Published May 4th, 2016 by

Srinagar is now caught in utter darkness!

Once a splendid city, lying on the banks of river Jhelum Srinagar city was known for its beautiful gardens, rich culture, distinctive architecture and clarity in almost all fields of life. This city has a long history; some historians have documented it as Surya Nagar meaning ‘Sun City’ and others mentioned a lot about its proper planned habitation and wealth. Anyways, past is past, let us find what is in store for present day Srinagar and its dwellers. In twentieth century, when much of the world on developmental front has changed for the best and most of the cities have improved considerably, Srinagar seems to have changed for the worst. 2014 floods exposed the infrastructural capabilities of Srinagar and preparedness of its managers. It was only the mercy of Almighty that saved Srinagar residents.

The biggest bottleneck in proper development of Srinagar as a credible city is its flawed planning. During the last two decades Srinagar has grown manifolds in all directions violating existing civic and land use norms and rules. Mushrooming growth of unplanned and unauthorized colonies has ruined beautiful topographic features within and in the vicinity of Srinagar city. Once known for its beautiful gardens on the banks of its lakes and water bodies Srinagar city is now left with few gardens due to encroachments and flawed planning. Water basins in the south of city that would earlier accommodate excess runoff waters and help in recharging the ground water are shrinking because of administrative apathy and our greed. Foothills of zabarwan range are fast turning into concrete slums, not only chocking the Dal Lake but hampering recharging of the Lake.

Read More Once called Sun city

Published March 30th, 2016 by

Now that you are about to take charge, you have some grave issue to address!

After more than two months of being in denial mode you are about to take charge of state government as its first woman Chief Minister. We all know you are under tremendous pressure both at your own party and coalition level. Particularly, after the sad demise of your father a political vacuum got created within the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) and you personally lost your political mentor and a loving father. Remarkably, after the demise of Mufti Sahib you managed every situation gracefully both at political and personal level. Personally, I was of the opinion that you should have taken over the administrative responsibility on the day one and dictated political terms to your alliance partners in a much comfortable and commanding position. Anyways, even your own choice of securing and strengthening your political position without power seems to have delivered to a great extent. When your late father cobbled his coalition after much haggling there were only two political possibilities, either to have BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) on your side or go for fresh elections. The second option was practically impossible at that particular time as state mainly Kashmir valley and its people had suffered a lot due to September floods. Read More An open letter to Mehbooba Mufti

Published December 29th, 2015 by

We need to clean the system of all this mess.

Politics is as old as civilization. The literary meaning of politics is ‘making of a common decision for a group of people’. It is a social service that channelises and articulates the aspiration of people. Most of the Kashmir political canvas for the last more than five thousand years is dotted with intrigue, cruelty and exploitation. However, after the dawn of people’s politics, people had high hopes of equality and justice. But unfortunately our democracy was either premature or could not keep pace with other democracies in the world.

Read More Politics of favors!

Published December 2nd, 2015 by

Of coaching centers of Jammu and Kashmir.

No one can deny the contribution of coaching centers in the field of competitive education in Jammu And Kashmir State. For the last more than two decades there is a paradigm shift in imparting specialised education to younger generation, making them very much capable for sitting in competitive exams. And this result-oriented shift being a multi-pronged and an intensive strategy is visible almost in all fields, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

For the last several years we are made to believe these institutions are under the lens of state monitoring authorities. At several occasions to demonstrate their writ the authorities not only raided and checked these centers, but at occasions harassed various institutions without any valid reason. We heard of many policies, guidelines, and other rules on paper but on ground there in nothing but exploitation of gullible aspirants and their poor guardians at the hands of some unscrupulous education sellers.  Authorities have failed, largely in isolating the exploiters, curbing them and then providing a congenial atmosphere to the genuine stake holders for imparting quality education to our younger generation. Government should devise a clear-cut policy regarding private education sector by a proper lawmaking covering this most vital sector of private education as well. Coaching centers are unlike private schools where huge investment for infrastructure, human resource is an essential; a coaching center (particularly in Kashmir) can be run from a makeshift infrastructure with part-time human-resource and shortest possible working hours and time-frame. Such position, make the coaching centers most vulnerable establishments for exploitation and money minting. Read More The menace spreads…

Published November 18th, 2015 by

A lot is happening, a lot more need be done…

Earlier I had written two write-ups in these columns on April 26th, 2015 and June 17th, 2015, both titled ‘Traffic Terror’ and this third one in the series touches different aspects of traffic nuisance in Kashmir valley and Srinagar city in particular. After much noise the State administration mobilized its traffic management machinery, and even after facing shortage of man and machine made its presence not only visible but to a certain extent effective as well.  For the last few months there is a noticeable change both in traffic regulation and the attitude of people directly or indirectly related with traffic. Two important changes, wearing of seat belts by most of the four-wheel drivers and use of crash helmets by almost all two-wheeler drivers are the two bigger achievements of traffic regulating authorities during this period.  Read More Traffic Terror !!!!

Published November 6th, 2015 by

We need to have stringent laws to counter any underhand, illegal deals…

Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s revolutionary ‘land to tiller’ law in 1950 was a historic step in getting the poor peasants of Kashmir out from the cruel clutches of Jagirdars and Chakdars.  Big Landed Estates Abolition Act was a watershed in restoring semblance and sense of equality within the Kashmiri people. Whatever the political developments post-1953 and the fate and political turnaround of Sheikh in seventies, this act changed the whole concept of survival and dignity in the countryside.

Very often wheel of events complete its circle over the period of time, but the time frame is so undefined that most of the times the change never gets noticed. But in case of Kashmir’s retrogressive agrarian scenario and ensuing fate of farmers the wheel of events looks moving at a much faster pace and would very soon push the poor farmers back to proverbial ‘square one’. A cursory look at devastating change in land use and decreasing size of land holdings offers a pathetic situation of approaching doom. During last two decades a sizeable part of valley’s cultivable land has either changed hands and come under the control of rich and powerful or has been put to use other than the purpose of cultivation. This situation of misuse of fertile cultivable land would have shown its results much earlier but thanks to modern agriculture techniques and quality inputs the balance the crop production. Read More Land to Mafia!