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, June 6, 2008

Government Degree College in Baramulla Leads the Way

Students in Baramulla show that they are more aware of local societal issues than their compatriots in Srinagar. Ahsan comments on the most prevalent social disease in Kashmir and a related story puts the focus on the environment. We congratulate Prof. Aijaz Hussain who is the Principal of the college.

(Mr. Ahsan-ul-Haq Bukhari, 21, was born in Kreeri in the Baramulla district. He is currently a student of mass communication and video production at the Government Degree College in Baramulla, Kashmir.)

Monster of Corruption

Syed Ahsan-ul-Haq Bukhari

Baramulla: Fight against corruption has become a political slogan for al the political parties. Since the coalition government came to power in 2002 we get to know about the sealing of the property of the corrupt officials. Every now and then the Chief Minister instructs the concerned agencies to formulate concrete policies to weed out the dreaded disease of corruption. However no-one seems to be concerned about the root cause of the disease which has its impact on the mindset of the individual.

Human nature is a composition of good and evil forces. Man himself experiences good and evil ways and means in his day today life. The good and evil forces inside the conscience of a man are always in a quarrel with each other. Therefore he must have a firm will power and a dominant control over evil forces. Only then he will be able to prove himself moral and a human being. For this purpose he has to surrender all his wishes and evil desires to each the station of higher good. This way he is supposed to achieve the essence of virtue and truth.

Corruption is one of the most dreaded evils in social fabric of the state. Man has to save himself from this curse, because it is the root cause of all other evils. "Greed is the mother of Corruption", It has been well said. "The more we have the more we want". That is why man’s quest for worldly gains never dies. Man of greed is always in quest for more money and luxury and in order to get more and more, he is always seen indulging in malpractices and unfair means. This is his natural weakness. But a man of firm belief and God consciousness is always contented with what he has. He does not leave himself on the mercy of money. This makes him enjoy a content life with a completely satisfied soul and a peaceful mind. Our religious book has led a great stress on contentment. If contentment is established within the conscience of a man, the curse of corruption will no doubt be washed off from an individual as well as from society. To eradicate the evil of corruption from the society we will have to purify our soul as well as conscience and have to lead a life of morality where corruption will have no place to make its way through. In our religious teachings it is clearly mentioned that the one who offers bribe is as good a sinner as the one who takes bribe. If this warning is given heed to and then followed in letter and spirit there will be no corruption in the society.

Corruption is a form of pollution; a mental pollution where a man makes use of his every capability to get his desire full filled. It is an illegal way of grabbing money to benefit ones own self.Corruption is a dominant practice that is found almost everywhere. Brilliant and talented persons with good positions in society ruin themselves in the mad race of satiating their desires, hence falling prey to corruption. It all starts from the childhood. Children of rich parents are admitted to reputed schools by paying heavy amount of money, where as those who can not afford are left behind. Candidates or students get fake medical/engineering certificates by spending thick amount of money. Most of these self-styled doctors & engineers don't even understand ABC of their respective fields.

Corruption is not a malaise that has hit sub continent alone but it has spread its roots across the globe. It requires reams of paper, if we go into the detail of the global situation. In fact there are some countries where there is a strict punishment for such a person, who is involved in such crime. Even in few countries any person either in government or private sector at any rank has to face capital punishment, if found involved in corruption. So far as our own state is concerned, it is completely drowned in such a serious crime. From last decade corruption has spread its roots in the administrative system. This means that it is supposed to increase rapidly. Now-a-days politicians and other big guns are also involved in the corruption.In 1962 an act namely Jammu & Kashmir State Government Prevention of Corruption (JKSGPC) was passed under which a full fledged agency with good amount of powers was established known as Jammu & Kashmir State Vigilance Organization (SVO). This agency fails after sometime, due to the involvement of higher government officials in corruption. Mostly government officials of low rank and designation are arrested in such cases, leaving biggies at large. This way common man has completely lost faith in present administrative system, due to the involvement of higher administrative officers in such a crime. It looks that the noble terms like charity, sympathy and humanity are bygone things in present time and what is left is corruption.

Every now and then the news stories of higher and lower government officials involved in such a dirty crime has become a routine. This is an alarming situation as far as the state of Jammu & Kashmir in general and Muslim dominant Kashmir in particular. Corruption is a crime which results in hatred in society as it gives birth to social inequality and creates a deep divide between rich and poor. This way man has no longer remained crown of the creation. Man has fallen deep in to the depths of disgrace.

Corrupt man’s deeds result in the over all destruction not only of society but of his own being, in the long run. It inflicts a deadly disease on the social fabric and in turn gets hit by the same disease.

Students can play key role in preserving environment

Umer Maqbool Dar (Rising kashmir)

Baramulla: The students can play an important role in preserving environment and restoring pristine glory of Valley. This was stated by most of the speakers at the inaugural ceremony of Environmental Week at Degree College Baramulla on Thursday.

Inaugurating the environmental week celebrations, Principal Degree College Baramulla Prof. Aijaz Hussain said that the students are the custodians of the environment and have play a pivotal role in preserving and safeguarding it.

"Environment is deteriorating due to man made activities. This is global concern and we must wake up to tackle the situation," he said.

Hussain further said that students have to play an active role in preserving environment. "Our duty is also to keep the campus clean," he added.

Speaking on the occasion Prof. Majid Chalkoo said many challenges are faced by humanity due to environmental pollution throughout the world. "Awareness among youth about the global warming, ozone problem, climate change and other ecological problems is necessary," he said adding, “These celebrations are part of this awareness campaign at local level”. He further said that water resources in the state are fast depleting and forests are vandalized at an alarming rate.

Asking for participatory role of students in environment related issues, Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sheikh said that Jehlum is becoming dumping site of garbage and green gold is plundered in the valley, which is great concern for us.

"Our younger generation can play an effective in checking pollution and protecting environment," he said. Many students who also spoke on occasion threw light on various aspects of environmental pollution.

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