Amid the tense environment after the arrest of Kashmir separatist leader, Masarat Alam, the streets of valley witnessed pitched battles on Friday when supporters of the Hurriyat Conference confronted the police. The clash led to about a dozen of people being injured and a death of a youth in Narbal.
It is notable that Masarat is accused of organising stone-throwing protests in Jammu and Kashmir in 2010, in which over 100 people were killed.
Let’s have a look at the seven bigger developments in the controversy so far:
After the waving of Pakistan flags in a rally in the valley, a court in Budgam on Friday night ordered seven days police custody for Masarat Alam. His arrest fumed his supporters that led to turmoil in the valley.
Just after the Friday prayers, protesters started to throw stones at the security forces. The clashes led Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to appeal for peaceful protests.
After the killing of a teenager in Tral, Umar denounced the government and commanded an inquiry.
The confidant of Alam, Sayyed Ali Shah Geelani was also stopped from carrying out a march on Friday amidst the tense environment in Tral. The controversial rally carried out on Wednesday was said to be Geelani’s welcome party in the valley after his return from Delhi.
While Alam was taken by police into custody, the hardliner said that, “Arrest is nothing new for us… this is not happening for the first time. This detention will not deter us.”
Masarat’s controversial remarks and pro-Pakistan slogans raised in the valley attracted great furor in the country, which forced the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, to demand from Sayeed strict actions against Masarat.
This forced the Sayeed government to take strict stand against the entire event. On the issue of Pakistani flags hoisted in the rally, Jammu and Kashmir CM said, “Democracy is a battle of ideas, they are free to have their own way, speak their mind. But something which is not acceptable, is not, will not be tolerated.”
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.
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)
Kashmirwhich 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!
DIRECTOR: Vishal Bhardwaj
STARRING: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Narendra Jha, Kay Kay Menon.
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.
DIRECTOR: Abhishek Kapoor
STARRING: Tabu, Katrina Kaif, Aditya Roy Kapoor
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.
LAILA MAJNU (2018)
DIRECTOR: Sajid Ali
STARRING: Avinash Tiwary, Tripti Dimri
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.
DIRECTOR: Nitin Kakkar
STARRING: Zaheer Iqbal, Pranutan Bahl
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!
DIRECTOR: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
STARRING: Aadil Khan, Sadia
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!
Faith-based radicalisation as distinct from ideological or ethnicity-based motivation behind militancy, is at the root of the new global terror of our times that has unfortunately got linked with the so-called ‘Islamic world’. In the Indian context, this threat had overtaken the challenge the state faced in the Naxalite belt or the North East. Invoking the war cry of Jehad — a mandate of Quran to the faithful to fight for the defence of Islam and the Ummah in danger, till the last breath — has been used in a facile way by many Ulema and the leaders of the community who were striving to retain their political power.
Socio-political and economic grievances have been turned into a cause for Jehad — a ‘win win situation’ painted by its protagonists coming in handy for them to recruit the young for this ‘war cry’ in Kashmir and elsewhere. In any insurgency or militant movement, youth — for reasons of their vulnerability to indoctrination and loyalty to their leaders — tend to be on the forefront with a degree of daring that often made the task of bringing them back to the path of normalcy difficult.
In the Valley many of them got into a role of collaboration with the Pak terrorists infiltrated from across the LoC making counter-terror operations more arduous. Radicalisation of youth, that led them to a blind acceptance of Jehad, is a known project of Pak ISI and its proxies in India engaged in an ongoing ‘proxy war’ against this country. What should cause concern is their determined bid to exploit the ‘Minority issues’ here. The environ created by the anti-CAA stir, with its no-holds-barred communal propaganda, must be receiving the closest attention of our national security set-up.
Radicalisation is now a serious long-range threat to India’s security because Pakistan is unabashed about giving safe haven on its soil to terror outfits having linkages across the spectrum of Islam and is determined to use all clandestine channels available to it, in Kashmir and elsewhere, to radicalise local youth including teenagers. Pakistan wants the sleeper cells of terror recruits to support the covert offensive of the Mujahideen infiltrated from across the LoC in the Valley or sent in clandestinely to other parts of the country. De-radicalisation of misguided youth has, therefore, emerged as a prime strategy for India’s counter- terror effort.
Our security forces, led by the army, have to continue eliminating terrorists in Intelligence-based operations. However, apart from the hardened local militants, who accompanied the foreign Mujahideen and ran the risk of getting targeted in such operations, there could be some youth in varying stage of radicalisation falling into the hands of the army personnel. It should be feasible for the civil administration to take them on for a non- coercive programme of ‘corrective education’ — using the outreach to the families wherever possible — for getting them back on the constructive path. It may be mentioned that the army has evolved the practice of running health camps and other outreach programmes to build an image of friendliness towards law abiding citizens in the affected areas of Kashmir. This should strengthen the above endeavour of the government.
De-radicalisation initiatives are, however, greatly dependent on the capacity of the entire administration, including the police, to act as the eyes and ears of the state to detect youth who were vulnerable to radicalisation attempts of the adversary. Many of the identified stone pelters of Kashmir would need this approach of a corrective response. As part of a de-radicalisation educational programme, there may be incentives from the government for mainstreaming the youngsters by way of exploring the means of fixing them in jobs, facilitating their entry into a higher study programme or rendering a much needed financial help to their family.
Any programme of reeducating the ‘radicalised’ elements through interactions would call for the right content that highlights the value system of a democratic society, importance of religion as a source of social unity and advancement of peace, opposition to political misuse of freedom of religion and so on. Competent communicators should be able to bring out how all religions believe in one God though they may call Him by their own names, explain that religion is a matter of individual faith and point out that it was an important contributor of good social conduct involving respect for another person’s faith. Importance of showing reverence for symbols of the nation, considering national identity as the source of unity of all citizens and appreciating the greatness of democracy based on ‘one man one vote’ that worked for development of all and equal protection of law to all, has to be put across convincingly.
A clear message should be delivered to the youth that any indulgence in public violence under the misguiding influence of someone else can permanently damage the career for the life and that it was never too late to abandon the path of disruption and return to the sensible course of putting forth one’s demands in a peaceful manner. In the context of Kashmir, it should be explained that post-370, the Centre had taken full responsibility for the development and protection of all the people of J&K as one state without discrimination between Valley and the Jammu region, that the state had suffered because of the corruption of the Valley parties who encouraged separatism for their own political gains and that Kashmiris will now see better opportunities of growth throughout India and will also be better protected against Pak-sponsored terror.
At the same time, it is extremely important that the security & intelligence set-up of the centre and the state identify the preachers and the hidden masterminds — within India and abroad — furthering the enemy’s agenda and take them on legally and operationally. Equally vital is to scan the social media channels and websites used by the enemy agents to reach out to the targets for trapping them for recruitment in sleeper cells for terror activity. A lot is being done in this direction but data collection and analytics for fixing the originators of the activity need an ongoing consolidation. Our intelligence set-up would, of course, use the tradecraft to gain access to the adversary’s network getting over the ‘community’ barriers if any — infiltration through ‘plants’ is successfully achieved by many agencies of the West. (IANS)