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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Facing Dogs

Srinagarites are feeling insecure with 100,000 stray and uncared dogs loose in the city

Dog Scare Forces Musalees to Walk in Groups, With Lathis

M. Hyderi (Greater Kashmir)

Srinagar: Parvaiz Khan, Bilal Khan, Farooq Ahmed and engineer Arjumand –neighbors in Barbarshah locality make it a point that they go to Masjid for Tarawi and Fajr prayers together. Also, they don’t forget carrying a stick or two along. This is their latest strategy to keep the stray dogs away, in the City, which has an alarming population of over one lakh and growing canines while humans find it difficult to walk alone, particularly in the dark.


Given the recent reports of surge in stray dog attacks on humans coupled with government’s failure to check it, Musalees in this Muslim majority capital find it inconvenient to go to Masjid for Tarawih and Fajr prayers. Helpless to keep the canines away, many like the Barbarshah friends have evolved the strategy of walking in group but not without the primitive tool of self-defence: the Lathi.

Carrying Lathi along has evolved as a preferred way of protection from the stray dogs, dozens of whom can be seen prowling at almost every nook and corner of Srinagar.

“Given the huge number of dogs in our area, we prefer to walk in groups alone,” said Arshad Khan of Soura.

He said given the big number of dogs in the area, one couldn’t dare to walk alone even if he carries a stick along.

“What can a person alone do if 20-30 dogs come to attack him? And what about children for that matter?” he argued.


While some have been taking preventive measures, many others weren’t lucky.

Residents of Hawal and adjoining Nowhatta said in the past few days many people were bitten by the canines while venturing out of their houses.

Pertinently the dog attacks have been on surge for the past few months while in a latest the canines ate away nose of a young girl in Bemina. The doctors, as per the locals, have advised her to go for plastic surgery. Last month a mother was bitted by canines at Rajbagh when she tried to save her child from them.

Incidents like these aren’t rare. As per medicos, 10 to 20 dog bites cases are reported almost everyday.


Pertinently despite huge public agitation that dogs be eliminated, the National Conference led government seemingly remained more concerned towards the canines pleading that their sterilization, a Rs multi crore time consuming project, was the only viable solution to the problem.

Not a single dog was reportedly killed by any government organization, particularly the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, even though this year alone, at-least three persons including a 10-year-old Shahr-e-Khaas boy died of the canine attacks.


Pertinently some three months back, an NGO moved court seeking end to dog menace.

While the petitioner Advocate Nadeem Qadri pleaded that “humans need a respite from dog menace,” prominent lawyer Mir Syed Lateef while fighting on behalf of “dog lovers” insisted that the stray packs couldn’t be killed.

The state High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ibraheem Kalifullah directed the state to establish dog ponds on the outskirts of the City. The dogs were to be collected from the entire City and put to the pond, for sterilization. But till now the ponds are nowhere. Officials said they have started work on one in Ganderbal district.

Interestingly on the day of hearing, Chief Justice had posed a million dollar question at the full courtroom: “Will a dog stop biting once sterilized?”

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