From the Editor's Desk

September 2008

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Best Regards

Sayantan Chakravarty


It requires a bit of foul play by Pakistan every now and then to spark the patriotic spark in every Indian, wherever in the world he may be. Yet again, Pakistan has Kashmir on the boil, this time fuelling a frenzy of mob violence against Indian military forces, pushing in militants under the cover of army fire provided by the Pak Rangers, and generally pursuing an agenda of instability in India by targeting attacks in states ruled by the BJP. The ostensible reason for supporting the maelstrom of unrest in Kashmir is the allotment of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. But as we have learnt over the years the real reasons for the foul play lie elsewhere. This is an attempt to deflect attention by Pakistan from its own internal crises. So Kashmir burns, and India bleeds.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad who stepped down as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir in July says he’s aware that the crisis in the state is being bankrolled by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The situation is worrisome considering that Pakistan’s fragile coalition split in late August when Nawaz Sharif of the PML-N pulled out of the alliance (that had combined to oust General Pervez Musharraf from the seat of President). This now leaves the combination of Asif Zardari’s PPP, and the MQM and ANP precariously placed. Given Pakistan’s current political instability, it is more than possible that the army has taken it upon itself to up the ante in the Kashmir valley by pushing in militants who are ready to fight, disrupt and perish.

In our cover story we take a look at this long lasting agony, the heartache called Kashmir. There was a time when India won the respect of its neighbours by the way in which it sent out its message. It once led former Chinese diplomat Hu Shih to comment, “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.” But in the case of the volatile Kashmir valley, things are quite different. India has a presence of thousands of soldiers here, and yet it is unable to get the valley in its grip. It has tried for 61 years, and the battle still goes on.

The question is for how much longer will we be subjected to a burning Kashmir, and a bleeding India?

Sayantan Chakravarty

Consulting Editor
Rakesh K. Simha 

Contributing Editors
Vatsala Kaul, Dinesh Raheja, Indrani Talukdar (all India), Srikanth Beldona, Dharminder Diwan, Arnelle Hartenstein (all US), Rajesh Kumar (New Zealand), Ramesh Mathew (Qatar)

Correspondent: Ummul Saba

Art & Design
Jaydev Bisht (Head - Design and Layout)
Debashish Dutta (Consultant - Design)

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