Posts Tagged ‘Pandit’


Ghulam Nabi Azad: Punish those responsible for baby deaths at Srinagar's GB Pant Hospital

M Saleem Pandit, TNN | Aug 3, 2012, 01.18AM IST

SRINAGAR: The J&K government appointed inquiry commission headed by Dr Showkat Hussain Zargar to probe the death of infants in Srinagar‘s GB Pant Hospital on Thursday held that their numbers were much higher than hitherto reported: more than 1,400 in the last one year. The Zargar commission also indicted the former medical superintendent of the pediatric hospital, Dr Javid Chowdhary, describing him as “irresponsible” and “negligent”.The state government had ordered a probe after media reports revealed that hundreds of infants had died in the hospital due to official apathy. The final report has recommended a complete ban on private practice by doctors in state’s collegiate hospitals.

Dr Zargar, who is also the director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, has suggested that no consultant may leave the OPD until four pm, which is when most doctors rush out for their private practice. He also said heads of department of concerned units must educate the faculty about this. Engagement of doctors in private practice was the main cause of infighting among faculty members, which hampered the functioning of GB Pant Hospital, the report said.

“Misunderstandings, allegations and counter-allegations by majority of faculty members againstDr Javid Chowdhary started in 2005 when he jointed the health institute,” the report said, pointing out that “in case any faculty member is found to indulge in corrupt practices with drug agencies, immediate criminal proceedings should be initiated against them.”

“Most of the times, the MS (Dr Chowdhary) remained out of hospital. Rest of the staff took advantage of his absence and came to the hospital as per their wish. Besides Dr Chowdhary, other doctors too were engaged in private practice,” the report adds. It indicted him for embezzlement of funds in purchase of machinery for the hospital. “The ventilators were purchased through dubious means and were not of standard. One among the two developed a snag and the hospital was running on one ventilator,” the report said.

The government has admitted that 480 infants have died at GB Pant Hospital since January, which takes their total death toll in the past 17 months to a 1400. “A drug mafia was running in the hospital to fleece patients. A team of doctors and staff was helping it flourish,” the report said.


From- Junaidmakbool’s Blog

“Why don’t YOU write something?” A Friend asked, a while back.

Why not?, I thought. Why don’t I write my own words for once. The question was, what would I write about?

This reminded me of what Arundhati Roy once had to say about writing, “People write when they have a story inside of them.” So, what do I hold close? What is it that I couldn’t say before? What is inside me?

The answer wasn’t too difficult.



Kashmir;  tricky , very tricky. I have been on twitter long enough to realize that writing anything related to Kashmir, even a single line, can be controversial business. Write anything about Kashmir, and it is generally categorized into three headings

  1. Rants. “Why are you complaining all the time?” Move on”.  You get the idea.
  2. Playing to the gallery, again, there are types of galleries here A.) Mainstream Indian Gallery. B) Pakistani Gallery. C.) The separatist gallery N . B . There is NO Kashmiri Gallery.
  3. Biased. “you missed this” “ I died too” . As if there is a competition.

I hope to circumvent the above categories, and write as a layperson, I am no expert on anything, I write as a common Kashmiri.

Phew, that was tough, categories and all, now about Kashmir. Kashmir is home, though I have been out a few years, and because of that I have realized even more that there is no place else that I can call home. Why? Let’s get to the ridiculous first;  it is breathtakingly beautiful, the weather is mild, the food is good, amazing people, even tap water tastes good, I don’t know how, but it does. You might argue that this is true for everyone, the native place is special, but, where else  do you get such a beautiful spring, when you can palpate the joy in the air, or the sunsets? And such clear demarcation between seasons? Have you seen the Chinar in autumn? You will sigh with me if you have. Dal lake in  the evenings? It indeed is heaven.

More reasons to talk about Kashmir? “The Pain” What exactly, you might ask?  There is a certain kind of pain inside every Kashmiri, kind of an dull ache,  we aren’t born with it (or maybe we are), but it is there, and it refuses to go, no matter where I am. Let me dissect this pain, the pain of Kashmir’s history, all that it has gone through, even the beauty gives me some kind of pain. What ails Kashmir?  Is it paying the price for being so bloody beautiful?  Maybe.

When did all of this start, 1947, or earlier, when Kashmir was sold for a paltry sum, (like a miserable bride, who has no say in the matter), or even earlier? I don’t know, there are no clear answers.

Let’s take it at 1947, a stupid King can’t take a decision, and Kashmir is plunged into war (That is why it is important to be firm in decision making, even if one is wrong) The King can’t decide which way to go, dreams of a “Independent “ nation, the neighboring country attacks( can’t resist free meat, you see) , the King fears for his life, calls Nehru for help (Who is a Kashmiri) , Nehru does what he has to do(Politics), the army is called in, the day is saved, but only up to a certain line (The ALC, afterwards). Kashmir is divided forever.  Nehru is even more indecisive than the King, doesn’t allow the army to take all of Kashmir back, makes a lot of huge promises( None to keep) , and goes to the UN (taking the moral high ground ).

Meanwhile , there is also a PM(CM) who is played with like a rag doll (More versions of him afterwards too). Finally, the two countries have had enough, and they go to war. Nothing happens, there is no conventional “victory” . Things cool off. Kashmir gets used to the status quo, everyone is happy, till something else happens , and all of this repeats, ad nauseum. And while all of this is going on, millions die, thousands disappear, some in mass graves, the Pandits lose their homes, mothers wait eternally for their lost sons.

And a common Kashmiri like me? Where do I fit in? No one asks me anything, I am a mute spectator, always ready and willing to be taken for a ride, you see, I have got so used to seeing promises being broken, that I am  quite the cynic now; I usually smirk( inside coffee houses, and that is mistaken for joy).  I have no dreams, I have no hopes, I just want a regular life, I don’t want to see the face of a gun, every single morning, I want some dignity, I want some degree of justice, some redemption, I don’t want you to patronize me, no sympathy either, just some empathy.

Yes, I want good roads, a thriving economy, a good regular job, I want the violence to stop.

But what is the cost?

I don’t want you to tell me what to do, I want you to ask me, “Tere dil mein kya hai?”  I want a voice, but no politicians shall speak for me. I can’t take any more broken promises, shady deals.  I want you to hold my hand, as a friend, as an equal; and then decide.

I do want to move on (Trust me, no one wants to get killed evevryday),  but to move on, one has to have a good road, the past must be buried, with dignity. Can you do that? Is that too much to ask?

I am tired, too tired right now, to think beyond the mundane, but don’t take this silence for acquiescence,  all is not well, I need help, right now, before all hell breaks lose.

This is what a common Kashmiri thinks like ( at least me) .

Ignore me now, I am lost forever.

Click here to junaid’s blog

HOMING IN: Settlements, from Vesu in Kulgam district to Hawl in Shopian, have been readied for migrant Pandits

Freny Manecksha | July 30, 2011, Times Crest

The row of spanking new modern buildings surrounded by iron railings presents an incongruous sight in the decidedly rural setting of mustard fields, apple orchards and mud and wood houses. These secured settlements, from Vesu in Kulgam district to Hawl in Shopian, have been readied by the Jammu & Kashmir government to accommodate migrant Pandit families who are slowly returning to the Valley as part of the special employment package announced by the Prime Minister.

At Mattan in Anantnag district, some of the families are already in residence but the heightened security cover – in the form of armed troops – makes it difficult to meet them. When one does manage to snatch a few lines in conversation, the mood is cautious and guarded. Some families, it is said, have already fled the “security” of these homes to stay amidst the other villagers.
Whilst the state takes credit in trying to resettle the Kashmiri Pandits through various economic and employment packages, the more significant rethink that has taken place in the Kashmiri mindset, facilitated largely by civil society, has not received the attention it deserves. This mood of accommodation and reconciliation is reflected in the old alleys of Ganpatiyar of downtown Srinagar where a handful of Pandit families continued to reside through turbulent times without any security cover, save for a bunker in the Ganesh temple.

Kalpana Pandita, a school teacher who chose to stay on, along with her husband who works in the courts, welcomes us cheerfully into her home. Unlike the reticent migrants, she is forthcoming. “We moved into this locality after our old house was burnt down in 1998, “she says. “We continue with our own traditions and have not faced hostility from the mohalla. We are invited to join the Id celebrations and weddings that take place in the neighbourhood. Yes, of course we miss the presence of our own community. I especially miss my son, but all things considered we are contented. ”

Her neighbours, Shaukat Hussain and Sharifa, affirm that the Kashmiri Pandits’ rightful place is in the Valley. “People must take heart from the fact that over the years these five families in our mohalla have continued to live without hindrance, ” says Shaukat. “Prayers are being conducted in the temple. The Ram Navami procession took place without any disruption. Since these Pandits feel secure amidst us surely larger numbers can be confident of returning. ”

Again, whilst much state and media attention has been directed towards the very vocal migrant Pandit population in Jammu and other parts of India, there has been little recognition of the aspirations and fortitude of the 3, 000-odd Pandits who chose to stay on in scattered settlements in the Valley. As civil society activist Khurram Parvez points out, there is even a lone Pandit headmaster of a local school in Kupwara, a district which has a heightened presence of militants. “He has stayed on obviously because of his own strong will and because of support of the local population, ” Parvez says.

Sanjay Kak, an independent film maker who has made a documentary on Kashmir and who is also a Pandit adds, “Without valourising them, it is important to recognise the fact that these families, too small and fragmented to be counted as a community, nevertheless survived in Kashmir after the main exodus through tenuous networks of associates and friends. It is also important to recognise the very different responses to what is going on in Kashmir, between those Pandit families who stayed on, those who are tentatively relocating and those who now live elsewhere. ”

He describes the government’s methods of resettlement as mere window dressing and says building enclaves is not the way to integrate the migrant Pandits back into Kashmiri society. One man, who believes deeply that it is the non-migrant Pandit community which kept the spirit of ‘Kashmiriyat’ (the centuriesold identity of Kashmiris as a people who did not let religious affiliations overwhelm their ethnic commonality) alive, is Sanjay K Tickoo, founder of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS). Tickoo, who stayed on along with his mother and other family members, founded the KPSS along with friends in 2005 as a social welfare organisation. Initially, its role was restricted to restoring links and keeping the community spirit alive by re-opening temples and conducting traditional rituals. Many of the temples like Puran Raj Bhairav temple in Sazgaripora and the Sheetleshwar Bhairav temple in Habba Kadal have become functional because of the support of the local Muslim population.

Later KPSS began to engage with both state and non-state players – with mainstream and pro-freedom political groups – in order to bring about a general consensus on reconciliation and other issues. Says Tickoo, “We, non- migrant Pandits have lived and experienced conditions at Ground Zero. We never shifted our loyalties to Jammu. We were threatened by Muslim fundamentalists and some Hindu fundamentalists called us traitors.

But we kept the pluralistic spirit alive. Now if the state wants to resettle the migrants it should take heed of our own example. The present Israeli solution of housing them in special camps is dangerous and can create tensions. The very presence of security troops can become a provocative reason for attacks and this will be fodder for Hindu fundamentalists to raise their voices and create more communal disharmony. ”

He adds that back in 2004 when then chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and interlocutor N M Vohra had mooted a Rs 37-crore resettlement plan in Mattan and Sheikhpora, he had vehemently opposed such isolation zones. But they still went ahead.
Tickoo and other activists believe that rather than armed troops, it is the mohalla groups and civil society that can best provide the security for migrant Pandits. “Living in such jail-like conditions and going from office to home will preclude healthy interaction with the majority Muslim population, ” he says. “If instead, they live amongst the people they can start sharing what the Muslims also experienced during the peak of the militancy. ”

He explains how the shared experience of crackdowns in the harsh winters and hours spent without food and water or the fact that both migrant Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims faced guns from both state and non-state players has initiated a spirit of reconciliation.

The process of understanding what really happened in Kashmir cannot be based solely on accusations hurled by either community but by a shared narrative. “We cannot say Pandits were not killed nor can we say that there were no custodial killings or enforced disappearances, ” says Tickoo. “If there has to be reconciliation by people on the opposite sides of the Jhelum then we have to find an angle where both sides meet. We have to bend a little. They too must bend as little. ”