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, May 20, 2012

Call Against Corruption Has a New Face in Kashmir

Watch out Kashmir! There is a new NGO in town determined to put a dent into organized corruption. Two reports on the march held by the Kashmir Corruption Watch (KCW) led by Rubina

(Dr.Rubina Lone, 36, was born in Handwara. She did her schooling first from Wood Lands High School and then Mallinson Girls Higher Secondary School, Srinagar. She completed her MBBS from the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinaga,r and then her MD from the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS). Dr. Lone did her fellowship in Molecular Microbiology and Genetics form CJIL, Agra, in 2003 and is currently working as Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, SKIMS Medical College, Srinagar. Apart from her job, she is involved in many community based social issues and and writes a weekly column, Postmortem, for the Kashmir Images.)

Call Against Corruption in JK Goes Shriller

Sameer Showkin Lone (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: Dozens of students, doctors, social activists and media professionals held a candle light vigil to raise their concerns against the rampant corruption in the state of J&K here on Tuesday evening. Holding placards reading “Let us light the candle for betterment of tomorrow”, the anti-corruption activists under the banner of Kashmir Corruption Watch (KCW) assembled on Dal banks and vowed that they will never give any kind of bribe to any official and will instead lodge a complaint against the person.

Falak Ara, a student of medicine science who participated in the vigil said, “Let us all join hands and eradicate the menace of corruption. We should come out of four walls and hold awareness camps, painting exhibitions and other programs in schools to make young students aware of the harms and ill effects of corrupt practices.” Dr Rubeena Lone, who runs KCW-a forum to fight corruption said, “Our aim is to inspire students and to discover the ill effects of corruption in our everyday life. Corruption is the biggest social evil confronting the people.”

Dr Rubeena said in future more innovative things will be done to fight corruption. “Everybody is welcome to participate in this sacred cause. We have started a war against it and we will fight it,” she said. Dr Yasir, who was a part of the sit-in said it is a protest against corruption suffered by a common man. Choudhary Bashir Ahmed Naz, Vice Chairman, State Advisory Board for Development of Gujjars and Bakerwal and other passersby including auto drivers hailed the move. “Good job, keep it up”, an auto driver told the protesters. Students Cash Union (SCU), General Secretary Medical College Bemina, Dr Irshad Muntazir highlighted the bad effects of corruption on society. “We have woken up and appeal others to join us and see the tree of corruption falling down before our eyes,” he said.

Meanwhile, tourists who were strolling along Dal banks also joined the protesters. They were keen enough to raise their voice against corruption which has penetrated deep in India. Later the protesters most of them students of Medical College, Bemina shouted in one voice: “Say no to corruption” and invited people beyond the lines of region, religion and politics to come and join the sacred cause to eradicate menace of corruption from the State.

Besides others, prominent among those present on the occasion included social activists Dr Muzzafar Bhat, Tanveer Ahmad, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool and students of journalism from Kashmir University.

Candles lit to Curse Kashmir Corruption

Srinagar: The civil society of Kashmir finally seems waking up to the menace of corruption with activists holding a holding a candle light vigil in Srinagar to convey that the curse was no more acceptable. The initiative was taken by Kashmir Corruption Watch (KCW), a social networking group on Facebook and in response scores of youth joined a candle light vigil on the banks of Dal Lake in the city here to create awareness against corruption in the state. “The vigil, held on Boulevard road along the banks of Dal Lake, was held by students and professionals who had responded to a call on social networking site Facebook,” sources said.

“Agreed, Facebook could be a nuisance but it can also help raising issues on vital importance for the societies,” said a participant, Shafqat Ahmad. “Though I am too pessimistic about the issue because I know that in Kashmir corruption has, sort of, been legitimized,” said Sabreena, a University student, adding if ‘this kind of demonstrations were held regularly, “these may give some jolt to our collective conscience.”

The organiser of the event, Rubina Lone, who is an Assistant Professor at a local medical institute, said the vigil was meant to create awareness among the youth. "This event is to raise awareness about the menace of corruption in the state," Lone said. She said the vigil is being held under the banner of Kashmir Corruption Watch, which she defined as an "idea". "It is not an organisation but an idea. We want to tell young people that corruption and corrupt people should be detested," she said. Lone said they will also hold essay competitions and cycling events in the near future to create awareness against corruption.

While appreciating Rubina Lone’s initiative, a junior engineer, Aijaz Malik said that the things will not change unless corruption continues to enjoy ‘social sanctity.’ “We have accorded a social sanctity to corruption. Ministers, officers, officials who have been found in corrupt practices are not being detested. Instead we have accorded social sanctity to the corrupt,” he said. (Kashmir Images)

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