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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pillar of democracy?

Man was born free but when he chose to become a journalist, he found himself in chains, Zahir-ud-Din comments

It happened yet again last week. The scribes now curse their stars for not being a part of the oldest profession (prostitution). The past two weeks were very difficult for the journalists. Time and again they were humiliated, thrashed and ridiculed. Alas! The second oldest profession is losing its sheen.
The journalists have been at the receiving end during the past twenty years of the on-going conflict. The commoner expects him to play saviour. He is under a mistaken notion that a journalist is all powerful and can perform miracles.  But this is far from the reality. In fact, the journalist is as endangered and helpless as the commoner on the street. They have been killed, abducted, arrested, intimidated and lured by the state and non-state actors. While the people envy the `privileges’ of the scribes, a question haunts all of them. Is it safe to pursue a career in the second oldest profession?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I don’t feel like an Indian

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Omar Bashir takes us through a very powerful and thoughtful piece of writing which combines a personal testimony and highlights the alienation of Kashmir with India

I was born in 90s—a time when armed rebellion against New Delhi’s rule in Kashmir was passing through the bloodiest phase. A few months before it actually began, I was enrolled in one of Srinagar’s prestigious school but I had most of my studies at home.

As one of my former principal writes in his memoirs that appeared in our school magazine a few years later: “There were only 60 working days and the rest of year was consumed by curfews, crackdowns, and strikes.”

Living in a posh colony shielded me from the outside world in some way; it couldn’t, however, stop me see what was happening in the streets outside. The voices of Azadi (freedom) became a part of my life and like any child who recites nursery rhymes, I found myself reciting my own, ‘
Hum Kya Chahetay Azadi (We Want Freedom)’, ‘Sarhad Paar Jayenge Kalashankope Layengay Bharat Ko Bhagayenge(We’ll Cross Over The Border, Bring Kalashnikov and Chase Away India)’.  One day I asked my father what a Kalashankope (Kalashnikov) was, he pointed towards a pressure cooker. I used to wonder why youth would cross over to Pakistan-administered Kashmir to get a pressure cooker. Time passed, my home became my school and my parents became my teachers.  I learnt English words before I learnt words, grenade, bomb, curfew, and crackdown became part of my lingo.  In May 1990, I remember my mother was expecting my younger brother and while accompanying her to the city’s Lalded hospital with my grandmother I saw blood for the first time. A blast occurred just outside the hospital. Dozens were injured. All of them were taken to the hospital and I saw blood oozing from their bodies—a scene that I can’t forget.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nothing personal about it

Sidelights of Kashmir Debates on Indian Television channels, by Gowhar Geelani

'Ostrich' on 'Devil's Advocate':
"Your party, the  National Conference passed a resolution for the restoration of autonomy, New Delhi rejected it; your party demanded partial withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), New Delhi rejected it; you, your son and your party demanded change in the status quo in Kashmir; New Delhi rejected it too, aren't you disappointed, isn't your party marginalized, isn't your credibility eroded, Karan Thapar's volley of questions to Mr. Farooq Abdullah? "No, not at all. I'm not disappointed. Credibility is a temporary thing, it isn't important. It comes and goes. What do you want me to do? Should I jump into a well, he replies. Farooq Saheb, even jumping into a well needs some credibility! Sorry, you've got no chance!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Youth Buzz!!!

Disputed territory
This refers to the Kashmir crisis. It is high time that the government of India and the citizens of the country understand that Kashmir is a disputed territory and not the part of India. The letters exchanged between Maharaja Hari Singh and Lord Mountbatten October 1947 clearly state that “The state of Jammu and Kashmir had never been a part Indian or Pakistani state, rather it had been an independent state.” Maharaja Hari Sing accepted his state with Indian Dominion to seek help.  And it was clearly mentioned that as soon as law and order restores in the State, the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference of the people..... not the ruling body. Why is the Indian State so envious to Jammu and Kashmir?  

Sentiment of Aazadi! (exposing Indian brutality)

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We can kill people to suppress their ‘hum kya chahte, Azadi’ (we want, Freedom) slogans but how can we suppress their sentiments, their feelings, their emotions and their outlook and attitude which tells them that ‘Indian occupation is illegal, it is tyrannical and pure oppression’, Mehdi Siddique has his take...

It is the first time from past 63 years that the Indian media, public at large and intellectuals have accepted that there is a word ‘Azadi’ buzzing around Jammu and Kashmir. But the irony is that some of them define it their ‘own’ way and link it with jobs, placements, security etc while others openly condemn this spirit which they very well know means complete independence from Indian state. Some people question the survival of Kashmir as an independent state while others see this sentiment from the prism of Pakistan; define it as a communal war which needs to be suppressed ‘by any means necessary’!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kashmiri Pandits: You owe us a condolence message

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We want pandits back in Kashmir, but it really pains when they malign the indigenous freedom movement to prove their loyalty to New Delhi, Hamid Jan Bader comments

My bother Kashmiri pandits
I know not, who is dead?
My chest embraced a bullet
Did your Conscience fell Dead?
I return all your hugs of Eid
I refuse Ramadhan greetings
You owe a condolence message
Of hundred recent dead.…

Kashmir: A place entrapped in 'Power Politics'

When the whole world was busy in celebrating Eid, Kashmiri people were out on the streets demanding freedom from India. What else they need to prove that it is not the noisy minority who demand freedom? Syed Haamid Bukhari comments (with inputs from editor Freedom Writers blog)
A place which seems different if we look it from historical prism. A place of international importance, where as soon as water dried up leading to its formation, it started sucking blood of those who lived on it in order to maintain its balance, its land wants to remain wet. It hardly measures the viscosity of fluid in which it used to bath from centuries. A place where Rajneeti (politics) took thousand lives of innocent, a place where big shopping complexes and colonies are made above ‘unmarked’ and ‘unknown’ graves. Tragedies from time and again didn’t happen naturally, no cloud burst took place but rulers from time to time crushed the land beneath their feet, as our modern oppressors use chilly bombs through choppers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Independence Day for Kashmir

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Do you think the people of Junagadh would have integrated with Pakistan after six decades of genuine Pakistani effort? No? Then can you really be confident that Kashmiris will stop demanding azaadi and integrate with India? Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar has his say...

On August 15, India celebrated independence from the British Raj. But Kashmiris staged a bandh demanding independence from India. A day symbolising the end of colonialism in India became a day symbolising Indian colonialism in the Valley.

As a liberal, i dislike ruling people against their will. True, nation-building is a difficult and complex exercise, and initial resistance can give way to the integration of regional aspirations into a larger national identity — the end of Tamil secessionism was a classical example of this.

I was once hopeful of Kashmir's integration, but after six decades of effort, Kashmiri alienation looks greater than ever. India seeks to integrate with Kashmir, not rule it colonially. Yet, the parallels between British rule in India and Indian rule in Kashmir have become too close for my comfort.

Many Indians say that Kashmir legally became an integral part of India when the maharaja of the state signed the instrument of accession. Alas, such legalisms become irrelevant when ground realities change. Indian kings and princes, including the Mughals, acceded to the British Raj. The documents they signed became irrelevant when Indians launched an independence movement.

The British insisted for a long time that India was an integral part of their Empire, the jewel in its crown, and would never be given up. Imperialist Blimps remained in denial for decades. I fear we are in similar denial on Kashmir.

The politically correct story of the maharaja's accession ignores a devastating parallel event. Just as Kashmir had a Hindu maharaja ruling over a Muslim majority, Junagadh had a Muslim nawab ruling over a Hindu majority. The Hindu maharaja acceded to India, and the Muslim nawab to Pakistan.

But while India claimed that the Kashmiri accession to India was sacred, it did not accept Junagadh's accession to Pakistan. India sent troops into Junagadh, just as Pakistan sent troops into Kashmir. The difference was that Pakistan lacked the military means to intervene in Junagadh, while India was able to send troops into Srinagar. The Junagadh nawab fled to Pakistan, whereas the Kashmir maharaja sat tight. India's double standard on Junagadh and Kashmir was breathtaking.

Do you think the people of Junagadh would have integrated with Pakistan after six decades of genuine Pakistani effort? No? Then can you really be confident that Kashmiris will stop demanding azaadi and integrate with India?

The British came to India uninvited. By contrast, Sheikh Abdullah, the most popular politician in Kashmir, supported accession to India subject to ratification by a plebiscite. But his heart lay in independence for Kashmir, and he soon began manoeuvering towards that end. He was jailed by Nehru, who then declared Kashmir's accession was final and no longer required ratification by a plebiscite. The fact that Kashmir had a Muslim majority was held to be irrelevant, since India was a secular country empowering citizens through democracy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

1 line msg for the people of India!

The 'Freedom Writers' Admin conducted a 'One line message' event, so that the Kashmiri voice can be heard in short and with wide spectrum. We got many messages, some of them are published below:

Our One Line message for the people of India:

                          • Mehdi Siddique Don't let d govt deceive u, they r playing politics just to save their 'chair'. It was the first PM of India himself who made a promise of 'plebiscite' to the ppl of Jammu and Kashmir, it is tym dat u take ur stand n support Kashmiris in dr struggle for Azadi. 

                          • Saqib Mir indians b realistic.............

                          • Shahroz Ahmed Sidiqi free kashmir

Monday, September 20, 2010

Indian Interpretation of 'Quit J&K Movement'

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‘Quit J&K Movement’ continues to dent the occupation despite distortions and will continue to do so with the help of its cyber crusaders who remain more than matches to the Indian agencies, Dr. Sheikh Showkat comments

‘Quit Jammu and Kashmir Movement’ was apparently conceived during Amarnath land row agitation (2008). Shopian double rape and murder case (2009) and its mismanagement provided Hurriyat Conference (G) an avenue of experimenting it. The plan was executed in 2010. In terms of its intensity it surpassed Quit Kashmir Movement of 1946 and Quit India Movement of 1942. The level of mobilization which Kashmir is experiencing remains unparalleled in Kashmir History. Moi-e-Muqadas agitation (1963) and Amarnath land row saw a mobilization but not as determined prolonged and widespread as Kashmir is experiencing today. In Quit Kashmir Movement of 1946 the centre of activity remained Khanqah-e-Maula and Pather Masjid. Every mosque of Kashmir from Kangan to Kishtiwar reverberates with slogans of Azaadi nowadays. There were twenty two recorded deaths during Quit Kashmir Movement mostly in Srinagar. Nowadays, police firing is causing death everywhere from Trehgam to Kulgam. The movement refuses to die down despite 104 deaths and arrest of thousands of youth and political workers. This huge mobilization has invoked a lot of media attention. It has triggered a Kashmir centric discourse both within Indian Parliament and its mass media. The projection however, instead of acknowledging it as a mobilization for freedom and reflection of peoples aspiration of self determination manipulates it and tries to give it varying interpretations conducive to protection of Indian interests.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stones kill, bullets don't

Let's all mourn the death of common sense

By: Ajaz ul Haque

The first asset bigotry snatches from a human mind is common sense. The idea can aptly be illustrated on hearing some BJP members speak in television discussions regarding Kashmir. A comment that will make even a nut die laughing came from ostensibly a well meaning man Chandan Mitra. Justifying the use of force against civilians Chandan calls stones `lethal' which to his mind can only be responded with bullets. Explaining an inanity like this can only amount to a space waste. That is what happens when politics and ideology overpower anyone leaving little space for sense to operate. Sure, we don't justify any mob violence that results in burning of public property and destruction of government buildings, but the whole point is about the disproportionate use of force. No sane person can smell `lethality' from stones the way he has done. To him stones kill, bullets don't. Otherwise numbers must have solved this `riddle' for him. It's about 100 civilians dead on one side, how many on the other. If `non-lethal' bullets could finish off a hundred, `lethal' stones that rain on them must have snuffed a thousand out. Do we need a court to entertain a case like this which just a single stroke of common sense can summarily dismiss as a piece of bad humor.

Dare Dream!

By: Gwen Saherx

Stone me! this dwelling is so eerie!
A dwelling! huh! where i can't be free!
Where i can't live Happy!

Ban on thoughts express
To think to express
To live life lively
To even breathe, sincerely!

Certain the Death by this viral attack
Like to live not life such a fake!

I want to enjoy real life
PLay football, to fly like a butterfly;
How come in doledrums, grief-striken?
Alas! things I'm forced to shun!

Do find for me a place
I can live with Grace
Where my life won't little seem-
where I can dare Dream!

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