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, November 11, 2012

Too Important to Ignore

Rufaida touches on an unpleasant topic

Divorce Cases on Rise in Summer Capital

Syed Rufaida (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: The frequency of cases related to divorce and division of joint families into smaller units has witnessed a sharp incline in Sadder Court Srinagar over the past two years, lawyers say. They say joint families are fast giving way to smaller and fragmented units in the social set up of Kashmir.

Senior advocate, Ajaz Dar said that in Sadder Court Srinagar, more than eight cases are registered every day under section 488, in which girls demand separate homes and refuse to live with their in-laws. He said the nuclear families have become a trend and forms the base of most of the cases registered in the court under 488 CrPC.

“80 per cent cases every year registered under section 488 are listed to get separate homes. Females allege that they are harassed, because they cannot fulfill demands of their in-laws. They (women) use dowry as the reason to fulfill their demands, while as in reality they are neither harassed nor tortured but want to get rid of their in-laws,” said advocate Rukhsana Khan. She said it is a “grave” situation and needs immediate attention of one and all. “Rising concept of nuclear families is paving way for establishing more and more old age homes in city.”

Lawyers at Sadder Court feel the judges can play a key role while dealing with such cases, so that least divorces take place. They feel reconciliation is the best way to deal with such cases and it can help to maintain the balance. “Females are satisfied even after getting divorce because they get maintenance charges from their husbands every month,” Ruksana said. She added that if judges would decline the maintenance charges, a compromise would be the first priority. “Misunderstanding is the only cause of such disputes between a couple. Reconciliation is the best way to deal with such cases, but petitioner (female) never compromises. Marriage that was considered as pious relation, now regarded as a deal and turned materialistic,” added Rukhshana.

While discussing cases filed under section 488, advocate Hashmat Ali said that besides surge in post-marital disputes in Srinagar, more and more premarital disputes are coming up. “At least 4-5 such cases are registered every month. These are exceptional cases we are coming through and they have created a question mark over the development of our society,” he said adding just after the Nikah ceremony, rifts arise between families and cases come to the court.

Lady advocates working in Sadder Court said that coming across such cases several times a day affects their mind and they feel insecure. “Every day I come across such cases and it disturbs me a lot. I keep on thinking that what is going to happen with our society,” said a lady advocate wishing not to be name.

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