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Adnan Bhat

New Delhi, India
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About Adnan
Adnan Bhat is a journalist based in New Delhi, India.
Languages
English Hindi Kashmiri
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Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Documentaries
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India's Modi under fire for election 'hate speech' against Muslims

24 Apr 2024  |  Nikkei Asia
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing criticism for comments made during a campaign rally in Rajasthan, which have been condemned as hate speech against Muslims. This has caused anger and fear among the Muslim minority, as Modi campaigns for a potential third term in India's six-week election process.

How abandoned explosives kill and maim civilians in Kashmir

04 Apr 2024  |  trtworld.com
The article discusses the plight of civilians in Kashmir affected by explosive remnants of war, highlighting the case of Bhat, who lost his house and had family members injured due to uncleared explosives. Despite a compensation order from the State Human Rights Commission, Bhat's financial struggles continue. The article also touches on India's obligations under the UN Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War and contrasts the official stance of the Indian army with the ground reality in Kashmir, where civilians, especially children, are at risk from abandoned explosives. The case of Junaid Ahmed Dar, a 12-year-old killed by an explosive while playing, is also mentioned, underscoring the human cost of the conflict and the negligence in clearing explosive hazards.

Demonetisation Hits Refugees Hard in New Delhi

04 Apr 2024  |  thewire.in
The article discusses the impact of India's demonetisation policy on refugees, particularly the Rohingya and Afghan communities in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes created difficulties for refugees who lack legal status and access to banking. Fatima Bano, a Rohingya refugee, had to exchange her savings at a loss to buy medicine. Shahnawaz, an Afghan refugee, faces uncertainty about his savings for rent. Mohammed Akim, another Afghan refugee, worries about paying rent and school fees. The demonetisation has also affected the refugees' ability to work, as some construction projects have halted and some workers are being paid in demonetised notes, which they cannot use or have to exchange at a loss.

Kashmir and a Second Modi Government: Press Freedoms Under Siege

04 Apr 2024  |  thediplomat.com
The article discusses the current political and social climate in Jammu and Kashmir, highlighting the threats to press freedom with the summoning of Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo and the arrest of Ghulam Jeelani. It reflects on the historical context of Kashmir's contentious status since 1947 and the diminishing autonomy under Indian rule, particularly with the BJP's desire to revoke Articles 370 and 35A. The BJP's re-election has seen a rise in violence and human rights violations, with international attention from the UN. The article also covers the BJP's electoral strategies and the potential for increased conflict due to policies that target Muslim groups and suppress dissent. Civil society groups and journalists express concerns over the government's actions, which are seen as attempts to force compliance and silence opposition. The BJP's stance is linked to the RSS's long-term agenda, and fears of demographic changes akin to Tibet are mentioned. The article concludes with the potential political maneuvers to alter the state's electoral map and the opposition's readiness to challenge such moves legally.

The Mysterious Braid Choppers Of Kashmir

04 Apr 2024  |  buzzfeed.com
The article discusses a series of braid-chopping incidents that have been occurring in Kashmir and parts of North India. Over 200 alleged cases have been reported in Kashmir since September, causing widespread panic and protests. Educational institutions were closed and restrictions imposed in several areas. The attackers, whose identities remain unknown, target women who are alone, often using chemicals or physical force before cutting off their braids. The article includes accounts from victims Aijaz, Mameeta Najar, and Shakeela Mohammad, who describe their experiences of being attacked. The police's response to these incidents has been criticized, and no arrests have been made despite the growing number of attacks.

‘Your pride, my pride, 370, 370’: In Kashmir, fear has started giving way to protests

04 Apr 2024  |  scroll.in
The article discusses the aftermath of the Indian government's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. Abdul Hameed, a laborer from Kupwara district, found himself stranded in Srinagar amidst a sudden military lockdown, with communication lines cut off. The revocation has led to widespread fear, confusion, and anger among the residents, with many fearing an erosion of the region's Muslim identity and an increase in alienation. Protests and clashes with security forces have occurred, and there have been injuries from tear gas shells and pellets. The article also touches on the concerns of non-local laborers and the impact on local businesses. The situation remains tense, with the potential for long-term implications for the region's relationship with India.

Female Delivery Drivers Breaking Patriarchal Barriers in India

04 Apr 2024  |  thediplomat.com
The article discusses the pioneering efforts of Even Cargo, a startup in New Delhi, India, which employs female delivery drivers in a bid to challenge gender norms and create job opportunities for women in the logistics sector. Highlighting the story of Komal, a 20-year-old who joined the company to support her family, the article sheds light on the broader context of women's restricted access to jobs and public spaces in India. It references a World Bank report detailing the decline in female labor force participation and attributes this to societal norms. Even Cargo, founded by Yogesh Kumar in 2016, aims to disrupt the male-dominated delivery industry by hiring only women and providing them with self-defense training, although it currently limits deliveries to daytime and safer routes.

India's clampdown and communication blackout destroys Kashmir economy

04 Apr 2024  |  trtworld.com
The article discusses the ongoing situation in Kashmir following the Indian government's decision to revoke the region's special status. Despite official claims of normalcy, Kashmir remains tense with a communication blockade affecting mobile and internet connections for over two weeks. Nisar Hamid Khan, Senior Vice President of The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, highlights the severe economic and humanitarian crisis, with businesses unable to operate, children unable to attend school, and families running out of supplies. The lockdown has led to the detention of thousands, including politicians and businessmen, and has severely impacted various industries such as logistics, online retail, horticulture, and agriculture. The article also touches on the social impact, with many marriage functions being cancelled. Khan criticizes the government's handling of the situation, fearing long-term economic damage and accusing the government of downplaying the crisis as a minor law and order issue.

Zakir Musa and Kashmir: Beyond Al-Qaeda

04 Apr 2024  |  thediplomat.com
The article discusses the aftermath of the killing of Zakir Musa, a militant commander in Indian-administered Kashmir, by government forces. Musa was a controversial figure who had declared allegiance to al-Qaeda and aimed to establish Sharia law across India and Pakistan. His death sparked protests and a curfew in Kashmir. The article explores the historical context of the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan, Musa's rise to prominence after the death of Burhan Wani, and his split from Hizbul Mujahideen to form Ansar-Gazwatul-Hind. It also examines the impact of Musa's ideology on Kashmiri youth and the challenges of combating ideological extremism. The article includes perspectives from Musa's father, a local youth, and a PhD scholar from Kashmir University.

Caste hierarchies among Kashmiri Muslims

04 Apr 2024  |  thewire.in
The article discusses the issue of caste discrimination in Kashmir's Muslim majority society, challenging the common belief that caste does not play a role in the region. It highlights the personal story of Fazil Jeelani, who faces difficulties in getting married due to his mother's adherence to caste hierarchies. The late sociologist Bashir Ahmed Dabla's work is cited, explaining the existence and significance of caste in Kashmiri society. The article also shares the experiences of Rubaiya Gilkar, who faced social ostracism due to her caste after marrying Aamir Wani. Wakar Amin, an assistant professor, provides insight into the historical context and current implications of caste in Kashmir. The article suggests that despite changes, caste discrimination remains a pervasive issue in the region.

The Changing Face of Kashmiri Militancy

04 Apr 2024  |  thewire.in
The article discusses the evolution of militancy in Kashmir through the experiences of former militants. Sajad Khan, an early member of JKLF, reflects on the armed insurgency's beginnings and its eventual decline. He compares the militancy of the 1990s with today's 'new-age militancy', which he finds smaller in number but more potent and committed. The article also covers the ideological shifts within the militancy, particularly after the death of Burhan Wani, and the rise of Zakir Musa, who has been disowned by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and now leads the Al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Ghawzat Ul Hind. The piece touches on the internal rifts among militant groups and their relationship with the separatist leadership, as well as the influence of international jihadist movements and the Indian political climate on Kashmiri militancy.

Kashmiris spend Eid al Adha unable to make the ‘Qurban’

04 Apr 2024  |  trtworld.com
On the eve of Eid al Adha, residents of Anchar in Srinagar, Kashmir, tried to prevent Indian paramilitary forces from entering their neighborhood, fearing a curfew and detentions. Despite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurances, the region faced severe restrictions during the festival. The revocation of Article 370 by the Indian government has led to a military lockdown, communication blackout, and hardships for local businesses and families. Protests and clashes have occurred, with injuries reported. The article highlights the struggles of individuals like Tawheed, Nadeem, Basheer, and Haleema, as well as an Indian paramilitary soldier named Ram, all affected by the lockdown and unable to celebrate Eid or contact loved ones.

Watch: Jignesh Mevani on His Life as an MLA, Dalit-Muslim Unity and Modi

04 Apr 2024  |  thewire.in
In this interview, reporter Adnan Bhat speaks with Jignesh Mevani, a first-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), during his visit to Meerut. Mevani discusses his objectives for his constituency, the experience of adapting to his role as a legislator, and his perspective on the Modi government. The conversation also touches upon the topic of Dalit-Muslim unity, which is a significant aspect of Mevani's political stance. The interview provides insights into Mevani's political journey and his future plans.

Once Popular Matchmakers, Kashmir's Transgender People Continue to Struggle for Equality

04 Apr 2024  |  thewire.in
The article discusses the lives of transgender individuals in Srinagar, Kashmir, who traditionally work as matchmakers or perform at weddings due to societal roles assigned to them. Omaira and Mohsina, two young transgender women, aspire for more than the matchmaking business, seeking education and better employment opportunities. Despite the Supreme Court's recognition of the third gender in 2014, the Jammu and Kashmir government has yet to implement policies for transgender welfare. The community faces discrimination and has limited access to education and jobs. Social activists and academics highlight the need for societal acceptance and equal opportunities for transgender people in Kashmir.

India poised to detain and torture more and more Kashmiris, locals say

04 Apr 2024  |  trtworld.com
Irfan Ahmed was awakened by police at midnight to bring his younger brother, Jamshed, to the police station in South Kashmir's Pulwama district. Jamshed, who was previously injured during a protest and was awaiting surgery, was detained without clear reason. Initially told it was for a brief talk and then just for one night, Jamshed was instead moved to Srinagar Central jail and then transferred 1,200 kilometers away to a sub-jail in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The family was not informed of the transfer, and later learned Jamshed was detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), which allows detention without charges for up to six months. The family is concerned about Jamshed's health and the impact of detention on his well-being.

The Enduring Struggle Against Opium Poppy Cultivation in Kashmir

04 Apr 2024  |  caravanmagazine.in
The article discusses the efforts of the Jammu and Kashmir excise department in combating illegal opium poppy cultivation. On 28 April 2016, Mudasir Ahmed, an inspector, along with his team, destroyed opium crops in central Kashmir. The farmers in the region grow opium poppy as an additional income source, selling it to middlemen who then supply it to states like Punjab and Rajasthan. The excise department's annual poppy-destruction drive aims to curb this illegal activity. The article provides figures of the area of poppy cultivation destroyed over the years and mentions the involvement of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the operation. It also touches upon the challenges faced during the destruction process, such as protecting young apple saplings interspersed among the poppy fields.

As protests continue in India, victims of police violence speak up

04 Apr 2024  |  trtworld.com
The article discusses the case of Mohammad Sharik, a 20-year-old from Nagina Town, Uttar Pradesh, who was protesting against India's new citizenship law. During the protests, he was detained by the police and allegedly subjected to custodial torture, resulting in multiple fractures in his left leg. Despite his injuries, the police reportedly did not provide immediate medical assistance. Sharik's father, Shahid Ahmad, incurred significant medical expenses for his son's treatment. The article highlights the broader context of nationwide protests against the citizenship law and the perceived targeting of Indian Muslims, referencing past events such as the demolition of Babri Masjid and the revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

Residents’ Accounts Belie the Army’s Claims About Firing Deaths at Qazigund in Kashmir

04 Apr 2024  |  caravanmagazine.in
The article reports on an incident that occurred in the village of Churat, near Qazigund in south Kashmir, where three civilians were killed by the Indian Army's 9 Rashtriya Rifles contingent. The army claimed the troops were forced to fire in self-defense against a violent mob. This incident took place during a curfew in Kashmir following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, which sparked widespread protests. The government had imposed restrictions, including cutting off phone and internet services and banning newspapers. The journalists visited Churat and spoke to around 30 people, including a dozen eyewitnesses, finding that the local accounts of the incident differed significantly from the army's version. The article suggests that there were no protests in Churat before the incident, contrary to the army's statement.

Kashmir startups navigate barbed-wire checkpoints, internet shutdowns

04 Apr 2024  |  asia.nikkei.com
The article discusses the unique challenges faced by startups in Kashmir, a region plagued by violence and political instability. Entrepreneurs in Kashmir have to deal with not only the usual concerns of funding but also the additional hurdles posed by the region's security situation, including frequent checkpoints, the presence of armed forces, and unexpected internet shutdowns. These issues are exacerbated by the reluctance of major app providers to operate in the conflict zone, leaving a gap that local startups are attempting to fill.

Kashmir Uni remembers Shopian horror with the Chinar trees as witness

04 Apr 2024  |  thenewsminute.com
The article discusses the symbolic importance of the Chinar tree in Kashmir's history, particularly as a silent witness to the human rights violations and suppression in the region. Local students have taken to posting names on these trees as a form of protest, hoping that the significance of the Chinar will help convey their message for justice, which they feel has been repeatedly ignored.

Biden Admin Goes to War With Big Pharma Over COVID Vax Patent Protections

04 Apr 2024  |  uk.news.yahoo.com
The article discusses the Biden administration's support for a temporary waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents, a move seen as a potential game-changer in the global fight against the pandemic. However, major pharmaceutical companies and public health officials in India, a country severely affected by COVID-19, caution that this step alone won't significantly accelerate vaccine production and distribution. The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance and experts in the field argue that without the transfer of technology and voluntary licensing, the patent waiver will have limited impact. India's role as a major supplier of generic drugs and vaccines at affordable prices is highlighted, with the Serum Institute of India's partnership with AstraZeneca to produce the Covishield vaccine at a low cost. The article also touches on the challenges India faces in its vaccination efforts and the complex negotiations ahead at the World Trade Organization.

Once Popular Matchmakers, Kashmir's Transgender People Continue to Struggle for Equality

04 Apr 2024  |  thewire.in
The article discusses the lives of transgender individuals in Srinagar, Kashmir, focusing on their traditional role as matchmakers and the challenges they face in society. Mohsina and Omaira, two young transgender women, share their experiences and aspirations beyond their societal roles. Despite the Supreme Court's recognition of the third gender in 2014, the Jammu and Kashmir government has yet to implement policies for transgender welfare. The community faces discrimination and limited opportunities for education and employment. Social activists and academics like Wakar Amin and Zareef Ahmed Zareef highlight the historical context of transgender roles in Kashmir and advocate for societal acceptance and equal opportunities for the transgender community.

How Big Tech Platforms Like Instagram Are Failing LGBT Teens in India

08 Dec 2023  |  malaysia.news.yahoo.com
The article highlights the tragic suicide of Pranshu Yadav, a 16-year-old aspiring makeup artist from India, due to online bullying on Instagram. It underscores the broader issue of cyberbullying and hate speech against LGBTQ+ individuals on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. Advocacy groups like Yes We Exist and GLAAD criticize these platforms for failing to protect LGBTQ+ users. The article also discusses the rise of organized campaigns against queer individuals by groups like Youth Enrichment Society Kerala. Personal accounts from activists and affected families emphasize the urgent need for social media companies to take responsibility and implement measures to combat online harassment and hate speech.

How Big Tech Platforms Like Instagram Are Failing LGBT Teens in India

01 Dec 2023  |  www.thedailybeast.com
The article highlights the tragic suicide of Pranshu Yadav, a 16-year-old aspiring makeup artist from India, due to online bullying on Instagram. It underscores the broader issue of cyberbullying and hate speech against LGBTQ+ individuals on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. Advocacy groups such as Yes We Exist and GLAAD criticize these platforms for failing to protect LGBTQ+ users. The article also discusses the rise of organized campaigns against the queer community by groups like Youth Enrichment Society Kerala. It calls for social media companies to take greater responsibility in creating safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals.

How Big Tech Platforms Like Instagram Are Failing LGBT Teens in India

01 Dec 2023  |  www.newsbreak.com
The article highlights the tragic consequences of cyberbullying and hate speech against LGBTQ+ individuals in India, focusing on the case of Pranshu Yadav, a 16-year-old who committed suicide after facing online abuse. It discusses the broader issue of online harassment faced by queer individuals on major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter, which have been criticized for failing to protect LGBTQ+ users. The article features insights from activists and organizations advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and calls for social media companies to take more responsibility in creating safe and inclusive spaces.

Playing games

19 Nov 2023  |  newindianexpress.com
The article narrates the story of Shikhar, who lost his job during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Facing financial difficulties due to his wife's pregnancy and daily expenses, he took a loan of Rs 2 lakh from a money-lender. Although he briefly found an IT job, he was soon laid off, leading him to incur more debt. In a desperate attempt to manage his financial crisis, Shikhar was enticed by an online betting company's advertisement promising high returns. The article highlights the impact of job loss and the vulnerability of individuals to risky financial decisions such as online betting.

Endless pivots and mass departures: Inside VinFast’s chaotic U.S. expansion

26 Jul 2023  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the high-pressure work culture at VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, which has led to a high turnover of executives and employees. The company, which is part of the larger conglomerate Vingroup, has seen rapid changes in leadership and company goals, creating an unstable work environment. Despite offering competitive salaries, the company has a reputation for harsh punishments and a hire-and-fire strategy. VinFast has ambitious global expansion plans, including a new U.S. factory and aims to compete with established EV manufacturers like Tesla. The company has faced challenges, including a recall of electric SUVs in the U.S. and a widening net loss, but remains determined to grow. The article includes insights from former employees who spoke under pseudonyms, fearing retribution from VinFast.

Digital utopia: Tech for good

25 Jul 2023  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses how technology is being used innovatively around the world to create positive change. It highlights the use of WhatsApp voice notes in transforming farming practices in Senegal and the role of smart speakers in facilitating digital payments in India. The piece suggests that these examples of local ingenuity have the potential to benefit the world at large and that such creative uses of technology should be encouraged and scaled up.

Srinagar: The Changing Face of Militancy and Public Defiance in Kashmir

01 Jul 2023  |  thewire.in
The article recounts the author's childhood experience of an encounter between militants and government forces in Kashmir in 1995, and contrasts it with the current situation where armed militancy has been largely restricted but the fear among the people has diminished. The youth, instead of fleeing, now actively participate in protests at encounter sites, often risking their lives to help militants escape. The article discusses the shift in attitude among Kashmiri youth, tracing it back to the 2008 civilian uprising and subsequent government responses. It also touches upon the disillusionment with both mainstream politics and separatist movements, leading to increased support for local militants. The author, Adnan Bhat, highlights the role of social media in mobilizing the youth and the admiration young militants receive for their sacrifices.

Kashmir: The Tragic Killing of TV Artist Ambreen Bhat

30 May 2023  |  boomlive.in
Ambreen Bhat, a local TV artist in Kashmir, was killed by two suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, who have since been shot dead by the Jammu and Kashmir police. The incident occurred when two men entered the Bhat family home and shot Ambreen after a brief conversation. Ambreen was the sole breadwinner for her family, supporting them through her work as an actor and performer since 2007. She had a significant social media presence and performed at various government functions. Her family is in disbelief over her death, stating there was no known threat to her life. The murder has sparked criticism from politicians regarding the security situation in Kashmir, as Ambreen was the second civilian targeted this month.

Delivery drivers in India are struggling through a hot, unpredictable summer

29 May 2023  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the harsh working conditions faced by gig workers in India, particularly food delivery drivers, amid erratic weather patterns and extreme temperatures. It highlights the stories of several workers, including Rajeev and Debjit, who endure health issues and accidents without any breaks or adequate protection from the weather. The article also touches on the lack of social security benefits for gig workers despite government promises, and the difficulty in earning a minimum wage as reported by a Fairwork India study. The Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers criticizes companies like Swiggy, Zomato, Blinkit, and Rapido for not providing benefits to their workers. The article includes comments from medical professionals on the health risks associated with prolonged exposure to heat.

Indian government gives itself the power to “fact-check” and delete social media posts

12 Apr 2023  |  restofworld.org
The Indian government has amended its technology rules, empowering a state-run fact-checking unit to label information as 'fake, false or misleading' and mandate social media platforms and ISPs to remove such content. Non-compliance could lead to loss of safe harbor protection for these platforms. This move has sparked concerns among journalists, activists, and opposition parties, who view it as a means for the government to control the narrative and suppress independent reporting. The Editors Guild of India and the opposition Indian National Congress have criticized the amendment for its potential to infringe on press freedom and freedom of speech. A court petition has been filed by comedian Kunal Kamra, and the Bombay High Court has sought a government response. The Internet Freedom Foundation has also expressed concerns about the lack of accountability in the government's definition of 'misleading' information.

Mobile money and digital payments go global

10 Apr 2023  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the widespread adoption of mobile money and its impact on various regions. It highlights the positive effects, such as the inclusion of rural communities in the financial system in Africa and the facilitation of digital payments in India through affordable smart speakers. However, the article also addresses the darker side of mobile money, including corruption and scams. Instances of police in Mexico accepting bribes through mobile money and scammers in Malawi stealing significant amounts of money are cited as examples of the challenges that come with the proliferation of digital payments.

Caste hierarchies among Kashmiri Muslims

05 Apr 2023  |  thewire.in
The article discusses the prevalence of caste discrimination in Kashmir's Muslim majority society, challenging the common belief that caste does not play a role in the region. It highlights the personal story of Fazil Jeelani, who faces difficulties in getting married due to his mother's adherence to caste hierarchies. The late sociologist Bashir Ahmed Dabla's work is cited, explaining the caste structure in Kashmir, which includes Syed, occupational, and service castes. The article also shares the experiences of Rubaiya Gilkar, who faced social ostracism due to her caste after marrying Aamir Wani. Wakar Amin, an assistant professor, discusses the historical context and current impact of caste in Kashmiri society, including political and social ramifications. The article suggests that despite some changes, caste-based discrimination remains deeply ingrained in the social fabric of Kashmir.

Electricity Crisis in Jammu and Kashmir: A Persistent Challenge Amid Development Claims

05 Apr 2023  |  thewire.in
The article discusses the chronic power crisis in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India, highlighting the region's increasing energy demands and the challenges in meeting them. It covers the state's reliance on hydropower, the inefficiencies and losses in the power distribution system, and the political promises made to address these issues. The state Power Development Department (PDD) and experts predict a significant rise in electricity needs, while the peak deficit during winter months is already substantial. The article also touches on the financial burden of purchasing power and the contentious relationship with the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), which controls a large portion of J&K's hydropower but shares little with the state. The Jammu Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) aims to harness more hydropower to reduce the deficit, but faces challenges such as funding, environmental concerns, and geopolitical issues with Pakistan over the Indus Water Treaty. The article includes statements from various officials and experts, including Shahnaz Goni, Haseeb Drabu, Shah Faesal, and Professor Shakeel Romshoo, and mentions the stalled negotiations for the return of power projects to the state.

Kashmir's Volunteer Teachers Fill Education Gap Amid Lockdown

05 Apr 2023  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the grassroots efforts in Kashmir to continue children's education amidst the lockdown following India's revocation of Kashmir's autonomy on October 31. Ghulam Mohammad Ganai and his neighbors have transformed their homes into makeshift schools, with around 400 children attending. Despite the government's order to reopen schools, attendance is low due to ongoing tensions. Volunteer teachers, including Monis-Ul-Islam and Abdul Hameed Ganai, are providing education and political awareness to students. These initiatives offer hope and continuity in education for Kashmiri youth during a period of political upheaval and restricted formal schooling.

India’s citizenship clash leaves Assam on the brink

05 Apr 2023  |  thenewhumanitarian.org
The article discusses the controversial citizenship law changes in India, particularly focusing on the northeastern state of Assam. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been criticized for excluding Muslims and sparking mass protests and violence. The Assam government's National Register of Citizens (NRC) has left nearly two million people, many of whom are Muslims, at risk of statelessness. The article highlights the fears and challenges faced by those excluded from the NRC, including the prospect of arguing their cases before 'foreigners' tribunals' and the potential of being detained in camps. It also touches on the historical ethnic tensions in Assam, the role of the All Assam Students’ Union in the protests, and the broader implications of the CAA and NRC for India's secular principles.

How tiny, cheap smart speakers unlocked the rise of digital payments in India

04 Apr 2023  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the adoption of 'sound boxes' by small businesses in India, a technology that reads out digital payment confirmations. Paytm introduced the device in 2019, and it has since become popular among vendors who traditionally avoided tech services. The sound box, which supports multiple Indian languages, has become a key revenue stream for fintech companies like Paytm, PhonePe, BharatPe, and GooglePay, as they do not earn from UPI transactions. The competition in this market has led to price cuts and innovation. The devices also help fintech companies offer additional financial services, such as loans, to merchants. The article includes insights from vendors, company spokespeople, and industry experts, highlighting the impact of sound boxes on small business operations and the fintech ecosystem in India.

Indians find easy workarounds to watch BBC’s banned documentary on Modi

02 Feb 2023  |  restofworld.org
The Indian government banned a BBC documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, citing national sovereignty concerns. This led to increased public interest, with many Indians turning to peer-to-peer sharing and piracy to watch the documentary. Despite the ban, individuals like Aman, Suhail Ahmed, and Deepesh Sharma found ways to distribute the documentary online, using platforms like WeTransfer, Telegram, and Google Drive. Public screenings were shut down, but private downloads thrived. The ban has sparked discussions on free speech and censorship in India, with the Internet Freedom Foundation noting the ban's negative impact on free speech. Legal challenges to the ban are underway, with petitions filed in the Supreme Court. The situation exemplifies the Streisand effect, where attempts to suppress information only make it more sought after.

India’s tech unions see an opening amid a layoff tsunami

30 Jan 2023  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the plight of Indian tech workers facing sudden layoffs without severance, focusing on the story of 'Rahul', a pseudonym for an employee forced to resign. It highlights the role of tech workers' unions like AIITEU and NITES in supporting these employees and the challenges they face in gaining membership and recognition. Despite being a major employer, the Indian tech industry has seen resistance to unionization, with many workers fearing backlash. The article also touches on the legal aspects of layoffs and severance entitlements, noting that some tech employees are not covered by labor laws due to their managerial positions. Recent layoffs by companies like Byju's and Virtusa have brought these issues to the forefront, with unions and organizations like Prathidhwani stepping in to assist affected workers. The article concludes by discussing the National Skill Registry (NSR) and concerns over its use in potentially blacklisting unionized workers.

India’s homegrown TikTok clones struggle to replicate Bytedance’s success

20 Oct 2022  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the impact of TikTok's ban in India and the rise of local short video apps like Moj and Josh. Aditi Kaushik, a former TikTok influencer, has successfully transitioned to Moj, gaining 1.2 million followers. Despite this, she and other creators like Adarsh Parve are aiming to grow on Instagram, which is seen as having better global reach and monetization potential. Indian TikTok clones have seen rapid user growth, but industry experts doubt their long-term viability against global competitors like Instagram and YouTube. Indian apps have been spending heavily to attract top creators, a strategy that may not be sustainable. Large investments have been made in these platforms, with Moj and Josh's parent companies raising significant funds. However, the article suggests that Instagram and YouTube are likely to dominate India's short-video market due to better monetization and advertising infrastructure.

The Wire to Review Its Meta Coverage Amid Controversy Over Fabricated Documents

18 Oct 2022  |  restofworld.org
The Wire, an Indian news site, is reviewing its coverage after controversy over stories alleging Meta gave BJP's Amit Malviya power to remove Instagram posts. Meta refuted the claims, stating the documents were fabricated. The Wire's follow-up stories and evidence faced scrutiny for inconsistencies and inaccuracies, including a disputed DKIM test and a fake email. Tech experts and journalists have questioned The Wire's evidence, and some suggest the site may have been hoaxed or fabricated evidence. The controversy is significant due to Meta's influence in India and past accusations of biased content moderation. The Wire's credibility is at stake, with potential long-term impacts on its reputation and the broader independent media landscape in India.

Amazon's Impact on Indian Sellers: Allegations of Unfair Practices and Knockoffs

22 Sep 2022  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses allegations against Amazon for creating knockoffs of Indian sellers' products and favoring certain sellers, such as Cloudtail and Appario, which are joint ventures with major Indian companies. Despite Amazon shutting down Cloudtail, small and medium Indian businesses report no change in their situation, with many struggling to compete with Amazon's steep discounting and private labels. Industry representatives accuse Amazon of using seller data to create competing products and giving unfair advantages to certain sellers. Amazon denies these practices. The article includes testimonies from small business owners who have faced challenges selling on Amazon, with some moving away from the platform to establish their own websites or using social media for sales.

“Hundreds of complaints”: India’s edtech startups are failing to regulate themselves

03 Aug 2022  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the growing concerns and complaints against Indian edtech companies, particularly Byju's, for issues such as unsatisfactory courses, aggressive marketing, and difficulties in obtaining refunds. Despite the formation of a self-regulatory body, the India EdTech Consortium (IEC), and its claim of resolving most complaints, there is a call for more stringent government regulation. The article highlights cases where customers faced challenges in getting refunds and the distress caused by invasive marketing tactics. It also touches on privacy concerns with edtech apps collecting children's data. The edtech sector's growth is contrasted with the current funding crunch and the reopening of traditional schools. The need for quality control of courses and the qualifications of educators is emphasized, as is the potential for counterproductive overregulation to stifle innovation.

Rising food and fuel costs are making gig work unsustainable

17 Jun 2022  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the plight of gig economy workers in South Africa, India, and Argentina, who are struggling with rising living costs and stagnant wages. In South Africa, ride-hailing drivers like Charles Mayati and Fikile Duma are facing difficulties as fuel prices soar. Uber and Bolt have made small fare adjustments, but these have been offset by further fuel price increases. In India, drivers like Kalamjeet Gill and delivery workers like Mohiddin are also struggling with higher fuel and living costs, with companies like Uber, Ola, and Zomato not increasing pay proportionately. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports a significant rise in food prices, adding to the burden. In Argentina, restaurants using delivery apps like PedidosYa and Rappi are dealing with high inflation and the challenge of balancing rising costs with customer pricing. Experts suggest that the gig economy may be facing a moment of reckoning, as many platform businesses are not profitable and may need to merge or close.

India’s edtech bubble is bursting

02 Jun 2022  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the recent layoffs in the Indian edtech sector, highlighting the case of Yashraj Singh Chauhan, an educator who was let go by Unacademy despite meeting performance metrics. It mentions layoffs by other companies such as Vedantu, Lido, and Byju's-owned WhiteHat Jr. The article reflects on the rapid growth of the edtech industry during the pandemic, with companies like Unacademy and Byju's reaching unicorn status. However, experts like Eldho Mathews from NIEPA suggest that the industry is facing a bubble burst and needs to refocus and change its business model. Some companies are diversifying by entering the offline education space, as seen with Byju's acquisition of Aakash Educational Services and Unacademy opening a coaching center in Kota. The article also covers the impact of these changes on educators and students, with Chauhan planning to create his own app for banking exam preparation.

Uber drivers in India are turning off AC to protest low pay as temperatures soar

13 Apr 2022  |  restofworld.org
Drivers for Uber and Ola in India are participating in a 'no air-conditioning campaign' initiated by the Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) to protest low commissions and high fuel prices. The campaign, which started in Hyderabad, has spread to other major cities. Drivers are demanding a government-mandated basic rate for app-based cabs, similar to traditional taxi services. Despite a recent fare hike by Uber, drivers remain dissatisfied due to the high commission rates and substantial fuel price increases. The Maharashtra App-based Transport Workers Union has attempted to negotiate with the government but reports little progress.

While all forms of gambling are illegal in India, there are no clear regulations for fantasy gaming, which is why it continues to thrive

27 Mar 2022  |  timesofindia.indiatimes.com
The article discusses the legal ambiguity surrounding fantasy gaming in India, where gambling is illegal but fantasy gaming thrives due to a lack of clear regulations. It narrates the story of Ravi, a soldier who got enticed by the fantasy sports app Dream11 in 2018, hoping to win big money by betting on cricket games. Initially betting small amounts, Ravi's involvement escalated to betting on sports he was not familiar with, such as football and basketball. The article highlights Ravi's growing anxiety and compulsion to recover losses by investing more money, illustrating the potential risks and addictive nature of fantasy gaming.

Fantasy sports apps are driving a surge in gambling addiction in India

17 Mar 2022  |  restofworld.org
The article discusses the rise of online fantasy gaming in India, exemplified by the story of Ravi, a security forces member who lost significant amounts of money on apps like Dream11. The industry has grown rapidly, with companies like Dream11 and MPL reaching unicorn status. However, this growth has led to increased gambling addiction, with facilities like AIIMS and SHUT clinic in Bengaluru reporting a rise in cases. Despite the popularity, there's a lack of research on addiction among users. The legal status of these platforms is debated, with some states banning them while others allow them under the guise of skill-based gaming. The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports argues that the platforms are non-addictive and have safeguards in place, but the article suggests that the ease of access and potential for large losses can lead to addiction. Ravi's story highlights the personal impact of this issue, as he continues to use the apps, albeit more cautiously.

The Kashmir Press Was Forcibly Taken Over

20 Jan 2022  |  boomlive.in
The article discusses the forced takeover and subsequent closure of the Kashmir Press Club (KPC), a significant institution for journalists in the region. Freelance journalist Quratulain Rehbar and multimedia journalist Muktar Zahoor shared their experiences of the club's support amidst harassment and police questioning. The club, which had over 300 members, was a safe space for journalists to share ideas and support each other. However, authorities revoked the building's allotment, citing dissensions among journalists. A group led by Mohammed Saleem Pandit, with police support, took over the club's management, which was criticized by journalists' bodies and the Editors Guild of India. Senior correspondent Naseer Ganai and general secretary Ishfaq Tantray expressed that the closure was part of a plan to stifle journalists' voices. The article highlights the challenges faced by journalists in Kashmir, especially since the abrogation of article 370.

Indian youth once hailed as conservation hero now spends days spraying disinfectant to manage Covid-19

31 Dec 2021  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the environmental degradation of Wular Lake in Kashmir, once one of Asia's largest freshwater lakes. It highlights the story of Bilal Ahmad Dar, a local who began cleaning the lake as a teenager after his father's death, to support his family and out of a sense of duty. His efforts were featured in a documentary, 'Saving the Saviour', which gained international recognition and led to his temporary employment as a 'brand ambassador' by the local government. However, his role and salary are uncertain, and he has been reassigned to pandemic management duties. Environmental lawyer Nadeem Qadri criticizes the government's approach to lake conservation, noting that funds were misused and proper waste management was not implemented. The article also touches on the personal struggles of Bilal, who now lives away from his mother and is unable to repair their flood-damaged home.

African students learn about police brutality and prejudice

09 Sep 2021  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the experiences of African students in India, focusing on incidents of police brutality and racial discrimination. Alikali Simwange, a Congolese MBA student, recounts a violent police response to a peaceful protest in Bengaluru, sparked by the death of a Congolese student in police custody. The article highlights a pattern of mistreatment towards African nationals in India, including a recent case in New Delhi and discrimination during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also touches on India's economic ties with Africa and the challenges in fostering positive people-to-people interactions. Experts and students express concerns about the racial bias and stereotyping that Africans face in India, which is affecting India's appeal as an educational destination despite government efforts to attract African students with scholarships. The article suggests that systemic changes and education about diversity are needed to address these issues.

How India’s catastrophic failure tackling its second wave doomed the country

01 Aug 2021  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the plight of Afghan asylum seekers in India, particularly focusing on Zabi Astanikzai and his family, who have been unable to access COVID-19 vaccinations due to a lack of recognized identification. India's second wave of COVID-19 infections has overwhelmed the healthcare system, and the country's policy does not officially recognize refugees, leaving them without access to healthcare, education, and job opportunities. The UNHCR reports that there are over 15,000 Afghan asylum seekers in India, and while some countries have begun vaccinating refugees, India has not made specific plans for their immunization. The article also touches on the situation of Rohingya refugees in India, highlighting the challenges they face in accessing vaccinations and the fear of deportation or detention.

New Delhi shanty town blaze exposes plight of India’s Rohingya refugees

20 Jun 2021  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the plight of Rohingya refugees in India, particularly focusing on a recent incident where a fire destroyed the shanty town of Madanpur Khadar, leaving 57 families homeless. The Uttar Pradesh government has prevented them from rebuilding, citing ownership of the land. The refugees, who have been referred to as illegal infiltrators by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, face constant threats of deportation and lack a stable living situation. India's lack of adherence to international refugee agreements and the exclusion of Muslims from the Citizenship Amendment Act exacerbate their vulnerability. Additionally, the pandemic has worsened their situation, with loss of employment and lack of access to COVID-19 vaccinations due to not having Indian documents.

Under Lockdown, India’s Kashmir Faces a New Challenge: Human Rights Violations

25 May 2021  |  resilience.stanleycenter.org
The article discusses human rights violations in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir during the COVID-19 pandemic. It tells the story of Abrar Ahmed Chauhan and his cousins, who were killed by the Indian army under false claims of being foreign militants. The Indian government has used lockdown restrictions to suppress opposition and prevent protests. The article highlights the refusal to return bodies of the deceased for burial, changes in citizenship and land-acquisition laws, and fears of demographic change. It also covers the suppression of press freedom through a new media policy and the culture of impunity for government forces. The piece reflects on the impact of these actions on the local population and the potential for increased protests and violence.

Why Biden’s Push for Vaccine Patent Waivers Won’t Save India

12 May 2021  |  thedailybeast.com
The article discusses the Biden administration's support for a temporary waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents, which is seen as a significant step in the global fight against the pandemic. However, major pharmaceutical companies and public health officials in India, including Sudharshan Jain of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance and Dr. Anant Bhan, a global health policy expert, warn that this move alone will not suffice. They emphasize the need for technology transfer and voluntary licensing to increase vaccine production and distribution. The Serum Institute of India's partnership with AstraZeneca and the challenges faced by India's vaccination drive are also highlighted. The article mentions the ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organization, led by India and South Africa, to waive intellectual property rights for vaccines.

As India’s coronavirus cases surge, volunteers step in where government failed

04 May 2021  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the dire situation in New Delhi, India, where the NGO Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal, led by Jitender Singh Shunty, is overwhelmed with the number of bodies arriving for cremation due to COVID-19. The NGO, which used to perform funerals for unclaimed corpses, has been inundated with bodies as India faces a severe resurgence of the virus. The country has reported over 300,000 new cases for 12 consecutive days, with the death toll rising. The article highlights the lack of government preparedness for the second wave, the shortage of oxygen and hospital beds, and the efforts of volunteers and citizens like Mohammad Waseem, who is helping with oxygen supplies, and Priyanka, who prepares food for quarantined patients. It also touches on the unity shown by people of different religions in the crisis and the support from the Indian diaspora worldwide.

‘Your existence is reason enough’: in Modi’s India, Muslim journalists face harassment, threats and assault

03 Apr 2021  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the challenges faced by Muslim journalists in India, highlighting incidents of harassment and violence. Shahid Tantray, a journalist for The Caravan, was attacked by a mob in New Delhi. Ayesha Minhaz, a freelance journalist, faced harassment and quit social media due to threats. Dhanya Rajendran, editor of The News Minute, spoke about the difficulties in assigning reporters based on their religion during the Sabarimala temple protests. India's press freedom ranking has declined, according to Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House. C K Prasad of the Press Council of India downplayed concerns about press freedom. Omar Rashid of The Hindu was detained by police, and Siddique Kappan was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act while reporting on a sensitive case.

After the dire predictions, does India really have a handle on Covid-19?

11 Mar 2021  |  scmp.com
Dr. Aqsa Shaikh, a transgender woman, has been appointed to head a COVID-19 vaccination centre in New Delhi, India, marking a significant personal and professional achievement. However, her appointment also underscores the discrimination and barriers faced by transgender individuals in the country, particularly in the medical field. Shaikh, who transitioned from male to female after moving to New Delhi, has faced challenges with her family but has found acceptance and success in her professional life. She is concerned about the hesitancy among marginalized communities, including transgender people, towards hospital visits for vaccination due to fear of discrimination. Shaikh suggests a door-to-door vaccination campaign to reach these communities. India, being the second-worst hit country by COVID-19, has a massive vaccination drive underway, which Shaikh believes can still be improved.

Kashmir’s LGBTQ Community Is Caught Between Conservative Society and Indian Ethnonationalism

28 Aug 2020  |  foreignpolicy.com
The article discusses the efforts of Aijaz Bund, a professor and activist in Kashmir, who started an online fundraising campaign to support the transgender community during the COVID-19 lockdown. Bund raised funds to provide food and money to the marginalized group, which has been particularly affected by both the pandemic and the political turmoil following the revocation of Kashmir's semi-autonomous status by New Delhi in August 2019. The article highlights the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community in conservative Kashmir, including societal rejection and the impact of the communication blackout imposed by the government. Bund's activism, including the formation of the Sonzal Welfare Trust and his ethnographic study, is commended for bringing attention to the issues faced by LGBTQ individuals in the region. The article also touches on the broader context of Kashmir's political situation and the Indian government's stance on LGBTQ rights.

Green light for pilgrimage in kashmir valley

12 Jul 2020  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the concerns raised by public health experts over the Indian government's decision to allow the annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave in the Kashmir valley amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Anant Bhan and other experts have warned against large gatherings and unnecessary travel during this time. Despite the risks, the government plans to permit a limited number of pilgrims to visit the cave by foot and helicopter. The Shri Amarnath Barfani Langar Organisation has petitioned the Supreme Court to ban public participation in the pilgrimage this year. The article also touches on the political implications of the decision, the potential strain on local medical facilities, and the precautions that should be taken if the pilgrimage proceeds.

Africans facing ‘Blatant’ racism daily in India

07 Jun 2020  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the pervasive issue of racism faced by African nationals in India, highlighting the experiences of individuals like Mariyam Nuh and Ballary John. Despite India's efforts to attract African students and patients to its universities and medical facilities, incidents of violence and discrimination have marred these efforts. The article recounts several instances of racism, including physical assaults and difficulties in renting housing. It also touches on the broader context of the Black Lives Matter movement and the global response to the killing of George Floyd. Bosco Kaweesi, president of the Pan African Federation and Students Union India, speaks about the challenges African students face and the need for greater public awareness to combat racism in India.

Muslim, pregnant and in jail as coronavirus sweeps through: India says this woman is ‘key conspirator’ in citizenship act riots

14 May 2020  |  scmp.com
Safoora Zargar, a 27-year-old PhD student at Jamia Millia University, has been arrested and charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her alleged role in the protests against India's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The article discusses the conditions of her detention, the criticism of the CAA as discriminatory against Muslims, and the broader context of rising Islamophobia in India, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also mentions the arrests of other activists and students, the role of the Delhi Police, and the spread of misinformation following a Tablighi Jamaat event. Safoora's case has sparked social media campaigns and petitions for her release, especially as she is pregnant and has spent Ramadan in jail.

How people’s curfew hit the nation’s poorest workers the hardest

24 Mar 2020  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on India's informal workers, who make up about 90% of the country's workforce. It highlights the story of Pappu Yadav, an autorickshaw driver in New Delhi, who is struggling to support his family due to the lockdown and lack of income. The lockdown and transport restrictions imposed to contain the virus have left many informal workers without work and income, forcing some to return to their native villages and others to face overcrowded living conditions that make social distancing impossible. The article also mentions the government's response, including financial aid measures from state governments like Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, and concerns about the implementation and sufficiency of these measures. Experts like Jayati Ghosh and Purnima Menon are quoted on the potential economic crisis and the challenges of implementing social protection schemes.

India fights fake news, bigotry as well as virus

15 Mar 2020  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the challenges India faces amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, including the spread of fake news and xenophobia. It highlights incidents of racial discrimination against people from Northeastern states, mistaken for being Chinese and therefore accused of spreading the virus. The Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have made efforts to combat misinformation, with arrests made in Mizoram for spreading false information and telecom operators instructed to fight misinformation. Fact-checking services like SM Hoaxslayer are overwhelmed by the volume of misinformation. Despite these issues, India has managed relatively few confirmed cases and deaths, though the actual numbers may be higher. The government has taken preventive measures, including travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, and educational initiatives like a comic book for children.

In Modi’s India, families of Muslims killed by Hindu mobs lose hope for justice

04 Mar 2020  |  scmp.com
The article reports on the aftermath of riots in Delhi, India, which coincided with US President Donald Trump's state visit. The violence, which lasted three days, resulted in over 45 deaths, mostly Muslims, and injured at least 150 people. Buildings were set ablaze, and many residents were displaced. The riots occurred against a backdrop of increasing tensions between Muslims and Hindus, exacerbated by the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which is seen as discriminatory against Muslims. The article includes personal accounts from victims like Naziya and Mohammad Irshad, who blame the government and police for inaction. It also covers the tragic story of Babu and Asgari, who lost their two sons in the riots. The article suggests a lack of trust in the police to deliver justice for the victims.

In India, protests over new citizenship bill as Muslims fear further persecution

10 Dec 2019  |  scmp.com
India's Citizenship Amendment Bill, which aims to grant citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from neighboring Muslim-majority countries but excludes Muslims, has passed the lower house and awaits approval from the upper house. The bill has sparked protests in Assam, where students and activists fear it will disrupt the secular nature of the constitution and lead to communal tension. The bill is seen in conjunction with the National Registry of Citizens (NRC), which recently excluded 1.9 million people, potentially rendering them stateless. Critics argue the bill could disenfranchise Muslims and change the fundamental secular identity of India. Despite opposition and protests, including a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, the government has not been swayed. The situation in Assam remains tense, with fears of increased persecution and violence against minority Muslims.

In India, Kashmir’s transgender community struggles to survive

28 Sep 2019  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the impact of the military lockdown and communication blackout in Kashmir on the transgender community, particularly focusing on individuals like Babloo, a transwoman and matchmaker, and others who have lost their livelihoods due to the cancellation of weddings. It highlights the struggles faced by the community, which traditionally earns a living through matchmaking, performing at weddings, and other roles that have been disrupted by the lockdown. The article also touches on the criticism of India's actions by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and the concerns of LGBTI activist Aijaz Ahmad Bund, who accuses India of 'pinkwashing' and calls for societal discourse for long-term change. The situation has left the transgender community in Kashmir more vulnerable, with limited income and a lack of support systems due to the internet shutdown.

In Indian military lockdown, every movement is tracked

08 Sep 2019  |  scmp.com
The article describes the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir following the revocation of Article 370, which granted the region special status. It details the protests against the Indian government's decision and the subsequent military lockdown, including the use of drones and surveillance to monitor and control the population. The Indian paramilitary forces are reported to have used tear gas and pellet guns on protesters, resulting in injuries. The article also touches on the increased surveillance measures such as CCTV cameras, vehicle checks, and the monitoring of hospitals to identify and detain protesters. It mentions the difficulties faced by journalists and the efforts of local doctors to treat the injured without exposing them to further risk of arrest.

Patients scrambling for medicines, doctors unable to work due to blackout and hospitals running out of resources.

06 Sep 2019  |  aljazeera.com
The article reports on the dire situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, particularly in the city of Srinagar, where a military lockdown and communications blackout have severely impacted healthcare services. Patients like Mohamad Shafi's son, who requires regular dialysis, are struggling to receive necessary medical treatments. Hospitals like the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science and the Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital are running out of resources, and patients are unable to afford or access medicines. The blackout has also affected doctors' ability to work efficiently, with some improvising by using megaphones or searching wards to find the required medical staff. The situation has led to delays in critical medical assistance, with some patients unable to reach hospitals for scheduled surgeries. The article highlights individual stories of those affected, including a patient who bled for weeks due to delayed surgery and an ambulance driver who has been working non-stop since the lockdown began.

Asrar Khan, 16, succumbs to injuries suffered by pellet gun and tear gas shells after nearly a month in hospital.

04 Sep 2019  |  aljazeera.com
Asrar Khan, a 16-year-old boy from Indian-administered Kashmir, died after being injured by a tear gas shell and pellets on August 6. Despite the Indian authorities' claims that he was hit by a stone, medical records and family testimonies suggest otherwise. Asrar was admitted to the Sher-i-Kashmir-Institute of Medical Science and battled for his life for nearly a month. His death led to tightened restrictions by Indian authorities, fearing protests. The region has been under a security lockdown since August 4, following the revocation of Article 370, which granted autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The police's denial of the cause of Asrar's injuries is contradicted by medical records accessed by Al Jazeera, and his family accuses the authorities of lying about the circumstances of his death.

Sense of fear deepens as Indian politicians stoke misogyny with talk of freedom to marry ‘white-skinned’ Kashmiri women.

21 Aug 2019  |  aljazeera.com
The article discusses the deepening sense of fear among Kashmiri women following the revocation of Kashmir's special status by the Indian government on August 5. The military lockdown and communication blackout have left residents, especially women, feeling vulnerable and isolated. Politicians from India's ruling BJP have made misogynistic remarks about marrying 'white-skinned' Kashmiri women, which has been criticized as a form of objectification and sexism. The article includes personal accounts from Kashmiri women who express their fears and the difficulties they face due to the increased military presence and the sexist comments. It also touches on historical allegations of sexual violence by Indian forces in Kashmir and the lack of justice for the victims. The article suggests that the BJP's rhetoric is aimed at appealing to its Hindu base by invoking historical grievances against Muslim rule in India.

Srinagar residents share details of how some locals are fighting for their lives amid lockdown.

09 Aug 2019  |  aljazeera.com
The article reports on the critical injuries sustained by civilians, including a 16-year-old boy named Asrar Khan, due to the actions of Indian paramilitary troops in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir. Following the revocation of Article 370, which granted special rights to the region, the Indian government imposed a military clampdown, cutting off communications and enforcing a strict curfew. The report details instances of violence against locals, including the use of pellet guns and tear gas by security forces. Hospitals like the Shere Kashmir Institute of Medical Science are treating multiple young victims with severe injuries. The communication blackout and restrictions on journalists have made it difficult to report the full extent of the casualties and injuries.

Kashmiris, soft targets after terror attacks, blame post-Pulwama media frenzy for unprecedented backlash-India News , Firstpost

20 Feb 2019  |  firstpost.com
Following a suicide attack in Pulwama, Kashmir, which killed 42 CRPF personnel, there has been a significant backlash against Kashmiris across India. In Srinagar, businesses closed early and a curfew was imposed in Jammu due to violence against Kashmiris. Kashmiri students and professionals in other states have faced threats and discrimination, prompting many to return home. The article highlights individual stories of Kashmiris facing hostility, including Zameer Ahmed Bhat, Abdul Hafeez, and others who have experienced fear and alienation. Political figures and the CRPF have called for the protection of Kashmiris, while social media and some public figures have advocated for a boycott of Kashmiri goods and services. The article suggests that the media's portrayal of the issue has exacerbated tensions and hindered dialogue, contributing to the alienation of Kashmiri youth and damaging long-standing relationships between Kashmiris and other Indians.

Alakhpura, the Indian village that raised a girls’ football team

09 Oct 2018  |  aljazeera.com
Alakhpura FC, an all-girl football team from the village of Alakhpura in Haryana, India, is making waves in national football, supported by the villagers' funding. The team practices twice daily under coach Sonika Bijaria and has achieved significant success, including winning the national inter-school competition Subroto Cup and reaching the semi-final of the Indian Women’s League. The team's success has altered the village's gender dynamics, encouraging parents to support their daughters in sports. The team was officially registered with the All India Football Federation last year, and villagers contribute financially as needed. The article highlights the team's journey, the community's involvement, and the impact of football on the village's girls, including the story of Sanju Yadav, an Alakhpura FC player who has represented the national team.

We speak to spouses of different faith backgrounds who have married, against the backdrop of rising obstinate attitudes.

25 Jun 2018  |  aljazeera.com
The article discusses the increasing difficulties faced by interfaith couples in India, highlighting the rise in 'honour killings' and the spread of the 'love jihad' conspiracy theory. It features personal stories from five couples of different religious backgrounds who have overcome societal and familial objections to their unions. The couples share their experiences of love, marriage, and the challenges they have faced in a society where interfaith relationships are becoming more dangerous. The article also touches on the legal framework in India that allows for interfaith marriages under the Special Marriage Act of 1954, despite the social obstacles that may arise.

India's marijuana entrepreneurs are now selling everything from rolling papers to roach tips

13 Jun 2018  |  qz.com
Kunaal Kapoor and Nikunj Ahuja, founders of SlimJim.in, started their e-commerce business selling smoking paraphernalia after initially creating colorfully designed roach tips. Despite cannabis being illegal in India, their business thrived by selling products like rolling papers, bongs, and seeds, which are not covered under the NDPS Act. Similarly, Sourabh Narsaria's Outontrip.com and Shaleen Mathur's Smokiiz have found success in the market. Mathur, after an initial failure, pivoted to manufacturing pre-rolled cones and signed a memorandum for hemp manufacturing. The article highlights the growing demand for smoking accessories in India and the legal nuances that allow such businesses to operate, despite the prohibition of cannabis itself.

On the sidelines of Jignesh Mevani's Meerut visit, reporter Adnan Bhat speaks to the activist-turned-politician who is a first time MLA from the Vadgam constituency in Gujarat. Mevani opens up about a range of subjects including plans for his constituency, adjusting to his new role as a legislator, views on the BJP and Modi government and the possibility of Dalit-Muslim unity.

How abandoned explosives kill and maim civilians in Kashmir

13 May 2018  |  How abandoned explosives kill and maim civilians in Kashmir
The article discusses the plight of civilians in Kashmir affected by explosive remnants of war, highlighting the case of Bhat, who lost his house and had family members injured due to uncleared explosives. Despite a compensation order from the State Human Rights Commission, Bhat's financial struggles continue. The article also touches on India's obligations under the UN Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War and contrasts the official stance of the Indian army with the ground reality in Kashmir, where civilians, especially children, are at risk from abandoned explosives. The case of Junaid Ahmed Dar, a 12-year-old killed by an explosive while playing, is also mentioned, underscoring the human cost of the conflict and the negligence in clearing explosive hazards.

India’s fiercest footballing rivalry appears to be under threat from the country’s bold new Super League experiment.

26 Apr 2018  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the impact of the Indian Super League (ISL) on India's historic football clubs, East Bengal Football Club and Mohun Bagan AC, particularly in the context of the Kolkata derby. The ISL, a franchise-based football tournament, has gained prominence over the traditional I-League, where the historic clubs play. The ISL's shorter season, celebrity ownership, and significant investment have overshadowed the I-League, causing concerns for the future of clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. Negotiations for these clubs to join the ISL have stalled due to financial and logistical disagreements. The article also touches on the history of the clubs, their significance in Indian football, and the cultural impact of their rivalry. The All India Football Federation, along with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation, is under pressure to find a solution that integrates the legacy of the historic clubs with the commercial success of the ISL.

Burhan Wani: The Face of Kashmir’s New Insurgency

09 Jul 2017  |  thequint.com
The article discusses the events surrounding the first death anniversary of Burhan Wani, a militant commander in Kashmir. His death had previously sparked widespread unrest in the region. Anticipating further trouble on the anniversary, separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik, and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called for a strike and a rally, while the United Jihad Council announced a week-long programme of shutdowns. However, the UJC scaled back their plans in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to avoid undermining the separatist leadership in the Valley. Despite a likely clampdown, many young men from south Kashmir attempted to reach Tral early to participate in the commemoration.

‘GST Delayed Due to Debate on Details,’ Says J&K Min Haseeb Drabu

05 Jul 2017  |  thequint.com
Jammu and Kashmir's Assembly adopted the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Wednesday, following a resolution moved by the state's Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu. The resolution, which was adopted by a voice vote, seeks a presidential order to ensure the state's special status and exclusive taxation powers are maintained. The adoption comes after two days of debate and despite opposition from political parties such as the National Conference, the Congress, the CPI(M), and an Independent MLA, who were against the implementation of GST in its current form.

Kashmir Sees Violence Daily, But DSP Ayub’s Lynching Was Madness

25 Jun 2017  |  thequint.com
The journalist witnessed a horrific incident in downtown Srinagar where a man was lynched by an angry mob. The victim's body was then mistreated and left on the street. The writer anticipates criticism and labels from readers, acknowledging that some will see the account as apologetic or as an attempt to generalize the actions of a few to an entire community. The journalist stresses the importance of relying on direct observation and rejects the notion of justifying the violence, describing the event as 'indefensible.'

A Kashmir Evening Disturbed: Memories of Conflict

17 Jun 2017  |  business-standard.com
The article recounts a personal experience of the author during a typically warm July evening in Kashmir, specifically in the Zaldagar area of downtown Srinagar. The author was around five years old at the time and was playing with cousins outside under a chinar tree when gunfire was heard. The children were quickly brought inside by the author's uncle, and the family gathered in the kitchen, uncertain of the situation. The article also mentions a clash involving students throwing stones at police amid heavy tear gas near SP college in the vicinity of Lal Chowk in Srinagar. The full story is available only to subscribers of BS Premium.

I Want to Make Kashmir a Happy Place: Tassaduq Mufti on Bypolls

04 Apr 2017  |  thequint.com
Tassaduq Mufti, the youngest sibling of the Mufti family and the only son of the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, is stepping into the political arena. He is contesting the Anantnag bypoll scheduled for April 12, which could mark the beginning of his political career. Despite this move, Tassaduq, who is also the brother of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has not announced any plans to abandon his established career as a cinematographer in Bollywood.

Clipped Wings - Kindle Magazine

11 Jun 2013  |  kindlemag.in
The article discusses the plight of Kashmiri citizens like Barket Ullah Shan, who are denied passports due to their family's alleged past involvement with militants or separatists. Despite Barket's personal history of non-involvement and his aspirations to work abroad to support his family, he is unable to obtain a passport because of his late uncle's association with Hizbul Mijahideen. The article highlights the existence of a security index or blacklist containing 60,000 Kashmiri families barred from receiving passports, as acknowledged by the state's Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah. Human rights activist and lawyer Parvez Imroz comments on the undemocratic nature of this issue, which affects students and workers wishing to go abroad. The article also contrasts the situation of ordinary citizens with separatist leaders, who receive waivers and security clearances to travel overseas.
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