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, April 28, 2012

Saving Jehlum

Two wonderful commentaries from Peerzada demonstrates his concern for today's environmental and social issues

(Mr. Peerzada Aarif, 22, was born in Kalantara, Baramulla. He passed his 8th grade from the J & K Sainik School, Manasbal, and passed the 10+2 examination from the Government Higher Secondary School, Kachwamuqam, Baramulla. He completed my Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Video Production from the Degree College, Baramulla in 2010. In the same year he was ppointed as a teacher in the J&K School Education Department. Presently he is enrolled in the my B.Ed program of the University of Kashmir.)

Saving Jehlum

Jhelum is the life line of Kashmir. Interiors of Jhelum once added to the beauty of the city, now on the edge of depletion. Parts of Jhelum which flow through the City look like a bad smelling drain which has only waste water coming out of houses.

Our ancestors say that the cool breeze of Jehlum used to be calm and sweet. But our new generation prefers to stay away from the banks because there’s filth all around. Jhelum is the gift of God to the people of Kashmir. We need to wake up to keep it clean and restore its glory. So far many steps have been taken up by the government but all in vain.

The waste material which lies on the banks of Jhelum is enough to feed dogs and to help them grow healthy. Time and again the miserable condition of the water bodies has been brought to the notice of the authorities but nobody seems interested in taking cognizance. The results are obvious. Slowly but surely the city is turning into a cesspool. While many tears have been shed over the dying Dal Lake, Nigeen and Anchar lake, the lifeline of the Valley (Historic Jhelum) has been totally ignored.

Both the people and the authorities must bear in mind that the historic river forms the lifeline of the Valley. Everything ranging from irrigation to power generation is dependent on this river. Doom of the river shall have disastrous consequences on this paradise on earth. The government must also undertake an awareness campaign to make the people realize the importance of this historic river. This can be done by various means including introduction of environmental preservation as a subject at the primary level. The authorities, therefore, need to wake up before it is too late.


Social networking sites have become exceedingly popular in recent years. This increased popularity has caused concern among many parents about how these sites are affecting their children.

Parents are becoming aware of many disadvantages of social networking sites including their affect on a child's ability to concentrate. Constant online communication affects children, making it difficult for them to communicate and concentrate when away from the screen. It is, therefore, important for parents to monitor their children's online social interactions andplace a time limit on how longthey can spend on the computer.

Notable among the disadvantages of social networking sites is the presence of cyber bullying. Parents should monitor their children's online social interactions to prevent them from becoming victims of cyber bullying. Social networking can affect children negatively if they are inadvertently dragged into some sort of cyber bullying, which may lead to teen suicides.

Social networking affects children to the extent that these networks sometime encourage interpersonal relations that are unrealistic.A child's online interactions with people who could influence them in a negative manner may expose them to quite serious threats and potential dangers. Sometimes a child's online social interactions may not be appropriate. The luxury of hiding behind a screen where they are unknown gives them the opportunity to say anything. This freedom could result in fightsor online bullying.

Despite their disadvantages,social networking sites havemany advantages. Children may make some good friendsonline, become more aware of current affairs, and get career guidance. A child's online social interactions, if properly monitored, can be beneficial to their career andlife.

Social networking affects communication among children, which can be both positive and negative. The disadvantages of social networking sites can be offset by having some kind of plan in place where parents can supervise their child’s internet activities. Children should be educated about how online communication affects them and about the negative effects their online social interactions may have.

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