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.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hubris Unplugged

It is only money

Traffic Violation Fines no Deterrent to Motorists

Until April 2010, over Rs 57 lakh fine recovered

Rising Kashmir News

Srinagar: The traffic police might have recovered huge fines from violators during first four months of the year, however, the latest figure suggest a dangerous trend among violators, who observers say, don’t hesitate to pay fines to get away with the crime.

In the first four months of 2010, traffic cops have recovered Rs 57,13,270 fine from rules violators even as this figure could shoot up as about 481 cases are still waiting mobile magistrate judgment.

“Our estimates say the figures could touch Rs 60 lakh,” SP Traffic (City) Showkat Hussain Shah believes.

The official data reveals that the average fine every day has remained between Rs 47000-50,000 making it around Rs 1500000 every month in the year 2010 against the overall fine of Rs 1.51 crore in 2009.

These figures, officials say, could increase tenfold if more officers are inducted in the department. Currently the department is run by only 40 officers.

“Right now the department is short of about 60 officers. And if more cops are inducted, the recovery could move up ten times,” the SP Traffic (City) says.

While the department remains understaffed, the fine imposed on traffic rules violators doesn’t act as a deterrent.

Observers say the latest statistics only reflect how the citizens are developing a habit to fund their violation instead of taking lessons from the fine imposed.

“It is a dangerous trend,” an instructor at a driving institute here said.

He said the habit could increases cases of tailgating, speeding, and aggressive behavior among youth who form majority of the violators.

The expert said the motorists continue to violate traffic rules simply because the fine amounts are not so heavy to deter them from committing offences.

“Cops must come hard on violators,” he suggested.

No comments: