Introduction to KashmirForum.org 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.
www.kashmirforum.org

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Documenting Unique Kashmiri Pandit History

Rajesh describes a project to bring internally displaced Pandits closer to their roots

(Mr. Rajesh Bhat, 43, was born in Sopore. He did his primary schooling in Sopore and completed a Master's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Kashmir. He passed the University Grants Commission (UGC) National Eligiblity Test (NET) for lecturership in Journalism, and worked as a Lecturer-Journalism at the Sri Partap College of Communication and Management in Jammu. Mr. Bhat's career as a journalist started with the Kashmir Times and later he joined the Daily Excelsior. He currently works as a Program Executive on a news segment of the All India Radio and contributes special reports to leading national and local print and online dailies, including the Tribune and the Trans World Features. Mr. Bhat has reported issues of political and human interest in the wake of ongoing insurgency in J&K.)

Documentary on anecdotes of Kashmir villages on cards

Jammu: A widely travelled official of the Postal Department has taken up a mega project of documenting the history and the anecdotes linked with 595 villages of Kashmir, where Kashmiri Pandits used to live, along with the local Muslims, prior to their mass migration in 1990.

Assistant superintendent of post offices, Udhampur, Chander M Bhat, who is tirelessly working on this project for the last five years, hopes that his efforts will help the young generation in exile to know about their roots, legacy and the rich cultural heritage of the community. He has named this project in typical Kashmiri as “ool”, (the nest), believing that every individual, who has lost his nest in the valley, will derive some kind of solace after going through this well researched document, based on six volumes, each carrying 2,500 pages.

This six-volume project, the maximum portion of which has already been completed, carries the historical and religious background of each village, where Pandits were living since ages. Besides the description of the eminent personalities produced by the village, it has a mention of the village deity, the location and the topography of the village and the population of the Pandits before their migration.

Chander, originally a resident of Murran village of Pulwama district of Kashmir, said “Ool also carries the details of village springs and brooks and the names of all those religious places that were visited and equally revered by Hindus as well as Muslims.”

He said the project also intends to carry all those incidents that took place in the respective villages, after 1990, when the militancy was at its peak.

These 595 villages and localities, about which the history has been documented, fall in all the major districts of the North, Central and South Kashmir, besides the city of Srinagar.

(The Tribune)

2 comments:

Chander M. Bhat said...

I am woking on the project since last five years and I have almost done it. Some villages are missing and I am trying to locate them.

I could not get any response from the community members despite repeated advertisements in different community journals and Daily Excelsior.

I any member have the photograph of the aashthapan of their village please help me by providing the same on my email chander_1831@rediffmail.com

Chander M. Bhat said...

No response. Wake up KP's.