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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life is a Cascade of Transitions which you may or may not like

Monisa finds life is a wonderful journey so long as you do not forget that it is also a learning experience

(Ms. Monisa Qadri was born and raised in Srinagar. She matriculated from Mallinson School for Girls and studied bio-chemistry at the Women's College, Srinagar. She is presently a mass communications student at the Kashmir University, and also works in the Corporate Communications and Public Relations Department of the J&K Bank. She writes as a freelancer and hopes to be a journalist some day. Her interests are public relations and film making.)


Transitions are too normal! Life is ever-changing. The journey continues from one stage to next, thus proving only one thing-‘permanence of change itself’. It is interesting to see how one adapts to these different set-ups, which initially seem so unfamiliarly strange. Perhaps it is more natural than a deliberate effort by a person to understand and behave according to the required definitions and protocol. But, time holds with it, its beautiful key. This happens and is surely expected to happen in such a way. This happens with everyone; you and of-course ‘me’. Till recently, my concerns were purely academic, my goals- pretty unclear, my career’s vision still to emerge clearly, but now, as they say, ‘everything is official about it’. The path is visibly there and I can visualize it- I presume!

There were times when I learnt for seeking knowledge, for clearing exams, for self-appraisal and at times even for fun, but now I learn to earn. Not that one ceases to be a student any longer, and starts thinking like a logical automaton, or feels it beyond his privilege to have tempting liberties in life. But things get somewhat defined and decided. As a professional, my job is assigned; I have a specific role to play, which always has to fall in line with the interests of either me or my organization, as the two are synonymous, at least to me.

Career is one of the biggest concerns in a human life and is destined to bring-in changes that are high in intensity and wide in impact. It is a changeover from the life of ‘perceived’ freedom and self-dependence to the world of responsibilities and proper sense of belonging with some set-up. Suddenly, one sees a shift from the casual classroom humor to the serious and professional outlook. A person enters into a horizon where he is supposed to apply what he or she once incurred or was bestowed with or may be at times thrust upon him or her.

The set of feelings you had while asking for your monthly allowance no longer bother you; nor do the thoughts of being a dependent parasite haunt you any more. The confusion about tomorrow becomes pretty subtle. However, interestingly, the paradoxical reality is that your best friends are no longer around to tickle your emotions and there are no pranks that can enthrall you and you can still get away with them. Moreover, now it is not only about you, but there is more and life beyond ‘I’, ‘me and ‘myself’…

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