Table of Contents
   About the Author
   The Abdullah Dynasty
   A Journey into History
   Kashmiri Pandits
   The Myth of Negligence
   Mortgaged Media
   Siege by Scandal
   The 'Inhuman' Rights
   The Valley of Oddity
   This Happened to KPs
   Exaggerated Reporting

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri




An island of secularism and a beacon-light to the benighted subcontinent was how Mahatma Gandhi described Kashmir at the time of partition of India. Now, the very same island of secularism has been invaded by Islamic fundamentalism.

The very same valley of Kashmir is now in turmoil. Yes, it is. Only a democracy

can provide an outlet to political grievances. Only a democracy can accommodate dissent . . . through talks, discussions and subsequent actions. But what if the other side does not believe in dialogues . . . does not believe either in an Opposition or in a representative Government . . . no, not even in democracy itself.

Kashmir, therefore, represents a major challenge not only to the nascent Indian democracy, but also to all democracies. How can a democracy confront a non-democratic system that uses democratic clichés - human rights, self-determination and azadi - to wit secession from India, while it itself flouts all democratic values? How can a democracy take on a Jehad that does not believe in democratic tenets but rather exploits them to the hilt for furthering its own vested interests? More so when the current phase of disruptive activities is aimed at the revival of Islamic fundamentalism through terrorism, and a sponsored one at that.

Lies, half-truths and systematic disinformation about the political Situation and terrorist mayhem has been the order of the day. The Press and political activists are hostages to terrorists. Freedom of opinion, of dissent and of belief are unconditional hostages to their outfits. Their methods of propaganda are recognizably Nazi-like and Fascist. Their cry for Azadi is a mere facade for secession. A cry that robs men of even their basic Constitutional freedoms. No civilised society can withstand this concept of azadi where the non-Muslim minorities have been hounded out, asked to change their vocations and ways of life . . . where even humane values are decreed as evil.

Terrorists cannot exist without media coverage. Most of local journalists, who also act as guides for the visiting ones, actively assist terrorists in carrying out their objectives. Terrorists, and their mentors across the border, weigh the potential impact of media coverage prior to their operations. And they then carry them out. Actions are designed to manipulate coverage by creating events and incidents that will hog the headlines, at times due to their great nuisance values, at others because of prevalent media practices. A type of manipulation that must be considered as victimization of media making journalists unwilling and quite often unwitting accomplices in terrorism.

Reporting in Kashmir has almost become an ancillary activity for a majority of local journalists. Barring the Verghese Committee of the Press Council of India, the role of media in the Kashmir imbroglio has not been objectively examined in its empirical aspect.

The paradise on earth, as the Valley was described by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, is bleeding. Its saffron flowers spurt blood instead of fragrance. Legendary for its happy, carefree and smiling faces till 1989, Kashmir is now a valley full of visages scarred with wrinkles of tension and uncertainty. The paradise which beckoned people with the songs of its cascading streams, itself lies stunned by the sound of bullets and bombs.

Has an evil eye cast its spell over it? It is believed that if the elders would burn isband (aromatic seeds), the spell of the eye will break. Where have all the elders gone . . Alas, the evil eye of Islamic fundamentalism has fissured the social fabric of society in the Valley and has not only threatened the age-old communal amity and traditional composite Kashmiri culture, but also posed a potent danger to Indian democracy.

Crescent over Kashmir



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Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.

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World Kashmiri Pandit Conference 1993 Panun Kashmir
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