INTERVIEW p 08
We dare to tell the truth...
Issue No. 35 |
“Music is dying in Kashmir” MUDASIR ALI
website: www.thekashmirscenario.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | September 02-08, 2013
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LAND MAFIA GOBBLES DOWN KASHMIR’S PADDY FIELDS (PART I)
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE STATISTICS Year
Production of food grains in Metric tons 486 620
Requirement 559 1023
Pg- 5 ,7
%deficit 23 40
Septmber 02-08, 2013
WILD ANIMALS ON PROWL IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
his year has seen an unprecedented increase in wild animal attacks in the country side of Kashmir leading to many deaths. While those who survived death are just ‘walking dead’ with vital organs of the body like eyes, ears, lips clawed out by the beasts. In some areas of North Kashmir bears have been seen moving like stray dogs, creating a sense of fear among the citizens. The country side villages of north Kashmir these days resemble a goblin-infested street of medieval tales, with the people preferring to stay indoors after the sunset. In Sangrama constituency packs of wolves have been seeing roaming together. The canine is a ferocious animal which believes in ambush hunting. The stealth predator has launched a series of attacks on children killing as many as five and injuring scores others. People in the countryside have been attacked everywheresome while having a casual stroll in the woods, some in their orchards while others have been attacked right in their courtyard. Those people who survive these attacks narrate the horrible ordeal they have to endure every day. The sheer torture of not being able to reveal their faces in public would send shivers down the spine of every human being. They have to endure unmentionable hardships for a lifetime. Majority of the people attacked belong to the lower strata of the society slogging it hard making both the ends meet. While in some cases government has come forward and provided a monetary relief of one lakh rupees to the families of the deceased, there is no dearth of cases where government just preferred to look the other way. Government’s oblivion appears even more sinister given the responsibility of government to
protect its citizens from the wild animals. Even though government is seen acting promptly to kill any man-eater Leopard or a Wolf but one wonders whether such cosmetic approach would entail safety of people in the countryside whose indulgence in agricultural activities necessitates association with the peripheral forests bordering the villages. Some wildlife officials while pleading anonymity said that they were tired of telling people of “Dos and don’ts” of avoiding a conflict with animals. The officials feel that since orchards and paddy fields located in the peripheral areas of villages are a functional necessity of rural life. Can we imagine a village life where people do not tend to their cattle or do not work in their orchards? The answer is a categorical ‘NO’. The reality beckons the question that whether we have infiltrated deep in to the domain of wild animals. Has our greed blindfolded us to the fact that we humans are encroaching upon forests which essentially is the homeland of these wild animals? In the rat race of materialism, are we busy in building our concrete jungles and wiping out natural ones? With blinkers on, are we oblivious to the fact that other animals have an equal right to live in this world as much as we have? Some officials of the department of wildlife feel that the frequent sightings of the black bear must be ascribed to the fact that we are building our homes in forests. When we build homes in forests, the contact with wild animals is imminent. Kashmir is not the only place where bear attacks are on the rise. Take an example of Romania. It is also facing this problem. The government there is also urging the people to refrain from encroaching forests. We cannot lose sight of
the fact that the bear population is on rise from the last two decades presumably due to a ban on hunting. The government has also been found lackadaisical in some cases. The local press is filed with stories showing countryside people protesting against the callous attitude of wildlife department. Why is it that a wild animal which kills one person goes on to kill many others while the wildlife officials wait? Why is that despite frequent SOS calls from villagers on sighting a bear falls on deaf ears of the wildlife department? The government has plenty to answer and the unprecedented (and justifiable) media hype ensures that government cannot evade answers. The cosmetic approach of providing one lakh rupees of monetary help will not do any more. It is an irony that wild bears have killed people where the wild animal sighting is nothing less than a miracle. Take example of a village near Chadoora where two people were killed recently reportedly by a man-eater Leopard. Or the famous sighting of a bear near the Gupkar house of Mufti Muhammad sayeed in the capital city of Srinagar. The Government needs to take serious efforts before it is too late. Government needs to undertake a survey to establish how many people were maimed for a lifetime after wild animals attacked them. The maimed need financial assistance from government because it is government’s duty to protect its citizens from wild animal attacks. The government needs to take all sections of the society on board while evolving a long-term strategy to deal with the problem. We should evolve a strategy which entails safety of both the animals and most importantly that of man.
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
A RAMEEZ MAKHDOOMI
Suicide bomber kills 55 in Pakistan mosque, wounds another 110. An Air Strike against militants kills 25 members of a marriage party in Afghanistan. Truck Bomb explosion in a crowded Baghdad market kills 70, wounds 230. Egyptian Army fires on Muslim Brotherhood protesters resulting in killing of 150 and injuring another 700. Day long clashes claim 250 lives in Syria .An Explosion in Yemen kills 20 army men. Blast at a Lebanon street kills 30, wounds scores. Clashes between Secularists and Islamists leaves scores dead in Bangladesh. Rocket attack kills many in Libya. Opposition leader shot dead in Tunisia. These words are neither a part of any literary satire nor any lines on novel but the tragic realities defining
The enemies of Islam have succeeded in dividing us on sectarian basis as a result of which we mourn selectively on grief. The cancer is so much widespread that on majority of times in our societies a person mourning on Iraq will say no need to mourn on Egypt, similarly a person mourning on Egypt would say there is no need to mourn on Iraq. the current plight of Muslim Ummah. All these so called independent Muslim countries are raging with death and destruction without any common strategy amongst them to fight the common enemy. The soul of Muslim Ummah stands bruised with daily mayhem going on in different Muslim countries and the rulers and clergy as usual are engaged in beating chests without any real desire to end the menace. We as Muslims have been so much poisoned by the agents of Satan who are present in large numbers
The violence in Syria has seen thousand of people die this year in our regimes and society that we are poisoned to the extent that we envisage these killings from sectarian viewpoint .For a sizable proportion of so called present day Muslims these are not Muslim killings but Shia and Sunni killings. The enemies of Islam have succeeded in dividing us on sectarian basis as a result of which we mourn selectively on grief. The cancer is so much widespread that on majority of times in our societies a person mourning on Iraq will say no need to mourn on Egypt, similarly a person mourning on Egypt would say there is no need to mourn on Iraq. Our once prideful civilizations stand destroyed. In archaeological circles, Iraq is known as “the cradle of civilization, unfortunately today it stands annihilated and destroyed. Western aggression backed mainly by USA has vandalized the once great country and the rest of destruction has been made sure currently by sectarian goons financed by enemies of Islam. Come to AfghanistanOnce great Muslim country it has simply been turned into slaughter house of vested interests. The past three decades of war and disorder have undoubtedly have had a shocking impact on the Afghan people. Millions have been killed, millions more have been forced to flee their homes and the country’s infrastructure and forests have all but been shattered. The social fabric of the country is fractured and state institutions are fragile and
weak. Much has been written about the wars in Afghanistan – but the voices of ordinary Afghans are often absent from these accounts, and yet it is the Afghan people who are most badly affected by the violence. Another iconic historical nation Syria is today reduced to rubble as a result of civil war. The enemies of Islam have been successful in vandalizing Syria. According to many political commentaries the civil war in Syria has turned into a sectarian war between Sunnis and Alawite Shiites, and according to one report, over 1,000 mosques have been deliberately martyred in the course of the fighting. The Syrian war brings the plight of the present day Muslim Ummah open and makes a sane Muslim think that we as Muslim Ummah are just used as fodder for the personal and vested interests by enemies of Islam.USA, Isreal Saudi Arabia, Qatar are backing the Sunni rebels of Syria, while on the other hand Russia, the Shiites from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are backing the regime. One is forced to conclude that enemies of Islam have been successful in dividing us and on our blood are stitching the dreams of their hegemony. The current abject condition of Muslim Ummah should force all the sane voices to come on common table and devise strategies to regain the lost glory.
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
Varied Views about Zubin Mehta’s MUSICAL CONCERT MALIK SAMEED AND MAJID IMTIYAZ
SRINAGAR, August 13: While separatists have opposed Zubin Mehta’s concert in Kashmir and have called for the cancellation of western music event in Kashmir Valley, the show is all set to go on the 7th of September in the picturesque Shalimar garden of Srinagar. Unprecedented security arrangements have been put in place to conduct the event smoothly. While the mainstream leaders are lobbying hard for the success of this event, people across the socio-economic sphere of Kashmir have varied opinions about the gala event. While Syed Ali Shah Geelani has asked the German Ambassador Michel Steiner to reassess the decision to hold the concert in view of the “disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said that the money spent on the musical concert could have been utilised for building a hospital in Kashmir. Expressing his personal views about the upcoming musical concert, Grand Mufti Bashir-ud-din said that instead of wasting a huge amount of money on Zubin Mehta’s musical concert, the same amount should be utilised for the health and education sector Opposing the proposed musical concert in Srinagar, Ajaz Rah, famous Kashmiri singer said that government should utilise a large chunk of this money to hone local singing talents “Government is investing money on foreigners when the local talented singers are short of platforms,” Rah added. In conversation with The Kashmir Scenario, Rabia Bajee a social activist said that this concert would in no ways benefit Kashmiris. While opposing Zubin Mehta’s concert in the valley she also said that the money to be invested in the concert could be utilized in much better ways such as in Educational Institutes and health care concerns of the valley.
“In 1999, Mehta was presented the Lifetime Achievement Peace and Tolerance Award of the United Nations,” said Mudasir Ali, a successful singer from the Kashmir valley. Mudasir said that this concert will benefit the valley in terms of economy and upcoming talent as well. The money invested on the Mehta’s concert will totally not go waste. He also said that this event will bring certain amount of confidence in the upcoming talent of Kashmir. A facebook user from Huma Dar has filed an online petition to the German embassy asking them to rethink their plan to host a musical event of such magnitude in Kashmir when the human rights violations are going on and draconian laws are in place. Waheed Jeelani, a renowned singer of the valley feels that the event could give a fillip to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir as the event would be broadcast LIVE in 55 countries “As a music lover I feel the show must go on. This event could give a fillip to the tourism in Kashmir,” Said Jeelani who is to perform at London the day Zubin performs at the Shalimar garden. Mehta was conferred with the Tagore Award instituted by the Government of India, for his outstanding contribution to cultural harmony. “I think this event would be beneficial for Kashmir. Music and politics should be separated. Music is performed by artists who have nothing to do with politics,” said Media Guru Nasir Mirza a Professor at the University of Kashmir. While maximum number of people in Kashmir which include political parties, separatist leaders and renowned personalities oppose the concert of Zubin Mehta, Mehta’s concert is a hot discussion that is going online over many social & networking websites including Facebook, Twitter & Yahoo.
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
LAND MAFIA GOBBLES DOWN KASHMIR’S PADDY FIELDS-I
PHOTO// KHURSHEED PARRAY Residencial houses like these have popped up in paddy fields across the length and breadth of Kashmir valley
THE KASHMIR SCENARIO EXCLUSIVE
Srinagar: The paddy fields which a few decades back, were a main source of sustenance for the entire Kashmir valley, are fast falling to land mafia right under the nose of the authorities with commercial properties and housing colonies ubiquitous on agricultural land, grazing land and custodian property across the length and breadth of valley. The authorities of the Revenue department have been found to be hand in glove with land mafia and have converted a vast chunk of agricultural and grazing land for commercial purposes. The state government despite knowing about the shrinking paddy and grazing land prefer to look the other way. Brazen violation of the section 133 of the land Revenue Act seems to have taken place in Dandoosa and Narkara areas of district Srinagar. “I have witnessed how agricultural land is converted for housing purposes. The land where you see palatial houses in Narkara and Dandoosa was actually agricultural land on papers. Land mafia with the help of officials of the Revenue Department helped in conversion
of these paddy fields in to housing colonies. Near bypass you would be surprised to know even custodian land is being converted in to a housing colony,” said Mushtaq Ahmad a land broker from uptown Srinagar. In district Ganderbal, the total paddy land in the year 2012 was 9091 hectares and astonishingly this year land under paddy is only 8400 hectares, a loss of 691 hectares in one year. In a span of just twelve months 691 hectares of paddy land was lost to illegal constructions including houses, commercial properties and the roadside Dhabas. Over the years, many illegal colonies have come up on agricultural land in Ganderbal area majority of them being the shopping complexes constructed on the main road of Ganderbal which connects the Ganderbal district to the capital city of Srinagar. Most of these commercial buildings are owned by businessmen who have close connections with the echelons of power. “Most of the violations are done by the bureaucrats, businessmen and other officials who purchase large chunk of agriculture land and then convert it into residential colonies and subsequently sell it at exorbitant rates,” an offi-
cial of the Revenue department said pleading anonymity. Besides, the proposed construction of the 93 MW New Ganderbal Hydro-Electric Power Project is all set to consume around 200 kanals of agricultural land in areas like Beehama, Duderhama, Warpora, Arampora and the adjoining areas while hundreds of Kanals of land have already been consumed by the existing power projects in Sumbal, Kangan and Ganderbal areas. The sprouting of these business units had even shocked the Governor of the state of Jammu and Kashmir NN Vohra who said that such constructions should be stopped to stop Kashmir from becoming a concrete jungle. The area, once famous for its Cornfields, lush green paddy fields, small orchards and other visible signs of horticulture is now turning in to a concrete jungle. ‘The price of the land has sky-rocketed and the owners no more relish the prospect of working tirelessly in the fields. They instead sell the land and do business with the money,” a Revenue official said. The people in the district of Kulgam, Budgam and Ganderbal( known as the rice bowls of Kashmir a few years ago)no more take to fields and there seems to be a rat race to either convert the fields in to orchards to sell off the land and start doing business. This alarming trend is seen by many as a direct implication of easy lifestyle that has engulfed people across the length and breadth of the valley. “I think people want an easy life. Who would like to slog hard in the fields when there is an easy alternative of selling the land and leading an easy life? People in the countryside no more take to fields. We have to import labours from outside the state for reaping of harvest. I think absence of a proper labour class is leading to this trend,” senior columnist Zahid Ghulam Muhammad told The Kashmir Scenario. This version of “absence of a proper labour class” is corroborated by various British travellers who visited Kashmir during Sikh and Dogra rule. The British travellers like Sir Walter Lawrence, Vigne, Francis Younghusband asribe absence of a proper labour class for
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
‘BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG’-A must watch for every dreamer
MILKHA SINGH BHAAG
akesh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is not a movie. It is an inspiration .It is an inspiration of standing against falsehood. The movie is based on the life of Milkha Singh, India’s first post-independence athlete who won gold at the commonwealth games. Farhan Akhtar, the protagonist, plays the role of Milkha Singh in the movie appreciably resembling the athlete in appearance and demeanor. The Sikh athlete played by Farhan not only appeals the masses but it inspires many people with the emotions of patriotism. Farhan’s role in the movie is excellent. Farhan playing the role of Milkha Singh steals the show. There are many transitions in his role-sometimes playing a shy Sikh boy romancing his sweetheart to a serious athlete who believes there is no tomorrow. Sonam kapoor’s role though small is equally appreciable. She flows with the theme. The cameo played by her was really touching to say the least. She acts as if belonging to that decade. The actress has many hits to her name this year as 2013 was a year of resurgence for the daughter of Anil Kapoor. Divya Dutta plays the role of Milkha’s sister and yet again Divya known for her lively roles has marked
is proving to be a watershed movie for Farhan Akhter
her name in the movie and among the audience. Rest of the actors are Pawan Malhotra (the coach of Mikha),Yograj Singh(India team coach) and Prakash Raj (Army teacher) have justified their inclusion in the movie. The movie starts with 1960 Olympic Games in which Milkha is called by his coach and he says ‘Milkha Bhaag’ which evolves the everlasting sufferings of Milkha singh in partition time. He remembers the last words of his father as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag .While running; all these memories are frolicking in Mikhas mind thus resulting in Milkhas 4th place at Olympic Games. The movie evolves Milkhas life with the partition .How his whole family gets killed and he is left alone with his sister in Delhi. He spends his childhood by playing with knifes and stealing. Then he falls in love with a girl Meera played by Sonam Kappor. He promises Meera that he will live a respectable life and will live happily. For that reason he joins Indian Army to live a respectable and happy life with Meera. After joining Army Milkha gets enrolled into Sports Category because In Sports you could get milk and eggs to eat (a cue from Paan Singh Tomar) but for that you have to run in a race and secure a position in top 10. And for the greed of Milk and
egg Milkha’s life changes from that particular race. He then goes on to win 400 metre race, anoter race in tokoyo etc etc. Thus becoming a Known Indian athlete in the world receiving Success all over but the wounds of partition have not been healed yet. And finally Indo-Pak meet is to be held at Gaddafi stadium. Somehow Milkha singh is motivated by Jawahar Lal Nehru to visit Pakistan. Milkha’s days with his past homeland Pakistan and the miseries he and his family suffered from Pakistan to India. He had to forcibly migrate to India from Pak. So the race begins and Milkah overtakes all of his opponents easily and wins the historic race against pakistan droping all of his past grievances with this land. Pak Army Premier Gen.Ayub Khan then gives him the title as ‘Flying Sikh’. Filled with patriotism, BMG is an historic movie, it will steal National Awards,Flimfare and Farhan Akhtar with his gripping performance has sealed his name among the leading actors of Bollywood and the movie deserves to get Tax Free. The movie goes with Mikha Singh’s life and the consequences of Partition on his life. After watching the movie you will get inspired by the life of Milkha Singh. And guess what ,you will even run!!!
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
the menace of Begar(Forced Labour). While absence of a proper labour class is being seen as the reason why people are selling off paddy fields, shrinking glaciers and a boom in horticulture is also ascribed as a major reason for the shrinking rice bowls of Kashmir. “The fact that glaciers are melting at a faster pace and the boom in horticulture has made working in paddy fields less profitable. Paddy demands more labour and a perennial water supply. With glaciers receding at a faster pace less water is available. Horticulture demands lesser water and lesser man force. So we see this trend of people converting their paddy fields in to orchards,” says
“I think people want an easy life. Who would like to slog hard in the fields when there is an easy alternative of selling the land and leading an easy life? People in the countryside no more take to fields. We have to import labours from outside the state for reaping of harvest. I think absence of a proper labour class is leading to this trend,” senior columnist Zahid Ghulam Muhammad told The Kashmir Scenario.
shreen Tramboo a Scholar of Sociology at the University of Kashmir. Action aid, an international NGO states in its report that in kapran area in Anantnag the length of the Hangipora glacier has reduced from 35ft to 10ft and the Naaginad glacier has reduced from 30ft to 10ft In south kashmir villages of chaklipora and Kapran, the amount of yearly snowfall has reduced to more than half. “Poverty and hunger, educational deficiencies, unstable households, family Structure, social unrest, increased urban migration, food Scarcity and health Hazards due to excess use of Pesticides are the major factors why paddy fields are converted in to orchards or used for commercial purposes,” says a scholar of Eco-
Craftily compiled fake documents like these are passed off as genuine documents to gullible buyers by land Mafia.
nomics at the University of Kashmir. While the state has laws that prevent conversion of agricultural land for some other purposes, there are loopholes in the law that people exploit for their benefit. “Section 133 of the Land Revenue act prevents agricultural land from being converted for housing or commercial purposes. However, the law is not water-tight and there are loopholes in this law,” Advocate Mehraj akram told The Kashmir scenario. A bill was recently introduced in the lower house of the state legislature and after a brief discussion and certain demands of the members it was referred to a select committee for further study and suitable recommendations. The meeting of the joint select committee of legislators of both the houses was held recently under the chairmanship of state Revenue Minister Ajaz khan over the proposed government Bill on prohibition of conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. All the departments connected with the issue including Revenue, Housing, Agriculture and Law. Earlier in the year, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Tuesday had directed the state govern-
ment to ensure that no conversion of agricultural land is allowed for commercial, residential and industrial purposes. Hearing a clubbed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to restrict growing conversion of agricultural land for other purposes, a division bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice M.M Kumar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magray had directed the government through Advocate General, M I Qadri to ensure complete halt on conversion of agriculture land. The court passed the directions following submission of Advocate J I Ganai representing a petitioner that government is winking eyes to the conversion of agriculture land for the uses of other purposes along Khannabal- Pahalgam road in Anantnag district in violation of law. “The entire state administration seems to be taking the issue lightly as despite the rulings of the state High Court, rampant constructions are going on in the paddy fields. If government does not speed up the process of bringing newer laws to curb this menace a day may come when we may not produce a single grain of rice,” said Mudasir Ahmad a student of the University of Kashmir. (The Kashmir Scenario is doing a series orf follow ups to the land grabbing story)
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
PHOTO// KHURSHEED PARRAY
“Music is dying in Kashmir” MUDASIR ALI
When he once sang LIVE at DD Kashir studio, Farooq Abdullah was so impressed by his singing that he got up on the stage and gifted him his wrist watch. While Imitating the voice of Nusrat fateh Ali Khan is his forte-a thing he says he is proud of-the 32-year-old hunk Mudasir Ali made every one proud in his hometown Srinagar when he made it to the top ten of the international musical reality show Sur Shetra. Life has been a struggle for Mudasir from being an undisguised commoner on the streets of Srinagar to a television celebrity known throughout the length and breadth of India.
WHILE TALKING TO JAMSHEED RASOOL
of The Kashmir Scenario, Mudasir feels that music in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is dying a slow death and the government is oblivious to any plans of reviving it.
When was for the first time that you felt there was a singer inside you? What made you bypass other palatable alternatives to opt for singing? As a six-year-old I recognized my elder brother was a singer. I started singing with him at home and sooner my brother like an astute jeweler saw the singing talent in me. He got me in touch with Akhoon sahib, a program officer at Radio Kashmir. Akhoon told me that my voice was fit for Sufi songs. I took his advice and began singing in that genre only. (While stressing his memory) I remember I was in eighth standard when I sang my first song for Commercial Broadcasting Service and then I did regular shows for the channel.
What did the knack of imitating Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali khan’s voice catch you? The voice of Nusrat fateh Ali Khan had magic. It was my first love of sorts. I was smitten by his voice. Right from my school days I used to sing like him. Prior to him I used to imitate Kishore Kumar. The ‘Sangam’ album of Nusrat fateh Ali Khan impressed me a lot. I began to imitate his voice and got a lot of appreciation from people. I made it sure Nusrat was part of my itinerary wherever I sang. I pride myself in being able to imitate his voice so well.
You have had your brushes with DD Kashir as well. How
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
did your stint at DD Kashir go?
Mumbai was too big a place. An acquaintance of mine somehow made me talk to Sonu Nigam over phone. Sonu sir wanted me to sing a song over the phone and at that point only Sonu Nigam told me if I could sing for his upcoming album. My joy knew no bounds. Alhamdulillah, it was the first of many to come. I also sang a duet with Shubha Mudgal for Sonu Nigam’s yet to be released album. I was lucky to be singing with her. Not many have got the chance, I tell you.
In 2001, I came in to contact with a private producer N A Qazi. He was instrumental in introducing me at Dordarshan Kendra Srinagar. I recorded a song for them which became an instant hit. They also used to invite for certain functions where I would perform. At one LIVE performance at DD Kashir in 1998, Farooq Abdullah was so impressed by my singing that he got up on the stage and gifted me his wrist watch. That was the proudest moment of my singing career.
What keeps Mudasir busy these days?
Your albums where quite a rage among youth a few years ago. How did you take the response of people towards your albums? Yes my albums which include Shaan, Jab Bahaar Aayi, Deedar, Aadnuk yaaar and jigar sold like hot cakes in Srinagar and other districts of the valley. It gave me a confidence that I could perform at a bigger stage.
Well I am doing shows not only in India but also in foreign countries. I have done shows in Malysia, Bnagkok, Singapore, and Dubai. These days I am composing music for an upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Imaandaari Ki Maa Ki Aankh’. I Mudasir Ali with Adnan Sami in Mumbai
The ‘Sangam’ album of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan impressed me a lot. I began to imitate his voice and got a lot of appreciation from people. I made it sure Nusrat was part of my itinerary wherever I sang. I pride myself in being able to imitate his voice so well. The reality show ‘Sur Shetra’ on Colours was a watershed event in your career. How did you feel when Mudasir who was till then just another face in the crowd became talk of the town all of a sudden?
Mudasir Ali issinging for Sonu Nigam ‘s up coming Album
(Smiles) Sur Shetra was an important event in my life. It gave me an instant fame. Only yesterday I was walking on the Boulevard road. A boy rowing his boat recognized me and instantly cried,”Hey Mudasir Surshetra”. A strange sense of joy dawned on me. People recognize me. They know I am a singer. For an artist that is the greatest appreciation than awards and medals. In metropolitan cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, I bump into people who recognize me by my face. That is why I sing. I want to be remembered as a Kashmiri who struggled hard to make a name for him.
Bollywood is a dream place for any singer. How did you fare in the city of dreams?
For a Kashmiri boy, I tell you,
Mudasir Ali sharing a jolly moment with Vivek Obrai in Mumbai
think many in Mumbai have begun to realise my talent. It is always a great feeling. Your message to budding singers of the valley and for youth in general. For the budding singers I seriously advise to learn from established singers. If youth manage to ward of their ego then there are a lot of opportunities there. Having said that, I must admit there always people who try to bog you down. Pay as less attention to those people as possible. There is no short cut to success. Practice is absolutely necessary. Hard work holds the key.
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
The Longest 45 seconds
of my life!!!
PHOTO// KHURSHEED PARRAY
he traffic lights were a welcome sight for someone who was returning to the valley after a year. The conflict-tattered city was seeing some much needed modernization after all. It was 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning; I was driving down the streets of Srinagar. My first encounter with the traffic light occurred at the Gojwara chowk. A silver Alto car in front of me had stopped at the traffic signal waiting for it to turn green. The traffic lights were a welcome sight for someone who was returning to the valley after a year. The conflict tattered city was seeing some much needed reconstruction after all. It was 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning; I was driving down the streets of Srinagar. My first encounter with the traffic light occurred at the Gojwara Chowk. A silver Alto car in front of me had stopped at the traffic signal waiting for it to turn green. Gladdened at this sight, I pulled up alongside the car .The timer showed a good 45 seconds for the signal to turn green. I switched off my engine (thanks to the congress, wanting to wash its hands off the petroleum subsidies and the subsequent sky- rocketing petrol prices). Back in Delhi, when I had heard about the installation of traffic lights in Srinagar, I had my reservations about its utility. Seeing images of the chief minister’s motorcade following rules had given the impression of a gimmick to me. But here I was, in Gojwara chowk seeing an “aam aadmi” follow traffic lights when he simply could have slipped through. I had just started my lecture to my friend on the traffic lights as a welcome sign and how people have started to accept these rules to my friend
TRAFFIC LIGHTS at a busy Srinagar Junction
The traffic lights were a welcome sight for someone who was returning to the valley after a year. The conflict tattered city was seeing some much needed reconstruction after all.
when I was startled by a brazen and vulgarly loud horn behind by ears. The driver of the car next to me and I, both started to look back… (For a second, I thought there was some ambulance with some kind of a medical emergency). I was surprised to see a near empty minibus honking away gesticulating both of us drivers to make way for him. I rolled down my window and pointed towards the traffic light. This seemed to make the Driver of the minibus very angry. I could not hear what all he was saying, but I could make out clearly that whatever he was saying was not pleasant. The clock still showed a good 30 seconds before the lights could turn green. Why was he getting all angered? Such was his reaction that the thought of having done something wrong came across me. This was aggravated by the pedestrians looking at me and smiling at me …as if i had committed some blunder. Had I done something wrong by following the rules? Why was I being harassed for following simple traffic rules? By now I saw, the minibus backing up. I feared, he would rear end my car and hence was alarmed. He started to move his vehicle forward, made a cut to the right and starter honking behind the other car. Frustrated by this act, the driver of the alto car just moved ahead and sped past the red light the timer still had 15 seconds to go for it to turn green. The driver of the minibus triumphantly moved his vehicle ahead and before moving past me, he stopped and said, “yi chye kasheer…Yeti chye ne red cross wed cross (The traffic lights) chalaan kyeh…” (This is Kashmir…these red lights don’t work here…) saying this he sped away leaving me waiting for the light to turn green in a cloud of black smoke.
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
Countryside mauled by wild animals MIR ARIF
Pattan, August 29: Shyly pulling the cloth covering his face marred by scars, Abdul Rasheed Gojri of Pattan area is a ‘living dead’ after a bear attacked him and clawed out his lips and a vast part of his chin leaving him maimed for a lifetime. The victim is a poor man with six children and all the income that the family now earns is spent on his treatment. “We received no monetary assistance from the government. We have one BPL (Below poverty Line) ration Card and not AAY which we rightfully deserve. All our earnings are spent on our father’s treatment,” says Mohummad Shafi son of the victim. The year 2013 has seen an unprecedented increase in bear sightings with some of them reported to be moving like stray dogs in the countryside. A series of attacks have left many mauled to death and many maimed for a lifetime. People have been attacked almost everywhere; some while having a casual walk in the woods, some in their orchards and a few even in their courtyards. In April, Ghulam Muhammad Mir of Patoosa Rafiabad was offering prayers in his orchard at Satrahaar when the bear attacked him. Towseef, an eye witness to the attack, says the bear charged towards him too when he made noise. “The bear attacked Mir sahib on the face repeatedly till he felt unconscious. I shouted a lot and the bear began to chase me and I ran for my life,” says Towseef recounting the horror of the day. Ghulam Muhammad Mir was the sole breadwinner of the family of seven people. MLA Rafiabad visited the area after the incident but till date family has not received any monetary help. In Kreeri area of Sangrama constituency, wild wolves have wreaked havoc killing five
Bear sightings have seen an unprecedented rise this year in the country side of Kashmir people so far. Majority of the attacks have occurred during morning and evening hours with kids being the casualty in most of the cases. The canine belonging to the dog family is a stealth predator and attacks in packs of four to six. Wild wolves have been seeing roaming the area in groups of six to ten. “I have seen wolves roaming in my village during evening hours. It really was a scary experience. Government should kill these man-eater wolves,” said Abdul Rasheed a resident of Sangrama. In Kreeri, a 7-year-old adil Hameed sheikh had left his home when he was attacked by two wolves killing him on the spot. The killing shook the entire village. “It is a matter of great concern. Our children are being devoured by wild animals. Wildlife department should immediately kill these man-eater wolves,” says 56-year-old Abdul Khaliq of Kreeri. MLA Sangrama Syed Basharat Bukhari while agreeing that the population of wolves has increased in the area said that a massive operation is on to kill these wild wolves. “Though I believe that no monetary help can compensate for a life of a person, we have provided one lakh rupees to the
family of the victims. A massive hunt is on to kill these man-eater wolves. We have to kill all maneater wolves soon,” says Syed Basharat Bukhari. While the wildlife department had conducted several programs educating people how to avoid confrontation with wild animals, the department feels helpless as the population of wild animals has seen an unprecedented increase. “Most of the attacks have occurred while people were involved in agricultural activities. Agriculture is a functional necessity of rural life. We cannot advise people to forlorn Orchards and paddy field. Though our department is working tirelessly to kill all man-eaters, we cannot deny the fact that humans have encroached upon the territory of wild animals,” Wildlife Warden North Kashmir Abdul Raoof Zargar told The Kashmir Scenario. This year has been a busy year for wildlife department as wild animals have appeared in areas where they had not been sighted for years. In the Chadoora area of Budgam district wild animals have already killed two people while a bear made a surprise appearance near the Gupkar house of Mufti Sayeed in the capital city of Srinagar.
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
Locals use ‘nets’ to catch the exquisite trout in Gangbal Lake JAMSHEED RASOOL
Ganderbal, August 26 (KSNN) : In violation of norms put forward by the fisheries department, some locals have been reported to use ‘nets’ to catch the elusive trout in bulk in the famous Gangbal lake situated at the foothills of Mount Harmukh in Ganderbal district of north Kashmir. The Kashmir Scenario is in possession of photographs showing locals remove the net after many trout fishes got entangled to it, while the baffled anglers with requisite permission from fisheries department in their pockets look in desperation. The fisheries department manual on ‘do’s and don’ts’ of fishing in Gangbal lake, situated at an altitude of 3600 metres from sea level, specifically mentions that there is no other valid mode of fishing allowed in the high altitude oligotrophic lake other than angling with a rod using ‘fly’ as a bait. The manual also mentions that an angler cannot catch more than six trout in a day and in case the local species of fish gets hooked to the bait, the angler has to throw it back to the lake. “I wonder how these people are allowed to catch trout in bulk. What is the fun of angling when people can use nets to catch trout in bulk? I came from Holland to fish in this sublime lake. It is not sportsmanship and the state government must take action against these people,” said a foreign tourist Valesh Vander hook while displaying photographs of illegal fishing at the lake. Vander hook was furious about the fact that many fry get entangled in these fishing nets thus adversely affecting the growth of trout population; a fact corroborated by the Fisheries department manual which orders anglers to throw back the fry trout to the lake immediately after hooking it. While district Ganderbal has about 22 trout fishing beats starting from Waylu Bridge to Resin, the fisheries department says it is understaffed to man so many
permission. Everyone else paid some amount to the guard and hooked as many fishes as possible,” said Omar Dar an angler from Rajbagh area. The fisheries department on the other hand says that the population of trout in the lake has increased manifold in the lake. The high altitude of the lake, the steep climb leading to it and the inclement weather and lack of human habitat around the lake are some of the impediments in guarding the lake. “The fact that the people are using nets indicates there are plenty of fishes in the lake. The lake is an eight hours trek from Naranag and Locals taking out the net after there is no human habilaying it across the exit point of tation near the lake. To the Gangbal Lake add to it the weather may change any time. It is difficult to man this beat,” PHOTO// KHURSHEED PARRAY Samoon said. beats. The first batch of “Ganderbal district is a trout Ova of 10,000 eggs arrived newly created district. Fisheries from UK in 1989 with the courdepartment is utterly understaffed tesy of duke of Bedford, to whom to man all the trout beats. There the Kashmiri Maharaja presented are 22 beats in total. May be the Kashmir stag trophy through Sir guard manning the trout beats at Adelbert Talbot, British resident the Gangbal lake was ill the day ilat Srinagar. The first batch, howlegal fishing took place at the lake. ever, perished due to non-existence “ADF Ganderbal M.A.Samoom told of air transport. The second shipthe Kashmir Scenario over phone. ment of trout ova arrived in excel Gangbal Lake, which is at lent condition from Scotland in an altitude of 3600 metres from the the month of December in 1900. Sea level, is home to many varietOut of the 1800 fry 1000 were transies of trout including the rainbow ferred to Panzagam Dachigam trout and the elusive brown trout. about 24km from Srinagar and the The trout population in the lake rest of 800 fry were reared in the has increased over the last decade premises of a private carpet facbecause of the difficult trek to the tory owner in Baghi Dilawar khan lake from the Nara Nag area of the in the heart of the city of Srinagar Ganderbal district making it hard near Khankahi- Mualla. for poachers to go for illegal fish In 2009-10, the department ing in the Lake. of Fisheries for the first time in While the Fisheries departtroduced the centrally sponsored ment charges a thousand rupees Scheme of Rashtriya krishi Vikas for a one day’s angling in the lake, Yojana. Under this Scheme finanmost people do not seek permiscial assistance for establishment sion from the department and of Carp units and Trout Rearing bribe the guard at the lake. Units were provided to the rural “It is ridiculous. I bought educated unemployed youth. permission from the Fisheries de partment for a one day’s angling and was surprised to see that I was the only one who had bought the
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
Five Militants of Hizbul killed in Kangan KANGAN, August 30 (KSNN): Five militants of the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, including a district commander, were killed in Palang area of Kangan, 35 kilometres of Srinagar when they came in to contact with Army’s 3 Rashtriya Rifles. According to an Army statement, an operation ‘Nawjawan’ was launched by the Army and SOG Ganderbal resulting into the elimination of five militants of Hizbul Mujaahideen. Five AK 47 Rifles were also recovered from the possession of the slain militants. The army received specific information about the presence of a group of terrorist in the intervening night of 29th-30based on which a joint operation was launched by the Rashtriya Rifles unit of 3 Sector Rashtriya Rifles and JK Police at midnight. A heavy gunfight ensued for about two hours resulting in the death of the five militants. Asadullah, a self-styled district Commander of Hizbul Mujahiddin believed to have been active in Ganderbal District for past seven years is also believed to have been killed in the gunfight. Among the weapons and war like stores recovered were five AK-47 Rifles, 11
PHOTO// FAISAL KHAN magazines, seven grenades and other equiva-
Mysterious death of 02 persons SRINAGAR, : Two persons including a non-local labourer were found dead in suspicious circumstances in Pattan and Leh. The body of Shamshad Alam son of Bukhari Miyan resident of Champaran, Bihar was brought to the district Hospital Pattan by his other colleagues. The deceased was working in ITI Pattan as labourer. Baramulla Police Pattan has initiated an inquest proceedings und section 174 CrPC to ascertain the cause of the death. Meanwhile, Yountan Nurboo son of Tsering Nurboo resident of Choglamsar, Leh was found hanging at the forest Bagh near Choglamsar bridge. Leh police has initiated inquest proceedings under section 174 CrPC in this regard.
Awantipora police rescues two persons from a well
SRINAGAR, August 30: Two persons were rescued by Awantipora police with the assistance of locals from a deep well in a village in Awantipora. Two persons Ghulam Nabi Kumar and Bashir Ahmad Bhat residents of Kumar Mohalla, Awantipora fell in a deep well in their village. Both persons were rescued by the timely action of Awantipora police with the assistance of locals.
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03 injured in road mishaps SRINAGAR, August 30: Three persons including a minor were injured in different road accidents across the valley. A Tractor bearing registration number JK03/2687 met with an accident at Garend Ashmuqam, in the jurisdiction of Police Station Ashmuqam, resulting in injuries to Bilal Ahmad Shag resident of Garend. The injured was shifted to Hospital for treatment. Ashmuqam Police has registered a case in this regard. Meanwhile, a Maruti car bearing registration number Jk04B/2723 hit and injured a five years old girl Maroofa Jan daughter of Hilal Ahmad resident of Wathoora Chadoora, Budgam at Wathoora. The injured child was shifted to Hospital for treatment. Chadoora Police has registered a case in this regard. In another accident, two motorcycles collided at Gudlab, Waterhail, in the jurisdiction of Police station Khansahib, resulting in injuries to both the motorcyclists. The injured were shifted to Hospital for treatment. Khansahib Police has registered a case in this regard.
Govt. suppressing freedom of speech and expression: Freedom Party, condemns Shah’s arrest
Srinagar, Aug 30: (GNS) Refuting the claims of State Government that normalcy has returned to Valley Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) said if situation in Valley would have been improved, the Government would not have been implementing harsh laws and continuing arrest spree in order to muzzle the voices of its opposition. The Freedom Party spokesperson in a statement issued to GNS said that party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah along with dozens of party activists was detained by a large contingent of police at Kakpora while he was on his way to Pulwama. According to spokesperson, Shah was scheduled to address a public gathering at main chowk Pulwama. “The arrests of political leaders are made to suppress the freedom of expression otherwise there is no justification of these arrests,” the spokesperson
said. “The difference between democracy and dictatorship is that in democracy, we can openly criticize our political opponents but in dictatorship, a complete ban is put on opponents,” the spokesperson said. He said the banning of public gathering with regards to solution of Kashmir issue makes it clear that there prevails dictatorship in Kashmir. “To prevent someone from making speeches, to visit people, to arrest them are anti-democratic activities. By resorting to such means government will never succeed in suppressing the freedom movement.” Those accompanying Shah were Muhammad Yasin Ataai, Narendra Singh Khalsa, Ghulam Ahmad Maqdam, Abdul Rashid, Raja Aijaz, Imtiyaz Ahmad, Waheed Ahmad, Jahangir Ahmad and others. (GNS)
Srinagar, September 02-08, 2013
CRPF Jawan and a policeman martyred in South Kashmir SRINAGAR, August 26: Two CRPF personnel including the driver were injured when militants fired on a CRPF vehicle at Awanera, Shopian this evening. One of the CRPF men later succumbed to his injuries. The vehicle which was attacked was on escort duty on the road. Shri Showkat Ahmad Ganie was in the house of Abdul Gani Bhat at the time of incident well away from the place of incident. Earlier in the day, a police man constable Salamat Ullah Khan was martyred at Arwani, Bijbehara.
02 die, 18 injured in road mishaps
SRINAGAR, August 29: Two persons died and 18 others were injured in different road accidents across the valley. A Tata mobile bearing registration number JK05A/8997 hit Shamas-ud-din son of Mohammad Shafi resident of Badugam at Shat Tulail, Bandipora, resulting in his on spot death. Bandipora Police has registered a case in this regard. In another accident, a Tata Sumo bearing registration number Jk03C/9212 hit and injured a 22 years old Sajad Ahmad Khan son of Gull Mohammad Khan resident of Khud Gujjar nard, in the jurisdiction of Police Station Devsar. The injured was shifted to PHC Devsar where doctors declared him brought dead. Police Devsar has registered a case in this regard. Meanwhile, a Scorpio bearing registration number JK05D/1848 hit and injured a pedestrian Akhtar Ahmad Mughal son of Mohammad Hussain resident of Dachna Salamabad, Baramulla, in the jurisdiction of police station Boniyar near Court complex Boniyar, Baramulla. The injured was shifted to Hospital for treatment. Boniyar Police has registered a case in this regard. In another accident, a Tata passenger vehicle bearing registration number Jk04/1668 turned turtle near KSERT College, Humhama, Budgam, resulting in injuries to 15 persons who were travelling in it. All the injured were shifted to Hospital for treatment. Humhama Police has registered a case in this regard. In another accident, a Santro car bearing registration number Jk01N/7088 hit and injured a cyclist in the jurisdiction of Police Station Sopore. Both the injured were shifted to Hospital for treatment. Sopore Police has registered a case in this regardand the investigation in the case is going on.
Shop damaged in fire
SRINAGAR, August 30: Fire broke out in the shop of Mumtaz Ahmad Sheikh resident of Bandipora, resulting in damage to the shop. Fire was brought under control with the help of fire tenders and local Police.
One electrocuted to death in Gulmarg
SRINAGAR, August 30: One person was electrocuted in Gulmarg while repairing an electric cable. 27 years Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat son of Sunaullah resident of Wanloo Hajibal, Tangmarg was electrocuted to death while repairing a electric cable near Hotel Alpine in the tourist resort of Gulmarg. Gulmarg police has initiated an inquest proceeding under section 174 CrPC in this regard.
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CM addresses Anveshan-2013
Omar equates heritage study with taking care for future
Asks students to discover all about great India NEW DELHI, AUGUST 30-Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Friday equated study of heritage and history with taking care for future and planning a well thought development strategy for the holistic growth of the society. He said those who take care of the past, the future takes their care and those who forget past come across with unknown and uncalled for hurdles for being unaware of their history, culture and happenings that impacted the progress or otherwise of a civilization. Addressing the students from all over India at Anveshan-2013 at FICCI Auditorium here, the Chief Minister said that Itihaas makes us fully aware of the ability, performance and omissions of a civilization making us experienced to learn lessons and plan for the present and futuristic needs. The Conference was organized by ITIHAAS to make students aware of the cultural diversity and rich heritage of India and link them with it in a comprehensive and meaningful manner. Omar Abdullah said that India possesses unique cultural heritage and described it a young country with old land. He said Indian culture manifests divert and pluralistic ethos and cultural background. “India is abode of great religions and all these have impacted the pluralistic heritage of this country”, he said and referred to the vastness in the history of our historical buildings, religious places and other memorabilia telling the story of the uniqueness and richness of Indian culture and Itihaas. Omar Abdullah said that coexistence of Mosques, Temples, Dargahs, Caves and other places of worship make India rich in its culture and heritage. He stressed on the need for un-curtaining and exploring the cultural richness of India and showcasing it for all to study. He said students
and young India should know what India is all about and what makes it a great country. He advised the students to deeply and interestingly study India’s cultural diversity and its rich heritage. The Chief Minister while mentioning about the advancement of India in the fields of science and technology and information technology emphasized on making world aware of India’s rich heritage and history. He reiterated on showcasing the great Indian civilization and cultural richness all over the world. Omar Abdullah said unless young Indian generation is wellversed with their culture, heritage, history and ethos, they would not be able to discover the greatness and richness of their own land. He asked the students to study and observe the monuments, places of worship of different faiths and ancient historic buildings present all over the country minutely and study all about these
places. “This would help you to know what India is all about and why it is so great a country”, he added. “You are never too old to learn”, he said and advised the students to learn all about the ancient India, its civilization, its people and their work. He said this would develop confidence in them and add to their knowledge well enough to contribute meaningfully for the country. The Chief Minister also referred to the richness of Jammu and Kashmir’s cultural ethos and heritage and said that the trait of living in amity and brotherhood and respecting one another’s faith has made this place a miniature India. A presentation on ITIHAAS was made by Smita Vats, Founder-Director of ITIHAAS while the representatives from India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka and UNESCO participated in Anveshan-2013.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY PROVIDED TO UNEMPLOYED YOUTH In its continued efforts to help local employed youth in providing avenues for employment, 31 Field Regiment has facilitated free of cost training, boarding and lodging in Delhi to 15 unemployed needy youth from Baramulla. The Regiment carried out liaison with world renowned industrial group GMR to provide two months free of cost training in Facility Care and Management Course at its Skill Development training Centre at New Delhi and thereafter provide maximum assistance in post training placement. The GMR Group has also agreed
to provide similar training in various other domains like Basic Computers, Basic Electricals, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Health Thera-
pist etc to the needy youth sponsored by 31 Field Regiment from J&K in future which will benefit hundreds of youths. A total of 15 unemployed youths have been selected by the Regiment and have been sent to Delhi on 24 Aug 13 for training. The selected youths were extremely happy and jubilant by this opportunity provided by the Army. They expressed their gratitude to the Army and GMR Group whole heartedly and were excited about their bright future.