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.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Person's Misery is Another Person's Opportunity

Arif describes a novel marketing technique that is getting a lot of attention

(Mr. Arif Bashir, 26, was born in Check-e-Ferozpora, Tangmarg. He completed his schooling in his native village, and obtained his Arts degree, with emphasis in English Literature, Urdu Literature, Political Science and English, from the Amar Singh College, Srinagar. He subsequently completed his Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Kashmir. He is a Reporter for the Kashmir Images, a leading English daily of Kashmir Valley, and is presently an Associate Editor of the Daily Khidmat (English version), that slso is published from the Valley. He has written, scripted and directed two Documentary Films - 85 Degrees, and Faces of Hope - and one fictional Film - Dastak. His ambition is to become an outstanding Film Maker.)

Barricades and Ads!

You might question that, at a time, when things are too pathetic and painful out here which of course are, how come I talk about the ads and barricades. Well the only things visible on the roads are the barricades and when one has nothing to look for, these barricades but deserve a closer scrutiny. It thus shook my mind when I saw advertisements pasted on these barricades which, at first place appeared bizarre combination but just after a while, in a flash,it came to my mind that these barricades are the most famous objects in my part of the world. Three cheers for the businessmen!

While hoardings and television advertisements might be in vogue for companies to hook and allure target audiences and customers outside this mountain bound valley of Kashmir, the police barricades, usually brought in use during curfews and restrictions seem to have been overburdened with manifold purposes here.

Believe it or not, barricades have acquired some sort of stardom, at least for the companies and small scale business houses in Kashmir which, it seems, have decided to bring them in use for promotional purposes, with nothing to do these days.

The idea seems correct, rather apt, given the prevailing circumstances in the valley and the advertisers might feel content, atleast for this reason, as the restrictions continue to be in place and so do the barricades. Advertisements therefore continue to be displayed-no matter with or without people around.

These barricades are seen at almost all city road junctions and main links with the intention to streamline and, sometimes, stop the vehicles from entering restricted areas. Though the areas continue to remain dull and lifeless these days, with least vehicle and pedestrian movement around, the barricades however seem shining, particularly during a bright sunny day, with multiple patterns and advertisement banners pasted of them.

The gesture of the business class here in the valley clearly suggests that famous or, for that matter, infamous, both work for the business promotion and thus the barricades too are an economical idea for advertisements and promotional slogans.

It is obvious that the most common sigh these days is nothing but barricades and dozens of such barricades could be seen at the Radio Kashmir Crossing, each one wrapped with fine wrappers of cloth and paper projecting a company or products.

Similar barricades have been put in place in various areas in Srinagar city as well as on the highway connecting various districts to the city.

While the advertisers could not be contacted for their comments, the authorities in the police department were also not available to draw some light on the issue.

No comments: