Towards Peace

In the dynamic world, change is but constant and so the state has witnessed another change, with the appointment of a new Governor. But there is a difference: present incumbent has a political background and it may indicate that political scenario be given a fresh facelift. Nevertheless, with his taking over, the holding of Panchayat and local bodies elections has been set. Though mainstream parties like National Conference and separatists, as usual, are against elections. It is debatable whether holding these elections in present circumstances is feasible.

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The challenges

The change of regime has provided some relief to people in respect of decrease in the incidence of violence and civilian killings. The administration looks to be engaged in attending to people’s grievances and finding out ways to redress these. But the challenges are many.

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The Change

Change of seasons is a natural phenomenon, and would be on expected lives. But thanks to man’s overzealous interference with nature, the pattern has changed. Now the change is sudden and on unexpected lines, and you may attribute it to global warming and climate change. After the unusual heat of June, Kashmir witnessed consistent rainfall for a few days, that caused swelling of rivers and there was imminent danger of floods revisiting Kashmir. The memory of the damage caused by September 2014 floods is still fresh in people’s memory. Somehow, disaster was averted. The dangers of a flood did activate the administration to get prepared for facing the eventuality, reminding the people of the urgency of protecting the environment. We know enough damage has been caused by reckless deforestation, encroachments on water bodies and pollution of air by effluents from vehicles, using fossil fuel. There is a kind of awakening that such activities have to be curbed that disturb the ecological balance.

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GROUND REALITIES

The coming of spring had brought with it some good tidings, and developments. But the spring has advanced into summer and the heat is on, though for Kashmir it is not normal. That should wake us up and make us to act, so as to prevent disasters. It is good that there is a realization that we have played havoc with environment because of our lack of sensitivity and selfishness. The recent report on the condition of Wullar lake the largest fresh water lake of Asia, and the categorization of Srinagar city as one of the most polluted fifteen cities of the world, are most depressing. Hopefully, with the realization of the consequences of our irresponsible and selfish actions, we will be more active and cooperative in protection of environment.

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LOOKING FOR A CHANGE

The coming of spring, with its fresh air, fragrance of flowers and vibrant breeze did have a rejuvenating effect on life in Valley, with Tulip Garden and Almond Alcove (Badamvari) – the spring attractions – experiencing a substantial footfall. Spring symbolizes resurgence of life and hope. But for Kashmir this was accompanied by a foreboding. Nature has been quite generous in bestowing tremendous beauty on Kashmir, yet this year Kashmir did not have adequate snowfall, that could have ensured an uninterrupted flow of water in coming seasons. The apprehension of a likely water scarcity made the agriculture experts to harness alternate crops, where much water is not required for irrigation. This applies to the main crop of Kashmir i.e. rice.

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CHANGING TRENDS

Fall of the year 2017 has brought forth, as reflected in the media, the changing social trends in Jammu and Kashmir State. In fact, these trends reflect a greater realization on the part of sensitive sections of society regarding their existential issues. The smoke screen imposed by the politics of a particular angle had pushed the larger economic, developmental and environmental issues to the background. The reflections and serious discussions on these issues mark a fresh departure in the social discourse in the state.

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WINTER MUSINGS

Chilai Kalan, as the onset of harsh winter in Kashmir is called, has brought a sense of hope with the coming of snow in time this year. The phenomenon of snow fall had been dwindling in the Valley due to environment changes. The general amnesty granted by the government to young stone pelters has brought down the tension in the atmosphere, as revealed in the local media.

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