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.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Corrupt System

Wadoo has a point about how dynastic rule has perpetuated corruption in Kashmir

Electing the Corrupt

G. N. Wadoo (Greater Kashmir)

The election process in J&K State has all along faced a setback due to misuse of administrative machinery, biased election campaigning, rigging, capturing the polling booths, manhandling of election staff and many other undemocratic ways and means to regain power in the game of so called impartial and fair elections.

In fact our election machinery is moulded for the purpose “Might is Right” and the political parties already in power or in opposition are elected by some magic wand of polling, hence the history of our Assembly elections is disillusion and deceptive as far as the political power has always rested with families rather than other growing and budding political parties of the state. With the result a permanent dynasty rule is deep-rooted forever. Infact the people of the State have also been fighting elections only for family victory and least for good and transparent governance. The outcome of such elections is the growing corruption, shameful scams and scandals, party indiscipline, misuse of political power, economic depression, increased graph of poverty, unemployment and price index.

Governor of J&K, Shri N.N. Vohra has rightly said that elections especially of 1987 have frustrated the youth of Kashmir (refer GK 12th February, 2012). He was chairing a panel discussion on Kashmiri youth and media which was organized by the Institute for Research on Indian and International Studies in the backdrop of releasing to the study report regarding Media Impact on Kashmiri Youth by its honorary Director Navinta Chadha who laid emphasis on giving sense of security and democratic freedom to the Kashmiri youth. The participants in the panel discussion were the journalists, academicians from Kashmir University and Islamic University, Vice Chancellor of SKAUST, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and Editor-in-Chief-The Tribune and top businessman and social activists who expressed their views about the problems of Kashmiri youth. However, the recent Home Ministry survey report vis-à-vis Kashmir also came under discussion which emphatically reiterated to engaging the Kashmiri youth productively for which the Governor said certain larger sample size surveys are needed in far flung areas of Kashmir.

It appears that addressing the grievances of the people of Kashmir is a core issue of the Government of India. Government has rightly realized that the youth of Kashmir have fallen victim to fraud elections and the apathy of leaders and politicians and have not been tolerated outside the State where they feel that they are not safe in their own country.

Whatever the pros and cons of the panel discussions and Home Ministry survey reports on Kashmir, one thing is evident that the people of Kashmir have all along cast their votes with the eyes shut or proceeded on an election boycott with their eyes half shut and have therefore altogether forgone their political obligations either way. With the result the Government of India has always installed the government of its own choice in the State and the election process have failed utterly in voting a popular government to power. Obviously as the election manifestos do not serve the purpose of the people at large and only favourtism, nepotism and red-tape are in vogue, the Government in power becomes meaningless for the people.

The recent example of Peerzada Muhammad Sayed-the former Education Minister is an irrefutable proof of how he made the State Government meaningless for illegally helping his foster son in connivance with the Board authorities to pass his matriculation examination in 2009. As Peerzada enjoys the patronage of Ms. Sonia Gandhi, no action could be taken against him. The gentleman did not submit his resignation to the Hon’ble Chief Minister and openly mentioned that Sonia Gandhi is his boss and not the Chief Minister. With these and many other details of the State Government, it is clear that our elections do not bring honest, upright and compassionate people to power and hence we are always wronged by the process of elections.

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