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, April 2, 2010

Declining Culture

Normally increased corruption motivates a few to invest in arts, but in Kashmir the money is simply squandered

‘Theatre in Kashmir on decline’

Srinagar: Celebrating the World Theatre Day, Actors’ Creative
Theatre (ACT) and Indian Theatre Alliance, held a function to
aware people about the role and importance of theatre in the society.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Commercial Broadcasting Service
(Radio) Bashir Arif lamented on the pathetic state of theatre in

“The responsibility of preserving the theatre in Kashmir has landed in
those hands that hardly possess the requisite knowledge. This has
totally marred the quality of our theatre and has paved the way for
its decline. Both the concerned authorities and lack of support shown
by people have resulted in its decline,” Arif said.

Arif, who was the chief guest on the occasion, urged people associated
with theatre to work on professional lines.

“This is the method to revive our rich tradition of our theatre,” he said.
Deputy Director, DD, Shabir Mujahid who presided over the function
said that Kashmiri theatre suffered a lot during the past 20 years.

“We lack competitiveness at higher level for which we have to work
hard at the roots,” he said.

“The competition outside the valley in every field is tough and if we
have to compete we have to channelize the talent in a proper way,” he

Speaking at the occasion, convener Sahitya Academy (Kashmir Chapter),
Dr Aziz Hajini said utmost need for unification among the theatrists
of the valley.

He said that Kashmiri theatre has no parallel but the theatrists here
undermine their talent.

“Kashmiri theatre, especially Baand Pather has no match in India but
unfortunately we couldn’t maintain its quality owing to the pathetic
treatment by people and government as well,” Hajini said.

Patron ACT, Mushtaque Ali Khan, former chairman of Public Service
Commission, Muhammad Shafi Pandit and DC Pulwama, Adil Naqash also
spoke on the occasion while Dr R L Talashi read a paper on theatre.
Later two plays ‘Shahi-Pozaar’ and ‘Gosain Pathear’ were performed at
the event.

(Rising Kashmir)

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