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, October 27, 2009

Reliving Faiz All Over Again

The night Naseeruddin Shah came to Srinagar's Broadway

‘Evening of Poetry and Harmony’

Mukhtar Ahmad Lone (Kashmir Images)

Srinagar: It was certainly a unique combination – two legends in harmony – as internationally acclaimed actor Naseeruddin Shah lent his voice to the philosophically meaningful soul-warming poetry of Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Obviously those present to witness this symphony were mesmerized Saturday evening at Hotel Broadway where ANHAD (Act Now For Harmony And Democracy) had organized an ‘evening of poetry and harmony’.

Reciting classic Faiz’s masterpieces – ‘Intesab’, ‘Subh-e-Azadi’, ‘Raqeeb Se’ and ‘Gulshan’e Yaad Mein’, magic of Naseeruddin Shah’s recitation itself was a practical display of his love for Urdu poetry.

“I was born in a family where Urdu was an alien language and I am highly indebted to Mirza Ghalib (famed 18th century Urdu poet) for being my inspiration in getting me introduced to Urdu language,” Shah said.

Addressing the gala event, Valley’s renowned poet, Farooq Nazki described Shah as the cornerstone of Indian cinema saying he was undoubtedly one of the finest actors of Indian cinema.

“Naseeruddin Shah is a veteran, versatile, brilliant and a kind of artist who depicts every character with élan, guts and gumptions and leaves an indelible impact on the minds of audiences,” Nazki said.

Gauhar Raza, a senior scientist, a documentary filmmaker and a poet mesmerized and enthralled the audiences by reciting ‘Bahar Laut Ayegi’, ‘Ram Mandir’ and ‘Naya Libas’ – ‘Naya Libas’ being a satire on the political system and politicians who feign themselves to be caretakers of the poor.

Later in the evening, Dhruv Sangari, performed the Sufi Kalam. He was accompanied on Tabla by Amjad Khan and on Mandolin by Siraj Khan. The trio gave a superb performance which won them the admiration and ovation from the listeners.

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