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

Paying the Price

Civil Society in Kashmir is quick to raise hue and cry against political and religious intrusions, but quietly ignores environmental degradation when making a fast buck

9/11/2012 11:50:56 PM
Srinagar: In a tragic incident, a person got killed when the famous Thajiwas glacier at Sonamarg gave way this evening and a portion of its fell on a group of tourists. Several tourists sustained injuries.
The deceased was identified as Dr Zubair Ahmad Chowdhury of Poonch. The injured were rushed to the Primary healthcare, Sonamarg where they are stated to be stable.
According to reports, a portion of the glacier gave way when scores of tourists were close to the glacier. Reports said five persons got buried under the collapsed portion. The police, reports said, swung into action immediately and launched a massive rescue operation. Five persons were retrieved and rushed to the Primary Health Centre where Dr Zubair was declared dead. The injured identified as Showkat Ahmad Rather of Bagh-e-Mehtab, Srinagar, Muhammad Irshad and Sheikh Suhail of Kolkata and Umesh Kumar of Uttar Pradesh. All of them were discharged after first aid.
A case under Section 174 CrPC has been registered. Investigations have been launched.
Pertinently the civil society and the environmentalists raised a hue and cry over the recent Supreme Court judgment on Amarnath yatra. Road widening as suggested by the apex court was vehemently opposed. But the plight of Thajiwas and vandalization of forests by state and non-state actors was not touched. Nobody objected the parking lot that has came up at the base of the glacier.
(Early Times Report)

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