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.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What if the Status Quo is Self-Serving?

Ubaid has a word of caution for the assorted separatist leadership

(Mr. Ubaid Mushtaq, 21, was born in Awantipora, Kashmir. He has finished his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) in Awantipora. While continuing his studies, he also regularly contributes articles to various newspapers on Socio-Political affairs. His articles have appeared in the Greater Kashmir, the Rising Kashmir, the Kashmir Times and on the web at

An open Letter to Separatists

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. This famous saying by George Santayana should perhaps be kept in mind under the prevailing circumstances.

This open letter is in response to the recent killings of innocent youth and the various programmes thereafter given by Separatists leadership. As in past, it seems that Separatists are again running out of ideas to register their protest and failed to show to the world what Kashmiris are going through. The division among the parties is again emerging out to be a grave problem. So, are we going to succeed this time?

I doubt because of past experiences and the lack of unity among the separatists ranks. There is no single leadership agenda behind which the people of Kashmir can unite.

Pursuing single goal under different banners and organisations only leads to chaos and confusion among people. The crisis of leadership is the conundrum for Kashmiris. So, unity among the Separatist leadership isn’t a necessity but the need of the hour. They are pursuing a single goal; we need to be united in thought and application.

Powerful resistance movement needs two things to survive and succeed: a massive public backing and a strong pragmatic and visionary leadership. As a person cannot function without a brain, so a society cannot function without leaders. As a Kashmiri I believe that we have no dearth of level headed individuals but unfortunately they are scattered in different directions. As a result their voices get muddled in the air. I strongly believe that if we really want to stand united and emerge as a prosperous and independent nation, then we have to unite now and have to start working on the application of same principle which requires team work, strong collaboration, innovation, one agenda and cooperation in all parties.

At this crucial juncture unity among separatist’s parties is vital. To keep the tempo going and to revive our struggle movement it is important to unite. Nobody accepts any miracles from our leaders, but what is at least expected is a positive, open minded and a single approach at this juncture. I hope that all Separatists’ parties of Kashmir will work for just and for the cause of Kashmir and aspirations of Kashmiris. They should impress upon India to honour the United Nations Resolution and allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to use their inalienable and non-negotiable right that is the right to self-determination. Who despite comity of nations having guaranteed it have been denied this right from past 63 years?

Those in Kashmir who had pinned their hopes in militancy to resolve this two decade old dispute must now accept the reality that the gun has done very little to gain any international sympathy or support for the Kashmir cause. So it is the right time for us to think positively and for the benefit of the people. We cannot remain captives of Indian security forces. We have to protest till we reach our goal, and at the same time our leadership has to show maturity, unity and farsightedness.

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