All Is Not Well

A harsh reality about Kashmir came to the fore on the floor of the legislative assembly two years ago. Responding to a People’s Democratic Party memorandum for the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members said: “We are in this House because the army is there to protect […]

Dusk Gridlocks

Long the bane of Srinagar, peak-hour traffic jams appear to have become more severe in post-flood days, particularly after dusk and in areas spared the attentions of the deluge, like much of the Old City and further down. The jams creep into interlinking roads, creating gridlocks that refuse to resolve for hours and hold thousands […]

Diluting JK Autonomy

The Rs 745 crore the Prime Minister announced at the conclusion of his Kashmir visit comes from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and not in response to the Rs 44,000 crore sought by the state government for reconstruction and rehabilitation after the recent floods. On an earlier visit to the state, the Prime Minister had […]

Flood Relief: Beware of Tainted People

The post flood rehabilitation in Kashmir is seeing a number of organisations sprouting up. It is appreciable, but keeping the past experience and record in view, one has to exercise utmost caution. Nine years ago, in October 2005, when the powerful earthquake hit a part of Kashmir, the relief and rehabilitation work unfortunately went into […]

For `National’ Defence

The state police exploded the ISIS flag myth recently, saying that it was not a serious issue. This is contrary to the army’s statements which blew the “appearances” out of proportion and sounded a `national’ alert. The Government of India has maintained a massive presence of armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir from the very […]

For Your Own Sake

Economic losses due to the September Floods are not restricted to destruction of merchandise and stocks, and damage to infrastructure, alone but could also have a cascading impact to become evident with the passage of time. Having picked up over the years, tourism has come to a halt, adding unemployment in the hospitality industry to […]

Kashmir and Uttarakhand

The Election Commission has rejected the National Conference (NC) argument that relief and rehabilitation would be adversely impacted if polls are held on schedule in Jammu and Kashmir.  The Commission has thus signaled that elections are most likely to be held around their due date, and, perhaps, that the process would have an inbuilt mechanism to […]

Flood Profits

Perturbing reports of some chemists palming off drugs contaminated by floods have been offset by uncharacteristic vigilance by the Drug and Food Control Organisation which has recently suspended the licences of seven more retailers involved in this malpractice. Similarly, the gutsy Health Officer of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and her team have been cracking down […]

Another Threat

Compounding Kashmir’s post-flood troubles could be a problem not yet sufficiently highlighted, much less addressed, in the government’s, and the public’s, efforts to pull out of the chaos and disorder left behind by rushing waters. Reports from rural belts close to forests speak of markedly increased foraging by wild animals in fields and villages adding […]

Whither Waqf?

Among the many myths recent floods have demolished in Kashmir is one fabricated around the use and potential of the Waqf Board. Once again it has been shown that when crisis comes, the Waqf disappears. The Board controls most of the Valley’s shrines, and has incomes running into crores, but was conspicuous by its absence […]