Published October 20th, 2017 by

The Bank is not just a department that deals with money, it’s a socio-economic institution

At present it is is one of the prominent banks in the country with huge deposits and investments and has diversified beyond traditional banking operations

The Jammu and Kashmir Bank founded by late Maharaja Hari Singh in 1938 was a watershed in state’s financial and banking sector. Prior to this state-owned public-private partnership banking initiative, the financial scenario of Jammu and Kashmir was dominated by the exploitative private financial institutions and crude moneylenders. Hari Singh was an autocrat and autocrat is an autocrat by all standards and means. But as an administrator and head of the state, he was a visionary. JK bank was his brainchild to cater to the financial requirements of his much-cherished conception of the sovereign state of Jammu and Kashmir—independent of influential neighboring states. JK banks shaping in the late thirties should not be studied in isolation. state subject law promulgated by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1927 was his well-thought strategy for greater and autonomous Jammu and Kashmir and so was the JK bank. Anyways, whatever the late Maharaja’s plans—either to have an independent state for his subjects or to secure the interests of his dynastic rule, one thing is clear that Hari Sing not only conceived an idea of the state-centric loyal banking system but implemented it beyond the autocratic protocol by inviting private investors.

Read More J&K Bank: A bank with a mission
Published October 12th, 2017 by

Deadly driving machines and killer roads!

Our traffic system is not in good and sound shape and mainly four reasons are squarely responsible for gridlocks and never-ending death on roads.

I don’t know what made us so heartless; filming painful death of a budding soul in a traffic accident and uploading it on social media is not sensible! Anyways, today I am not here about the insensitivity of Kashmiri people but the way modern vehicular traffic along with bad roads and our negligence kill the people. A few days back a young student riding his two-wheeler got crushed under a speeding truck at Pantha-chowk and he died an excruciating death almost instantly. And we keep counting! God knows how much more will be swallowed by these deadly driving machines and rash driving by the time these lines get printed.

Read More The road rage
Published October 4th, 2017 by

Psychological war or just a political stunt!!

If we dissect the present braid chopping ploy it seems to have succeeded in its agenda of creating an atmosphere of extreme fear and helplessness among the people mostly the rural folk.

In Kashmir we are in the middle of a conflict and unrest, so expecting rot from any of the warring groups is not surprising. A seven-decade-old issue—an offshoot of the bloody partition, catalyzed more forcefully for the last two decades has exposed this tiny homeland to all kinds of distress and sufferings. So, by that standards braid chopping is not that big a deal, but as it has hit our honour and dignity, we feel shaken. Nevertheless, the present crisis is not the first of its kind. A few years back witches were making rounds in the valley. But that fizzled out quickly because of poor planning and timing. We have also faced attacks on our dignity and distinctiveness way back in the late sixties and early seventies when widespread fire incidents mostly in rural areas frightened the entire valley. The whole administration of that time remained clueless and never succeeded in bringing the culprits to book. Interestingly, a particular socio-political organization with insignificant presence in this part of the country was then designingly named to be behind that fire weaponry and to make the situation more complicated the organization was accused of kidnapping small children for organ trade (that is at least what I was made to believe then by the elders who innocently became part of the rumor mill). Gullible Kashmiri people, as usual, took it for the truth and the politicians succeeded in their game plan to divert the public attention and opinion from their failures. But it was peacetime then and the episode passed without leaving any permanent mark on the psyche of common people.

Read More On braid-cutting
Published September 12th, 2017 by

Activism is essentially an inborn trait and fewer people turn to activism after experiencing injustice in their own life.

Kashmir because of its fluid political situation has suffered a lot on almost all fronts of life, particularly for impartiality and equality.

May be inappropriate, but I am constrained to put a rider of genuineness with our version of activism because very few people crusade genuinely in this land of devious mindset. Activism is essentially an inborn trait and fewer people turn to activism after experiencing injustice in their own life. All along activists face condemnation at the hands of exploiters and at times are unable to gain the trust of common people even for a genuine cause. Anyway, whatever the reason and circumstances to disparage the noble work of activism in the present-day avaricious world,  the activists are the real torchbearers of exploring justice and the realities. Democracy empowers people! And empowerment is the soul of crusading. 

Read More A moment to think: Is Kashmir safe for genuine activism?
Published July 19th, 2017 by

Towards a corruption-free system where a common man doesn’t suffer

Our state against all odds has succeeded in establishing institutions to safeguard impartiality and accountability within the administration and for the last more than a decade, these institutions have evolved to the level of credible organizations of fairness.

As a humble Kashmiri with very little access to higher echelons of administration and corridors of power,  I know very little how efficient and genuine administration should look like and how honest and impartial polity should be? But as a common man, I must have a better sense of corruption-free administration and an unbiased political system. In a contemporary era where we conceitedly claim to be more empowered and accountable, how far we have been able to deliver impartial governance only time will tell? Undoubtedly, accountability is the essence of independent societies. However, it has to be flawless and without any coercion from either side, otherwise, it will prove inimical to fundamentals of impartiality.  And the worst falls when systems of transparency are misused, misinterpreted or derailed by none other than the people who require the doses of accountability more and the most.    

Read More Accountability matters
Published June 22nd, 2017 by

This tragic chapter urges us to think about our survival. Sooner the better

We have to have a strategy where we will make way for resolution of long-pending Kashmir conflict through peaceful means

Ashtangoo is a beautiful hamlet located on the banks of Wular Lake—Asia’s one of the largest freshwater lakes. Most of the habitations in Bandipora district are situated in the catchment area of Wular Lake and villages like Ashtangoo are a part of earlier popular tourist circuit— ‘ride around the Wulur’. A ride around the Wallur is an old story now but the chain of these villages is in news for one or the other adverse reasons. Ashtangoo is in news for the death of its two sons on the same day by (known and unknown) gunmen. Both the young men were buried in the same graveyard and their last rites were performed by the same set of people without asking a question about their affiliations and ideology for which they laid their life. These are tragic but also thought-provoking incidents of coincidental deaths. Nasir Ahmad Sheikh a welder by profession in his twenties got killed in cold blood reportedly by state-controlled security agencies at industrial area of Rangreth simply because he happened to be at a wrong place at the wrong time. And just a few kilometers down the Rangreth karewa at Hyderpora locality Nasir’s fellow villager thirty-year-old Shazad Dilawar Sofi a constable in Jammu and Kashmir police fell to bullets of unknown gunmen.

Read More Ashtangoo calling!