled over the fact that everybody was convinced with her presentation highlighting the government’s policy during the in-camera session of the Parliament,” a participant told The News. He said that some PML-N members protested saying one of the maps used in the briefing showed Occupied Kashmir as part of India. The PML-N raised a lot of hue and cry over it. However, a federal cabinet member told The News that three maps were shown during her presentation and that two maps very clearly showed Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) as disputed territory but one map shown in the briefing was blurred which misled the PML-N members.
The News

…however, it does though show Pakistan’s efforts at gentle shifts in its Kashmir Policy and it also shows that it is testing its domestic waters at the same time. When Zardari termed the Kashmiri Militants as Terrorists; there was the usual expected opposition from the politicians, however the people of Pakistan seemed to take it in stride, to some extent it could be because of being bogged down by the back-breaking inflation, but more so because the people of Pakistan, the younger generations, no longer see Kashmir as their problem with the same lens they did in the past. This shift will in itself shall help Kashmir’s cause more than their support, since India would no longer be able to label the Kashmir Struggle as Cross Border Terrorism. And also so because the younger generations of Kashmir do not identify themselves as easily and sympathetically with Pakistan as the older generations did. To the young people of Kashmir, Pakistan is as far off as say Saudi Arab. One would make a mistake though if one were to say their desire for freedom is that far, it is closer than ever before.

 

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The End Of Hurriyat

In Human Rights, India, Kashmir, People, Politics on 5 October, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Indefinite curfew has been imposed in Kashmir today; this follows the imposition of section 144 yesterday. Yasin Malik has been arrested, while as Geelani was hospitalised. Authorities claim that UPSC roll number slips and Air Tickets will be considered as Curfew Passes, though such consideration was not shown the last time when even a pregnant women on way to the hospital was beaten ruthlessly by India’s Army. A local cable channel has again been banned.

The Hurriyat is failing the people, they have sold-out, and their acts (what made them believe that the government would not impose the curfew?) if seen in a critical manner would lead to one conclusion: that the Hurriyat is exhausting the spirit of the people so that the struggle falls back to its own slow pace, which comforts all but the common Kashmiri people. Last time when the rally was planned; people were hopeful, supportive and full of energy; today they are upset, dismayed and undermined in spirit. This October may not see the withdrawal of the Army from Kashmir; however it might see the end of Hurriyat and the emergence of a new leadership. The Hurriyat may have proved their importance to India and Pakistan, but they are definitely going to fall in front of the people. Emotional fools we may be, but idiots we are not.

Tomorrow may decide a lot of things for Kashmir, I just hope tomorrow does not see the end of more innocent lives. Hurriyat, against my better judgement, may prevail and win their battle, and we the people, will have to continue fighting ourbattle.

Earlier Posts on the land row, the gagging of the people and the spirit of Kashmiris:

Was It Just A Few Hectares Of Land? – I

Yes, I Am A Daemon, But Kashmir Scares Me

No Photoshop This!

Kashmir Strikes Back

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Forgetting Heroes

In Kashmir, People, Politics on 2 October, 2008 at 5:39 pm

This is just one of the ills that ail our civil struggle. Absence of self-introspection has plagued our society tremendously, we tend to forget our own sacrifices way too easily, detrimental to our own cause.

Asiya Andrabi’s words are almost always to get media attention. If she were as honest in demanding succour for those martyred and injured as her words claimed to be, she (or her organisation, since she is in Jail right now; on a different note: Kashmir suffers from a lack of Organisations, there are only individuals (read leaders lacking even the basic sense of leadership)) would have fought for their rights in a similar manner she fought for the closure of liquor shops in Kashmir. Geelani definitely has taken a leaf from this news item:

Seven-year-old Bisma looks shabby in ragged clothes. There are no chances of her getting a new pair on Eid. The father who used to get her dresses every Eid is no more. He was killed by Hindu fanatics during the economic blockade of the Valley in August.

According to Jigri the president of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) president Prof Bhim Singh paid for the admission of the children in a private educational institution.

“No body else has come to the rescue of the children,” she said.

Greater Kashmir

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Zardari’s Good News May Be No News At All

In Kashmir, News, Politics on 11 September, 2008 at 12:57 am

Zardari, in his first press conference after being sworn in as President of Pakistan said:

“Insha Allah, we will have some good news” on Kashmir

and

he said [that] the PPP government will consult all political forces in Pakistan, both inside and outside Parliament, to forge some kind of a strategy to resolve the Kashmir issue.

This will be taken to the Kashmir Committee in Parliament, Zardari said, adding the work done through back-channel diplomacy will also be part of this. Indian Express

Definitely nothing is in the pipeline right now, one should really not expect anything huge (at most the good news may be opening of trade route) before (or even after) the Indian elections (and not certainly from this man, read later on why). His second statement makes it obvious that work (of whatever sort) has to be started and is not yet done on the Kashmir issue. As he says, PPP will consult parties, forge a strategy which will be taken to the Kashmir Committee. And one should also not forget that as fate has it for Kashmir, no news which has been delivered by external forces has been good for Kashmir since the last 61 years. The only good news Kashmiris should expect and look forward to is the news we, the Kashmiris create and deliver. As the present non-violent movement evolves, Kashmir may see a bright new day, not so soon maybe, but not too far either.

The separatists in Kashmir have welcomed the dialogue process cautiously and they should not pin too many hopes on it either, Kashmiris have been time and again packed under words and abbreviations, be it the CBMs, the Healing Touch, the Formulas and now Good News!

Geelani:

“We won’t accept any decision which is thrust on Kashmiris. Solution has to come according to the aspirations of the people of J&K
Greater Kashmir

Yasin Malik:

“In the eyes of people of Kashmir, dialogue institution has lost its sanctity, because for the last 62 years dialogue process couldn’t yield any results. To restore the sanctity, this dialogue process must be time bound and transparent,” Greater Kashmir

Mirwaiz:

“As Kashmiris we have always welcomed Indo-Pak dialogue, but unfortunately Kashmiris were never allowed to be part of it. We welcome Zardari Sahib’s statement, but till Kashmiris aren’t part of it, it won’t deliver.” Greater Kashmir

Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat ud Dawa (formerly LeT) has claimed that Zardari’s policy will be no different than Musharraf and warned Zardari of trouble if the policies are not changed.

…warned that if the president-elect Asif Ali Zardari and his government did not change the policies of the former president, Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan would be in great trouble.

Hafiz Saeed claimed that Zardari’s policy would only strengthen Musharraf’s policies. Greater Kashmir

Musharraf actually had no policy on Kashmir, he just put a gag on the Jihadi organisations operating from Pakistan and that worried the top-bosses of these organisations, since liberation of Kashmir from India and merger with Pakistan appears to be their only goal. A goal a majority of Kashmiris are not comfortable with. Over 75% of Kashmiris want complete independence from India and Pakistan. Changing One master for Another is not really what the Kashmiris are demanding. The viability of independence as an option has been discussed elsewhere by Kashmir Bloggers and is not the topic of discussion in this post. Still, those who talk about Kashmir being a land-locked country, we do all know that no country in the world exists in isolation and Kashmir had survived fine without India till 1947, so no worries on that front. It should also be noted that the UN Resolution of Self Determination did include the option of Complete Independence but it was dropped after extensive lobbying by the then Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Zafarullah Khan

The indulgence of the Jihadi organisations in any form at this point of time will be counter-productive for Kashmir. Kashmir has risen without any leader(s) asking them to and the protests will continue to evolve in a non-violent manner. Any act by the Jihadi organisations to lead or include guns will cause irrecoverable harm to Kashmir. Even Indian politicians are unable to peg this uprising on Pakistan, ISI or the Jihadi Organizations and they are looking for a chance to do so and Hafiz Saeed might give them just that.

And about Zardari, one should not expect much from Zardari, who is disliked in Pakistan apparently more than Musharraf was, here is a review of what Pakistani Bloggers think about this man:

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Adnan's Crazy Blogging World]

General Zardari As President

We are so lucky that we are ruled by drunk bearucrats, corrupt army generals and offcial dacoits!

Pakistan Zindabad!!

Adnan’s Crazy Blogging World

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Islamabad Metblog]

So We Get A New President

Allah save t[h]e country now … I wonder how many months it’ll take to have the whole country sold .. you think it can be done in Days?

Islamabad Metblog

This Is Zaradris Pakistan [Courtesy And Copyright of Lahhore Metblog]

Welcome To Mr. Zardari’s Pakistan

Benazir actually gave Pakistan as her last dowry gift to her widower. But I don’t think even she would have ever thought that Mr. Zardari would one day become “President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. In fact when I voted for PPP in last election, I never thought that PPP will make such a mockery of the mandate given by people of Pakistan.

Lahore Metblog

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Rebirth Of Kashmir

In Kashmir, Politics on 9 September, 2008 at 7:12 pm

The Rebirth Of Kashmir is a beautiful post by David Lepeska, an American journalist who has done a stint of reporting in Kashmir.

This post of his captures and does justice to the emotions of Kashmiris apart from being a decent analytical view on the present situation in Kashmir -and he is honest to Kashmir, since having stayed and interacted with the people of Kashmir he knows the ground reality – unlike the desktop Indian journalists who, often never having visted Kashmir, write what they feel and think, not what the truth is.

The police and Indian army troops, armed to the teeth and out in force earlier in the day, have melted away. How do you attack someone laughing and dancing joyously as he denounces you and your country?

Yes, many protesters are vehemently denouncing their oppressor, India, and celebrating Pakistan and Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. But these are less acts of allegiance, more expressions of Kashmiri unity, as separatist and Muslim.

So while Kashmir remained beautiful the shadows of the past and a lingering threat darkened the days.

No longer. The floodgates have opened and Kashmiris are releasing two decades of pain, anger, fear, frustration and loss – the pent-up emotions of the conflict generation. It is not a revolution as much as an evolution. We are witnessing the rebirth of Kashmir. For now, the insurgency is over, giving way to a broad-based non-violent movement for azadi.

And for my money, this is how freedom arrives. Not from the barrel in a gun. Not with a knock at your door in the dead of night. But from a seething, jeering, bopping mass of one.

All Over The Place

David Lepeska had also written about Kashmiri Bloggers for The Kashmir Observer. His blog has some other interesting posts and pictures on Kashmir also.

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I Will Quit If…

In Kashmir, Politics on 8 September, 2008 at 11:47 am

Omar Abdullah, a sad progeny of one of the greatest leaders of Kashmir, however controversial, Sheikh Abdullah, is no different than the gun-wielding Special Task Force personnel desperate to kill a Kashmiri. He is no different than the other henchmen of Indians in Kashmir, be it the Muftis, the Azads or the Ansaris or the hundreds of shameless and guiltless Kashmiris on the payrolls of one of the biggest daemon-cracy of World. These same people claimed all these past years that all is well with Kashmir on one hand and on the other helped execute one of the worst possible state-sponsored terrorism on the hapless people of Kashmir. These idiots had forgotten all along, rather stupidly that the desire for freedom can not be quelled by force- direct, indirect or psychological. I call them idiots, for their lack of understanding, for what they have done to our home, not theirs , since their homes stand protected by their paymasters away for Kashmir, for in Kashmir they should never imagine a home.

Omar Abdullah, the chameleon that he is, recently had claimed that

I WILL QUIT IF unbridled force IS UNLEASHED ON MY INNOCENT PEOPLE!

This statement, widely circulated in the press, and put on a blog by another henchman of India, a Kashmiri Leader, who claims the impossible in his introduction:

I am a kashmiri but i love both India and Kashmir.

For Victory Always

First of all I do not know how Omar claims Kashmiris to be my people, even if one would ignore the fact that he has no moral right to call Kashmiris my people and take the sham elctions as a yard stick, he lost from the National Conference’s stronghold rather shamelessly. He has not been elected even once and there he goes!

And if all that India has been unleashing all these months is not unbridled force, I wonder what would be! Ofcourse he has not resigned.

Then, to save his vote bank, and gain with a possible BJP government at the centre in the future, National Conference has welcomed the Amarnath Land Accord:

“a very good sign”.

This accord has been called as Immoral and Illegal by noted columnist A. G. Noorani and Mr. Noorani further elobaorates on how India will treat a demand for restoring the Article 370, the political gimmick used by Abdullah since long.

If the State can thus bend its knees before the Sangh parivar on an issue like this, what hopes of justice can Kashmiris entertain when it comes to restoring the raped Article 370 to a status of worth and respect?

And Now, Omar Abdullah Has Turned To Guiding The people Of Kashmir.

‘I do not believe that independence for Kashmir is a feasible or a viable option and I stand by that,’

Whoever told you that the people of Kashmir care for what you think?! Just like the ancient times you have strong political and family relation with India, there was a time when Kings and Queens would marry into different empires to strengthen their ties, that is what you have done, don’t we all know that your sister married Sachin Pilot. Strong ties anyone would say.

‘I believe that you can give Kashmir independence but you cannot give Kashmir freedom under the circumstances that prevail within the subcontinent – India, Pakistan and China,’ Abdullah argued.

So maybe we should shift Kashmir to a more viable location?

Be that as it may, it’s not my job to follow popular mood,’

You are a jobless politician vying for attention and some media space and let me gaurentee you you have got media space.

‘It needs political handling.

You had 61 years, you won’t get a day more Mr. Abdullah. We want no more of your task forces and unholy matrimonies.

What happened was a spontaneous eruption, arising out of the fear that the economic blockade brought into people’s minds,’

Economic blockade! You kidding who? Bullets haven’t stopped Kashmiris demand for Freedom, you think an Economic Blockade will put fear into peoples minds??

it’s not as bad as 1990, because in 1990 people like myself, my party colleagues, we were all fleeing,’

Ofcourse all of your people were fleeing for their lives. Why are you lying though, you didn’t flee. Wait a minute! You were not exactly in Kashmir then, had you even visted kashmir in 1990’s? When was it that you learnt Kashmiri, 2001?

And, A Question For You Omar Abdullah

When was the last time you saw a crowd such as this attend your political rally? And you call it popular mood! It is not facebook where you set your mood, it is a pity you have not yet understood Kashmir and if you and your henchmen don’t, you will soon be fleeing Kashmir, and the next time you return it will be to answer a Tribunal on War Crimes.

However Bad, Atleast They Playing Along.

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Chameleons

In Kashmir, News, People, Politics on 22 August, 2008 at 8:01 pm

The mainstream politicians, scared of being the target of public ire, are talking the good talk these days. Be it Abdullah or Mufti, both of them have supported the Hurriyat demand of opening of trade routes between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, revocation of special powers to the forces in Kashmir, release of prisoners languishing in Jails and even of Azadi. What one remains amazed at is that were they blind till now to the true desire of every Kashmiri? Why did they, as the rest of the India, need to see hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris on roads to know what the heart desires? Abdullah has dared to speak about Azadi, only after some prominent Indians have done so. Are they so naïve to think that a Free Kashmir will put the reigns of power in their hands?! That will never happen! Ms. Mufti & Mr. Abdullah should better keep quite and not indulge in chameleon talk, for they have damaged the cause of Kashmir like no other.

Kashmir Strikes Back

In History, India, Kashmir, News, People, Politics on 19 August, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Truth has always been relative to a people’s a belief. Truth for one nation is sacrilege for another. This has been true for Kashmir since forever. The Truth about Kashmir has taken such contours and colours for the people of India – that it is nothing less than blasphemy for the People of Kashmir. The Indian people have always wanted to see the Truth about Kashmir by eyes that have been blinded by a pride in their country, a pride that is build on rhetoric rather than reality – perhaps doing that does not weight down too heavily on their consciousness.

Kashmir = Terrorism / Kashmiri = Terrorist

Two words from a dictionary, Terrorism and Terrorists is the metamorphosis of a Nation – Kashmir and a living and bleeding people – the Kashmiris, for the Government, the People and the Media of India. The blood of Kashmiri people keeps safe the so-called integrity of the India, the largest Daemon-cracy of the World. The BLind INdian meDIA (Blindia) has always seen, heard and reported the plight of Kashmir with its blind eyes, deaf ears and biased radio waves. This all, coupled with the image of a vibrant and thriving Tourism (which has never been the largest bread-and-butter earner for a Kashmiri as has always been purported) and a (defunct) Peace Process in Place has helped the Indian Government unleash a reign of terror unseen elsewhere. Oppression, torture, disappearances, maiming, raping and genocide (Yes, Genocide) has continued abated for two decades.

Indira, The Slave of Delhi, The Peace Process And A Spark

The blame of the Kashmir problem is shared by many shoulders: the British, the Governments of the Dominions of India and Pakistan, the Right Wing Hindu Groups (ever since JanSangh), the Muslim Conference (later National Conference), Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, Nehru, Jinnah, Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah. One of these names stands the tallest. It was none other than Indira Gandhi whose earnest desire to control the State Of Jammu and Kashmir, in a similar manner as the provinces of India, that destroyed the straw-strong relationship of India and Kashmir. Her reign saw bullying and imprisonment (following the foot steps of  her father Nehru) of one of the strongest ever democratically elected Kashmiri Leaders – Sheikh Abdullah and thereafter leading an appointed and dictated to democracy in Kashmir after throwing the Kashmir State Flag to tatters (revocation of Autonomy).

Even the creation of Bangladesh, an extension of Kashmir politics, did not satiate her. Was it the fear of losing Kashmir to Pakistan that made her act this way? We will never know but indeed it was one of her progenies during the emergency who attempted to do what she did and he failed as miserably as she had (Kashmir never saw peace even after the revocation of Autonomy). Two decades behind bars may have broken the will of Sheikh Abdullah and he may have joined hands with her (Sheikh Abdullah would later consider his ‘coalition’ with Indira as the greatest mistakes of his life) but force and the nozzles of Kalashnikovs can never suppress the desire of a Nation to be free!

Oppression in different forms is the tool Congress has been using to suppress Kashmiris. When Congress dispatched its loyal than the King slave (Mufti Sayeed of PDP had laid the carpet), Ghulam – e –Dilli (Slave of Delhi, Ghulam nabi Azad), to Kashmir, its policy was in act once again and it was hopeful of reigning in Kashmir for good. The mistrust of the Kashmiri people, whose seeds were sown by Indira Gandhi, had grown into a full fledged plant and Congress, wrongly thought, that use of force and non-force in subtle and not so subtle manners was the best way to quell the rising.

The Peace Process, initiated by the BJP, acted as a decent cover for the Congress. The Peace Process was a celebration,  it was a time to rejoice and bask in the glory of the good relations India and Pakistan were developing. People were flying in and out of Kashmir. A lot was going down in the name of Kashmir: Indian and Pakistani actors kissing on screen were claiming to be doing so for Peace; Sufi Singers flew in, sang a song or two and talked about the essence of peace and how music helps further peace; Journalists from Pakistan flew in, talked to and listened to Kashmir University students and never wrote back what they heard; Ambassadors of exotic countries teed off at the Royal Spring Golf Course, shared a joke or two and talked about the beauty of Kashmir; Junoon’s concert in Srinagar was supposedly aimed at Peace in the South Asian sub-continent.

The blood of a hundred thousand Kashmiris had been treaded on for long by politicians; the Peace Process gave a lot more people a chance to do the same, for personal glory and fame. The Peace Process was never meant for the Kashmiri people in the first place.  The Peace Process, the Healing Touch and the Confidence Building Measures never made an iota of difference to the lives of Kashmiri people.

While all these abbreviations (CBM etc. etc.) were being thrown around the hapless people of Kashmir were seeing no real progress and no hope. The atrocities within the cities had reduced visibly but not in reality. Villages saw no respite at all, mortars turned more homes into rubble than ever, people kept disappearing and custodial death was still not news for Kashmir. As the International Media got stuck with covering Sufi Concerts, killings of an unprecedented nature took place in Kashmir:  young boys aged 8 thru 14 were shot dead; a 19 year old tortured with hot iron rods and killed; a young man was frisked and immediately shot (the personnel were later rewarded 100,000); a 75 year old man was brutally attacked by an ambush party; a handicapped person, limping his way home, was murdered. All these were dubbed Mistaken Identity Killing, but how does one mistake an 8 or 75 year old to a militant or for that matter a person limping home! While Kashmiris were killed, the CRPF and the Army was being praised, rewarded and supported by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister  once claimed that less people died in Kashmir by bullets compared to the road accidents elsewhere! He even had the audacity to compare the number of women raped in Kashmir and elsewhere. Oppression grew in a well planned manner: the killings were solitary, targeted and always of innocent people. Protests would roar and then ebb out as they were dealt with strongly. Sadly each incident was forgotten by the people. To keep the people distracted, development of no real importance was undertaken at amazing speed and the people, for some time, fell to it: an Amusement park was constructed; gardens to which entry was restricted earlier were opened up; forts were lighted up and a large (allegedly one of the largest in the world) tulip garden was laid! At the same time changes in the administration were being effected: Non- Kashmiris now held all the top executive decision making posts in Kashmir, this was akin to the pre-90’s Kashmir, when Kashmiri Pandits were appointed to all executive decision making posts. Fear was being instilled into the people’s minds and by appointing Non-Kashmiris the government was firming its grip on Kashmir. The obvious resistance indeed decreased in Kashmir.

One is reminded of Niccolo Machiavelli’s words:

“…remember that as resistance decreases, suppression increases and the peace offered by suppressive regimes is often no more than the peace of prison or of the grave…”

However a people, any people, can only be lured by fake promises of peace, of progress and of development for so long. The desperation was growing, a burst out had to happen, the people did realise that the peace offered by suppressive regimes is no more than the peace of grave, all that was needed was a spark and the Land Transfer and the Economic Blockade provided just that.

A Few Hectares Of Land

The transfer of a few hectares of land being transferred was not the issue (there were some issues associated with the land transfer which I will talk about in a later post), as I pointed out the desperation had grown to such a peak that it just needed a spark and the land transfer provided just that akin to the rigged elections of 1987. As much as the BJP, the VHP and the people of Jammu tried, they failed in giving the protests a communal colour as not a single Yatri was harmed inKashmir, unlike the burning of Kashmiris elsewhere; which in itself is a testimony to the character of Kashmiris and their real demand. The protests were so spontaneous and evolved in such a massive and disciplined manner that even the Hurriyat was taken aback and they definitely had no plan to direct the protests in the beginning. The APHC might have thought, and in some ways rightly so, that the protests would die out like all the others in the past, but that did not happen this time. Even though no strike call was given by APHC, the people spontaneously came out on streets demanding the revocation of the order. The order was revoked and the government of the day had to resign. There was jubilation in the air for some time. Since the Land Transfer was never the issue, Kashmir was back on the streets, this time arguably against the economic blockade but as the protests grew the people forgot and ignored the land transfer, the economic blockade and demanded no roads and no electricity.

The people demanded just one thing: Freedom. And its hundreds of thousands of people out on streets day and night.

A group of people, holding a big banner inside the TRC ground, had a clear message that was making rounds inside the ground: “No jobs. No roads. No gardens. No financial packages—we want freedom.”

Perhaps the most telling placard carried by a quiet youngster, sitting in one corner of the ground, had a message of revolution in Kashmir. “You can kill a revolutionary but you cannot kill a revolution”.

Greater Kashmir

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You Can Only Understand It If You’re Kashmiri Or Have Lived There

In India, Kashmir, People, Politics, Srinagar on 24 February, 2008 at 7:27 pm

There is just one photograph in this blog that has not been credited with the name of the photographer, the photograph captured by Ami Vitale, is this blog’s avatar. This photograph captures the true essence of Kashmir. It is a mixture of contrasts: clear yet hazy; full of hope despite the pale of gloom enveloping it, much like the contrasts of Kashmir; the boatman is paddling to a barely visible distant shore: the shore of freedom, of peace, of dignity, of all that eludes Kashmir, many of these themes are central to the idea of this blog.

Kashmir Blog's Avatar

At last!

Photo courtesy and copyright of Ami Vitale

FRONTLINE World’s flashPOINT is showcasing Ami Vitale’s photographs . It is an indispensable and striking journey across the varied faces of Kashmir, of hope and fear, of celebration and pain. It expresses the emotions bottled up within Kashmiris in a manner I have never seen elsewhere.

Help

Towards The Heavens!

This child looks for helps towards another someone, who has probably lost the someone she would look towards.

Seething Anger

Stay Away!

The obvious seething anger towards the system, the government, the occupying force.

Desire To Crush

Knight In Shinning Armour!

Or the face of Occupation.

Ami Vitale has captured the tragedy of Kashmir both at the hidden personal level and the obvious larger scale or the contrasts within the society of Kashmir. In the audio narration, I was stuck by how Ami Vitale has observed the blending of the Pheran (the long robe worn by Kashmiris in Winter) and Kashmiri Poplar Trees (Kashmiris poplars are not akin to the evergreen European Poplars as I have learnt) and showing a not too obvious connection between land and man.

Connected To Land

The stories of women sufferings in Kashmir have been criminally neglected by the people of Kashmir, which has not augured well for anything in Kashmir. The women in Kashmir by suffering in silence gave the strong foundations needed for a movement and possibly this is the story Ami wants to tell through her photographs:

I spent a lot of time with women and inside homes, and I think a lot of the work shows their suffering. I don’t think it was intentional. It was just that I spent the most time with Kashmiri women, and I felt that they needed their voices heard, because they have one of the more difficult positions. They have to quietly endure their suffering.

Source: FRONTLINE/World

Like many other neutral observers to Kashmir, Kashmir has changed her as a human being:

I think it’s obviously changed me as a human being — I look at everything differently.

Source: FRONTLINE/World

And has understood the perils of being a Kashmiri

They’d say, ‘When I leave home in the morning, I have no guarantee of returning alive.’ It’s so real, to understand that kind of fear… I think you can only understand it if you’re Kashmiri or have lived there.

Source: FRONTLINE/World

However, not surprisingly, the comments from Indians in the showcase are no different than what a Kashmiri should expect and anyone trying to showcase Kashmir’s truth is yet another suspect, like all other Kashmiris. Ami Vitale was not in Kashmir to take pretty pictures:

I’m not there to make pretty pictures. It’s really to convey something and hopefully affect at least one other person. Those people have allowed me to be there, and that’s something I respect and honour. You can’t betray them. There are so many moments when I see great pictures, but I won’t take them because it feels wrong.

Source: FRONTLINE/World

Flawed History

While as FRONTLINE/World has done a commendable job of reporting Kashmir through the Showcase of Ami Vitale’s photographs and Anuj Chopra’s Dispatch, it has failed to give a clear view of Kashmir’s history in the Background, which is a flawed and simplistic version of Kashmir’s history, possibly because it has been taken from various web sites and is not a FRONTLINE feature:

By the time of partition in August 1947, Singh had not decided which country to join. In October 1947, in an attempt to take control of the region, armed tribesman from Pakistan’s northwest frontier province invaded Kashmir. The maharaja requested armed assistance from India, and in return, he acceded to India.

Source: FRONTLINE/World

This is a totally simplistic depiction of a critical historical event, a lot more happened preceding the Mahraja’s alleged accession to India and thereafter.

and recommended a referendum to debate Kashmir’s accession to India. Decades later, the referendum has yet to occur, and the status of Kashmir remains in dispute.

Source: FRONTLINE/World

The referendum as suggested by the United Nations is not to debate Kashmir’s accession to India, but a referendum allowing the people of Kashmir to voice their choice between India, Pakistan and Independence (the clause of Independence mysteriously vanished from future Security Council Resolutions, due to the efforts of Pakistani envoy to the United Nations).

By 1989 the clash over Kashmiri identity and independence had slowly morphed into a religious battle, pitting Islam against Hinduism and drawing religious radicals into the fray.

Source: FRONTLINE/World

Another totally wrong notion of the Kashmir Conflict, the roots of Kashmir conflict were never in religion, it was the state oppression, the failure of Sheikh Abdullah, the unceasing mistrust of Delhi for Kashmiris that helped open the cork of the anger that was building within. The 1987 rigged elections proved a turning point. Honesty from Delhi (read Indira Gandhi) was overdue for long and the people could no longer be lured with empty and broken promises. Dignity had been denied to them for long. It was Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (found in the 1970’s in Britain) that led the war against oppression which was not much different than rebellion against the Maharaja of Kashmir in 1931, much before rest of the sub-continent woke to the concept of Freedom. Hizbul Mujahideen’s entry into the Kashmir rebellion was a well thought of move by Pakistan, which was already losing what it had gained in Punjab. Such important series of events requires a much more critical understanding than a simple paragraph.

Kashmir: The Disappeared.

I Am A Muslim And I Have A Beard. Right?

On the way to the hotel, two soldiers stop us.

“He’s a tourist,” one of the soldiers says, glancing at me. No one asks for my credentials and I’m told to step aside.

The other passenger and the driver, both wearing pherans, are aggressively questioned and searched.

While the passenger grows more agitated, Abdul, the driver, exudes a gentle radiance, patiently responding to their interrogation.

“I’m a Muslim, and I have a beard. Right? That makes me a suspect,” he tells me, after we are finally allowed to move on. “I’m used to this harassment.”

Source: Kashmir: The Disappeared

For Ami Vitale’s personal website, click here

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1521 For 1

In India, Kashmir, News, Politics, Tourism on 18 February, 2008 at 12:12 pm

The figures are out; it is a startling and disturbing revelation of figures by the Central Reserve Police (with Kashmir being the barrack for the reserve!). According to Sify News there are just around 200-250 militants active in Kashmir.

According to the official, only 225 to 250 trained militants of various outfits are currently active in the Kashmir Valley.

Sify News

1521 Well Trained Forces For 1 Militant

0.7 millions troops for 460 militants (other news sources put the number at 400, 450 and >1000; the average is 460) i.e., 1521 well trained, fully armed, professionally backed, free to move and immune from the laws of the land men for every single badly trained and bearded militant with restricted movement and immune from nothing but his fear.

What do these numbers tell us? These numbers do not merit keeping gun-pointing and ready to kill 0.7 million troops in Kashmir or do they?

India Wins…

For those who claim that India is just rooting out terrorism from Kashmir, then India has definitely won. Hasn’t it? 460 militants should not too tough to deal with.

…Not

For those who want to know, this is a clear indication that the fight in Kashmir is not just with the 460 odd always on run militants but something greater. What is that greater? That greater is the burning desire in every Kashmiri for Freedom. The never dying desire to breath the crisp fresh air of Freedom; Freedom from slavery, subjugation, torture and oppression or perhaps just the freedom from having to carry an Identity Card for moving outside our homes in our land or still just perhaps the freedom to know that every morning won’t bring the news of deaths by bombs and bullets. Increasing number of tourists visiting Kashmir or decreasing number of militants is not an indicator of peace, as the Government is trying to potray. Kashmir is a volcano about to burst, like it did in 1989.

The Stress Of 460 Militants

Is it really the 460 odd militants keeping the armed forces on toes in Kashmir? Why aren’t the troops being reduced in Kashmir? Why seek further therapeutic help (earlier measures have failed) for its men.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier measures taken by Indian army and paramilitary forces to de-stress their jawans working in Kashmir had failed as there was no decline in the number of suicide and fratricide incidents.

Sources said the army has decided to take the help of music therapy to de-stress soldiers working in hazardous conditions in Kashmir. “the army has in fact organized a meditation music therapy concert in one of its commands in Kashmir,” they said.

NewsBlaze

Two Failures Together

India has been seeking help from Israel , but to no avail. Israel has equally failed to curb the resistance movement in Palestine. Two failures together won’t make a success story.

Why all these claims without even a proposal to reduce troops though allegedly back of Hizbul Mujahideen has been broken!

We have broken the back of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen: CRPF

Hindu

Propaganda For What Or Whom?

One can not ignore the claim of Hizbul Mujahideen

“Revealing the minimal figures of active militants by IG CRPF is actually propaganda to boast morale of its men who are committing suicides, as they have become tired.” Islam said.

KashmirWatch

Not just that, even if we agree that the numbers are wrong, it is not just the militants that India fears, it is the people. With elections not too far away, a sense of normalcy has to be instilled in the world much before the elections (or their absence) takes place.

Hizbul Dares India!

“If the strength of militants has declined then why India has positioned lakhs of troops in valley. Why don’t they dare to decrease their strength,” he said.

KashmirWatch

India Dares Not!

“It would release the pressure from the militants who are on the run at the moment. It is not the right time to talk about reducing the strength of security forces at the moment.

We should focus on eliminating the militancy from the valley,” the IG said while replying to a question.

News Today

Who Rescued Whom?

In Kashmir, News, People, Politics on 12 February, 2008 at 9:34 pm

One has to marvel at this man. It is no wonder that he remains as indispensable for the Gandhi family (aka Congress) as he did during Indira Gandhi’s infamous emergency. It is people like him and Makhdoom Amin Faheem of Pakistan who define (honest) slavery of the modern era.

It was all over the blind Indian media (blindia) and they gave it the space and the effect it was meant for. It hasn’t been since Sheikh Abdullah’s times that a Kashmiri politician has been able to create a fake truth, spread it like wildfire and then bask in its glory! Even Farooq-I-Like-To-Discoe -Abdullah failed to create such a massive sensation -using the media effectively- over what shall never go down in history – an issue that won’t stay more than a few days in people’s memory – but has created its desired effects and proved, in not so many words, the inefficiency of Mufti Sayed’s administration.

It was not a path breaking roadmap for the resolution of Kashmir. It was a simple rescue mission. The army (and the police) had rescued about 30 people who had been trapped in an avalanche. The army (and the police) had done it again; they had helped the sad people of Kashmir. It wasn’t a rescue mission that would blow the brains of rescuers around the world but the media coverage was aimed at putting to shame National Geographic!

So far, so good!

You may argue, what’s wrong in it? With elections (or the absence of them) near, a little self-glorifying by the Chief Minister should not be shouted at, or should it be?

The Actual Footage

The little actual footage showed the people and not the army (and the police) rescuing. It was the rescued people who were carrying the old and elderly and it was the rescued people who were clearing the path as they moved on (makes one to think which path did the army (and the police) take? And no it was not snowing). The army (and the police) were more than willing to pose for the cameras! The army (there was no police visible) did not look exhausted even though they had supposedly walked miles in snow for the rescue.

The rescue was over and the people of Kashmir were all happy!

However, the government pulled one more trick out of their sleeves and this time the blindia looked side-a-ways:

The Act

Even as the chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was reviewing the post-snowfall situation in various valley districts, his administration pushed thousands of Srinagar-bound passengers into a virtual hell on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

No less than 3,000 people, including a large number of women and children, have been caught in one of the worst traffic jams on either side of Patnitop.

The Army

“It is only militarily convoys which have free run on this road,” said another stranded passenger, Rafiq Ahmad Bhat.

The Aim

A woman passenger Mehmooda who was crying on phone said that children in the bus were demanding food. “But I have nothing to offer them. This Government is lying. They allowed the traffic from Jammu to kill our children of hunger and cold,” she said. The passenger said that it was a deliberate attempt by the Government to subject hundreds of people to hardship.

The Admittance

Admitting that the highway was not totally fit for vehicular traffic, the senior superintendent of police, Traffic (Highway), Dinesh Rana, told Greater Kashmir that movement of vehicles in slippery stretches on either side of Patni Top, the movement of vehicles was hazardous. “The highway is not fit for traffic between Patni Top and Jawahar tunnel and it would require another two days to make it traffic worthy,” he said.

Interestingly, it was the same Rana who had, on Saturday evening, told Greater Kashmir that the traffic had been restored fully on the highway.

[Quotes source: Greater Kashmir]

The Administration of Mufti Sayed

In 2005, Waltang, a village in Kashmir was destroyed by avalanches. People were dead and so was the government. The government, dead in its own slumber, was unaware of the destruction. It was the local newspaper Greater Kashmir that received information about the entrapment of people and published the same. The government instead of accepting its mistake went ahead and issued arrest warrants against the Editor of the newspaper for spreading rumours and creating panic among the people. Azad, through his fantastic understanding of the media, tried to prove his superiority but failed miserably for the people of Kashmir.

The Army (and the police)

From a prevous post I Can Kill Everybody:

Killing in Kashmir is not uncommon but gradually it appears that the police and the army see themselves as reincarnations of God on earth. Be it the illiterate gun totting policeman or his superior office, they both think that they are the Greater Beings, created to maim and kill the children, the young, the old and the women of Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir Police has turned over the past decade and a half from an organisation supporting the freedom struggle to a people more than happy to kill innocents and it will continue to grow evil. It has already graduated from beatings innocents to killing them, now they just need to expand their reach and increase the innocent death toll. Once India is confident that the police have been trained well to behave as colonial masters, as is the attitude of the army at present; it can reduce the presence of the army, flash a happy face to the world, confident and satisfied at the thought that the same role is being played by someone else. Lessons from the colonial masters, the British, has always inspired India: import officers who can act and behave as colonial masters, obtain the major chunk of the force from the local population and impose evil through them.

60 Years!

In India, Kashmir, News, People, Politics, Srinagar on 24 August, 2007 at 6:04 am

As India celebrated its 60 years of Independence, Kashmir shall have, in October, survived 60th years of  forced occupation, state oppression, humiliation, torture, arrests, rapes and killings.

I salute Kashmir for surviving and for still believing in a free  Kashmir, a Kashmir free from the clutches of state terror whether in form or in policy.

Not Even An All Weather Road Existed!

In History, India, Kashmir, Politics on 12 July, 2007 at 7:28 am

A comment by Umar Sheikh on the Jashn-e-Azadi blog:

Recently I was invited for dinner by a very hospitable Kashmiri Pundit family and while discussing Kashmir issue, their grandmother, who was around 80 years, broke down in tears and said to me that she will prefer to be in Kashmir in whatever condition rather than in India, she further added that we have nothing in common with India.

These words resonated in my mind and reminded me of a great Kashmiri Pundit leader, Ram Chandra Kak, a great Archaeologist and Prime minister of Kashmir who laid the foundation stone for Independent Kashmir and always advised Maharaja against joining India. He wanted Kashmiris to be free, independent, and masters of their own destiny.

After Maharaja signed Instrument of Accession under duress, he was charged for treason by the Indian Government and immensely humiliated during his court hearings and sent to jail for several years. After his release he retired from politics but always dreamt of Independent Kashmir. His political contribution towards Independent Kashmir is conveniently glossed over by Kashmiri Pundit scholars.

I found many in this forum asserting that Kashmir was always part of India without realising the fact that before 1947 Kashmir was not even connected to India by all weather road.

You may also want to read How Mahatma Gandhi Stalled Kashmir’s Independence.

The Terrorists Of Al-Qaeshmir

In India, Kashmir, News, People, Politics, Srinagar on 14 June, 2007 at 12:41 am

The Indian state and blindia (the blind Indian media) have been working tirelessly to brand Kashmiris as Terrorists and Fundamentalists and the Kashmiri Freedom Struggle as Terrorism. These endless campaigns have been successful within India, where people at large see the Kashmiris as terrorists and the human rights abuses the Kashmiris have to suffer at the hands of the Indian Army as the outcome of supporting the terrorists being pushed from across the border, conveniently coined as the Cross Border Terrorism (CBT).

Bollywood has lent a further helping hand by portraying Kashmiris as terrorists whenever and wherever they can. The most recent attempt was seen in Sarhad, starring Sanjay Dutt, in which the terrorist drives a vehicle with a Kashmir number plate. Both the Indian and the Pakistani armies are trying to neutralize the terrorist, the reference possibly being that Kashmiris are a bother for both nations.

Even though the smear-campaigns have worked in India, they have no takers in the west. The western media still sees Kashmir as a disputed territory. BBC, Encarta, CNN, Encyclopedia Britannica, National Geographic et al still refer to Kashmir as Indian or Pakistani controlled Kashmir as the case maybe. The issues of National Geographic on sale in India usually have an ugly rubber stamped on the maps of this region:the boundaries shown are not correct. Stamp or no stamp, it is not going to change how west sees Kashmir. Sending back or destroying copies of encyclopedia Britannica will effect no change in the policy of the west, that of Kashmir being a disputed territory pending final settlement.

The OC  The people in the west  are still struggling to understand the difference between Kashmir and Cashmere Shawls. The following conversation from Orange County (Season2, Episode 53) pretty much sums up the confusions still surrounding the word Kashmir.

Abigail Stevens: I was saying that what’s happening in Kashmir just shows us–

Summer: I know! Pashminas this season were so cute. I don’t go anywhere without my Cashmere purse!

The conversation continues with Abigail telling Summer that they were discussing the conflict in Kashmir and whether Kashmir should be independent or remain with India and then ask Summer her opinion!

 

Western Experts On Kashmir

 

 

Professor William Baker Kashmiris are not seen as terrorists by the west, not even extremists. These are the thoughts of an expert, Professor William Baker, on Kashmiris and their struggle:

On Kashmiris not being radicals:

Professor William Baker, who heads the California-based organization, Christians and Muslims for Peace, and is the author of Kashmir: Happy Valley, Valley of Death, says that people who live in the valley of Kashmir are not Islamic radicals out to establish a separate Islamic state.

“The people of Kashmir – those in the valley of Kashmir – are not radical Islamists wanting an Islamic state; they do not.”

On what the Kashmiris want:

“These people are extremely educated and open and free-minded and I’ve never met any Kashmiris in the valley who did not say that they don’t want to be owned by either country (India or Pakistan).”

 On the Indian/Pakistani occupation:

 “If one is an enemy if you oppose injustice, if one is an enemy is you oppose occupation, then okay, I am an enemy of anybody who occupies another country illegally or tortures or anything else, including my own country.”

 

The real threat, as the world perceives it, is from the Hindu extremists in India and not the Kashmiris Muslims.

 

chomsky

  Noam Chomsky

On the dangers of Hindu extremism

There are real dangers. The Hindu nationalist danger is certainly serious.


On the Indian Diaspora’s being more extreme 

…what I’ve seen of the Indian Diaspora … is that it tends to be more extreme, more pro-BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] than the native population would. At least that’s what I’ve seen.

The threat does come from Hindu extremist elements,the recent ban on Orkut is an example of the low level of tolerance for free speech. This news though has not been as widely covered by the blindia as was the ban by some militant groups in Kashmir last year on Music channels during the holy month of Ramadhan, yet another example of the working of blindia.

 

 The Indian Army who are mostly seen as saviors by the Indian population are not perceived as such by the western experts.

 

 K Alan feels:

There was something oppressive about the security presence in Srinagar and even out in the countryside. You really couldn’t get away from it. It’s like you were reminded, everywhere you looked, that there was a security problem. I could see how the people there might even feel like there was an occupying army because I do know some people feel that way.

History is witness to how India and its slaves in Kashmir ridicule Kashmir and Kashmiris- when innocent Kashmiris are killed in fake encounters, the government promises enquiries or rewards the killers; when innocent girls are exploited by the highest seats of government, the government shifts the case to a court outside Kashmir and reinstates the officers involved in the scandal; when people ask for roads they are shown the palaces the rulers will occupy and when people protest against the army – the Chief Minister promises the army utmost support. Despite all this, the international media and experts still do not buy India’s argument of Kashmiris being Terrorists and Kashmir a hot-bed of Islamic Terrorism. Frustrated, the Government has recently tried something more unique, more digital but even that will fall flat on their faces. The government of India is attempting to establish Al-Qaeda presence in Kashmir, which in their opinion should help them garner the much required American support. In the coming months we might see reports of Osama Bin Laden hiding in Kashmir and then we will see American Apache helicopters burning down the forests of Kashmir. The Chief Minister of Kashmir as well as the United Jihad Council has ruled out the presence of Al-Qaeda in Kashmir. UJC spokesman has said that Kashmiris know how to fight the war of freedom and there was no place for Al Qaeda whatsoever on Kashmiris’ soil.  However one needs to remain cautious as the government of India will go as far as it has to to cry out loud to the world that Kashmiris are terrorists and Kashmir a terrorism hot spot, but none of that will succeed, not today, not tomorrow.

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The Slave Who Wants A Palace

In Development, Innocent Killings, Kashmir, News, Politics, Srinagar on 10 June, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Kashmir is a unique place, unique in all manners. For an Indian it is a hotbed of Terrorism – worth destroying every inch of; for a Pakistani it is the centre of Jihad or freedom struggle -which they believe they are dying for; for an outsider it is the centre of nuclear focus and to some a beautiful valley which merits a visit and for a Kashmiri it remains what it has been for centuries- a home.

Then there is yet another breed of people who belong to no land and to no people. They only belong to their masters and it matters not who their masters are because as long as the master throws a bone their way they are more than glad to wage their tails, even when kicked. And, unfortunately such breeds of slaves rule the roost in Kashmir. The latest addition to this group of  opportunists and sycophant is the present Chief Minister of Kashmir and the pet-slave of Delhi- Ghulam-e-Dilli (Salve of Delhi) aka Ghulam Nabi Azad. In all the years that Kashmir has been ruled by a slave, this slave beats them all hands down. Maybe it is the good fate of Kashmiris (if they have any at all)  that his tenure is of three years for if he had six years the number of  Kashmiris arrested, tortured, maimed, raped and killed in custody or fake encounters would have been far greater than a human mind could fathom. His Mr. Clean image gets buried under the debris of pain that he has inflicted on the hapless Kashmiris and one just needs to take a broad view of the events to understand the devil that delves beneath the Karakuli cap.

This fool of a person in an attempt to justify the innocent deaths in Kashmir compares Kashmir to Bihar and has the guts to claim that the number of people killed in Bihar is far higher than in Kashmir. Only an idiot would compare deaths by state sponsored terrorism to deaths due to road accidents. Perhaps he wants to send a direct message to Kashmiris that they should embrace deaths at the hands of the military as a part and parcel of their lives  that will continue as long as Delhi survives in Kashmir, courtesy of slaves like him.

Azad does not stop at that, in his attempts to feel the powers bestowed to him by his masters he wants a palace for himself. Better infrastructure and roads are not needed in Kashmir, the requirement of the moment is a 60 room palace that shall cost the state 11 crore rupees, the palace shall be complete with 15 presidential suites overlooking the Dying Dal Lake. The suits are yet another attempt to blind the visiting dignitaries, by soaking them in the ambience, calm and quite that would surround them- deodar wood panelled walls, Khatamband ceilings, snow capped mountains overlooking a vast lake, to the truth about Kashmir- that its inhabitants continue to die because they dare to call it their home, their paradise.

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Is Hope Still Alive?

In History, Human Rights, Innocent Killings, Kashmir, People, Politics on 28 February, 2007 at 12:16 pm

The surfacing of the reality behind the recent fake encounter was not news for Kashmir. It’s been happening since 1989. The wounds of the Gaw Kadal massacre, the Sopore massacre and the Paribas Killings are still fresh in the minds of Kashmiris. Though Indians have shown sympathy towards the exodus of Kashmiris Pandits, which was a human tragedy, but they have always considered the wailings of the Kashmiris as propaganda. We are not talking about militants killed in an encounter. We are talking about innocents like Ghulam Hassan Padroo One Of The Four Boys Killed In Feb 2006 By The Army. Later Tagged As Mistaken Identity and the 19 year old boy who have been killed for the crime of being Kashmiris. In India it has become a crime to be a Kashmiri. God save a Kashmiri if he is unlucky to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A year back, on 24th February, four innocent children aged 8, 10, 18 and 18 were shot dead by the army in Kupwara. Somehow, as usual, the Indian media missed the news and as usual the army tagged the deaths as mistaken identity? How can a four year old be mistaken for a militant in broad day light? Quite recently a handicapped singer was shot on spot, without any provocation, by an army personnel, who later on claimed something to the effect that it was his (the singer’s) time to die! Just like Bush, God spoke with him too. This is the reality that Kashmiris have to live with and they do.

Sakooter writes about the epidemic of fake encounters that plagues Kashmir:

Over the past 18 years in Kashmir, thousands of people — civilians, who had no arms, vulnerable and weak — have disappeared. Many many amongst these have been killed in the so called “fake encounters” where in lieu of promotion, pride, power — men have killed men.

And the ones that are killed die.

Leaving dead and dying lives

What if the dead could rise up and open up the dark secrets that the murderers keep?

A sense of despair overwhelms one on seeing an entire nation turn blind to the sufferings of millions of people. However, somewhere in the dark, sometimes, one sees a tiny glimmer of hope. Hope indeed is never dead.

Pamela Philipose, of Indian Express, in her article J&K’s bodies of evidence has dared to pose a question to India

If Nithari, a village in Noida, has today become a byword for evil and institutional culpability, why should the anonymous villages of south Kashmir not hold a similar resonance?

She writes about the Gaw Kadal massacre and also nullifies Azad’s claim that Paddar’s killing was revealed because the government had already promised to punish all those found involved in innocent killings

The Azad government boasts that it took these vows extremely seriously and that is why incidents like the Paddar murder have come to light. In actual terms, if it weren’t for the persistence of Paddar’s family in trying to trace him, and the overconfidence of his killers who sought to pocket his mobile phone, this case too would have rested quietly in the grave.

On the Indian blogosphere also there are now quite some Indians who are daring to be different. Who are seeing beyond what the government would want them to see. Sujai has blogged extensively about Kashmir and has also come up with a solution to the Kashmir problem. Horizon Speaks and Manas are actively discussing Kashmir the way it should be: with an open mind.

Horizon Speaks writes about the recent fake encounter

The news of Fake Encounters really shaked my heart. From today onwards, I won’t be at the same mood seeing ‘routine’ killing of militants in Kashmir. As it was in the case of ‘Abu Hafiz’, the LeT Commander. Army sources told us that he was killed an ‘encounter’ with SOG (Special Operations Group) on 8th December. And the person who actually killed him, got an award of 120,000Rs (almost US$ 2700).

The conflict in Kashmir has been dragging on for 17 long years and very rarely have we seen an Indian feeling the pain of Kashmir as Pamela observes

Events in Jammu and Kashmir are perceived by the rest of the country as if through the wrong end of the telescope. The existing distance between the country and the state always ends up magnified, and crucial developments playing out in the region appear emptied out of their significance.

This has held true for Kashmir for too long. Maybe it will change. Maybe the change will remain limited to a small minority. Another Indian Blogger, Pr3rna , has also blogged about Paddar’s fake encounter. Even though Pr3rna has condemned the incident but Pr3rna expresses the same view, which most Indians, wrongly, hold.

The root cause of Kashmir issue was and we still believe, is- foreign militants or militants trained by Pakistan.

The present state of Kashmir is a consequence of its history. If the root cause of the Kashmir problem were the militants trained by Pakistan, the 0.7 Million strong army of India should have had no problem in containing and terminating the 2000 or so militants that presently operate in the valley; as Paul rightly comments in response to Pr3rna

I think the ‘root cause’ of Kashmir problems is not militants, that is an effect of the cause

Kashmiris Propaganda?

Pr3rna thinks that Manas has fallen into the Kashmiris Propaganda trap.

You have also fallen to the Kashmir propaganda.

1942 Soviet propaganda poster by Viktor Koretsky [public domain picture]

For quite some time now, the term Kashmiris Propaganda has become popular. This blog has been branded a propaganda machine for highlighting the innocent deaths. Maybe Kashmiris should suffer the death of their people in silence, maybe that’s what a lot of people want. But it is not going to happen. This blog (and blogroll) is an attempt to tell the truth, to whoever is listening.

According to wikipedia the techniques of propaganda transmission include

Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters.

Let us ask some questions and attempt to answer them.

How much time does an Indian spend on reading newspapers published from Kashmir in a day?

Not a second. Majority won’t know of the existence of newspapers published from Kashmir, let alone read them. If they did, they would know a lot more about the army in Kashmir than what the Jai Jawaan program tells them. They would know a lot more than just knowing that Shah Rush Khan was performing in Kargil. They would know about the bullets that destroy innocent homes.

How much time does an Indian spend on listening to the news blasting from Kashmiri/separatist owned radio stations or watching the propaganda ads, movies and documentaries playing 24X7 on Kashmiris separatist owned television channels?

Not a second, since the Kashmiris/separatists own/control no such media.

W hen was the last time an Indian student read about the history of Kashmir doctored by the Islamists Militancy Inc. of Kashmir?

Never. None exist.

H ow many leaflets and posters does an Indian come across that spoke of the atrocities of the army in Kashmir?

Never.

All an Indian reads, watches, discusses is what that the Government presents to him. The Indian newspapers, the Indian media, the Indian Bollywood, the Indian channels and the Indian books! We can also safely make the observation that an Indian never comes across Kashmiris propaganda through the aforementioned sources. What could then be the source of this Propaganda? It could either be the sixth sense that the Kashmiris have or the Kashmiris could be capable of producing invisible waves which infect the minds of Indians with Kashmiri propaganda. Take your pick!

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The Largest Daemon-cracy

In Human Rights, Innocent Killings, Kashmir, People, Politics, Srinagar on 13 February, 2007 at 1:33 am

Daemon-cracy

India might claim to be the largest democracy of the world, an economic Abdul Rehman Padroo's Wife And Kid 9courtesy of Greater Kashmir) super power on its way to become the next super power of the world but for Kashmir and Kashmiris it is a state that rewards killing of innocent Kashmiris with money, more power and commendations. The fact that India does indeed reward its forces for killing innocents was reflected in an earlier post and now we have official endorsement that indeed innocent Kashmiris are being killed for rewards.

For long the people of Kashmir have been claiming oppression at the hands of Indian Forces. However this fact is fiction for the majority of Indians, who in their naivety sitting and living miles away from the reality of Kashmir believe or want to believe that the army is stationed in Kashmir for the protection of Mother India. For them, it is the 700,000 troops which will sanctify the land from terrorists (read Kashmiris). It is the Muslim Kashmiris who are evil, it is the Kashmiris who threw out and murdered the Hindus of Kashmir. It is the Muslims of Kashmir who are the reason for all the evils of India, everyone else and everything else is holy but Kashmiris. The Indians want us to wail and cry for the Hindus who were allegedly prosecuted a thousand years back by Muslim invaders and ignore the killings of our brethren in our courtyards.

Indian Army, the people of India would want you to believe, is one of the most disciplined armies of the world, they are re-incarnations of the Gods, thus can not commit wrong. If you were to prove that the army does commit atrocities, they would call it collateral damage! Collateral damage they say is unavoidable. They say. We suffer. How can our death be collateral? Indeed, it is easy to label innocent deaths as collateral damage or better still brand innocent people as Foreign Terrorists and there you have the world endorsing your view. The world might endorse it, but the Kashmiris will not. They know the truth, the reality of the Indian state. India and Pakistan might buy our so-called leaders, but they can never buy a Kashmiri.

The blindia media

02 repressionThe Indians are not interested in the realities of Kashmir. When told the reality of Kashmir, they call it anti-national. For long the Kashmiris have seen the Indian Media distort the truth of Kashmir for their own cause. For long we have seen the Indian Media create false stories of prosecution by militants and for long we have seen the atrocities of the Indian Army brushed under the carpet.

Does the blind Indian Media (blindia) feed lies to the Indians because that’s what the Indian media (aka Government) wants or is it because the Indians are unwilling to accept the truth? It could be both ways or it is possible that after years of tuning the minds to think in a particular way (that a Kashmiri is a militant till and until proven otherwise) the government has succeeded and the Indians can no longer accept anything other than what they have been tuned to think and that is what the media will keep on feeding them. The people in India want to hear good things about their country. They can not even fathom the idea that the Indian Army can do any bad. For them, the Indian Army is a re-incarnation of God and whatever it does is right. It is always the Kashmiris, the God-damned Muslims who are evil. Kashmiris deserve death. Whether or not we Kashmiris deserve death, we sure are getting it.

The burnt black bear

The burning of a wild bear by some people in Kashmir revealed the hypocrisy and obsession with anything that is ant-Kashmiri of the Indian media and people. A wild bear was burnt by some people in a village in Kashmir. The reaction of the media and the people of India was enormous. The India media and the people wanted answers; they wanted to know how such a ghastly act could be committed by people. It reinforced and justified their already pre-tuned minds that Kashmiris are anything but humans. The Indian Media played its part by covering the ‘atrocity’ extensively. The people asked, they shouted and they wanted the people who committed the gravest of gravest atrocities behind the bars. Syed Ali Shah Geelani sometimes speaks total sense and this was one of those times:

“A month ago when a wild animal was killed by the people at Pulwama, people in Delhi resented the killing of the wild animal and said that wild animals in Kashmir are not safe, but the on other hand the innocent Kashmiris are being killed on the orders of the same people who are worried about the safety and security of wild animals in Kashmir,” he said adding that the series of the custodial killings are “worst kind of state terrorism.”

The Killing of a bear shocked India, the killing of innocent Kashmiris lulled India to sleep.

We need a kill, operations have dried up

“I am a carpenter. Farooq (Constable Farooq) knows. Please don’t kill me,” Abdul Rehman Padroo shrieked in fear, his hands folded. “Don’t listen to him. He is a dreaded Pakistani terrorist,” shouted Deputy Superintendent of Police Bahadur Ram. Then Padroo was shot.

courtesy of indian express

And the kill was Ghulam Hassan Padroo , a carpenter murdered by the forces since the killing fields had dried up.

Quite accidentally, an investigation into a missing man, revealed the truth about the security forces in Kashmir. The truth of murdering Kashmiris and branding them as foreigners. The truth that killing a Kashmiri and branding him as a foreigner does reward . The truth that the thousands of Kashmiris who have disappeared might have been killed by the army.

The accidental investigation and the brutality consequent revelation that innocents were being murdered by the government in Kashmir opened the Pandora’s Box, many more bodies were exhumed and more graves were uncovered. The killing fields of Kashmir were revealed and 18 more fake victims identified. Graves were found in abandoned army camps and somewhere in Kashmir, 30 people lie nameless in a graveyard. The opposition claimed that 6 more encounters were fake and the police discovered another scam within its rank. The families demanded death to the killers; the government suspended four cops, arrested two senior officials and ordered an investigation. An investigation in which the Indian government run BSNL is not cooperating. The army and the CRPF have started separate investigations. Investigations in Kashmir mean cover up and a continued license to the forces to kill.

It’s tough to put into words the feelings of living in a piece of land occupied by foreigners. It is tough to see our brethren getting killed for the crime of being a Kashmiri. It is tough to see people getting murdered in the most terrible manner for a few hundred thousand rupees and a few promotions.

In a post Kill a Kashmiri Win 100,000 Rupees, many Indians claimed that the person killed was indeed a terrorist. They needed proof that it was otherwise. We have answers and the proofs and what we see now is just the tip of iceberg but this will not change the reality of living in Kashmir. These revelations will in no way change the thinking of the Indian people who are busy worrying about the burnt black bear. These revelations will not change the government policy of repression and occupation as the revelations were accidental very much like the sex scam in Kashmir. The investigations in the sex scandal led to nothing as will be the case with these investigations.

Chief Minister agrees that innocents are killed for rewards

The Chief Minister of Kashmir has accepted the fact that killings do indeed happen for promotions and rewards. The Chief Minister, perhaps unknowingly, has accepted that the government rewards murders. Indeed the murders are shrouded in the cover of terrorism.

If any security person found guilty of killing any innocent for personal reasons like promotion, rewards, or appeasement of bosses, he won’t be spared in any case, as no body is above the law

courtesy of greater kashmir

Update

DNA test confirm charge, Army not cooperating

With a DNA report confirming that the man killed by troops as Lashkar militant Abu Zahid was in fact Abdul Rahman Padroo, a carpenter, the focus of investigations into the killing of six villagers in fake encounters on Thursday shifted to the Army.

J-K Police officers say the Army is not co-operating in the investigations into the fake encounter.

The J-K Police have already arrested 13 of their own men, including the then Senior Superintendent of Police, Ganderbal, Hansraj Parihar, and his deputy DSP Badur Ram.

courtesy of indian express

More from Indian Express

Where disappearance history began, in 1990

Taja’s search continues, for son and justice

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New Strategy: The Solution Of Kashmir!

In History, Human Rights, Kashmir, News, People, Politics on 27 January, 2007 at 4:31 pm

The end of armed struggle

As a good will gesture for the increased army deployment, continuing human-rights violations, custodial and enforced disappearances, massacres , rapes, daily humiliation and increased frisking of the Kashmiris (even women) by the Indian forces in Kashmir, the Mirwaiz has offered ‘to end the armed struggle.’

“We have already seen the results of our fight on the political, diplomatic and military fronts which have not achieved anything other than creating more graveyards.”

courtesy of greater kashmir

A bold and unpopular decision

Earlier, in a meeting breakfast with the APHC leaders, PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said: “Time has come for a bold decision, even if it is an unpopular one.”

courtesy of greater kashmir

An unpopular decision for whom? An unpopular decision for the people of Pakistan and India will be acceptable but an unpopular decision for the people of Kashmir is not a bold decision but a sell out. A sell out which will have far reaching consequences.

The new strategy

The Mirwaiz has claimed that political, diplomatic and military fronts have yield nothing. True. By saying so, the Chairman has accepted the failure of Hurriyat as it is Hurriyat which has always been claiming to be the political and diplomatic front of the Kashmiri struggle. A graceful solution for their failure would be to step down but since their personal interests reign supreme they won’t do that, instead they have offered a new solution. The solution is packed in a box called ‘new strategy,’ earlier it was packed in a box called United States of Kashmir.

He said with their new strategy they would convince India to arrive at a more agreeable settlement.

courtesy of greater kashmir

The new strategy involves forming of two working groups on both sides of the loc to facilitate the peace process.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and the government of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) on Saturday decided to set up two working groups, one each on both sides of the Line of Control (loc), to facilitate the peace process.

courtesy of greater kashmir

Forming of working groups does not sound like a military solution but it sure does sound like a political and diplomatic method. So, what’s different in it? Confidence Building Measures are already in place between India and Pakistan and those have brought no respite to the common Kashmiri. Even a cursory look at the events will show that life for a Kashmiri has become tougher ever since India and Pakistan have shook hands. Not only is life tougher for a Kashmiri in Kashmir but it has also become difficult elsewhere in India with a Kashmiri being arrested for every possible ‘terrorist’ crime and that goes well with the Indian media and the people of India, who have chosen to blind their eyes to the truth about Kashmir. The only truth about Kashmir they are ready to listen to is the Indian Army’s version of the truth in Kashmir.

The Mirwaiz has already declared the failure of these methods in the past and the same should be expected of the latest strategy, as it is just another road map for the solution of Kashmir. India can never be convinced without massive opposition from the people of Kashmir. Kashmir needs a powerful mass uprising from the people to end this debacle.

The opposition

The UJC has voiced some sensible opposition. What is surprising about the UJC is that they have chosen to rope in Sheikh Abdullah and have even called him the most popular and towering personality of Kashmir. Forever he has been called a traitor by these people, why a change of heart? Maybe they now realise that Kashmir has never and probably will never see a leader like Sheikh. Maybe now they understand that Sheikh was not the traitor they have always painted him as.

When GoI could push the most popular and towering Kashmiri politician like Sheikh Abdullah to the wall, then what is the worth of Hurriyat (M)

courtesy of greater kashmir

Shabir Ahmad Shah, Chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP): “I don’t agree with Mirwaiz Sahib saying that gun has not given anything to us. It is due to the sacrifices of Mujahideen that Kashmir issue has been highlighted.”

The kudos

Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Sunday congratulated Mirwaiz Moulana Umar Farooq and his colleagues for ‘their bold statement against violence and in favour of peace and dialogue’

Ali Muhammad Sagar, former minister and senior National Conference leader: “ It seems they have realized that nothing will come out from the game of death and destruction, and Kashmir issue can only be resolved through a dialogue.

Ghulam Hassan Mir, former minister and senior leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP): “We welcome Mirwaiz’s statement. It is definitely a positive change and it will prove fruitful for the people of Kashmir. We have always maintained that gun won’t solve the Kashmir issue and it seems separatists too have realized it.

India’s continued hypocrisy

Pointing towards the Sunday’s statement of the chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad wherein he had hailed Mirwaiz’s statement asking militants to give up arms, Sagar said, “If some one is showing sincerity and honesty, he should be responded with honesty and sincerity. He has given number of statements which are correlated and you should not pick and choose the statements in accordance with your own interests.”

courtesy of greater kashmir

The euphoria

In his euphoria, the Mirwaiz has forgotten the Gaw Kadal Massacre in which fifty-two unarmed civilians were shot dead by the Indian forces and nearly 250 were wounded. One young man, Abdul Rauf Wani, took the bullets of an entire magazine from a soldier in a heroic attempt to save a few lives.

Elsewhere, the state BJP chief has asked that the flag of Kashmir be brought down . The flag of Kashmir is the last symbolic proof of Kashmir’s special status.

Kashmir needs a Shiekh Abdullah!

Kashmir Tourism Department’s Eternal Slumber

In Development, Environment, Gulmarg, Politics, Tourism on 31 December, 2006 at 1:11 pm

An eternal and deep slumber has taken over one of the most important departments of Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. So deep is its slumber, which will put a sloth to shame, and so self involved is this department that it makes stupid mistakes while trying to hide its almost total uselessness. But how long can it continue taking the people and more importantly the tourists on a ride in the name of the so-called development.

The department’s gradual but visible uselessness and metamorphosis into an ecological destruction agency were briefly discussed in an earlier post, wherein it was pointed out, taking the present condition of Gulmarg’s ecology as an indicator, that elevating the Director of GDA or Gulmarg Destruction (or Development) Authority as the head of the tourism department was a sure way of putting Kashmir’s fragile ecological health onto a path of total destruction. This post got the attention of quite a few gentlemen whose singular objective of commenting on the post was praising the former head of GDA.

Former Principle Chief Conservator of Forests, Abdul Rasheed Wani, agrees that Kashmir’s ecological health is under great duress.

[Abdul Rasheed Wani] believes that the policies promoted by the government are “tourism destroying tourism.” Quoting the term “attitude based tourism”, Wani says that the need of the hour is restricting mass flow of tourists to places like Gulmarg so that the fragile ecosystems do not crumble under the tourist pressure.

courtesy of the kashmir observer

In February 2006, the post May 2004 was published in an attempt to bring forth the uselessness of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department’s website for the ‘hundreds of thousands of tourists’ who flock to visit the Paradise on Earth. At that time, in February 2006, the latest departmental newsletter available was of May 2004. Possibly as a response to this blog’s post (though it’s unimaginable to even think that the department would know the existence of the internet) there are some minute changes in the website or as the office files would show: a complete up gradation of the website.

Rs. 160 Million gone!

The screen shot of the ‘about us’ page taken then:

Click To Enlarge

This page gave the annual budget figures of the department, which at that time was Rs. 160 Million, out of which Rs. 20 Million was allocated for promotion and marketing through print and electronic media.

The screen shot of the same page taken recently:

about2

The only change is the disappearance of the figures which were highlighted by this blog. Rs. 160 and Rs.20 Million have changed into ‘a sufficient amount!’ Since the tourism in Kashmir has got a flip in the last year or so, the amount would have surged a lot but instead of telling us about that, we are told it is ‘sufficient!’ Why remove the figures?

The non-functional JKTDC link

In the same post, the non-functional link to the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation’s (JKTDC) website was pointed out.

jktdc1

In the updated website the non-functional link from the ‘about us‘ page has been removed and it now links to yet another non-functional location .

jktdc2

Even though the non-functional link has been removed from the ‘about us’ page which this blog pointed out, it remains the same on this page .

jktdc3

May 2004 newsletter still not updated

It was also pointed out then that the newsletter of the department had not been updated for around two years. Its fascinating that instead of publishing a newsletter, the slumber ridden people just put a note :

We will shortly start the monthly News Letter about the various activities related to tourism in the State of J&K. The News Letter apart from giving details of new facilities, events and Tourist arrivals will also provide information about possibilities of investment in tourist infrastructure in the State. Subscription to the News Letter would be available once we go online with its issue shortly.

We know that a newsletter can only be available when it is online on a website! Given the past experience, ‘shortly’ of this department can range from two to eight years. It’s amazing how long a newsletter can take.

The screen shot taken then:

newsletter1

The screen shot of the same page taken recently:

newsletter2

We are also asked to have a look at the ‘current events’ section. The current events section, which also brands a ‘new’ bubble on the home page is a scanned page of an advertisement.

New EventsA Scanned Ad

Flashing ‘new’ bubble and the ‘new’ current events!

The boring photo gallery

The photo gallery is boring and has not been updated ever since this site has been up since 1999 , that’s almost eight years!

Gallery

The incredibility of this department

The incredibility of this department is amazing, its morbid obsession with Food Festivals is intriguing and in a conference, the Director said:

“Shah assured the delegates that tourism sector would be made part of future strategies devised by the department for promotion and development of tourism in state,” statement added.”

courtesy of greater kashmir

What else is the department supposed to do, if not promote and develop tourism in the state? Maybe organising food festivals is what it has always been meant for. Maybe cooking is what their specialty is!

The tussle that could cost the smooth conduct of winter games

Srinagar, Dec 17: A tussle has broken out between two warring groups over the formation of the Winter Games Association (WGA), casting a shadow on the smooth holding of winter games at the world famous tourist resort of Gulmarg.

He said financial assistance received from various organizations was spent without maintaining the records and on such activities, which were not relevant for the promotion of the winter games.

courtesy of greater kashmir

A department which should be ruthlessly trying to infuse new life in the tourism sector, create new infrastructure is busy fighting the internal politics.

Good governance, transparency and effective management were promised by Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Chief Minister of Kashmir, but ever since he has taken over the highest executive office of the state, we realise that his priorities include maintaining a clean image, unleashing terror on students in the college campus, shedding tears when non- Kashmiris are killed in mysterious bombings and turning a blind eye when the people of the state he governs are killed for the sole crime of being Kashmiris.

The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism will continue to be in its slumber, the only possibility of change is by people’s own efforts and by demanding answers from the departments that are supposed to serve them and not rule or fight within for personal gains.The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism will do just one thing: it will speed Kashmir’s ecological destruction because of its failure to embrace the concept of eco-tourism. And embracing eco-tourism does not mean holding a press conference and talking about eco-tourism and plans on implementing it. For a department whose website takes years to be updated, one shudders to imagine how long it will take for the department to shed its slumber and walk into the light of the day, where tourism has become one of the most dynamic sectors which needs changes every other moment and not the subtle changes which try hide its inefficiency.

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