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, August 23, 2008

Lost in the Shuffle: An Appeal to Restore Peace and Harmony

Memories are Short - We have gone through such mayhem before without any impact other than more pain and suffering!

Eminent citizens of the country have appealed for restoration of harmony in Jammu and Kashmir. The following is their statement:—

“We are deeply pained by the tragic turn of events in Jammu and Kashmir that has led to the killings of several citizens in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu division. The authorities must intervene effectively to ensure there is no recurrence and also address substantive issues.
“We view with grave concern the threat that is now perceptible to secular traditions of both Kashmir and Jammu divisions. The deepening alienation of people from each other and from the government requires immediate address. This is the moment for civil society and concerned citizens from all walks of life to assert itself and restore the social harmony, which has hitherto characterised the state.

“We appeal to residents of both Jammu and Kashmir to work together towards reconciliation and areas of common good which are many and which all well-wishers of J&K crave. We appeal to the authorities to give every support to the many in Jammu and Kashmir who are striving for reconciliation and a more hopeful future. And we ask the Indian public to realize the gravity of what is happening in J & K and support all those working for a wise way forward.”

— Rajmohan Gandhi, Syeda Hameed, B.G. Deshmukh, Sushobha Barve, Salman Haidar, Tara Bhattacharya Gandhi, Kapil Kak, B.G. Verghese, Wajahat Habibullah, M.K. Raina, Kuldip Nayyar, Shanker Ghose, Amit Singh Chadha, Suresh Vazirani, Teesta Setalvad, Shabana Azami, Javed Akhtar, Javed Anand, Rahul Bose, Anil Dharkar, Arvind Krishnaswamy, Sajid Rashid

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