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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Central Attitude Needs to Shift From "Delhi Durbar" to "Tough Love"

Farooq Jan is right about politicians attributing lack of development to so-called motherly treatment by New Delhi, when in fact those rascals in the state are pocketing those funds. But he misses an important point that it is up to state politicians - old and new - and not New Delhi to seize the opportunity for change from within. All politics is local

(Mr. Farooq Jan, 39, was born in Naira, Pulwama. He completed his graduate and posr graduate studies in Sociology and Management Studies from the University of Kashmir. He has been working for the J&K State Water & Sanitation Mission as Consultant on human resource development (HRD). He is also a founder member of the J&K Democratic Party led by Ghulam Hassan Mir and hopes to contest the forthcoming state elections from the Rajpora constitutency in the Pulwama district.)


Unlike most Kashmiri people a section of local populace, who of late has started to participate and believe in democratic processes to resolve long pending socio-political problems, somehow feel that a good majority of Indian intelligentsia, political leaders and policy makers are in favour of reducing the alienation of the people of J&K. This change of heart, maybe, has come about by several fast evolving democratic credentials across the country, symbolized by an atmosphere for its citizens to express themselves freely and a markedly congenial socio-economic environment for an overall human development.

There seems to be a modest realization and feeling of reparation in the Indian opinion making community about the political blunders that its leaders committed in past which subsequently had resulted in the estrangement and alienation of the Kashmiri people from India.

Yet unless New Delhi stops patronizing a local political class that is identified by a conspicuous knack for exploitation every resolve to redeem the integrity and credibility of the world’s largest democracy may go haywire. Their own trusted man and Chief Minister of J&K, Gh. Nabi Azad- in a seminar at University of Kashmir- has put across a point to ponder for all the Chanakyas that Politics in J&K is infested with criminals and land grabbers who pretend to be the saviors of this society but have vandalized resources for their vested interests. Generally, this self-interested group is corrupt, incapable and devoid of a bare minimum commitment to bring about any helpful change in the lives of the suffering masses. For various self-centric reasons these politicians are not able to bring about the basic transformations in an existing invalid delivery systems. Let alone mobilizing the local resources to improve the living standard of the people even the national level socio-economic reform measures are coming to nought in J&K.

Adding insult to the injury, to justify its ineptitude to work for the cause of people this shameless devil has created various myths in the minds of Kashmiris. To hoodwink the people they customarily would attribute lack of development in the State of J&K to a so-called step-motherly treatment by the authorities in New Delhi. Everybody in J&K doubts the integrity and ability of this political class to bring about any positive change and now more than two dozen of their ilk is indicted by their own watchdog organisations in frauds and corruption cases ranging from sex scandal to the hot forest scam. Nevertheless, this class to large extent has been successful in creating a pseudo impression in the minds of people that in spite of all their political misadventures they are destined to rule them because India (clandestinely with the help of her intelligence agencies) wants these people to be at the helm of their affairs.

As such, undermining the credibility and integrity of India in the minds of Kashmiri people, the present ruling edifice on which New Delhi is reposing its entire faith is in effect working against this newfound national interest. More importantly genuine people and particularly the youth, who certainly possess commitment and the capacity to represent our beleaguered people in an honest way, are discouraged from entering into the mainstream politics. The only way out of this mess is to clean up the political system of our State from top to bottom. A damage controlling option undoubtedly is to encourage and work towards building a new political structure based on sincerity, integrity and transparency. It, indeed, is a tall order but in any case is highly indispensable to replace a hollowed system undermined by wickedness and self-indulgence.

To maintain any semblance of credibility about a people friendly government in the State, it is imperative for New Delhi to work towards building a political environment wherein these myths are blown out entirely. Otherwise, Kashmiris have every reason to believe that both Pakistan and India - heedless of the legitimate aspirations and rights of the people of J&K- are fighting only for the territory of J&K and not for its people. The only difference being that Pakistan is doing it through a proxy war and India through a proxy political process.

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