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 11, 2011

The Missing Child

Sarosh opens a Pandora's Box

(Dr. Sarosh Ahmed Khan, MD, 48, was born in Srinagar. He pursued his initial schooling from the Victoria High School in Bombay (now called Mumbai), and matriculated from the New Era Public School in Srinagar. He completed his pre-medical college degree from the Sri Pratap College, Srinagar, and received his medical degrees (MBBS, MD) from the Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar. He is a senior consulting physician st the Modern Hospital in Rajbagh, Srinagar. Dr. Khan is the editor-in-chief of the Physicians Academy, an online medical journal, and the Vice President of the Kashmir Academy of Private Physicians. He is actively involved with the "Chotay Taray" Foundation dedicated to educating mentally and physically challenging children. Dr. Khan in his leisure time enjoys cricket, internet and music.)

Female Feticide in Kashmir

In 2009 I was shocked when I was called to see a patient not willing to lactate her child just because the child was a female. Subsequently I saw similar things in my practice and realized that the malaise is deep. The society has started to rot and nobody is bothered.

The pagans in Arabia, before Islam arrived, used to kill the female child by burying her alive. The modern day man kills her in the womb. What is shocking is that the mother (herself a female) is most of the times responsible.

I have numerous cases of elder neglect of parents, especially of mothers by sons. Till the father is alive the situation is slightly better, but deteriorates fast once he dies. It is the same mother who has pampered the sons and almost neglected the daughters. Ironically most of these widows are brought to the hospitals by the daughters! She cries, but it is too late. As if not learning anything from this experience, the cycle gets repeated as the daughter who cares for her, herself again craves for a son. I have half a dozen cases of elder neglect of mothers whose gazetted officer sons take them in a Scorpio to the government office disbursing widow pension. She waits in the queue till evening to get a paltry sum for her expenses for the month.

The statistics of the last decade in Kashmir are disappointing. The Census 2011 shows drop of 82 points in the child sex ratio (ages 0-6) in J&K–from 941 to 859. The headlong decline has been worse in the Valley districts. Pulwama has come down more than 200 points from 1046 to 831, Kupwara to 854 from 1021, Budgam to 832 from 1004, Shopian to 883 from 1011, Kulgam to 882 from 1003 (1).

There are numerous factors contributing to this tragedy:

Social and moral rot. Unaccounted money and lavish spending by these people. Dowry.

J&K the second most corrupt state in India.

No accountability on any front.

Thousands of cases of rape in last two decades. Victims and their parents say no child is better than a girl child.

Adoption of western style two child model for families.

The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation & Prevention of Misuse) Act, came into effect in Kashmir as late as 2006, and allows a person to practice ultrasonography after six months of work experience. These inexperienced, less-reputed practitioners are often guilty of indulging in sexselection tests to earn fast money.

No punishment of the guilty. Unabated running of abortion clinics.

Promotion of the so called ‘liberal Islam” where abortion and other illegal activities are considered modern.

Areas like Kupwara, Leh, Kargil, Poonch, Rajouri — among Kashmir’s 11 districts that have witnessed the sharpest drop in sex ratio — are teeming with armed forces (2).

Lightweight, portable ultrasound machines mean tests can be carried out even in the most remote villages. Around 100 scanners had been seized in the initial crackdown (3), but long-term solutions are also needed which would need to be multi-pronged.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.


1. Kashmir joins the all-India club of female foeticide. FirstPost. 28 June 2011.
2. A dream of freedom and the dead girls of Kashmir. The Telegraph June 23 2011.
3. Ultrasound scanners seized in bid to save unborn baby girls. Arab Times. 20 May 2011.

1 comment:

Nazir Ah. Shaikh said...

yi like this blog very much, it injects deep in ones mind & shows the degradation of our moral values. i want to suggest that the muslim parents must give their due share of property to the female child as per our religion islam & they must understand the fact that the genetics of the female child is the same as that of male & the progeny of the parents also spreads through female child exactly in same content & manner as via their male child. however the female child cares more for their parents than the male one.