Kashmir-A Huge Amount to Cope With – Adfar Shah

Adfar Shah Common sense dictates one thing but Kashmir moves to the other (political rhetoric). While researches, commission reports and articles along with a plethora of propaganda (by media vultures) keep piling up on the human or social fallout of the K-issue besides plenty of discourses on the assaults on the vulnerable (sexual or physical), monster of women issues, unaccounted killings (in the past), plight of widows/half widows, disappeared, continuing human rights abuses, plight of people in border areas, military adventurism of India, etc, the main problem found in most of them is either the problem of generality in conceptualizing anything (lack of consideration of communal, territorial and community identities and talking of the  specific) or the lack of political will to reach out for the redressel (reports gather dust as usual). The illusory peace/calm (peace maintained and understood by power elite) actually has proved a deterrent to reach any positive solution so far (however elections continue for Bijli, Pani and sadak). While the perception of discrimination (alienation) prevails among the majority of Kashmiri’s at the hands of the political establishments and armed forces of the country, however it can be argued that conflict and bloodshed couldn’t harm Kashmiriyat-(politically defined secular identity and unitarian ethos and Pandit exodus can be understood as a collateral damage of the conflict situation but Pandits equally love their mother land & love to live with Kashmiri Muslims and vice versa) thus disproving the much exaggerated claim that conflict uprooted our age-old social and cultural ethos. The dominant discourses on K-Issue and problems The notion of Azadi (freedom), commonly understood as secession from the Indian union (much stronger in the first decade of the conflict) lost sheen when public got fed up due to prolonged bloodshed and suffering at the hands of both the state and non-state actors. The idea of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan was actually never subscribed by the sane masses except a few stupid slogans (Rawaan Dawaan hai karvaan-Kashmir banega Pakistan,Kashmir ki Mandi-Rawalpandi,Pakistan se Rishta kya-La illa ha ilal lah and many more ). The idea of autonomy much backed by some political establishments also is still considered a feasible option (pre-1953 position), however hardly entertained...

A Dialogue with Nana Chudasama

A Dialogue with Nana Chudasama

Nana Chudasama is an eminent jurist and a former mayor and Sheriff of Mumbai. He is the founder of the NGO Giants International which has over 500 branches in India and branches across the world including the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Mauritius and Ukraine. Giants undertakes projects which have an impact on society, such as family welfare, disaster management, education, environment and so on.   Mukul: Sir, speaking about Giants International, it has over 500 branches in India and abroad. What made you start the organization and Why? Nana: There are various organizations like Lions, Rotary, etc., so we thought lets start our own. We started from Bombay and our old office is at Chowpaty. The response is very good so we have started it abroad too. Mukul: What is the Objective of this organization? Nana: To serve the people. We help the people. Now in Uttarakhand and in various calamities affected areas we are sending a team to help. Panini: Do you find people in need? Nana: We do not find people. We have projects like ‘A girl child’, because in this country the proportion is going down. Everybody wants a son. No one needs a girl. they are very cruel. Mukul: You were also the president for a forum against drugs and aids. How successful has narcotics been in controlling the drugs? Nana: Not narcotics, but I can tell you, that our efforts have made one thing good, that the use of drugs has reduced. Now there is hardly any AIDS patient. We are running a centre here. We used to get a lot of patients who are suffering from aids now we hardly have any thing. May be two or three. We examine people, and if they are suffering from AIDS or if they are drug addicts, we do the counseling. We also give medication free of charge, that will help. Its like rehabilitation center. Panini: where does the fund come from? Nana: Generally, people support us, like Banks, corporate sectors. Mukul: Sir, your banner above Pizza by the bay, has time and again created controversy. Like in the case of M.F. Hussain’s return, a banner was put up,...

The Coexistence of Multiple Realities: My Passage to Many Indias

The Coexistence of Multiple Realities: My Passage to Many Indias

This piece was written by the Ambassador when he was last the Russian Ambassador to India in 2004. He again is the current Russian Ambassador to India. The piece has been contributed by Maj Gen Vinod Saighal ALEXANDER M KADAKIN THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2004 Technically, I will remain Ambassador for at least a couple of months before my successor arrives and hands over his credentials to the President of India. Soon I will just overfly the invisible Indian border and return home for a new posting. It is essential to remain official and mindful of words and emotions expounded and articulated by a representative of a country so friendly to this great land. As an old standing friend though, I may take some liberty and sound a bit frivolous. But I promise not to say a single word of politics! I first came here exactly on the fateful night of August 9, 1971 when the historic Soviet-Indian Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation was signed. It was a good omen which illumined the rest of my life. Nobody from the Embassy received a 22-year old probationer at the Palam airport – they were all busy with the visit of Andrei Gromyko, the then Soviet Foreign Minister. But even before I stepped on the Indian soil, since 1967 I had already established my intellectual presence here – absorbing Hindi and Urdu, consuming books by hundreds, talking to professors – our gurus, but first and foremost, India was ever present in my dreams and imagination. Indeed, even at that nascent age as a scholar of India, it dawned on me that it would be wrong to presume that there was one India. There exist several ethereal and material Indias, blending into each other and simultaneously coexisting in time and space, more often peacefully than not, but at times conflicting. I kept coming to India, each time for a higher post in the Embassy, interacting with more and more Indian friends and familiarising myself with ever new facets. Every year during those decades I was attentively putting my ear to the barahmasa song performed by India’s nature. There followed Indian winters, insufficiently refreshing by Russian standards, but still uncomfortable especially for those who do not have a safe shelter. Indian springs, joyful at the start until they transform into a scorching blast furnace of the summer...

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