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

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seeking Minority Rights in a Land Starving for Pluralism

Sanjay and his associates float an advocacy group to address the shrinking economic and political space for minorities in the Valley

(Mr. Sanjay K. Tickoo, 46, was born and raised in Srinagar. After graduating from Hindu High School in Sheetal Nath, Srinagar, he completed his B.Sc. degree from S. P. College, Srinagar. Currently self-employed, his hobbies are reading and traveling. He is among the 4,000 brave Pandit souls who have weathered the worst of the militancy in Kashmir, and is proud to call himself a citizen of Kashmir who stayed put in the valley. He is the President of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti - KPSS.)

'Kashmir Minority Forum' Formed

Srinagar: The members of the minority community still living in the Kashmir valley formed a '' Kashmir Minority Forum'' (KMF) today to safeguard their interests.

In a joint statement here this afternoon Sanjay Kumar Tickoo and Harvinder Singh Raina, who were elected Covener and General secretary of the forum, alleged that during the past twenty years of uncertainty and turmoil in the Kashmir Valley minorities have been deprived of their fundamental rights.

They said even the Right to Live has also been put under a big question mark due to the step-motherly treatment of the successive Governments of the State and the Centre. Mr Tickoo and Mr Raina said the local politicians are also treating the minorities as second class citizens but never miss a chance to cash our miseries for their petty political gains.

They said the minorities, who chose to live in the valley even after the armed uprising, in a historic move decided to form the forum as they remained neglected by the successive governments at the Centre and State.

We have constituted a Minority Forum under the name ''Kashmir Minority Forum'' having its head office at Jawahir Nagar.

They said the Forum was constituted by the various factions of the Society to make it a single platform for all the minorities living in the Valley.

Mr Tickoo and Mr Raina said the KMF will raise voice against the Human Rights violation against the minorities in the Valley, safeguard their interests and fundamental rights, impress upon the central and the state governments for budgetary support, including employment, establish minority institutions, re-construct minority religious places, business establishments, and Government sponsored re-building programmes and financial support for BPL families.

The KMF will also work for special budgetary allocations for financial support for medical assistance who are suffering from serious ailments, strengthen relations with the majority community and to start serious dialogue with them to assure safe existence of minorities in the Valley.

1 comment:

jesus said...

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