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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Historical Pathway

At one time, some 40 years back, it was Srinagar's Carnaby Street

Lambert Lane

Sana Altaf (Kashmir Times)

Lined up with series of shops and business outlets, Lambert Lane at Residency Road has grown up as a favorite hound of shoppers. However the name of the few meters lane is linked to the history of Kashmir.

The Lane is named after a British pharmacist, Lambert.

During the British rule, Lambert had come to Kashmir to sell English medicines for his natives living in Kashmir. The quality of medicines used by Britishers would not be available in the valley.

“The types of medicines used by Britishers were found no where here. So Lambert came up with pharmacy,” said Zareef Ahmad Zareef, writer.

In a large building at the present location of Pamposh hotel, housed Lambert Pharmaceuticals Agency. The building was built in victorial architecture and was called Lambert building.

The medicines were mostly commonly supplied to the British solider fighting war who would also at times come to Lambert Pharmacy.

“During the British rule the transit camp was located at Naseem Bagh, The British officer and soldiers would come from there to take medicines from Lambert pharmacy,” said Zareef.

Lambert’s pharmacy not only invited Britishers but also local customers. The availability of quality medicines of all types gave the pharmacy brisk business.

Even after the end of the British rule, the pharmacy continued to function from the same building till late 1950’s.

“In 1950’ the building was sold to a local Kashmiri and Kashmir handicraft showroom was opened there,” recalls Zareef.

The old building was demolished despite it being of an ancient architecture. Later the buildings was again sold and converted into present Pamposh hotel.

It was after the pharmacist Lambert that Lambert lane was named. The lane, which initially had few shops, is now growing up as a leading shopping spot. Major national and international brands have opened up there showrooms in the Lambert lanes, making it attractive for the shoppers.

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