Destroying J&K’s Forests

Among the many depredations Jammu and Kashmir has faced for over two decades, the loss of forest cover, though receiving scant attention, is among those with the potential to radically affect people’s lives for the worse. According to a report published in this paper on Monday, the state has lost 2,309 sq km of forests, […]

Laachar Nigam?  

Though, over the past many months, officials at the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have been seeking time to restore their systems fully, the Nigam has not forgotten to send bills through SMS for services it has not rendered since the September 7flood. It has continued to be its head-buried-under-the-sand self despite the local press […]

Settling Soldiers

From its own point of view, the government of India’s duty to honour and respect its soldiers, or, in the words of BJP MP Tarun Vijay, to “honour and respect those who shed their blood for the motherland in the Valley” were better served if the Indian state, to use technical terminology, would not go […]

Hindutva’s India

That Yakub Memon’s hanging was condemned by some sections of Indian society – for reasons as varied as a stand against capital punishment, that he wasn’t directly involved in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, or even that his return to India was predicated on a promise that the state wouldn’t crucify him – is known. But […]

Defunct Makhdoom Sahib ropeway

The much-hyped Makhdoom Sahib ropeway, which ran right over Srinagar’s biggest graveyard, the Malkha, has gone defunct within two years of its inauguration.  Officials confirmed that the Makhdoom Sahib ropeway in downtown has been closed since May 17 this year, as its operation was a threat to lives of passengers. A recent inspection report has […]

AIIMS for Jammu

The AIIMS controversy was born on March 28 this year when the union finance minister announced an AIIMS-type hospital in Jammu and Kashmir. The minister, however, did not specify the region where the specialist medical institution would come up. A few days later, chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed announced in presence of the prime minister […]

ICRC Presence

Detainees in the state’s jails, and relatives who visit them, continue to suffer on one or the other count, despite the High Court’s repeated directives for authorities to implement the jail manual in letter and spirit. Visitors are often harassed and humiliated to break the determination of prisoners held for political reasons, a deplorable situation […]

Journalism As Opposition

Gathering a bunch of Indian journalists to address a ‘first-ever’ media summit on Kashmir is akin to asking writers of interrogation manuals to speak on ethical treatment of prisoners. And what transpired at this event only seemed to confirm – with a handful of exceptions – that core ethical problem. What we had was journalists […]

Rajouri Hate Crime

Like Atal Behari Vajpayee’s celebrated raj dharm ka palan karein days after Hindutva bloodlust had been sated in Gujarat, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh’s “keep calm” suffixed to his approval of defiling sacred symbols of other faiths as a nationalistic act can claim its place at the most hallowed pedestals of majoritarian India’s hall of […]

Garbled Script

Communalist forces have once again brought Jammu and Kashmir to the brink with a deliberate act of malicious provocation carried out in demographically sensitive areas of the Jammu region already deeply polarised by a sustained campaign over a period of nearly one-and-a-half decades, as during last year’s assembly elections, to bring the BJP to power […]