Jehangir Ali

Jehangir Ali

An aspiring novelist, a proud son, a journalist, a coffee addict, a movie buff, in that order, Jehangir tweets as @Gaamuk

Sarabjit and Sanaullah: Politics over murders

The murder of Indian spy Sarabjit Singh inside Kot Lakhpat jail in Pakistan, the dastardly attack on Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah inside a Jammu jail and the foul manner in which the politicians of the two countries and especially electronic media whipped up the rhetoric, calling for the two nuclear armed countries to snap the ties after Sarabjit died, is a matter of grave concern and speaks a lot about the fragility of peace. More than just baying for each other’s blood -which has become a pattern for patriotism driven, hyper-nationalistic people- these two incidents reflect the existential threat posed by ...

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Why the Kashmir solidarity day façade?

Since 1990, Pakistan has been observing February 5 as Kashmir Solidarity Day. The 90s was a time in Kashmir when the struggle for freedom perpetuated by the state-sponsored violence against ordinary people took a violent form. As India was preparing to open itself to world markets and usher in an era of new technology and development, many young men in Kashmir crossed over to Pakistan for arms training to get rid of Indian forces occupying their land. While the question of Pakistan’s motives in extending support and expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir is open to debate, especially in the light ...

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Indo-Pak peace façade: What about Kashmir?

A loyal, unnamed Quaestor (public official) in the great Roman emperor Hadrian’s army, who built the city of Hadrianopolis (now Adrianopolis), had his eyes gouged out and his right arm amputated in the winter of 127 AD. Scandalous rumours that the Quaestor had embezzled funds, collected for the construction of a giant wall meant to keep the barbarians away from Britain, had reached the emperor. For three long years, the ugly ghosts of an unlit torture chamber became permanent companions of the Quaestor. Later, when an official inquest discovered that the Quaestor was innocent, he was summoned before the ...

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Harud: The story of a soul-less Kashmir

In the 2009 Spanish film “The Milk of Sorrow”, Peruvian director Claudia Llosa attempted to describe the implications of a conflict on the life of children who are born in times of great distress and violence. The film is set in a ravaged town of Peru in the late 90s when the war between the statist ‘good men’ (Peruvian security forces) and the ‘bad men’ (Sendero Luminoso) was drawing to a close, leaving behind a trail of destruction; thousands of war widows, victims of rape committed by Peruvian security forces, and orphans. Ms Llosa narrates the tale of Fausta, a young girl ...

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The politics of Kashmir killings

On May 1, the Supreme Court of India asked the Ministry of Defence to take a call on whether the six army officers accused of carrying out the “cold blooded murder” of five innocent civilians in the Pathribal village in Kashmir valley should be tried by court martial or in a regular civil court. The Pathribal incident dates back to then US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India on March 20, 2000. This was when 35 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora village of Kashmir were shot dead by unknown men carrying automatic weapons, alcohol bottles and a lust for blood. The massacre was blamed on the men ...

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Indian ‘nationalism’: Why Kashmir won’t move on

Manu Joseph, a senior Delhi based journalist and the editor of Open magazine recently asked why it was obscene to accept that a historically wounded group of  people is ready to move on. He was, of course, referring to the people in Kashmir, where a war has left 70,000 people dead and 8,000 victims of enforced disappearances – in short, a gruesome trail of death and destruction which has few parallels in modern history. As Mr Joseph points out, it is difficult, almost impossible to convince the highly nationalist Indians about how merciless the war in Kashmir has been. If ...

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Why America won’t help with Kashmir

Media commentator Aakar Patel, who also co-owns a publishing and content outsource company in Mumbai, recently wrote for The Express Tribune about the Kashmir freedom struggle and how India gets away despite its reign of oppression and coercion in the valley. For a change, Aakar is one of the voices from the Indian mainstream who infuses fresh life into the waning secular Indianess. However, his skewed proclamations where he raises questions like “What does azadi mean? It means freedom, of course. But freedom from what? (sic)”, which are not new to the Kashmir discourse, stink of ignorance and self-righteousness, and ...

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