This Blog provides an insight on the Kashmir-issue, India and Pakistan. The articles on this Blog can be best described as thought-provoking. The articles thrive to trigger debate about the miseries enslaved Kashmiris are facing and discuss also possible solutions to this long standing conflict. It also aims to convince readers why Independent Kashmir is the best solution for all parties involved.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Why female infanticide?


Currently social activists express concern on girl infanticide. Sermons on social and moral reform made through print and electronic media make little impact. History tells us the initial matriarchal society gradually passed into patriarchal society sidelining the woman from all family affairs. Woman was to bear children and do home chores only.

History tells us that the practice of girl infanticide prevailed around 200 BC in Greece. Only one per cent out of six thousand families had two girl kids. Greek philosophers had their own views about women. Aristotle said that a woman in her nature does not enjoy full human person. Woman could not be trusted. Except for a few high class families, generally women were treated like beasts and slaves in Greece. Catholic Church borrowed the views of Aristotle as Christian tradition. St. Thomas Aquinas in his initial works called woman a net of Satan. Thus all satanic actions were attributed to woman. Priests in Middle Ages harboured same views. It was the Reformation in Europe which forced a change in this attitude. But French philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau thought woman a burden on men who were supposed to take care of them. However, in his work Emile, Rousseau laid stress on educating women and recommended new ways of educating them.

With the onset of industrial revolution in England, women were forced to work in coal mines but were paid less than men labourers. In 18th century there appeared the Feminist Movement in Europe and some rights were conceded to the women which they did not enjoy previously. Previous and present centuries witnessed a revolution in the status of women who now have equal rights with men with whom they work side by side.  It gave exposure to their talent: they became pilots to fly planes and landed on moon. In all walks of life they proved their worth.

Now that the phase of their advancement and equality with men has been ushered in, there has cropped up the question of girl infanticide. Not only in India, even in China as well was female feticide practiced. A 1997 WHO report speaks of disappearance of 50 million girls. China has imposed ban on second child.  Birth of a girl child meant its infanticide. Nearly a million girls are killed each year in China and boy is considered a support of old age. Although a ban is imposed on ultrasound tests but in rural areas people pay hefty sums to get the sex determination by ultrasound. There is no woman for 111 million Chinese males.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This is Srinagar!

 As the aircraft began landing, the captain announced from the cockpit “This is Srinagar Airport and the temperature outside is 17 degrees C.” Our tour of Srinagar and some more scenic places of the valley began.

Out from the airport, we were to haggle with the taxi and Somo stand. Each proposed arbitrary rent to ferry us to the city. The first impression after leaving the airport was that CRP and police are spread out thickly. However, like previous years, the CRP does not stop vehicles at every place for checking. But surely government functionaries and security staff seemed to be the prisoners of some inexplicable fear.

At Haiderpora, we found a large police force crowded around a particular house by the side of the road. This was the residence of Sayyed Ali Shah Geelani, usually house arrested at least for five days in a week by Omar Abdullah government. We parked our vehicle by roadside, convinced the security guards and obtained permission to meet with Geelani Sahib.

Geelani’s attendants treated us with respect and offered us qahwa. The fragile leader came in. His eyes were bright though his face reflected the long and arduous political struggle through which he has gone. He was polite to know who we were and gave us the permission to put some questions to him.

Q: You fought election for an Indian State legislature thrice and won, took oath according to Indian constitution and were made interim Speaker of the assembly. How come you suddenly made an about turn and initiated a fierce struggle against India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir.
A: A principled man like Gandhi ji is called Bapu in and outside India. I had joined the assembly believing that I would make the Indian leadership and the Indian civil society understand that injustice and highhandedness were perpetrated on Kashmiris. But I found that most of the Indian leaders, institutions and agencies, army and other organizations, all had a fossilized view that Kashmir can be kept in possession through deceit, oppression, murder, loot, black laws and military muscle.
Q: Please reflect on the unity among the separatist organizations and the split in the Hurriyat.
A: I will remain in unison with only such forces as will not enter into any dialogue unless India agrees that Kashmir is a disputed land. I cannot unite with such forces as meet with the Indians covertly or overtly.
Q: Despite sacrifices we make, we are humiliated. Despite going through enormous financial losses we are not clear what is our destination and what do we want. And what you say, does it not depress freedom loving people?
A: Our movement was initiated by ISI. We do not know our destination because the movement is not in our hands. We are just carrying out the orders without knowing where we are headed to.