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, July 23, 2010

The Long Road to Women's Emancipation

J&K Government discriminates against women residents of backward areas (RBA)

Another Assault on Women's Rights in J&K

Jammu: What can be termed as a sheer discrimination against the women the state Government has deprived the women being married in backward rural pockets of the state of RBA certificates till 15 years of their marriage.

Such a decision of the Government has falsified its all claims regarding empowerment of women. The decision is not only discriminative but gender bias as well and various women organizations in the state are up in arms against the move. These organizations while blaming the Government of gender discrimination and biased towards one male males has warned agitation in case the order in this regard is not withdrawn immediately.

Terming it a total injustice and violation of their rights the women organisations challenge the rationality of the Government order in this regard saying that State Government has always adopted double standards whenever the question of equality of rights between men and women came to fore.

The women organisations have decided to mobilize the public opinion in this regard through the state by launching a door to door campaign against the decision and apprise the women about their rights.

The State Government in its notification issued vide Government order No GAD (adm) 18/2006-I dated 27-02-2006 has directed the concerned departments that the female candidates who do not possess the eligibility in terms of rule 2 of J&K Reservation Rules 2005 including the one relating to 15years actual residence in the Backward area are not entitled to issuance of certificate despite marriage to a person belonging to a identified Backward area.

This way the Government has debarred the women from non backward areas marrying in backward areas for being entitled to RBA certificate to seek a Government job on the basis of reservations. It is ironical that the women from RBA areas after their marriage in the non RBA localities are deprived of the RBA certificates within no time while the women who marry in RBA areas have to wait for 15 long years in seeking the RBA certificates to claim the benefits under this reserved category, said Priya Sethi, ex corporator and general secretary Mahila Morcha BJP.

This is totally an injustice with women folk of the state, she said,adding earlier Government tried to debar the women marrying to a non state subject of their Permanent residence certificate rights and now it has adopted another yardstick to deprive the women of their rights.

This will not be tolerated at any cost, said Rajni another women activist of Nari Jagran Manch. ``We have taken up the issue with the Government and the Minister of Revenue and Relief Raman Bhalla has given us a word that this discrimination will be removed. In case the Government does not withdraw the order the women organizations will not in coming to streets to seek justice, she added.

It is unfortunate that a woman marrying in RBA has to wait for long 15 years to seek a job. This is a pretty long time and a woman will become over aged by that period, said Prakrati Gupta a student.

It may be recalled that State Government ahs kept20percentseats reserved under RBA category in Government services and professional colleges.
(Early Times)

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