Srinagar the “SMART” Prison!

Sometime back there was talk of declaring some cities all over the country as “Smart” cities for proper development on modern lines. Srinagar was also included in the list of these cities. Incidentally, Srinagar, the City of the Sun is probably one of the oldest cities in the world. The 2000 year old city is something one should have been proud of. Only few decades back Srinagar used to be the capital of “Paradise on Earth” but not now. Description of Srinagar especially its gardens, popular avenues, chinars, the Bund…

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Dark side of Hijab

I preferred to be shot to death in Kashmir than be cheated to death in India I am an English lady who converted to Islam in Kashmir in May 2017. I am travelling by myself and one of the problems I have encountered is my lack of any accompanying (maharam). I have previously written about one aspect of this – the fact that as I am without na-maharam, in the UAE nobody will speak to me. This applies only to the Emirati people. In Kashmir, people used to talk to…

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Padmaavat: An exercise in Islamophobia

Padmaavat—a Sanjay Leela Bhansali bollywood production has hardly anything that should have made Hindutva zealots run riot on streets. I got to see the movie in a Bradford cinematic theatre, during annual sojourn with my children and grandchildren living in England. Bradford has large Asian population, mostly Pakistanis. The rush to see the highly controversial movie was obvious. You had to have an advanced online booking to get in. We were in a packed hall. No surprises that the film netted 250 crore plus globally over first few weeks of…

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Peace in Kashmir would benefit all parties

A report submitted to the Indian Parliament last month blamed Pakistan for a large spike in the number of violations of the Kashmir cease-fire agreement the two countries signed back in 2003. India alleged that the Pakistani Army had indulged in firing and/or shelling on at least 860 instances in 2017, almost three times the number in the preceding year. The shelling has become so intense in recent weeks that more than 36,000 residents of villages close to the border have been moved to safety. Besides cross-border violence, last year…

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Maqbool Bhat – The Martyr, A Teacher, A Scholar & A Politician

Another 11th of February has come. A citizen of Kashmir, in whatever part of the world he is, remembers Maqbool Bhat, the martyr, on this day. This is the day on which Maqbool Bhat attained martyrdom by  ascending the steps to the gallows of the Indian government. It brought him immortality as he paved the way for the freedom of Kashmiri nation. People will copiously read and write on his political philosophy. Much has already been written. As a friend of humanity, a brother, a student and a politician, he had reached the pinnacle of glory.…

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Mental distress in Kashmir

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, we cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation for individual well-being and the effective functioning of the community. According to WHO only one percent of the global workforce works in mental health and the median public expenditure on mental health per person…

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Are Muslims to be blamed for Pandit Migration?

Muslims need to stop being apologetic for a crime which we didn’t commit The Kashmiri Pandit“trump” card is often employed not only by the right wing parties but also by the mainstream media and the general masses of India to justify the wanton acts of brutality and oppression inflicted upon the hapless people of Kashmir. This card is also used to deny us our basic right the right to self-determination. In general the Kashmiri Muslims are held culpable for the “ethnic cleansing” and so called “genocide” of Pandits which later…

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Shawl making in Kashmir

The arts and crafts of Kashmir have enjoyed a well-earned fame for centuries. The pre-eminence of the decorative art can be attributed to historical conditions that shaped the cultural development of the Kashmiri people. The people of the Valley have thus developed their technical and artistic traditions over centuries. In fact art of a place is the heritage of many generations; it represents a series of consecutive layers, which reflect people’s culture through the ages. The small or big creations reflect the necessity of everyday life as well as the…

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Spring of Kashmir

The word spring comes from the German word springer, which refers to “leaping from the ground”. Without going much in scientific definitions, in simple terms it is any natural situation where water flows to the surface of the earth from underground. During my Ph. D work, I have surveyed almost all the areas of Kashmir valley for collection of aquatic plants. In all the districts of Kashmir valley, I have experienced that small springs were the primary source of drinking water and even in most parts small springs water channels…

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The time when Hindi Journalism turned into ‘Hindu’ Journalism

The period of the VHP’s belligerent build-up to the Babri Masjid destruction saw the rise of a mainstream ‘kar sevak’ media which destroyed the very fundamentals of journalism. Twenty five years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, The Wire, through a series of articles and videos captures how the act of destruction changed India forever. I seek your indulgence for starting with a personal anecdote. It can only be described as an unhappy conjuncture of events in the ninth decade of the century gone by that, just when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad…

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