achan@gupkar.com

Gupkar is looking for answers. It may find them in Achan. But first, a clarification: for many Gupkar is a sacred site, because of at least a couple of ziarats just above the shoreline of the Dal Lake. Otherwise, the Gupkar imprinted on the Kashmiri psyche is Gupkar Road, the breeding ground of Kashmir’s many […]

Homeland Rhetoric

The union home minister, Rajnath Singh, has urged the Jammu and Kashmir government to identify land in the Valley for the return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits. This has come on the death anniversary of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the Jana Sangh leader who strongly opposed granting Jammu and Kashmir a special constitutional status, […]

Hidebound Heresy

Formulaic notions of industrial development, nurtured mainly by the state’s imported bureaucracy under the watch of a visionless political leadership, has done Kashmir in on several fronts, leading to high and avoidable levels of unemployment, loss of earning potential, and an almost unbridgeable gap between imports and exports. Commonsense measures that could have made the […]

Saffron fields calling

More than a dozen cement factories and illegal constructions have wreaked havoc with the fields that produce Saffron.  As many as 300 villages in and around Pampore cultivate the `golden crop’. But the saffron fields that won the state handsome revenue are fast shrinking. The growers ascribe reasons to massive road widening and the number […]

Untapped mineral wealth

The abundant mineral resources of Jammu and Kashmir have been left so far untapped due to government obliviousness. Minerals, figuring from coal to gypsum to granite to prized Kashmir sapphire, found in abundance in the state is well established by a number of surveys and reports conducted by international experts as well as local ones. […]

Alarming and shameful

Never has it happened before in the abode of saints. But closing eyes to a harsh reality will amount to suicide. The society has to wake up and take measures to prevent what noted sociologist Professor Bashir Ahmad Dabla has found out through his study. According to the study, the molestation of women is on […]

Jaitley’s Kashmir visit

India’s Defence Minister Arun Jaitley came to Kashmir and left. In the process, he dashed the hopes of some here. His statements were snub to those who believe a change in guard at New Delhi may initiate a process towards the resolution of this issue. Rhetoric it is and people here are used to such […]

University of Coop

The race for new Kashmir University Vice Chancellor has started. Already a particular lobby is vying for the interim VC to be appointed for a full term. Irrespective of whether a local or non-local VC is appointed, the question that remains is where is this institution heading? Apart from usual press notes and occasional programmes […]

Impunity in JK Bank

The Chief Minister Friday advised the people to invoke the jurisdiction of the State Vigilance Organization (SVO) or the Accountability Commission (SAC) to get irregularities in Jammu Kashmir bank probed. He was responding to queries from media persons regarding backdoor appointments in the Jammu Kashmir Bank. A few years ago, the SVO sought some files […]

Preserve the State Flag

The National Conference leadership has once again started to chant the autonomy mantra to woo voters. But Omar has yet to take action against the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council for abandoning the state flag. Two years ago, the LAHDC created a political storm in the state by adapting a new symbol and abandoning the […]