Essays

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By Fahad Shah [I]n the political arena of the Jammu and Kashmir, a little known family before 1930s which made it to the pages of history is the Abdullah’s of Kashmir. Starting from Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who belonged to a shawl weaver family and became the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to the current Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his grandson, the family has been in the mainstream politics of the state over the years. Born in 1905, Sheikh Abdullah emerged as the powerful political figure of the then princely state, Jammu and Kashmir, but after his political defeats in

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Agha Shahid Ali, around 1998 (Image from the interview for the ‘Poets of New England’ series with William Moebius) If There Is a Poet, It Is This, It Is This The passing away of Agha Shahid Ali in 2001 was a collective loss to Kashmir- the most eloquent Kashmiri-English poet, a writer of unmatched elegance and virtuosity, a chronicler of pain- his poetry is the very stuff of beauty, loss and redemption. His death deprived Kashmir of one of its most potent cultural voices, a voice that would have done more good than any Track 1 or Track 11 effort.

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By Ishrat Bashir We were the people who were not in the papers; We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. Margret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale Nationalisms ‘have typically sprung from masculinized memory, masculinized humiliation and masculinized hope’, remarks Cynthia Enloe in Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. So is Mirza Waheed’s debut novel The Collaborator, typically a ‘masculinized’ narrative in which women are pushed to ‘the edges of print’. The women in the narrative come across as ‘ghosts’ and ‘shadows’ rather than real suffering human beings. Their voices are hardly heard

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A laborer carries a box of apples at a wholesale market in Jammu, India, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. Since June, Kashmir has been rocked by violent anti-government protests and the subsequent crackdowns by security forces that have killed several people. The conflict has disrupted all aspects of life, businesses have lost millions of dollars and the fruit industry is one of the sectors which has suffered losses. (AP Photo/Channi Anand) By Showkat Anwar Bhat [A] wave of optimism has swept across the economic development of our state.  In the past thirty years, absolute poverty has descended substantially, almost entirely due

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By C. Rohan The visit of the Prime Minister to Myanmar, the first after 25 years is marked a new chapter in India’s foreign policy. This visit is important primarily for three reasons. Firstly, India’s changing status as an emerging power and its increasing involvement in international politics; secondly, its global commitment to democracy promotion along with the United States; thirdly, to counter China. India’s self claim and to some extent, its acknowledged status as an emerging power, its involvement in international politics is bound to increase. As U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to India pointed out, “For

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By Saba Anjum Development of Language demarcates a vital evolutionary invention by mankind in the last few million years. It was an adaptation that helped our species to exchange information, make plans, express new ideas and totally change the appearance of the planet. In other sense, it helped us translate vision into thoughts and sounds. The most complicated mechanical motion that the human body can perform is the activity of speaking. While generating the sounds of spoken language, the various parts of the vocal tract perform movements that have to be accurate within millimeters and synchronized to within a few

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By Huma Sheikh Graves marked by numbers in the northern frontier district of Kupwara. Photo by Showkat Shafi. In August 2011, the unmarked graves atrocity came to light in Kashmir after the Jammu & Kashmir Human Rights Commission confirmed that more than two thousand bodies were buried in those graves in several districts of the Valley. The commission said many of the dead were civilians who had disappeared over the past two decades, the time of the bloodiest violence in Kashmir. The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) —an association formed by parents and relatives of victims of enforced

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What can I tell you about the women of Kashmir? You, who read this, will already have a procession of images in your head. Maybe you will think of the famous women poets, sages and mystics of Kashmir: of Lal Ded and Habba Khatoon, of Arnimal, of Rupa Bhawani. Their memory lives in their verses, born out of love and suffering. Renouncing the entrapments of convention, these women seekers have marked their words in the hills and shrines of Kashmir, and in the hearts of Kashmiris. Maybe you will think of the women rulers of Kashmir, from a thousand to

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In the darkness of despair we saw a vision, We lit the light of hope, and it was not extinguished… …We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river. The vision became reality…Bondage became freedom. And this we left to you as your heritage. O generation of freedom remember us, the generation of the vision… -Liam Mac Uistin These lines of thankfulness for the sacrifices of generations of rebels who brought independence to Ireland in 1921 were written in an Irish poetic genre known as the aisling. The latter was devised in the eighteenth century as a way

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