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, January 28, 2011

Kashmir University Moves into Digital Age

Best wishes to Prof. Riyaz Rufai, head librarian of the University of Kashmir, as the project director

Digitisation of Books to Start Soon in Kashmir

Srinagar: In a bid to upgrade Jammu and Kashmir libraries, University of Kashmir will soon start digitising eight million pages of various books. "In the first phase, eight million pages from books in various libraries of Jammu and Kashmir will be digitised," an official of the University said. He said old and rare books which are in private possession will also be digitised.

"The valuable rare books available in private collection shall also be digitised under this project and put on internet," he said. The digitisation project will be financed by the Union government's Department of Information Technology. "Digitisation of books will enable users to browse and read them even at their homes and one copy of the book can be simultaneously browsed by multiple users," the official said.

University librarian Riyaz Rufai, who is the Chief Coordinator of the project, said the digitised books will form a part of the National Digital Library and will be accessible throughout the world on the website.

"This prestigious project shall be completed within two years," he said.
(Rising Kashmir)

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