ON THE SUNNY, CLOUDLESS MORNING WHEN Imaad Tariq was born in Kashmir, most of his family had no idea.
“Nobody knows that my wife delivered a baby boy,” says Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, at the hospital on Aug. 6, a day later. “We couldn’t inform family, nor is anyone able to reach here.”
In the early hours of Aug. 5, the Indian government shut down the Internet as well as landline and cell networks in Kashmir, as part of an unprecedented bid for greater control of the disputed Himalayan territory, which both Pakistan and India claim and over which they have gone to war three times. Some 7 million people in the region were left with no way to contact the outside world, as the government closed schools, banned public meetings and barricaded neighborhoods. Officials arrested more than 100 people, including political leaders, activists and former chief ministers of the state. Local reports quote police saying at least one protester died.
But few Kashmiris will know any of that. Many may not even be aware that hours after the blackout began, India’s Home Minister Amit Shah announced the state of Jammu and Kashmir would be stripped of the special status it had held since shortly after the Partition of British India in 1947. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said it would revoke two crucial articles of India’s constitution that have guaranteed Kashmiris the right to their own flag, constitution and near autonomy for seven decades. Overnight, India brought in radical changes to its only Muslim-majority state, while its population was left in the dark.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
What It Takes To Sell Indian Saffron!
The saffron of Kashmir has long been considered the world’s finest, but drought is threatening the livelihood and traditions of its farming families.
A gastronomical trip to Kashmir
Kashmiri cuisine has been influenced by the cuisines of the Mughals, the Arabs and the local style of cooking of the Kashmiri pundits. While most of the signature delicacies of the region are non-vegetarian, there are many interesting vegetarian dishes to try as well. In the non-vegetarian dishes, mutton, chicken or fish is the main ingredient. There is abundant use of spices like cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and saffron giving the food not only exquisite taste but also rich aroma. In this article we bring to our readers 16 ‘must try’ items from Kashmiri cuisine.
‘326 sedition cases were filed in India between 2014-19; only 6 convictions'
CHARGESHEETS WERE FILED IN 141 CASES
“There is no better moment than now to build a Naya Kashmir”
Vijay Dhar is clear he doesn’t want to be the last Kashmiri Pandit in the Valley.
“We need handholding to resuscitate, not babus throwing the rulebook at us”
Tourism is the best baro meter of the situation in Kashmir: if it is troubled, the numbers plunge and if the Valley is at peace, they rise dramatically.
“Instead of guns, our voices speak for us. Music is our identity and nothing else”
The lyrics of an old Bollywood song that the two 22-year-olds, Shokeen Nabi from Budgam and Shah Zafar from Tang marg, sing in a hall in Baramulla are loaded with meaning not just for Kashmir but for all of India: Jo vaada kiya woh nibhana padega; roke zamaana chahe roke Khudaai (Keep your promises, whether the world or god comes in your way).
“I realised jihad is the wrong way to set right the issues Kashmir faces”
“OUR YOUTH HAVE REALISED THAT WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN TERMS OF MILITANCY WAS WRONG AND THAT IT WAS GETTING THEM NOWHERE”
THE LONG HAUL TO PEACE
The Valley has witnessed a definite ebb in terror and violence over the past few years but security forces are bracing for newer threats, evident from the use of drones by militants and the flow of narcotics from across the border
The Valley Of Hope And Fear
Kashmir is not just a territory but also people with feelings, aspirations and concerns. To gauge the mood of the Valley, INDIA TODAY spoke to a wide cross-section of individuals. Here’s what they had to say
Actor Yusuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar’s death at 98, after being unwell for years, laid bare his Kashmir connections that were pushed to the margin of the history of Bollywood’s first superstar and the tragedy king.