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, September 5, 2010

The Boiling Pot Called Kashmir - 4

Let us hear from young victims

Students Protest Unending Shutdown in Kashmir

Srinagar: A group of primary school students today protested against the 80-day-long agitation in Kashmir Valley, saying it was denying them the right to education.
Dressed in their school uniforms, nearly 20 students from a school in Ganderbal staged the demonstration here, demanding an end to the ongoing agitation, on the ground that it had marred their learning process.

The students held placards which read "we want freedom from poverty, we want freedom from illiteracy, we want freedom from backwardness." A mainstream political activist Farooq Ahmad Ganderbali, who was accompanying the students told reporters that the agitation in the Valley was spoiling the future of students.

"Students in Jammu region don't have any disruption and study without any hindrance but our wards are suffering immensely," he said. However, Ganderbali's statement did not go down well with an unidentified onlooker who pushed him."What about the lives of 65 people, who were mostly students and died in the police and CRPF firing since June 11? Did not they have a right to live?" the agitated onlooker asked Ganderbali before the protestors fled from the scene sensing more trouble.

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