Authors Posts by Saima Bhat

Saima Bhat

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Family of double-rape-murder victims Asiya and Neelofer in Delhi, protesting against the CBI inquiry in the case. Photo: Kashmir Dispatch By Saima Bhat Indian-held-Kashmir is a highly militarized zone where for every citizen- the armed forces are in ratio of 1:20, the highest soldier-to-civilian ratio in the world. Women are generally targeted, they are overpowered by the perpetrators in every society and same is the case here where women have been targeted socially, mentally as well as physically. Indian forces are believed to be hyper masculine who just know how to abuse. They have always tried to attack psyche of

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A parcel bomb blast in Srinagar office of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) changed the life of its then correspondent, Yusuf Jameel. He still sits in the same office but never dares to sit in the same room where he lost his friend in the blast. Jameel was born in 1958, started his career as a writer when he was in college. He used to write for his college magazine Aabshaar (in Urdu), of which he later became an editor. He was a regular contributor to Khaleej Times, Blitz (Bombay) and Munsif (Hyderabad) before joining a local daily Aftaab as

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Kashmiri Women offering prayers. Kashmiri woman has long been portrayed as a mute spectator of all that has happened and is happening. Considered to be bystanders in the politics of Kashmir, these women have hardly been heard. Their views and choices have long been neglected by those who claim to cover Kashmir. The only time Kashmiri woman get chance to speak is when her family is a victim of some tragedy. Victims of a long conflict, this is how most of the media outlets depict Kashmiri woman. The politics and visions of a Kashmiri woman hardly get space. But Kashmir,

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A day before Eid-ul-Azha, Shazia Majeed, 28, was found hanging to a ceiling fan in her house. She died in mysterious circumstances. She was a mother of a three year old girl. She had disputes with her husband, Javaid Ahmad Wani, ever since they got married. Shazia, the only daughter and sister of her two brothers was living happily with her family. She was a gold medalist of her batch (at University of Kashmir) and then got a job of librarian in Islamic University of Science and Technolgy, Awantipora. After getting a job her parents started looking for best matches

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An artist, performing Ladishah. Ladishah, the art of embedded satire in songs pleasing the kashmiri ear since eighteenth century now faces extinction. The peculiar rhythm coupled with situational sarcastic lyrics can still be remembered by many. Dressed in a pheran, white trousers and a white turban, Ladishah would arrive with his musical instrument and play the melodious musical notes and sing satire. Ladishah, the author himself communicates a particular message about the cultural, social and political vandalism. There are no metaphors in Ladishah, it is in the simple local language. Ladishah is a type of folk literary genre. It is

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By Saima Bhat Fifty two-year-old, Santosh and her two sons are among the 651 Pandit families who didn’t migrate when the turmoil started in Kashmir. Their decision was taken by Hari Krishan, Santoosh’s husband, who died shortly after his house in Barbarshah, Srinagar was burnt. The family says their house was burnt by some ‘miscreants’ as a reaction to the act of Indian troops who, to catch a militant, burnt down a shrine in Chare-i-Sharief in 1995. While Santosh’s family survived the fire with the help of her Muslim and Pandit neighbours, the brunt of the loss they went through

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            By Saima Bhat Zareef Ahmad Zareef with great sufi poet Abdul Ahad Zargar in late 70s. Zareef Ahmad Zareef was born on April 17, 1943 in Aali Kadal, belongs to a middle class family in the Old city of Srinagar. He resides at Baadisha-i- Darwaza, near Makhdhoom Sahib Shrine. His father, Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Shah, owned an embroidery shop at Pathar Masjid and his mother, Mokhta Begum was a simple home maker. Zareef says he was dearer to his father and owes the credit of being a satirical poet to him only. He believes that this craft of satire is

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                 By Saima Bhat Memories are sacred. How fortunate are those who have a sharp memory. The day was 14 July 1992. I was seven years old. I don’t remember the exact time but it was early morning.  Sun was about to rise and birds were chirping, welcoming the day. I was sad, as it was a school day. Still I was expecting my mother to wake me up and prepare me for school. In the bed, I was struggling to keep my eyes closed. I was trying my best to enjoy another five minutes of sleep. Suddenly, I heard

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By Saima Bhat It was a speech and what followed it that made him a hero of the 1931 uprising in Kashmir. His identity, however, still remains a mystery. Abdul Qadeer Khan left the political scene of Kashmir as dramatically as he entered it.  His speech against the Dogra rule in the state at Khanqah-i-Moulla shrine, asking people to revolt against the cruel policies of the Maharaja, gave a vent to the perpetual yet dormant anger among the civilians who suffered under different autocratic rules of Sikhs, Afghans and then the Dogras. Although much has been written about Khan by

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