Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Corruption in Kashmir - it is more than just easy money and ugly mansions

Spurious drugs exemplify the growing face of a new human tragedy in Kashmir

Measures to assures quality must be very stringent

It is the duty of concerned agencies that are put in place by the government, to maintain a strict vigil on the markets of the valley so the quality of the products sold to the customers is never compromised. In this regard certain products need extra ordinary check as they are related directly to the health of an individual. Probably medicines top the list of items where the quality needs to be assured at any cost. Sadly enough any survey in the markets of the valley reveals that spurious and sub standard drugs are sold to the patients with great impunity.

More saddening is the popular belief that officials from health department and the medical professional lend their active or passive support to this dastardly business. It is a crime of great degree, where the life of an individual is directly at risk, and who knows how many patients might even have become victims of such drugs.

The news from Bandipora in North Kashmir is that such drugs have flooded the markets in that region. People have alleged that the market thrives because there is a nexus between doctors and medical agencies. Those who are meant to prescribe medicine to patients for restoring his health are pushing them towards a great threat to their health. All this is disturbing. A noble profession, as one so respectfully calls it, is becoming so ugly.

Now if such a thing has come to light, an all important question is that how the authorities are going to act? Will there be a quick action on part of the concerned departments to set the things right or will the corruption in market go on unhindered?

Need of the hour is that the concerned departments take the matter very seriously and clampdown on this activity that poses a threat to people’s health. It also needs to be ensured that those who are found involved in this trade are severely punished setting an example, thus a deterrent, for all others. In case any pharmaceutical company in found guilty of manufacturing spurious drugs and later marketing it in valley, it should be banned in the State for future. Any lenient approach from the authorities can only embolden such agencies.

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