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Palladium cinema, Srinagar, sometime around early 1980s, showing a Manmohan Desai film, Suhaag (1979). Photograph by unknown. Like everyone in Kashmir, Bilal’s family and friends waited for the pirated DVD of the film to arrive and then watched it on the 14-inch screen of a laptop. Twenty-five of them watched it together but had to stop, as the quality of the print was very bad. “As soon as I can lay my hands on a High Definition print of the movie, I plan to set up a projector in the village and show the film to everyone,” says Bilal. Bollywood’s

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Summer in Paris is synonym of fantasy for visitors. For locals, apart from the weather, the city still has the same face. The air is still warmly polluted, as usual cars are stuck in traffic jams, and locals confront their stubborn routine while siding with amazed tourists from every corner of the world. Not much changes here but the seasons. On the other hand, the change of season, from sunny days to pouring is life changing for the hundreds of migrants and refugees who are bordering the river Seine in Paris along with luxury boats and fancy night clubs. They

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One of the best journalists in the world today, John Pilger, has covered major wars like Vietnam and Cambodia and over the years have grown as a strong critic of the United States’ foreign policy. He has spoken on various issues and has been a strongly supporting end to the prosecution of the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. An Australian journalist and winner of Sydney Peace Prize, Pilger has been a columnist for various newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian and The Newstatesman. Last month, I spoke to John Pilger through emails to talk about some of the issues in the

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One of the oldest markets of Srinagar- Maharaj Gunj has an historic book store to offer that was established in 1890s. During the Maharaja’s regime in the then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, 30-years-old Ghulam Mohammad Bhat had a dream of giving education to Kashmiris, leading to start a book store. The book store called “Ghulam Mohammad, Noor Mohammad, Publishing House”, at the beginning would sell only Kashmiri, Arabic and Persian books. Bhat would travel to Lahore to buy books from there. As during the Maharaja’s rule Kashmiri Muslims didn’t enjoy much rights of receiving education, so it was

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The devastating floods that hit most parts of Kashmir region left a trail of damages, loss, and memories that one may never forget. The Kashmir Walla team has visited all the flood affected areas for the last one month and documented the stories told by the survivors. Below here we bring you three such stories from three different areas of Kashmir. Kutt’ie Bund When water from Vishu stream broke the embankment and entered Arigutan village, two kilometres from Kulgam town on the evening of September 5, Mohammed Yosuf Wani, 50, a mason, was in the village. He had sent his

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Tso Moriri Say Juley – the Ladakhi greetings, to the land of high passes and turquoise lakes, gompas and stupas, snow and sand, military and monks, Dalai Lama and Rancho, momo and Maggi, peaks and valleys, army canters and romantic shikaras, prayer wheels and prayer flags, long drives and treks, yak and yaks, 40 degrees and sub-zero temperature, blazing and starry sky – truely heaven on Earth! Not too many people are aware that Ladakh forms the third region of Jammu & Kashmir. Despite Ladakh being over-shadowed by its more popular cousin Kashmir, it’s still been in the to-do list of travellers

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Kousarnag – one of the highest altitude springs of Kashmir Valley situated at a height of 12,140 feet above the sea level, some 120 kilometers from Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar is in a controversy after a group of people from the Kashmiri Pandit community last month claimed it to be their holy pilgrimage before the turmoil started in the Valley in late 80s. Gujjar and Bakarwaal nomad’s who have been visiting the area for centuries completely disagree with the statements made by Pandit groups that the spring used to be a pilgrimage. In his early 50s Baji Miaan Showkat,

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Kashmiri resistance leader and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front ( JKLF) Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik at Kheer Bhawani temple in Kashmir, during a Hindu festival in June. He has been appealing to Kashmiri pandits to return to their homes. Kashmiriyat is a Muslim family breaking their fast in a Hindu home, in a housing colony on the outskirts of Haal near Shopian in South Kashmir. The date is Saturday, 5 July 2014. The host, Meenakshi Mattoo, hands out dates to her Muslim guests. This kind of camaraderie used to be a common tradition before the large-scale migration of the Kashmiri

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  The Island of Borneo, which holds the title of the third largest island in the world and was once covered in thick rainforests was and is being cleared and mined at a rate unparalleled by mankind in human history. Situated in South East Asia, and belonging to three countries, majority of the island is Indonesia’s 17,000- island archipelago. More than half of the annual global tropical timber in the world comes from logging in Borneo, much of this clearing is illegal and the land is then used for palm oil plantations, mining and agricultural land. The speed and ferocity of

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Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Yasin Malik, in an election boycott in Kashmir. As the whole India is electing the next government, in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir, the process of elections is once again seeing less enthusiasm and violence. While it has been three years since the region, Kashmir, witnessed a major mass uprising, the people are divided whether elections are beneficial to them or not. The majority, as seen on ground, is staying away from the polls. In South Kashmir constituency, 72% voters preferred to stay away from the polls while only 28% voted. There have been

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