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Showing posts from 2012

The Instrument of Accession

Also published on Viewpoint, Rising Kashmir
Out of 565 princely states, the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed a unique position before the partition. It had a history of Hinduism, with a majority Muslim population. In the ‘Memorandum on States, Treaties and Paramountcy,’ it was stated that the status which the princely states enjoyed would lapse at independence.
Morris Jones, a Constitutional Advisor of Mountbatten further stated: “The void which would be created due to absence of relations with princely states would have to be filled either by a federal relationship or by ‘particular political arrangements’ (International Affairs, Legacy of Mountbatten, 1983, p.624).” In his memoirs, he ascertains that the most favoured treatment for the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir was the referendum received by the Frontier States.  Unfortunately, his consultative advice didn’t get any compelling recognition because it was put forward in the political turbulence of Kashmir’s October Revolu…

Maneuvers before acession

Also published on Viewpoint, Rising Kashmir
Death and destruction were fast approaching Srinagar, our smug world had collapsed around us, the wheels of destiny had turned full circle,’ writes Karan Singh on October, 1947 (Heir Apparent, p.57) - while the war of words went on between Government of Pakistan and princely state of Jammu & Kashmir, the dominion of India guaranteed moral and political support to the besieged Maharaja. Here, it becomes very important to analyse the situation through political commentators that lead to the maneuvers for accession in later time.
The revolt of Poonch in Spring of 1947 had angered religious sentiments because the Maharaja had insisted his disapproval on‘no tax campaigns.’ Richard Symonds, a social worker with a group of British Quakers working in Punjab wrote: ‘There was tax on every hearth and every window. Every cow, buffalo and sheep was taxed, and even every wife. Dogra troops were billeted on the Poonchis to enforce the collection (Korb…

Education Disparities in Kashmir

Also published on Viewpoint, Rising Kashmir

Kashmiri people in pursuit of education have ventured out to different countries. Most popular countries of them include United Kingdom, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, United States, Australia and New Zealand to name a few. In pursuit of  better job prospects, higher industrial exposure and reputed qualifications, many of our Kashmiri youth have realized that it’s no longer good to confine themselves to universities in India or in Kashmir itself because the amount of tuition fee for many popular courses,the lack of modern curriculum, the less brand equity of universities in Kashmir and very high competition amongst students for competitive courses have made matters very stressful for Kashmiri students.

Many Kashmiri students have developed this psychological tendency of studying outside of Kashmir due to emulations for a better future. We have universities, we have degree conferments, we have able professors, but what w…

Kashmir's Graffiti Art

Also published on Columns, The Kashmir Walla and Viewpoint, Rising Kashmir

Graffiti’s are colourful products of creativity, stenciled and sprayed on walls. This inscribed artistry showcases the ruminations of injustice in various forms. It fathoms art into reality, by agitations caused within a creative mind. In Kashmir, we encounter slogans written on walls and archaic stones through coal and paint. ‘We Want Freedom’, ‘I Protest’ or ‘Azaadi’ have been reminders of enslavement in different forms, as a means to protest against the occupation. However, it cannot be called as a graffiti art in the real sense. These are plain writings on the walls and just a means of guerilla campaigning of Kashmir’s conflict. They are not sophisticated graphic imageries. Our vale seriously needs to evolve into intellectual, societal and ideological ascensions, in order to develop this art in its real sense. Let’s learn something from expert artists of Britain, from Australia, and why shouldn’t we?
When we …

Kashmir's Geo-Strategic Position

Also published on viewpoint, Rising Kashmir

Kashmir is gifted with strategic leverages for emerging nations. That’s why, it’s is a vale of caged aspirations. The current geo strategic position for Kashmir is dictated by three emerging nations, which are bred with Secular, Islamic and Communist ideologies.
Kashmir is a mountainous valley and is surrounded by a hilly and mountainous terrain. The land of Jammu, Muzafarabad, Gilgit, Baltistan and Ladakh constitute an area of highlands. They border Pakistan, Afghanistan, Xinjiang, and some parts of Chinese administered Tibet. Kashmir also has proximity to Central Asian Republics. With the nature of increased arm strengths developed by India, Pakistan and China, the geo strategic position of Jammu and Kashmir continues to get importance.
Throughout history, all the political changes that have occurred outside of Kashmir, have had a direct strategic impact on the territorial integrity. The wars of foreigners throughout centuries intensified th…

Kashmir and Militarism

Also published on Opinion, Rising Kashmir

Kashmir is like an open prison. The people are captives of caged aspirations. On roads, the convoys of armies look like caravans of modern warfare. Their ammunitions a grave scourge. Militarisation has been cruel to a civil way of life in Kashmir because people have seen raging soldiers lingering around block after block. Kindness is gone from the land, the truth has been tortured and people still continue to get humiliated. 
It is said that there was a time when 35th Rastriya Rifles used to give ‘cash for corpses incentive scheme’ to its battalion members, through which even innocents have been killed, because no one was asked who the gunman fired. Today, India claims itself to be the world’s largest democracy. It takes pride in its written constitution, its secularity, the promised reforms to economic prosperity, but acts as a rogue state when nationalism becomes a preferred doctrine to subdue the oppressed craving for liberation - it holds tr…

The path that Kashmiri leaders should take

Also published on viewpoint, Rising Kashmir

Kashmir has been a place where our political history is like a conundrum for India and Pakistan where clashes of ideologies occur due to primacy of nationalism. For Kashmir, imposed foreign nationalism has been a dangerous trend – this nationalism is a doctrine where India and Pakistan dictates to us that their respective national culture should be superior to our culture, which is appallingly discriminatory, and that has shattered our need for the aspiration of independence, felt by Kashmiri people under foreign domination since decades.
Kashmir is in need for an amalgamation. Fractured regions plundered by both countries have made our ambitions difficult to achieve. Leaders from both countries know this. They themselves have recognised the fact that Kashmir is a dispute in countless pacts, but due to the complexities of legal interpretations made during the partition era, the war outbreaks, a pessimistic past for future reconciliation, lack …

Evolution of Kashmir's Social Media for Libertarianism

Also published on Viewpoint, Rising Kashmir

Social media has become a modern tool for dissenters. It is medium of expression by netizens, aided by a technological revolution. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogger and Tumblr are leading it at the front. We live in a world of technological gateways that have paved the way for cohesion of intellectuals online. Kashmir is not far behind. Our vale also had its share of educating masses especially aiding civil discontent through an aware youth during crises. We do have intellectuals in our social circles that were upfront during the unrest that happened cyclically in the last six years. We also have voices whose intellect is helping us to be vigilant regarding the current affairs of our society through retrospection of knowledge acquired globally.

When we speak of traditional grassroot activism, it has its foundations in academic theory that can be linked to modern social media activism today. One of the world’s topmost intellectual, Noam Choms…

My journey of Kashmir Conflict

Also published on Rising Kashmir

It was a procession to Char-e-Sharif.  Shabir Shah was participating in it. My mum tells me that I was in a servant’s lap, while some of my family were watching the procession going through the main road. It was a call to freedom during those fearful days of insurgency. It was then that my family tells me that my first babbling was a babbling of freedom ‘Azaadi’.   I have lived in the outskirts of the Srinagar city, Baghi-Mehtab, which was previously called as ‘Karnal Bagh’. It was an enormous property of a wealthy army man that was eventually taken over by the government. A land filled with peach trees, an estate of foliages. My grandfather used to tell me old lores about this place. During the olden days, it was so quiet and haunting at night that he used to praise the courage of my grandmother who used to wait for him till he broke his hunger with a late supper.  Years after, since this large green estate was converted into a housing colony, with a mi…