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 31, 2011

What Paradise?

Ecologically, Kashmir has been going downhill ever since green areas protected since the Mughal era were taken over to build government buildings in 1950's. Morally and spiritually, it entered "Kalyug" since early 1990's

Paradise in Trouble

M Afzal (Kashmir Images)

Kashmir is known worldwide for its scenic beauty. Indeed, it is a masterpiece of Nature's Beauty on Earth. Famous Mughul Ruler Jahangir has rightly described it as "Paradise on Earth" as in a famous Persian verse he says, "If there is heaven on Erath. It is this, it is this, and it is this”. Besides, it is also famous across the world as an abode of saints and sages and it has remained a hub of knowledge as well.

The people of this picturesque vale too are popular for their generosity, sagacity and hospitality.Haplessly, this paradise has been profusely bleeding for last more than two decades. The streets of this ‘beautiful prison’ (as it has rightly been described) are blood¬stained while as the world famous lakes which used to attract tourists from every nook and corner of the world have turned blood-red. Birds are elegizing; stars are in melancholy; the sun and moon are eclipsed; the lush green forests are in a state of grief; the shattered and ravaged buildings are narrating a woeful tale; the flowers of the world famous Mughul gardens are withered; the deserted markets present appear like doomsday; the animals roaming around are wearing a grim and gloomy look.

It is a matter of fact that in an era, Kashmir was known as an asylum of peace and tranquility and people suffering from various ailments used to tour the valley to recover. Now it is quite otherwise. The graph of various heart-related ailments like hypertension/psychological disorders is growing at an alarming pace. As a result various social evils particularly drug addiction has taken birth which, with every passing day, are eating into the vitals of our social fabric.

The number of orphans and widows is increasing manifold. Here half-widows, the women who don't know whether their husbands are alive or dead, long for any news of their loved partners. Since the eruption of militancy around 8000 thousand people have disappeared and at least 25000 children have be orphaned while as thousands of parents of disappeared persons age and ache for the return of their children. The hopes of many have dashed down. Bemoaning and bemusing people ranging from students to intellectuals are in a dilemma when uncertainty and instability looms large; waywardness and high handedness rules the roost; a reign of terror is unleashed. Every possession is in jeopardy even the chastity of the women folk is at stake.Whosoever grabbed the power in this hapless piece of land left no stone unturned in oppressing and suppressing the subjects. The gullible people of valley always bore the brunt. The life has always been terrible and monstrous and people of the valley have always been camouflaged. The dirty and inane politics is being played muzzling the voice of the sincere and scrupulous.

Here the honest and -visionary have always been subjected to fomentation with Sagacious and insightful people always underestimated.The situation here is still tumultuous and turbulent. Peace is looking to be a distant dream while regaining the lost glory is quite bleak. The lull in violence seems to be euphoric but a minor incident can spark massive violence. It is the most volatile and unpredictable piece of land. The situation can take violent turn at any time. The valley has got struck in a vortex of insecurity. The paradise is in deep trouble.

No comments: