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, November 11, 2011

A Retrospection

Isaar addresses the moral degradation that is an outcome of undesirable changes in the society

(Mr. Isaar Kashmiri, 43, was born and raised in Tral, district Pulwama J&K. He completed his matriculation from a local High School, and graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the Government Degree College Anantnag. He completed post graduation in English and received a Master's degree in Education (M.Ed) from the University of Kashmir Srinagar. He is presently working as a school teacher in the Education Department of J&K Government. He writes columns both in Urdu and English for local dailies. In leisure time, he writes short stories in Urdu and a book of short stories is in the process of publication.)

The Cancer of Copying

Well examinations have once again commenced. Once again the reliability of our future is being tested. Once again it is being ascertained as to how much have we invested for our better tomorrow. It is in this backdrop that there is a hustle and bustle at the examination centers. However, the scene at the examination centers both inside and outside is beyond belief.

It has been quite a while since the examinations were considered a holy practice. I still remember those days when we used to take our annual examinations with great sanctity and seriousness. We always counted the days of examinations as the most valued one. The date sheet was just like a Ramzan chart for us and we hardly thought of any entertainment until the examination was over. The day, we were done with the examination, was no less than The Eid for us. The examination hall was like a place of worship and we would enter here with high deal of admiration and reverence. ‘Copying’ or use of unfair means was something we were not familiar with. There was no concept of private coaching either and we exclusively depended upon the classroom labor. Our parents hardly had to do anything for us except routine parental care. Alas! That is history now.

We enroll our young ones in various schools to make them proud citizens. The schools are supposed to serve this cause without fail. The soothing touch of a teacher within the four walls of school makes miracles happen. The authorities, the parents and the teacher all the three play their respective roles, seemingly, with a great deal of zest. However, one fails to understand as to what goes wrong in the end.

When it comes to annual examinations, everyone shrugs his shoulders making examinations a mess. The authorities issue a few statutory warnings and courtesy appeals to the public through the print or electronic media and relax. Pro-copying attitude of parents is quite shocking. The teacher just forgets his fundamental role and makes a giant mistake of compromising his status. There can be no results without a test. Nevertheless nobody seems matured enough to realize the significance of fair exams primarily for the under developed nations like us. Once the examinations start, the parents launch a campaign for their children to help them pass the exams by any means just like elections where there are no quality criteria for winning. However, there are a few exceptions.

Basically our main concerns are corruption. The ways and means to address these concerns obviously can never be legal. We have changed our convictions. We have shifted our focus from soul to matter. We worship money, we are agitated; we want money, we turn out to be unfair; we love money, we forget values; we tolerate bribe, we are moral bankrupts; we live for money, our sense of right and wrong is no longer alive. We run after short-term benefits at the cost of our future. That is not the end; we consume our intellectual as well as substantial vigour to devise new techniques to do all that is no way based on reason.

The situation demands that we must put our heads together to find out a long-lasting solution to the problem of copying or use of various kinds of unfair means. The authorities have to take the initiative. It is quite disgusting as to why a particular group of people is asked to supervise the examinations, the most sensitive part of schooling, every now and then? How credible these examinations are which are mostly being conducted by those distrustful guys who, once upon a time, had been debarred for conducting any kind of examination by the board authorities. However, the teacher has a vital role to play in this behalf. He has to become the flagship of the caravan of the reformers. His commitment and self-sacrificing service can certainly help us to swim against the tide. The nation cannot afford his give and take policy in the current scenario. For the sake of the budding flowers of humankind he has to divorce the mesmerizing life style. This, of course is an uphill task but the teacher is all worthy to do what a common man cannot. The parents come next; however, their role cannot be undervalued. It is not end of the journey yet.

Let us not wait for the day when we would become handicapped to do good to ourselves. Let us not wait to face the dire consequences of overseeing the conduct of unfair examinations. Come let’s pledge to shun and put an end to the use of unfair means or mass copying in all its forms. This will guarantee us a decent reservoir of human resources.

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