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, September 16, 2012

Destroying Sufi Icons and Symbols

Wahabism is bringing big changes in Kashmir

Arson Bid At Dooru Sufi Shrine Foiled

Srinagar: Protests broke out in the Dooru Shahabad area of Anantnag on Wednesday morning after robbers looted a major Sufi shrine and tried to set it ablaze.

Reports said that the robbers had broken a wooden chest holding offerings from pilgrims, and made off with the cash and valuables after setting it ablaze.

The robbery at the Khanaqah-e-Naqshband which holds sacred keepsakes from Hazrat Shah-e-Hamadan and has the grave site of celebrated Kashmiri poet Rasul Mir in its compound was carried out at around dawn.

But the arson bid, which could have inflicted heavy damage on the wood-constructed shrine, was foiled by a watchman who raised an alarm bringing locals in large numbers to the scene.

According to reports, some security guards in the vicinity also opened fire on detecting shadowy figures fleeing into the darkness.

The firing brought forces personnel to the scene who also joined locals in searching for the robbers.

Later, protestors halted traffic on the main road, demanding swift unmasking of the culprits.

This was the fourth place of worship to be targeted in Kashmir in the recent months during which the renowned shrine of Hazrat Dastgeer Sahib in Srinagar was gutted in June, and dargah destroyed in Budgam later. (Observer News Service)

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