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Photograph courtesy: Kashmiri cartoonist and graphic artist Mir Suhail The idea of the cow as the revered mother, worthy of lifetime service, and therefore outside the purview of the abattoir, is no earlier than a sixteenth century construct. Most Hindus today are under the impression that their Vedic ancestors revered the cow for its sacredness, a misconception actively encouraged by the drivers of current Hindutva politics. Hindutva, a relatively new political ideology that uses elements of Hinduism and the ‘otherness’ of Abrahamic faiths, drives the current majoritarian political discourse in India, using religious polarization as its raison d’etre. It proudly

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India’s livestock population (2012 Livestock census). Courtesy vikaspedia.in Livestock has played a crucial role in the Indian economy since pre-historic times. The cow and cow products like milk, ghee, meat and hide are mentioned in almost all religious texts of Hinduism. In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna is shown to have a close association with cows. In the Rigveda, there is description of a yagna to increase wealth generation from cows. In modern times, livestock continues to be the mainstay of the rural economy. In our country, approximately twenty million people are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood. Being a reliable

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Burhan Muzaffar Wani's funeral procession on July 9 in his native town Tral of South Kashmir. Photograph by Fahad Shah

The political narrative of Kashmir has been taken over by its tech savvy youth, which is visible in the on going uprising that erupted after the killing of 22-year-old local popular rebel commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. The Valley is prone to demonstrations and months long uprisings but the parameters of this uprising are largely distinctive. Equally, it seems the impact will be stronger and unique. Since 2010 when 15-year-old Wani had become a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and later its commander, his popularity swelled at high pace. Wani’s charm for his generation and use of new means to run

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A campaign started by Amnesty International to seek Khurram Parvez’s release along with many other detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) in Kashmir. On the day of Khurram Parvez’s arrest on September 16 and minutes before he was taken to police control room for a medical check up, he spoke to me briefly for two minutes. His words were brief too. “You have to be brave,” he said to me. His voice, like always – as it sounds to me – was reassuring and spirited. In these years that I have known him, first from distance as a young journalist

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The first episode of the series produced by Video Daddy can be watched here. “…the colour of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams.” – Claude Debussy Kashmir has always been a paradisaical place. A verdant land, in the absolute lap of the Himalayas. While living in Mumbai, I was in constant touch with some of my Kashmiri friends. So it was not like I had no idea of what it was like in Kashmir. But a month and a half back, when we arrived in Srinagar with the idea of making videos about

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Being attached with the areas of migration and having material political and cultural links with the areas of origin are common amongst migrants – diaspora communities settled in faraway lands. Kashmiris are no exception. There are Kashmiris from different parts of the divided state settled in many countries around the world. This is about the Kashmiris from what is officially called Azad Jammu and Kashmir and their activism around the elections in Azad Kashmir. Migration from Azad Kashmir to Britain was initiated in the last years of the nineteenth century when most of the world including what is to day India,

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President of Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party Sardar Khalid Ibrahim Khan. I will prefer to be a Pakistani Identity card holder than to be a voter of Azad Kashmir. I am Pakistani first then Kashmiri and my vote application cannot be rejected on the basis that Pakistani Identity card is a Pakistani document. This is my translation of headlines of an Azad Jammu and Kashmir (as it is known officially) newspaper ‘Sada e Chinar’ from the reporting of a press conference by Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, the head of Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party (JKPP). One of the senior most AJK leader called

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Reflecting stickers, huge billboards of election banners, confidential meetings to get support of influential groups and media statements in favor of and against the political icons of Pakistan-administrated Kashmir is very common these days. The current government of the region is about to complete its five years and alliances for next elections are being made. The control of politics of Pakistani-administrated Kashmir solely depends upon power corridors of Islamabad, as political parties involved in mainstream or/and power politics of Pakistan-administrated Kashmir are outskirts of Pakistan political parties except All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference. Notwithstanding the political vision and political

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Time: February 2014 Place: Dal Lake, Srinagar (state capital of India-Occupied Kashmir) Through a combination of political solidarity and the ever-unquenchable search for beauty in the world, I find myself penning this brief stream of consciousness from a house-boat in the middle of Dal Lake. A few hours back the sun rose, to my left, from behind the mighty snow-kissed peaks of the Himalayas, almost as if it was acknowledging, with its own radiance, that most glorious of mountain ranges. It glowed a brilliant orange as it receded into the waters to my right. I am starting to feel the

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National Institute of Technology in Srinagar. Photograph by Sameer Yasir/Firstpost.com The recent mess at the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar caught the eyeballs of a large chunk of people both inside Kashmir as well as outside. Every political Pundit has been giving his/her opinion about the issue however far from reality it be. But, what has hurt the most is the way this incident was blown out of proportion from petty political gains and TRPs and that caused the wedge to further widen between the communities and gave a communal colour to an altogether different incident as a consequence.

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