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

Three Young Journalists Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

In spite of it all there are nice flowers blooming among weeds 

Three Kashmiris Scribes Bag Fulbright Fellowship

Reyaz Ahmed (Kashmir Monitor)

Baramulla: Three young Kashmiri journalists, including two women, have been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Master’s Fellowship to pursue higher studies in top American journalism schools.

Ashwaq Masoodi, a Delhi-based correspondent with the ‘Asian Age’, Showkat Nanda, a freelance photojournalist and formerly Assistant Editor with a local weekly, and Maroosha Muzzaffar, correspondent with ‘The Indian Express’ in Delhi were recently declared as the recipients of the 2012-13 Fulbright fellowship, a highly competitive exchange program, given by the US State Department to people who demonstrate excellence in their respective fields of study.

Ashwaq, a former media student of Baramulla Degree College, having a PG Diploma from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) will go to the Columbia School of Journalism in New York, for an MS in Journalism with specialization in Magazine journalism. Showkat, a postgraduate from Kashmir University’s MERC, will be going to Missouri Graduate School of Journalism in Columbia for a specialization in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Maroosha, also a former MERC student, will pursue an 18-months program in Long Form Narrative Journalism at the New York University.

The three Kashmiris will join 17 other scholars from different parts of India to embark on this prestigious fellowship this summer.

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