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.

Friday, November 13, 2009

From Sublime to the Ridiculous!

A hard core Islamist sweeps through the campus of the Kashmir University at the same time that a conference on the "composite cultures" is underway . While ignoring that travesty, the Conference demands a medium of IAS examinations in Kashmiri

Seminar on Kashmir Culture Concludes in KU

Srinagar: Experts on Thursday demanded inclusion of Kashmir language as a medium of examination in Indian Administrative Services (IAS) examinations and retrieval of artifacts from outside State.

The demands were raised on the concluding day of three-day workshop ‘Kashmir Culture: Change and Continuity’ organized by Institute of Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir.

Various issues and problems concerning the dynamics of cultures, shifting paradigms and need for preservation of most important expressions of Kashmir culture – the language and the concerns of the humanity were discussed at length throughout the workshop.

The workshop was also attended by galaxy of historians, Kashmir study experts, intellectuals; university faculty who unanimously recommended inclusion of Kashmir language as a medium of examination in Indian administrative services examinations.
The participants also recommended bringing back the artifacts and establishment of a museum in the university campus for their safe custody and display.
Speakers were unanimous in their appreciation of the efforts made by of varsity to promote cultural studies and development the fund of knowledge for the benefit of its users.

They praised the present academic atmosphere of the varsity which they said helps share and consolidate experiences.

The main speakers at the concluding event included noted writers Ghulam Nabi Gowhar , Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Prem Nath Shad , noted historians , Prof Fida Hasnain, A R Fatihi from Aligarah Muslim University(AMU) , Prof Phool Bhadan , from Jawahar LaL Nehru University , Prof Mohammad Ashraf Wani, Dr Ravinder Kour ,Dr Farooq Fayaz, Saima Farhad of University of Kashmir and Mushtaq Muntazir(AMU).

Earlier a significant session on customs and rituals and cultural institutions was held which was chaired by Prof Gulshan Majeed who also presented vote at thanks at the end of the seminar.

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