Justice for Craftsmen

Craftsmen hit by power looms and spinning machines are up in arms against government apathy, and demand a blanket ban on such machines to save the livelihood of thousands of weavers and spinners. Handicrafts, a traditional vocation supporting lakhs of people in rural and urban Kashmir, is fast losing its artisan base because of official […]

Eye for an Eye…

Three summers have passed since Kashmir’s three summer agitations, and the fourth seems to be making rather heavy weather in approaching, but memories of the Valley’s torrid political seasons have been sharpened by a major government-run hospital in Srinagar with its report on casualties caused by the state’s ‘non-lethal’ crowd-control methods. True, figures put out […]

Child Labour

Despite a law against this abhorrent and heartless practice, and enforcement agencies to check it, child labour is an affliction Jammu and Kashmir suffers without many pangs of conscience, particularly among its civil society. The state Labour Department’s figures over the past four years make for grim reading about the government’s inability and unwillingness to […]

Destiny’s Children

To err is human, and to blame it on the other guy even more human. The wag certainly had a point, but couldn’t possibly have had an accurate idea of just how pertinent. The political species then must not have been so prolific (or profligate), and Kashmir still under the yoke of begaar, or the wit […]

Silent Burial

A study conducted by noted social scientist Prof Bashir Ahmad Dabla has unveiled some dark truths about Kashmir society, and indicated the magnitude of sexual abuse and harassment suffered by women in domestic and work spheres. Even though the Srinagar press reported on the findings of the study, and authorities concerned spoke of initiating remedies, […]

The culture of elite immunity

Discriminatory application of rule of law in the state becomes visible from the failure of the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) to prevent the construction of permanent structures by influential people in areas notified as prohibited around the world famous Dal Lake. As per law, all types of constructions in the areas close to […]

Chattisinghpora Calling

Fourteen years on, authorities seem to be in no mood to probe the infamous Chattisinghpora massacre of March 20, 2000, when gunmen, whose identity has not been ascertained to this day, massacred 34 Kashmiris in cold blood. The hamlet in South Kashmir was stormed by 15 gunmen wearing army fatigues. All males, including children, were […]

Snowfall Fallout

The Valley’s recent snowfall, rarely so heavy in March, claimed 17 lives and caused damage estimated to run into crores. Two senior cabinet ministers turned the government into a laughing stock – one by invoking the election code of conduct as an excuse for inaction, and the other by crowing that Kashmir had outstripped the […]

MH 370: East and West?

The heart-rending uncertainty over the fate of passengers and crew of the missing MH 370 Malaysian Airlines flight has come to be overlaid with an unmistakable patina of civilisational pique, severely at odds with the massive international effort underway to trace the airliner that disappeared over a week ago.  Some of the world’s most reputed […]

A Head for SHRC?

The day he assumed office, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir had made a solemn promise to give due respect to human rights in the state he claimed he had been elected to govern. He is barely months away from seeking a fresh mandate after a full six-year term, but has not so much […]