The Kashmir

July 24, 2010

The ugly world of Kashmir’s online rebels – PRAVEEN SWAMI

Filed under: Kashmir, Politics, Protests/Events — Tags: , , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 8:16 am

“I know I’m sexy,” Srinagar resident Junaid Rafiqi proclaims on his Facebook page, below a professionally lit photograph that, among other things, shows off his possession of an expensive pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.

He goes on with an enthusiasm unfettered by punctuation, spelling and grammar: “I got the looks that drives the girls wild I got the moves that really move them. I send chills up and down their spines” [sic., throughout and below].

Facebook users like Rafiqi have been sending chills down the spines of the police in Jammu and Kashmir for much of this summer. Much to the dismay of the authorities, social networks backing the cause of the Islamist-led protesters have proliferated on the Internet.

There is no evidence that social networks have been used to organise or fund the protests — but their content underlines concerns at the growing influence the religious right-wing has over the educated young people in Kashmir.

We Hate Omar Abdullah,” a network Mr. Rafiqi often participates in, gives some insight into the world of Kashmir’s Facebook rebels. The network hosts a collection of political satire. There is, for example, a digitally-manipulated image of Paul, the celebrity octopus, picking a dead donkey over the Chief Minister in response to a question who has “more guts.”

But much of the satire is venomously communal. Mr. Abdullah is repeatedly referred to as “Omar Singh” — a derisory reference derived, evidently, from the rumour that his wife is Sikh. The former Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, is shown offering respects at a Hindu temple, while another image caricatures the Chief Minister and his wife as pilgrims to the Amarnath shrine. The administrators of the “We Hate Omar Abdullah,” quite clearly see politicians’ efforts to reach out to multiple religious communities as a betrayal.

“The Dalla [broker] family,” the Ray-Ban wearing Rafiqi asserts in one post on the Facebook page, “should be hanged publicly.” Elsewhere, he refers to Mr. Abdullah as a kafir, or unbeliever. In another post on the page, a member asserts that Mr. Abdullah has been denied permission for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia because of his marriage — a canard circulated by Islamists soon after he took power.

Some networks host express calls to violence. “Everybody,” exhorts the administrator of “Times Now is Anti-Kashmiri,” “[the] next time you see any Times Now correspondent pick up a stone and throw that on their face!.” Arnab Goswami, the channel’s editor-in-chief, one user asserts, “should be killed.” Ethnic-Kashmiri anchor Mahrukh Inayet comes in for unprintable abuse targeting her gender.

Hate group created Facebook

Barkha Dutt, arguably India’s best-known English-language television journalist, also draws flak. “We hate Barkha Dutt” contains claims that her reportage on the clashes lacked balance. Much of it, though, consists of personal invective — and threats. “Hell is meant for her,” writes network member Faizan Rashid, “but she should have some kinna punishment in this world as well…‘stoned to death’…wot say?”

Facebook’s terms of use prohibit content that is hateful, threatening or incites violence. Little infrastructure, though, seems to be in place to enforce those terms.

Not all protest-linked networks promote these kinds of invective. Barring the odd comment about “Indian dogs,” “I Protest Against the Atrocities on Kashmiris” has no abusive language. Most posts on this network address questions of media bias and political grievances, not individuals.

Even networks like this, though, are remarkable for the complete absence of the very kinds of serious commentary and debate they believe is wanting in India’s mainstream print and electronic media.

There is no way of telling just who the participants on these sites are: users contacted by The Hindu, including Mr. Rafiqi, did not respond to requests to be interviewed. For the most part, though, users seem to be English-speaking and Kashmiri. Judging by their clothing and cultural idiom, are middle-class. Despite the aggressive religious chauvinism evident on the site, there is nothing to suggest substantial numbers of users support established Islamist clerics.

The police say most young people held on the charge of throwing stones do not have a high-school education, and are either unemployed or semi-employed — a class quite distinct from that of the Facebook radical.

More likely than not, official concerns at these networks is exaggerated: their scale and reach is tiny. “I Protest Against the Atrocities on Kashmiris” has 810 members — small numbers compared, for example, with the Palestine solidarity page “Palestine Freedom,” which has 101,178. “We Hate Omar Abdullah” has 675 members and “Civil Disobedience 2010-Quit Kashmir Movement” 134. “Bloody Indian Media,” set up to protest the reportage of the street violence in Srinagar, has 58.

It is possible, though, that the ideas they propagate reflect new ideological trends among some sections of young people in Jammu and Kashmir — a prospect which, if true, holds out a real reason for concern.

Source of written text : The Hindu

March 27, 2010

1105 disappeared in JK: Govt


Chief Miniter of Jammu & Kashmir made the following written reply to a question posed by senior PDP leader Abdul Haq Khan in the Legislative Assembly

“Only 1105 persons are reported to have disappeared in the State since 1989,”- Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah also happens to hold the Home Ministry of the state.

This dispels the myth built by Kashmiri separatists & ISI that there were gross human rights violation in Kashmir and tens of thousands of youths claimed to be missing .

What hold significance is that out of these 1105 , filed as disappeared , many are expected to have crossed over to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and never returned .

While speaking to The Kashmir , Aijaz Dar of Kupwara estimates that around 1000 + youth who are still in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. That leaves the missing people to around 100 in last 22 Years of militancy.

Meanwhile J&K Govt is giving final touch to bring the youth back POK and enable the settlement in Indian Kashmir.

Kashmiri Pandit organisations are opposing this rehabilitation and surrender policy.

February 16, 2009

Dear Omar – hope you remember us


Dear Omar (Abdullah please and not Omar Farooq),
 
As one of your contemporaries, I will take the liberty of addressing you by your first name and not as the honourable CM or any of the official titles. I write to you as a fellow Kashmiri whose ancestors shared the same land, air and water as yours.  But somewhere I seem to have lost the right over the place while you have achieved the highest office in land. As an Indian and a Kashmiri I was thrilled to see someone like you take the oath of office of the CM, rather than a rabble rousing ranter. The gods of Kashmir seem to be finally listening.
 
Though you might know and be aware of the existence of the community of Kashmiri Pandits, I don’t know how many of the current generation of the Valley are aware that such people did live alongwith their ancestors not so many years back. For their information I will add a few details about the community. Kashmiri Pandits are Hindus (all of them Saraswat Brahmins) whose generations were the early habitants of the Valley. Sparing the detailed historical tomes over here, the Kashmiri Pandits or KPs as they are called for short, suffered a series of religious persecutions over centuries. Yet to the surprise of everyone they managed to survive and achieve a high-level of erudition, both at the scholastic and spiritual levels. However as history teaches us, smartness doesn’t always lead to success. Continuous years of persecution created a shift in demographics against us pushing us to lose our religion and culture. However being a very stubborn and at times a very arrogant race, the Kashmiri Pandits decided to fight back on ways to preserve their way of life.

(more…)

July 27, 2008

Speech, Blog, Iphone & Lies of Mr. Omar Abdullah


It took me quite a while to decide about the subject of this post. I did not want to be as blunt in the subject-line as I ended up doing. The reason being that not much long ago i still believed that Omar was a bit different from the rest of Kashmir leadership. Finally I decided the subject as I have chosen would still do the least of justice to this post.

Last one week, India has witnessed and discussed the recent speeches made in parliament of India,which also happens to be the black day of Indian democracy.

Omars speech was admired for the passion and Barkha Dutt even went ahead to write in a newspaper column that her”Oscar” goes to Omar for his speech. I still fail to understand of what makes people of Indian subcontinent  to admire a speech ? Is the leader supposed to hold a comedy show to make the parliament of India laugh or resort to rhetoric to get noticed finally ? For me the speech was  all sound and fury but woefully short of substance.

Omars speech had been full of lies and self contradictions.And i feel ashmed that the “educated” people of India falied to notice it.  Here it goes ………

AMERICA : FRIEND or FOE OF MUSLIMS ?

The US is no friend of the Muslim world that is a point well ” – Omar Abdullah in his Blog on 4th July

That Comment made me think that was it right for a leader to make who has been the MOS for External Affairs in Govt of India and who still holds chance to become a minister again. I asked him through his blog if his opinion is based on Omar’s experience of having been the former minister in external affairs ministry or because of you being a Muslim  ?

Though not expected Omars reply came and he said “Why does it have to based on one of the other? Why not because of both or because of a completely different reason? Perhaps its based on what I see, read and understand.

 

the enemies of Indian Muslims are not the Americans, and the enemies of the Indian Muslims are not ‘deals’ like this” – Omar Abdullah in Parliament

Which Omar Abdullah do we trust. The Omar Abdullah who considers America not a friend of Muslim world or the Omar Abdullah who admits in parliament that America is not the enemy of Indian Muslims ? Is he playing to different galleries at different times in short span ?

Mr Abdullah , Would you care to clarify ? What exactly do think America is …a friend or a foe of muslims ?

 

ON AMARNATRH YATRA :

You show me one place where Kashmiris have attacked Amarnath Yatra Pligrims“- Omar Abdullah in Parliament

Omar , though aspiring to be the next Chief Minister of the troubled state of Jammu & Kashmir is so away from facts and news and it is something I find it hard to believe.  I find it hard to believe that Omar who plans to blog through his Iphone can not care to google the history of number of attacks which have happened on Amarnath Pligrims in last 19 years …atleast.. A simple google can refer him dates when 10 people were killed and when two got killed in grenade balsts and it seems he has been so involved with parliament trust vote that he is not even aware of the blast in Srinagar on Amarnath pilgrims when 5 people got killed , though unfortunately the victims turned out to be migrant labourers. In 2008 atleast four major attacks have happened to Amarnath Yatra piligrims at Banihal, Gulmarg, Ganderbal and Batmaloo. 

Omar. Wake up …your Iphone can google as well !

 

ON AMARNATH …. FIGHT OF NATIVES ……. & KASHMIRIS NOT BEING COMMUNAL…ON KASHMIRIS NOT BREAKING TEMPLES ETC ETC .

Omars Speech in parliament  was probably to convey a message to people of valley that he can be as communal as Ms Mehbooba Mufti or Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

How can Omar decide for Amarnath Yatra land to be handed over for Yatris or not . Amarnath Yatra is linked to Kashmiri Pandits for thousands of years.What Omar has tried to alter the history. His knowledge about Amarnath goes only as back as communal elements of Kashmir want him to Know . What he does not know is that Amarnath Yatra has been happening since almost 2000 years , even before Islam came to Kashmir . Linking Amarnath to “false” benevolence of Kashmiri muslims . Omar needs to read this article or Rajtangini to know about the history of Amarnath Yatra if at all he has to speak about this Amarnath Yatra.

He speaks about Kashmiris not having destroyed temples is again a gesture to mislead the people of the country. In a place where only temples have been destroyed, his memory fails to recollect it. For his memory here is the partial list of attacks on Temples in Kashmir  ,if he ever tries to speak truth again. For a little more detailed list of destruction of temples , Omar may visit this link.

No wonder this comes from the president of the party whose activist was one of the founder of terrorism in J&K and was a National Conference man and later become commander in chief of JKLF . The person who was H in HAJY gang was non other than Hamid Sheikh .

 Mr Omar Abdullah also said in Parliament that he was a Muslim and was an Indian too and that he found no difference between the two. I wonder why Omar preferred to issue no statement on this issue when threats were served to the non Kashmiris ( labourers) to leave the valley ?

ON his blog when he was confronted by a reader  (soulinexile) that his Iphone is illegal in India, Omar had come to his own defence by stating that he has bought the Iphone in France where it was illegal for Apple to sell locked phone . Though it was quick one from Omar , but what he missed out was by stating this he has once again lied to his readers . What he does not know is that even the unlocked Iphone bought in France wont work in India . iPhone sold in France— is not really unlocked. It retains a country lock, meaning the device will only allow use of SIM cards for carriers that operate in France. In other words, you can’t take your French, “unlocked” iPhone to Spain, the United States, or anywhere else, pop in a foreign SIM card, and make calls on a local carrier — you’re still stuck paying international roaming fees to your French carrier. Check here for details.

Do you Omar , still have the guts to admit that you have been lying ? Whether it is Amarnath , Kashmir or Iphones ?

 

 Hate Me As you would …..but the fact remains  !! Satymeva Jayate !!

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