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, February 3, 2013

Guess What's Up

The rise in civilian crimes will energize civil society anywhere to engage in public outcry and government accountability, but Kashmir's one-dimensional civil society is not interested

JK Crime Rate In Upward Swing

Observer News Service

Srinagar: In a disturbing picture of the state of society, latest police figures show 24, 608 criminal cases registered in Jammu and Kashmir in 2012, with an increased incidence in reported rape, sexual harassment, attempted murder and kidnapping.

According to Crime Branch data, 104 more criminal cases were registered in 2012 as compared to the previous year, though the murder rate had marginally fallen. Suicides and domestic violence against women have shown an upward trend.

In 2012, the police had registered 303 cases of rape across the state, while the number was 277 in 2011, the official website of the Crime Branch says, indicating an increase of 26. Last year, reported murder cases stood at 124, while the figure was 169 the previous year - a drop of 45. In sharp contrast, cases of attempted murder had leapt up to 511 from 494 in 2011. According to the Crime Branch, kidnapping cases registered in 2012 stood at 1,093, as compared to 1,077 in 2011.

The cases mostly related to kidnapping of children, the Crime Branch says. Sexual harassment (previously known as molestation) cases too have shown a marked rise, with 1,322 incidents registered last year, up by 128 cases the year before. Domestic violence against women too has shown an upward trend, with 301 cases registered in 2012 as compared to 286 in 2011. Robbery and other assorted crime registered last year stood at 6,768, again a marked increase from the 6,113 in 2011.

The suicide graph too has risen over the year, from 369 cases in 2011 to 373 in 2012. Similarly, violence against domestic helpers had risen to 541 cases registered in 2012, from 507 in 2011.

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