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, June 14, 2010

Canine Power

Altaf, the citizen journalist, asks a simple question, "Why has Srinagar gone to dogs?"

What dogs Srinagar city?

Altaf Hussain

After having the ‘honour’ of being named the fourth dirtiest city in India, Srinagar is set to get another bad name or perhaps a dog name. Dogs have taken over all important roads, play fields and college grounds.

Muhammad Sultan Khan, 80, has been climbing the stairs of the Makhdoom Sahib Shrine everyday almost for the past 52 years. Now he has stopping doing it as dogs are seen on every step of the stairs leading to the shrine. The dogs soil outside the main gate of the shrine and any visitor to the shrine gets their shoes dirty. From the lawn of Mashali Mohalla Masjid Hawal to Hyderpora Chowk, dogs have made our surroundings dirty everywhere.

Three dozen dogs can be seen every day outside the gate of Islamic College for Science and Technology, Hawal. At times, these dogs have bitten students, devotes and morning walkers who had to spend Rs 30,000 each on medication to avoid rabies.

Altaf Qawi of Srinagar says he runs his life into risk every morning when he goes to attend prayers at the nearby Masjid walking amid dozens of dogs.

Appealing the chief minister to allot a piece of fenced land in every town, he says the land can be used to detain the stray dogs. “Even one gender of dogs can be kept in such fenced lawns. This can help check the dog population of Kashmir. If the government continues to be insensitive to this issue, time is not far when it will also get the ‘credit’ for the new dog name for Srinagar City.

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