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.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Open Letter to Kashmir's NGO's: Address the two top social issues facing the society today

Environment and Women Rights are the two top most issues highlighted in the following two messages

Restoring the glory of Detoriating Dal Lake:

This refers to the timely and detailed obituary on the deteriorating condition of Dal Lake. This is a timely warning, but for whom? Neither our politicians nor do our crusaders of Azadi care about the environment. In fact history shows that they were overtly or covertly involved in the pollution of Dal. Corrupt bureaucracy represented by LAWDA, and others have cashed on every aspect of Dal.

However, despite the fact that Dal has shrunken from 75 km to present 11-15 sq km, it is nature which resuscitates it with the help of sub-terrain on hydrology which emanates from Himalayan ranges of Kun/Nun, a Brankton Glacier forming the outer circle of the lake. It is followed by the inner circle of glacier of Harmukh, Chanderwari, Hari, Gulal, Sar followed by Gangabal and Sheshnag besides river Jehlum. In 1966 springs oozing within were 17 in number which were reduced to 7 in 2007. At present discharge of silt is at 80,000 tones, nitrogen 244 tones and phosphorus 156 tones, resulting in the ammonical nitrogen cover of 1.50 mgl followed by chemical oxygen demand at 40o mgl in the Dal Lake.

The underground flow of glacier through creeps shall sustain Dal till an honest politician and bureaucrat takes the control of preserving it for our future generation. During my recent European tour to various universities and laboratories I have carried samples of Algae with me and I am proud to report that bio-fuel experiment has been successfully carried out on these parasites, details of which shall be disclosed soon.

Haji Abdul Majid Butt
Geo Scientist
Ellahi Bagh, Buchhpora, Srinagar

Battered womanhood:

This is in reference to a very emotional write up on battered womanhood. The writer made a very sincere attempt to expose the double standards of our society that glorifies woman in theory but in practice treats her nothing more than a machine.

Ours is the society where man can possess and dispose her off like a personal property. It is a very unfortunate reality that our society is by and large very insensitive to the issues of women, although the touching account of the doctors, who were so compassionate to that woman, is still there to leave us with some amount of optimism.

Need of the hour is to recognize the place that a woman deserves in our society and give her the rights she deserves. At the same time our men folk should be more receptive to the problems of women so that they can identify with them in a better way. We should extend all possible moral and social support to such woman who suffers with such biological disadvantage.

Shazia Saleem
Student, Government Woman’s College
M A Road, Srinagar

(Two letters in the Greater Kashmir)

No comments: