Editorial

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In the last few years, core issues that plague India have been made to cede much of the political space that they ought to rightfully occupy. That space is now occupied by the cow and commentaries about how its protection is crucial to not hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community — the majority population in the country. While issues such as inadequate health care infrastructure, poor education facilities, an ailing rural economy, farmer suicides, caste injustice, take a back seat. It is the protection of the cow that dominates political discussions and even policy, sometimes to the detriment of

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In the last more than three months we have seen the worst form of state violence against civilians in Kashmir. It is not the first time and it may not be the last time either that people of Kashmir are facing such crackdown after being killed and maimed for speaking about their rights. Dissent is everyone’s right and to express it fully is an equal right. But we are living in the times where dissenters are believed to be violent people who only want destruction and bloodbath. As much as one condemns such brutal state of affairs, it also tells

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Agha Shahid Ali Tomorrow is December 8, 2012. Eleven years ago on the same day one of the finest English poets, Agha Shahid Ali passed away. Shahid was a Kashmiri-American poet. He wrote, “[…] and I follow him through blood on the road and hundreds of pairs of shoes the mourners left behind, as they ran from the funeral, victims of the firing. From windows we hear grieving mothers, and snow begins to fall on us, like ash.” The monument of poetry he build remains there forever. Written words are never lost. They remain to live forever. Writing is such

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Faizan Sofi, 12, being produced in a Srinagar court. On September 4, a separatist group called for a strike against the construction of concrete  road for Amarnath pilgrims, which goes to the holy cave of Hindus. The strike was called “against the politicization of Amarnath Yatra”. In 2008, it was the same pilgrimage which sparked the mass protests in valley after a piece of land was transferred to the Amarnath Shrine Board. But this year the issue has been brewing at low intensity. The state government has said they didn’t receive any directions from the apex court to construct any

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It has been two years since the mass protests of 2010, during which more than 120 people; mostly teenagers were killed by government forces. Apart from killings and fatal injuries to people, the continuous arrests never stopped. Thousands of people, which include minors, were arrested by state police every now and then. The ready-to-put-in-jail command, which comes handy for state, has been the draconian law, Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety act (1978) (PSA). This act doesn’t keep anybody safe in Kashmir. It only imprisons them in dreaded jails of the state. Several people, from all over the valley, were, and

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Freedom of speech always comes under the pressure of the rulers. In conflict places like Kashmir, being one of the world’s long standing conflict, restrictions on mediums of communication are a daily exercise. In 2008, when the Amarnath Land Row started in summer there were number of local cable television news channels in Valley. Channels like Vaadi TV, Sen Tv, 9 TV were known for their daily reporting of the events. State didn’t like such coverage by these channels and they ordered them to stop telecasting news for longer durations first and later they banned them completely. Many news anchors

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Relatives of Pathribal fake encounter victims. The Indian Supreme Court decision, last week, which gives the Army privilege to choose the form of trial- whether military court martial or civilian courts- for the gruesome murders it committed 12 years ago, has strengthened army claims and impunity to them under Armed Forces Special Powers act (AFSPA). The decision, however, did expose the stand of the judicial system toward the grave human rights violations committed by Indian forces in Kashmir in last 24 years and its ability and capacity to deliver what it was supposed to deliver- the justice. Kashmir is not

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On January 30, 2008, Indian army blasts a residential house where suspected Kashmiri militants fighting troops were holed up, in Batpora village some 60 kilometers south of Srinagar. Photo: Javed Dar For decades Indian-held-Kashmir has been going through a turbulent time. Once people were fighting the Dogra rulers for their rights and then after the partition of British India people had to live in an atmosphere where they had no power over their land. The princely state Jammu and Kashmir shared borders with Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and China. After 1947 war between India-Pakistan the demography changed. The lust of land

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