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, August 31, 2012

Land of Barbarians

Dr. Iftikar ponders on societal response to Kashmir's greatest tragedy

A Society Which Sleeps Over the Deaths of 500 Infants

Dr Iftikar (Rising Kashmir)

If you want to know that society which slept over the death of 500 tender souls, just look around and then look at your own self, you will surely find it. As state subjects, we all are equally responsible for these deaths as is the government of our state. ‘Kashir Manz chini kah health care, yeti mare insan Tap seeth’ these are the most common words which all of us use, when we need medical facilities or when we carry someone to hospital. Trust me; this is our only contribution to medical setup of the state.

Proactive, intellectual, educational class is the backbone of any society which we have but when it comes to doing good for a healthy society, almost everyone is a failure. I am not provoking any one for ‘kani jang’ against the government but yes I am provoking every one for being a responsible positive and constructive citizen.

In 2012, we lost nearly 500 infants due to one reason or the other. These figures could have been controlled and reduced by 50 percent but unfortunate approach of Medical education Minister and his team left us nowhere. If it would not have been our local media which highlighted these unfortunate deaths, the rate would have been much higher. Thousands of kids at an alarming rate would have been lost. It could have been possible the way government and our Society responded to these 500 deaths.

Apart from media, the personnel intervention of CM on regular basis improved the setup to reasonable level. After all he himself is a father of two kids. His role needs to be appreciated considering the improvements that happened in GB Pant hospital, valley’s only pediatric hospital, after the fiasco. At the same time, being head of the state, he is responsible for whatever happened.

As far as the Health Minister of the state is concerned, it is an irony that he is still occupying the chair. Strange very strange. I am not against him. I don’t even know him but can someone please tell me what he and his team had been doing for months together which brought the system down to the level of a disaster.

Ventilator tubes are supposed to be changed from patient to patient or sterilized but take a shocker here. For 6 months they were not changed. It was shameful of such doctors, who used to put babies on these ventilators which proved to be the major cause of deaths. Allegations of strong drug mafia, PG student being forced to give money and even forced to prescribe specific brand medicines are no small allegations. All this continued for three-four months. Bohat shor howa, sabne afsoos kiya, HOD attach hova, kahani khatam.

There are many organizations working for the development of J&K but no one came forward to raise a question. GB Pant mess also brought to surface the confused and divided political control in the congress. Peerzada’s resignation came so fast as if he had himself copied in the exams. I am not defending him rather I am trying to understand is copying a more serious crime than a criminal negligence which led to 500 deaths?

Every political party is getting ready for2014. No one is speaking against the deaths. Even the opposition has decided not to utter a word. Open assaults were made by CM on the credibility of Health Minister but even that didn’t make any visible impact. May be Delhi had a greater say.

I hope that the Hon’lbe Health Minister does not get angry at me. I wanted to take these things out of my mind. Don’t mind. By the way, in your opinion, who is responsible for these hospital deaths? Somebody needs to answer.

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