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AFSPA will continue in J&K “till needed”, says Rajnath

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Srinagar: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to security forces, will continue in Jammu and Kashmir till it is needed, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.

Talking to the reporters here, the minister said that AFSPA in the state would be revoked only when the situation was conducive.

“I pray to God that AFSPA is not needed anywhere in the country,” Singh said, adding that all the stakeholders would have to cooperate in order to revoke the act.

Asked if there were plans to talk to Kashmiri separatist groups, he said there was no such proposal.

“We have no proposal to hold talks with separatists… We are ready to listen and talk to anyone but anti-national activities should be opposed and boycotted,” he said.

Will the PDP-BJP government complete its full term, given the differences between the two parties, he was asked.

Singh replied: “There is no reason to believe that this government will not last its full term.”

On the security situation, the minister said: “I am confident the situation in Kashmir will not be allowed to deteriorate. We need the cooperation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to improve the situation.”

(IANS)

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Kashmir Volunteers Feed Stray Dogs During Lockdown

The main source of food for the stray dogs are the eateries and hotels which are all shut due to lockdown

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Kashmir Volunteers have taken the responsibility of feeding stray dogs in the city. Pixabay

For the last two weeks a team of volunteers from Chatabal in downtown Srinagar have taken upon itself the responsibility of feeding stray dogs in the city.

The team, comprising students and businessmen, which has been running a medical camp in the downtown, started feeding the strays after seeing their deplorable condition. The strays’ main source of food the eateries and hotels had all shut due to lockdown.

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There are over 50,000 stray dogs in the city. Pixabay

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There are over 50,000 stray dogs in the city.

While people in Kashmir have been reaching out to the poor and the needy during the lockdown that coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, these volunteers are making a difference in their own right to strays. (IANS)

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Handwara Attack: The Tale of Bravery and Sacrifice

Remembering our heroes of Handwara Attack

Indian glad

By Muskan Bhatnagar

How many of us remember the names of the army officers who lost their lives while serving the nation? How many of us remember the sacrifices made by our defense forces and their families to protect us? How many of us remember the horror tales of the terrorist attacks on national borders? Hardly a few of us. We tend to forget the sacrifices, the immense bravery, and the spirit of the officers who lay down their lives fighting for the country.

It’s not been long since we faced a terrorist attack. In the late hours of May 2, an Indian army colonel, a major, two soldiers, and a Jammu and Kashmir police sub-inspector carried out one of the deadliest operations in Handwara. A 12-hour long operation to avoid a hostage situation cost us the lives of the brave hearts of India. Two terrorists were also neutralized in the encounter as per a statement released by the Indian Army.

Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Jammu, and Kashmir police Sub-Inspector Sageer Ahmed Kazi, Lance NK Dinesh, and NK Rajesh lost their lives in a gunbattle with terrorists in North Kashmir. Just a few days have passed by and it seems like everyone has forgotten their sacrifice.

Why is it so, that we tend to normalize martyrdom of soldiers? It requires immense bravery and courage to serve the country without fearing death. Then why do we forget their sacrifice in a few seconds?
No, their job is not to die, but to fight for the nation and protect us. And when they lose their lives while protecting us, it is a great loss. The loss is as big as a celebrity death. When a legendary actor dies, the whole nation mourns. On the other hand, when a soldier is martyred, it is just a matter of a few minutes, and very quickly, we move on.

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Our Army deserves a lot more respect and appreciation than we give. Wikimedia Commons

Are real-life heroes not as important as reel life heroes? And if not, then why? The soldiers, standing on the borders, protecting us all including the reel life heroes are as important as any other celebrity. They are the pride of this nation. They undergo harsh living conditions and circumstances just to make sure that none of us suffers or dies. Like us, they too have families whom they have to leave back at home to protect us.

Many families lose their sons, fathers, and brothers. These families wait endlessly to meet their loved ones who serve the nation, they spend countless nights worrying, and then one sudden day they have to face their worst fear of losing that member of the family. Women are widowed, children and parents are devastated, but they all are proud. And so are we.

Terrorist attacks on the borders are not given any importance as compared to the terrorist attacks in cities. My question is why? Yes, in cities civilians are involved and a huge number of people die but the same happens when terrorist attacks take place on the borders of the nation. The soldiers are martyred. Then why do we overlook the news of terrorist attacks on the army?

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This shows how we have normalized martyrdom of soldiers in our lives. Their sacrifice is overlooked as we tend to think that it’s a part of their job, but it isn’t. They don’t stand on the borders to die. They stand there to fight till the end, to bravely face the enemy and to protect the nation and its citizens. It is their love and passion for the country and their bravery that makes them what they are. They deserve all the respect and appreciation, which we fail to deliver.

Appreciation is not something which our respected soldiers demand, it is something which they deserve.
The least we can do is to acknowledge their bravery, courage, and sacrifice, and pay homage to them and always remember the tale of their bravery.

My homage to the brave hearts and may God give strength to their families.

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Contemporary Bollywood Films Predicated in KASHMIR: The Subsisting Heaven on Earth

We should Indeed thank Bollywood who through its Beautiful films define the resplendence of Kashmir heaven! 

Kashmir
For so many years, Kashmir has been a hub of shooting Bollywood Movies.

By Kashish Rai

 Kashmir which is known as the “Living Paradise on Earth”, Kashmir which has its own majestic beauty~ always purveys the panoramic and all embracing view of the beautiful nature. Nature has so lavishly endowed Kashmir with unequivocal benevolence which hardly finds a parallel in any land in this world.

For so many years, Kashmir has been a hub of shooting Bollywood Movies. Be it the couple romancing and singing in a boat amidst Dal Lake or in the resplendent views of  Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Char Chinar or Srinagar~ Kashmir has given the perfect mood to match the Aesthetics.

The times eventually changed when militancy became illustrious and the era from 2000s saw an inundation of films which were politically sensitive where Kashmir was made the intrinsic part of the scripts along with its backdrop.

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Today, I have brought a few bollywood films which have their plait confined to Kashmir and were shot amidst its scenic beauty. Hope you will enjoy!

  1. HAIDER (2014)

  • DIRECTOR: Vishal Bhardwaj

  • STARRING: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Narendra Jha, Kay Kay Menon.

Haider
Haider is a wonderful piece of art, it tells the pain of poetic narrations and complex sentiments along with deep fervours. Pinterest

 Haider is a fervent adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, and so far, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Magnum Opus! Bhardwaj had engrossingly adapted “Hamlet” to the rise of Kashmir Conflict in the formerly peaceful South-Western part of Jammu and Kashmir in the Era of 90s. The story is about grieving son’s search for his missing and adoring father. All the actors in the film have played their roles with par excellence. According to me, Haider is a wonderful piece of art, it tells the pain of poetic narrations and complex sentiments along with deep fervours.

  1. FITOOR (2016)

  • DIRECTOR: Abhishek Kapoor

  • STARRING: Tabu, Katrina Kaif, Aditya Roy Kapoor

Fitoor
Fitoor is a very passionate film and the amazing visuals of Kashmir add different dimensions to the myriad aspects of this movie. Pinterest

Fitoor is based on a popular novel by Charles Dickens titled “The Great Expectation”. It is a soft and emotional love story. Its songs blend with the natural music of the Himalayan Mountains. The characters in the film possess a casual tenderness. It is a very passionate film and the amazing visuals of Kashmir add different dimensions to the myriad aspects of this movie. Surely watch it if you are a lover of romantic celluloids.

  1. LAILA MAJNU (2018)

  • DIRECTOR: Sajid Ali

  • STARRING: Avinash Tiwary, Tripti Dimri

Laila Majnu
Laila Majnu is a moving celluloid that is a retelling of an eternal Love Saga whose characters live in contemporary times, but the emotions are still the same. Pinterest

There are love stories that never die, and then there is Laila Majnu. It is a folklore about two passionate lovers who are never destined to meet. This film for me is a moving celluloid that is a retelling of an eternal Love Saga whose characters live in contemporary times, but the emotions are still the same. The performances by the two actors are exceptional that will make you feel the pain, longing, heartbreak and separation. The music in this film is a masterpiece, which suits the mood of every scene of the film. You will surely get allured by the bewitching scenic view of Kashmir as a whole! This film is surely a must watch.

  1. NOTEBOOK (2019)

  • DIRECTOR: Nitin Kakkar

  • STARRING: Zaheer Iqbal, Pranutan Bahl

Notebook
Notebook is a simple and mesmerizing story with brilliant cinematography. Pinterest

Notebook is one of the films which will take you along with them and you eventually feel teleported to heavenly Kashmir as backdrop. It is an unconventional love story where major issues of Jammu and Kashmir are subtly touched upon. It is so beautiful to see how simply a “Notebook” becomes the soul of the film, which also shows that children understand the language of love. It is a simple and mesmerizing story with brilliant cinematography. If you look for some old-world romance in today’s time~ then this film is surely made for you!

  1. SHIKARA (2020)

  • DIRECTOR: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

  • STARRING: Aadil Khan, Sadia

Shikara
The slide of the film begins with late 80s and it rolls down to 2018 to its culmination with lead characters ageing, along with the dismay and hopelessness over their original homeland. Pinterest

Shikara is a masterpiece which reflects the agony faced by Kashmiri Pandits because of the political turmoil in Kashmir in the 80s. It is based on real life incidents which will make you feel a lot through its words than the action. Premirely in every way, Shikara displays romance between two characters Shiv (Aadil Khan) and Shanti (Sadia) who, along with Immense grief of lost home share bliss of togetherness and hope. The slide of the film begins with late 80s and it rolls down to 2018 to its culmination with lead characters ageing, along with the dismay and hopelessness over their original homeland. Chopra has skillfully tied all of it with his passionate skills of a lucrative filmmaker. This film is a mastercraft! It is beautifully shot in Kashmir Paradise! You can surely feel the love and the pain as it comes. Altogether, This film is an alluring piece and again a must watch!

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The magnificent Beauty of Kashmir and the tales associated with it is so amazing that makes everyone fall in love with it!

 We should Indeed thank Bollywood who through its Beautiful films define the resplendence of Kashmir heaven!