Archive for June, 2012

June 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: News

June 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: News

June 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: News

Srinagar: Miraj-Ul-Alam

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment


Kashmiri Muslims pray as an unseen custodian displays a holy relic, believed to be a hair from the Prophet Muhammad’s beard, at Kashmir’s main Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar on June 22, 2012, during the last Friday of celebrations for Miraj-Ul-Alam (Ascension to Heaven).  (By Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images.)

P.S.: Blaze at Sufi Shrine Triggers Violence in Indian Kashmir

Kashmiri residents helped firefighters extinguish the blaze at a Sufi shrine in Srinagar on Monday.  (Dar Yasin/Associated Press)

Protesters clashed with security forces in downtown Srinagar.  (Dar Yasin/Associated Press)

The cause of the fire at the shrine, which housed a relic of an 11th century Sufi saint, was not immediately known.  (Dar Yasin/Associated Press)

Residents pulled a water pipe to help battle the blaze.  (Danish Ismail/Reuters)

“Police sealed off roads leading to the shrine where hundreds of men and women had gathered, many of them wailing and crying.

“I feel like I’ve lost everything,”…

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Categories: News

In Memory of Dastgeer Sahab Shrine

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

aatish e chinar 🍁

Early morning, the clouds were over you,
A spark, a fire engulfed you in flames
Wouldn’t my heart break?

You kept burning profusely,
Inflaming within you, the deepest secrets you carried
Wouldn’t my heart break?

How can I look away from you?
When I walk near your burnt ashes?
Wouldn’t my heart break? ‪

The essence of the history you carried,
Burnt into black charcoal
Wouldn’t my heart break?

Fire is pure, it has engulfed palaces, bridges and shrines
It also runs in your teachings and in our hearts
Wouldn’t my heart break?

Oh Shaykh, I don’t need buildings named after you,
You run in my heart, I don’t bow to you, But I love you
Wouldn’t my heart break?

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Categories: News

Clashes erupt in Kashmir following fire at Sufi shrine

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: News

June 15, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: News

Kashmir: A guarded paradise

June 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Srinagar, June 11: The natural beauty of the Kashmir Valley is an overpowering sight after traversing the 2.5-km bleakly-lit Jawahar Tunnel. Cradled in the midst of towering mountains, Kashmir is a rich canvas of all shades of green, with wild flowers sprinkled liberally everywhere.

All along the way to Srinagar, the roadside is a riot of colours with even the smallest households having a beautiful garden, with roses and pansies in full bloom.

The natural beauty of the land comes as a great contrast to the bunkers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), fortified with sandbags, manned by gunmen and surrounded by rolls of razor wire.

Once inside Srinagar, the state capital, the presence of security personnel increases substantially, with bunkers and riot control vehicles on almost every street and crossing.

“Some sort of unrest happens here almost every day but you don’t have to worry. You are from outside and they don’t hurt tourists,” a CRPF soldier said.

The Kashmiri point of view differs.

“Nowadays we don’t have any problems. The forces man the city and there are no untoward incidents any more,” Jemal, a waiter at a hotel in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, said.

“But now they don’t need to be here in such large numbers. The tourists get scared,” he adds, after a moment of thought.

However, Lal Chowk still bears the scars from several decades of unrest. A bombed out cinema hall turned into CRPF bunker, a CRPF post blackened with fire, the bullet marks on the area’s namesake red-coloured Sanatan Dharma building, which once served as a charity guesthouse for Amarnath pilgrims.

Due to the peace, the tourists have returned to the Valley in huge numbers this year.

Inside Srinagar, the traveller can catch a whiff of mutton and Kashmiri spices being cooked over a coal fire in every street. The Seekh kebabs with a rumali roti are cheap but tasty. For dessert, there are stalls of phirni, sewaiyon ki kheer and kulfi after a day of tasting street-food.

“In Kashmir, you should go for a wazwan if you can. It is a completely different experience. Essentially, the Kashmiri term for ‘feast’, wazwan is also the best showcase of Kashmiri cuisine,” Raja Muneeb, a hotelier,said.

The traditional wazwan is a wedding feast spread over more than 10 courses, ranging from appetizers to dessert.

Then there are the usual attraction of Kashmiri shawls, dry fruits and saffron.

Shop after shop in the local Kukar Bazaar selling saffron, almonds, apricots, walnuts, pre-mixed Kahwa powder and bundles of cinnamon is a huge draw with the tourists looking for the best Kashmiri produce.

Apart from Srinagar, Gulmarg remains one of the biggest draws for tourists. Rolling green grassy mountainsides give way to tall Deodars on the upper reaches, before finally making way for the snow-capped tips. The fact that the place has also been the setting for shooting of many Hindi films also helps lure the tourist.

Home to a mountaineering institute and a golf course, Gulmarg also has the world’s highest Gondola cable car. The more adventurous ones can trek through the virgin forest of Deodar and pine, with rashes of sweet smelling wild roses and lush meadows.

The valley comes out as a land of duality. It is as if the war zone-like security and the paradise on earth have somehow learnt how to co-exist.

The Kashmiri, however, claims that everything is fine and ends the conversation. Quick to laugh or joke, the Kashmiri on the street doesn’t seem to be a violent person. But after long years of hearing about the “Kashmir problem”, the distrust is mutual.

The huge military presence also adds to the Kashmiri’s insecurity. Perhaps we need to bridge his distrust rather than soldier his thoughts.(IANS)

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Kashmir’s freedom written on wall, says Qazi

June 9, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: News