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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Radical land reforms were key to Sheikh Abdullah’s towering influence on Kashmir

Within the Valley, the reforms caused a social transformation that has few parallels. It is relatively well-known that many Kashmiris almost worshipped the ground on which Sheikh Abdullah walked. Seventeen persons were killed in stampedes at his funeral. However, the roots for his iconic popularity are rarely discussed. It is well worth recalling on his 112th birth anniversary that the most vital reason for his popularity was land reforms, which most Kashmiris identify through the slogan, ‘land to the tiller’. The land reforms in Kashmir, which were among the first…

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Why Muslims are on downslide?

Evolutionary process never stops. World progresses while evolution goes on. Actions keeping pace with evolution have made great progress and reached even the moon and the Mars. People died of diseases they never knew. Modern medical science has brought and saved life from being destroyed by curable diseases. Even body parts can be replaced/ People after going cardiac surgery survive 50 and 60 years. God has gifted man with knowledge and man used this gift for the welfare of mankind. Look at marvels like electricity, aircraft, automatic instruments, astronomy and…

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