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- Islamic religious schools, known as Madrasahs, is where the study of Islam takes place
- The Sufi Islam, once cultural to the local Kashmir population, has gradually been replaced
- The rise of Wahhabism is a significant reason as to the growing violence and reactions in the region
July 10, 2017: It can be seen how in the past decade there has been a shift from one school of thought in Islam to another. The traditional and moderate school, known as Hanafi/ Barelvi Islam, has been fading away while the radical and Saudi-induced Salafism/ Wahabism better known as Ahl-e-Hadith has become increasingly popular.
Last month, the clips of Mufti Shabir Ahmad Qasmi’s loud shouts of religious influence went viral on social media. It was the first time that a religious cleric had openly used his responsible position to support, and influence others to support, Zakir Musa, the former Hizbul commander. It is believed that the video instantly turned many to followers of Musa, mentioned TOI report.
The mosques in Kashmir have always been used to benefit religiously and politically, and especially the increase in their demands for a separate state since 1989 when militancy broke out.
Muzafil, a Sufi practitioner, explains to TOI that even though Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi among many other Hanafi clerics are trying to suppress and oppose this rising fascination with Wahhabism, the attendance in major Sufi gatherings is nonetheless decreasing. Dr. Abdul Latif, the general secretary of the Ahl-e-Hadith, estimates one million out of the total six million Muslims in the valley are now followers of their organization, highlighting the swift rise in a number of followers.
Wahhabism, funded majorly for by the Arabs, combines the pre-existing schools of thought such as Deobandi and Jamat-e-Islami. Interestingly, Shabir Ahmad Qasmi, the Mufti who made a plea in support of Zakir Musa, is a Deobandi from Jamati background.
The transition from one Islam movement to another is a threat to the stability of Kashmir region. Sarjan Barkati earned himself the title of “Pied Piper of Kashmir” as he glorified the Hizbul commander Burhan Wani who intended to establish an Islamic caliphate. Sarjan, famously called the ‘Freedom Chacha’ in Kashmir, was a self-proclaimed Sufi cleric.
This incident brings to light the transition of ideology which then manifests itself into incidents like the mob lynching of deputy SP Ayub Pandith.
According to the TOI report, the majority of the people believe that Wahhabism had emerged after the killing of Burhan Wani, but it existed before. Maulana Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri was popular in 2015 for praising the ISIS and the caliph Al-Baghdadi. Very soon, ISIS flags were seen in Kashmir as a clear-cut sign of support. Additionally, Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa were declaring “Jihad for the caliphate.” More and more Kashmir youth thus became ISIS supporters.
Official sources of the TOI have also estimated that “there are over 7,500 mosques and seminaries in Kashmir, of which over 6,000 are Hanafi and around 200 are syncretic Sufi shrines. Ahl-e-Hadith, Deoband, and Jamat put together have just over 1,000 mosques and charity based seminaries, of which Ahl-e-Hadith has the largest number.” The reason for Ahl-e-Hadith’s growing popularity is its modern furnishing and other facilities. The Ahl-e-Hadith organization is widely acknowledged for funding numerous clinics and orphanages.
Ahl-e-Hadith mosques have doubled in the last 27 years. In the last decade alone, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has received somewhere between 10 to 100 crores from International donors. The top foreign nations who have funded the state are UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, all of which are not surprisingly Salafist practicing states.
A Shia Muslim in the TOI report reveals that the Kashmiri diaspora in the Middle East who send the radical literature through Hawala. Hence, a lot of Salafi writings are distributed for free on the streets of Kashmir.
The joint Hurriyat Conference, which split up in 2003, embedded Ahl-e-Hadith in their separatist movement. The Ahl-e-Hadith also has close relations with Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The problem is not just confined to literature and Madrassas, but the internet as well. Radicalization through the internet and social media is dangerous as we have seen in the past. The glorification of separatist movements and leaders such as Wani are instantly shared among the 2.8 million mobile internet users. Thus, it is easy to reach out to the masses.
The data usage on mobile is higher in Kashmir as compared to other Indian states. The reason behind this, as one security official pointed out, was a lack of options for other entertainments. Cinemas and others were shut down in the state in the 1990s when militancy started opposing everything that was “against Islam”
The Hanafi school of Islam, which was once a dominant ideological path, is gradually fading only to be substituted by the reactionary form Wahhabism which was identified by the European Parliament as “the main source of global terrorism.”
Saudi Arabia has very strategically fueled Wahhabism in the Kashmir region. Successfully infiltrating this ideology in Pakistan, it slowly made its way into India. It very effectively indoctrinated the youth and made them distant to their Sufi culture.
– prepared by a Staff Writer of NewsGram
By- Kent A. Eide
With the advent of technology, privacy and age-related limitations have been done away with. Almost anything is available on the internet in abundance. For those sites where a paywall or a subscription is required, it takes just a few clicks to find loopholes in the workings of the dark web, to manipulate the settings, and to become a full-time user. Similarly, digitisation of almost every industry has allowed access to worlds previously not openly accessible to just anyone. The partakers of this new world, not surprisingly, are children and youth, armed with curiosity and the impeccable ability to navigate the online world with ease.
Gambling has a rather attractive lure, and in a matter of no time at all, it is easy to so involved in it that there is no way out. In such a competitive and fast-paced world, anyone will go the extra mile to earn more money. It doesn't matter what is at stake, especially when young people have not really worked to earn what they are ready to stake.
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In the past few years, online gambling has seen a big boom. Youngsters, especially college students are easily lured into this world, and tragically get enveloped to such an extent that when they find no way out, they end their lives, knowing that they cannot pay back their debts. Many such cases have been reported in many parts of India, and often the victims are those who have newly entered the world and lost their way from the overwhelming amount of particulars available, unsure of how to claim it for themselves. But all this aside, how does one enter this world with so much ease?
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash
For starters, the gambling world does not ask for much. Being curious about the industry is enough drive to begin. Wanting to win is certainly an important part of continuing into the deeper forays of the website. Add to the list the comparatively lax entry points. One does not really need to verify their identity and can play under pseudonyms. There is no check on the amount that can be invested, or on how much can be won. Certainly, there is no way to check for the participant's age. When these factors come together, they make a pretty deal to attract even the initially hesitant ones. Beginning the game is only the first step, and once one thing leads to another, before long, it becomes a world accessible on the tip of the finger, literally.
Many online casinos place their advertisement in strategic locations across various sites. The bright colours, attractive names, and irresistible offers read like subliminal messages for those who dream of big bucks, especially freshers in college, who need money to explore their world. It seems like a viable option to test the skills of strategy making while also having extra pocket money to spend.
Restrictions of age, monetary capacity, and sometimes even social status exist only in the offline world. The virtual is a place that can make anything out of anyone. When it comes to online gambling, casinos, and games, this is definitely a plus. It remains open all day long, all year around, and each hour is an opportunity to change the way one lives.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)
By- Sunidhi Beeliya
Unconventional career choices might be challenging at first, however, the benefits associated with these are promising. Today's job opportunities are the ones that didn't exist a few years ago. Similarly, the pace of technological evolution would continue to generate millions of new jobs in the future that we can't think of today. Equipping oneself with relevant, unique, evolving, and out-of-the-box skills, is thus, an important aspect for young graduates aiming to start their own business or land a secure job. As parents, education institutions, and the government are now motivating the youngsters to walk an extra mile, think of new ideas, and explore new career routes, students have gathered the confidence and courage to pursue their interests. For those who don't align with the traditional work culture, believe in doing something revolutionary, aim to pursue their passion, and wish to make an impact, learning an offbeat skill could be exciting and rewarding. Here are a few more reasons that would add up to your decision of learning an offbeat skill.
1.Pursuing your passion - Whether painting, dancing, writing, scripting, anchoring or travelling, passion fuels your willingness to work. Mastery in an offbeat skill would help you turn your interests, passions, and dreams into reality. While working professionally in the field of your choice, you stay motivated, continue learning, experience a sense of accomplishment, feel positive and energetic, broaden your horizon, and constantly discover new career opportunities. For those with multiple interests or hobbies, you must first assess your strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats of building a career in those fields. This will help you to determine your capabilities, make the right decisions, and stay focussed, consistent, innovative, and dedicated towards your career.
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2.Earning potential - Delayed results, sleepless nights, lack of resources, hefty equipment costs, and fewer earnings initially, are a few complications associated with pursuing offbeat careers. However, once you build your recognition, loyal clients, and credibility, your craft will be appreciated by everyone. Unlike 9-5 jobs wherein your earnings would increase by 10-20% annually, earning potential in offbeat domains is humongous. Few photographers during weddings and festive seasons, scriptwriters working for top-notch brand ads, and animators designing their own video games, earn more than someone's 2-year package within 2-5 months. Your expertise, experience, knowledge of the field, quality of work, and ability to market yourself could help you fetch a lucrative amount once you are established.
Constantly learning new things helps to stay updated and meet demand Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash
3.Possibility to build a great network - Offbeat career choices like animation, photography, video editing, blogging, digital art, calligraphy, playing guitar, or creative writing feature a great scope for networking. You build your own professional portfolio, reach out to experts in your niche, connect with more people, do your own PR and marketing, build your visibility on social media, and develop long-lasting relationships that help you in career progression. You get access to more work, stay informed, get expert advice and suggestions, gain new insights, and strengthen your social skills that are essential for growth. Pursuing a career in an offbeat skill is thus an excellent way to meet new people, showcase your ability to the world, make lasting connections, and grow profoundly.
Also read: Skills You Can Learn At Home
4.Be your own boss - Offbeat fields have enormous choices when it comes to choosing the place, time, duration, and type of work. You can start as an intern or freelancer, can work on a contractual basis with private or government firms, work for multiple clients at a time, or can start your own business. You set your own short term goals, mission, vision, and deadlines, have the freedom to choose projects that excite you, and quote prices that justify your talent and skills. Unlike fixed commitments wherein the work is driven by company expectations, here you can connect with your clients and customers anywhere, anytime, enjoy a great work-life balance, do a variety of work, work in-office or from home, and live life on your own terms.
5.Constant learning and progress - As trends and technology keep advancing, success in offbeat careers require you to be dynamic, up-to-date, active, creative, innovative, and self-motivated. You need to master the latest trends, in-demand hard and soft skills, new software or tools, and analysis and marketing tactics to stay in the competition and have steady career growth. Obtaining certifications might also become essential to display your competency, validate your expertise in your domain, showcase your commitment, and assure your clients that your skills are worth considering. Thus, learning through part-time or online courses would become an essential element of your life once you start working in an offbeat field. You would be constantly eager to learn and acquire more knowledge, discover new techniques of working, compete passionately, and grow in your career.
Courtesy: Internshala Trainings (training.internshala.com) - e-learning platform to learn new-age skills from Internshala
Keywords: Passion, Techniques, Offbeat Skills, Career, Potential
By- Sunidhi Beeliya
Blogging has lately become a popular tool for building a positive online influence through legible content. As many young graduates are plunging on the startup bandwagon, it's evident that becoming an entrepreneur excites them more than choosing to work for someone else. The enormous inspiring stories of various multi-million businesses that started off as a blog initially, add up to their ambitions. Blogging helps drive traffic, promotes your content and offerings, and helps to instill trust among your target audience. Moreover, blogging is one of the most economical and effective ways to start sharing your ideas with people. Although good content writing skills are essential for starting your own blog, knowledge of marketing your content to the right audience is what helps you turn it into a business. So, if you are a budding blogger and are willing to increase your reach, here are a few marketing tips that would not let your blogging efforts go in vain!
1.Search and target keywords - Readers majorly consume content through search engines. Targeting top keywords and formulating your content around the same is essential for your blog to be seen, consumed, and shared. Set your content goals and expectations, understand different types of keywords, your audience's taste, your competitors' habits, things to avoid, and create a keyword research strategy. Regardless of the industry and niche that your blog is focused on, you must know about different keyword research tools and techniques, competitor keywords, keyword gaps, long-tail keywords, buyer keywords, related keywords, and low competition keywords. Strategic keyword research helps attract the interested audience, increases conversion, gives you an insight into market trends, helps in prioritising time and resources, and helps your blog to rank better.
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2.Leverage social media platforms - Unless you own a full-fledged website, opting for paid marketing alternatives might feel heavy on your pockets. Thus, social media is a vivid, free-of-cost, powerful, and highly engaging choice to reach out to your audience. To leverage the power of social media, it is imperative to not only share your blog on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, but to also create and optimise socially shareable content. Link your blog with social media posts and use relevant, intriguing, unique captions, and visually appealing images. You can use free tools to create infographics, GIFs, illustrations, and graphics. Integrate social media buttons on your blog, automate content sharing on social media, produce and share blog posts consistently, set an optimal time for posting based on your audiences' activity, and use relevant hashtags to ensure maximum reach.
Blogging helps with marketing with audience Photo by Fikret Tozak on Unsplash
3.Network with experts in your niche - Building meaningful relationships with experts in your niche gives you an opportunity to learn from more experienced and skilled content creators. Use your networking skills as a blog marketing tool by searching and connecting with influencers in your niche, mentioning industry experts in your blog posts, inviting people to write on your blog, hosting thought leaders in your niche through webinars or podcasts, and co-hosting with renowned brands in your industry. Building fruitful relationships will gradually help you to get mentions, tags, redirected audiences from other platforms, valuable insights and facts about your niche, business advice from experts, and would ultimately build the credibility of your content. You will be able to connect with a larger audience and have a good share of voice in the highly competitive market.
Also read: Essential Marketing Tactics For Any Start-Up
A pro tip: Learn professional marketing strategies through specialisation courses
For your blog marketing tactics to be on spot, honing in-demand marketing skills is important. While good communication, content writing, creativity, language, and editing skills are prerequisites for starting a blog and could be developed over time through constant practise, learning blog marketing skills on your own could be a hard nut to crack. Online specialisations are specifically designed to help beginners start their careers in the field of their choice. You can opt for a digital marketing specialisation which will not only boost your blogging and marketing skills but will also help you become an expert in content, email, and social media marketing. You can learn to create your own blog, publish posts, and use Google Analytics to track your blog performance. Concepts like SEO, Google Ads, ORM, social listening, marketing automation, strategic planning, and growth hacking, are also covered in the specialisations. Add on perks include continuous practice and assessment sessions, industry recognised certificates, and 1:1 Career Planning Sessions with industry experts that help you build professional knowledge and have a credible presence in the market.
Keywords: Blogging, Content writing, Networking, Social Media, Marketing