Assignments

‘Art is either perfect or it is nothing’

A powerful artistic expression isn’t what you would normally associate with someone who comes across as a recluse. But at 18, Momin Fayaz is already an art prodigy. Looking at his prolific sketches and pencil portraits, I reckon Momin must have been through years of training at some art school. Like his drawings, he surprises me […]

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Memoir of a Siege: Life between RESISTANCE and REPRESSION

Memoir of a Siege: Life between RESISTANCE and REPRESSION

A shopfront is usually a pretty gossipy spot. Here the risqué and polite and the political and personal repartees are woven into each other with surprising effortlessness. But the mood outside this Budgam town shop, where I was standing, suddenly changed on this sunny late afternoon of 8 July 2016. The news was too big. Too […]

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My name is Raju Nepali and I am a stone-pelter

My name is Raju Nepali and I am a stone-pelter

The story of a Nepali boy in Kashmir who sides with the oppressed to fight the oppressor with the weapon of David: the hurled stone It is 6pm. Time for soldiers to retreat after a tough day. From the narrow lanes, rebel youth keep a close watch. They whistle to each other — a secret […]

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Getting even with odds: The strong fightback of a diferently-abled girl

  For most of her life she was pitied, taunted and told she can’t even manage to care for herself. But Nargis Khatoon, now 24, didn’t let any of that get in her way. As we sit for a chat at her office near the main bus stand at Budgam, she recalls those tough days. […]

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Kashmir’s Mountain Girl: Eyeing the Everest

Kashmir’s Mountain Girl: Eyeing the Everest

Mudabbir Ahmad This girl is as wonderfully surprising as her dreams. And immensely inspiring too. How difficult is it to opt for mountaineering expeditions for a Kashmiri girl? I ask Fouzia and she is already ready with an answer. “It is difficult to find acceptance in our society for what I want to do. But […]

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LSKFC success story: Football gets a free kick in Kashmir

LSKFC success story: Football gets a free kick in Kashmir

                  Kashmir’s only synthetic turf at TRC ground, Srinagar was bathed in an out-of- season January afternoon sunshine. It was chock-a-lock. Football was the magnet. All and sundry were hooked up — no half-measures. The crowd was at its boisterous best. It was always going to root […]

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Tale of a fictitious pir and a reverent donkey

Tale of a fictitious pir and a reverent donkey

The ‘shrine’ at Choon was constructed by the army under the Operation Sadhbhavna launched in 1998,— as a part of its WHAM (winning hearts and minds) doctrine across Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Defence Ministry has given the army around Rs 300 crore under this Operation for various ‘developmental’ activities across Kashmir.     Nayeem […]

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Shia-Sunni tensions in Kashmir: Real or manufactured?

Shia-Sunni tensions in Kashmir: Real or manufactured?

The recent execution of Shia cleric and scholar Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr along with 47 others in Saudi Arabia triggered protests among Kashmiri Shias across the Valley. The protests prompted police action and curfew restrictions for several days in the Shia-dominated areas of Srinagar city. Some people saw Nimr’s execution by the Saudi authorities through […]

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Baldev—The benevolent

Baldev—The benevolent

As water levels surged in his south Kashmir village in the 2014 floods, Khurshid was stranded on the rooftop of his small house. He wasn’t sure if he would survive. And, as if as a last wish, he wanted to make a call. While everyone else was trying to connect to relatives in the village […]

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The gunman ‘SCIENTIST’

The gunman ‘SCIENTIST’

The sight of Indian soldiers and Kashmiri rebels clutching AK-47 rifles would fascinate him. He would rush home, grab a toy gun and fiddle with it. “It was then when I thought of making a gun,” says Zubair Ahmad Kumar. Zubair was just nine then. Six years later in 2014, he claims, he actually made […]

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