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Ummah Syndrome and Modern Myths

Some years ago, Saudi Arabia proscribed its male citizens from marrying the citizens of four nationalities, Pakistanis included. No doubt the government had its reasons, good or bad; the preponderance of such marriages was given as the primary reason. Apparently such marriage contracts were an...

Fake News, False Narratives and Identity Politics, Silencing Dissent through Digital Media and Search Engine Manipulation

I’ve said on this site, at various places, that Digital Media particularly through interactive platforms like Wikipedia and Social Media, are vehicles of disinformation and political propaganda. Whatever the nature of an online conversation, be it a family’s travel vlogs, pictures, fashion tips, food...

Ethnic tokenism in electoral politics and the laws of unintended consequences

There was a time when you could walk into any local Labour Party branch meeting in the densely populated Pakistani constituency wards of England, and you would realise that something was breathtakingly afoot. The room would be overcrowded. Almost entirely male-dominated with the usual...

Propaganda and Digital Media; the curious case of Authoritarianism and Online Bullshit

Don't trust everything you read online. You'll be duped into believing utter tosh. This holds true for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Had it not been for authoritarianism and control freaks, these spaces would have been wonderful places to learn facts and create vibrant friendships. Sadly,...

The curious case of the anecdote becoming narrative

Internalising the negative perceptions of out-group members is not proof that there’s something inherently wrong with your in-group identity. This has happened to lots of people who have been ‘othered’ through a combination of factors that include inaccurate media portrayals, native informants and unjust social...

Appraising Mirpur’s documented history, the story of Kashmir before and after 1846

Mirpur was the name of an historical settlement in the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir (1846 – 1947), variably known as Kashmir State, Jammu Kingdom and/or the Dogra Raj. The name Mirpur postdates the principality’s alleged founding in the 1600s. Centuries later, the...

Pakistan’s Article 370 Delusions; the “Azad” State that is not “Free”!

It’s ‘Azad’ - 'Free'. "Okay!?" "It's Azad!" "Free!" This is Pakistan’s official stance on 'Azad' Jammu & Kashmir. But what is Azad Kashmir ‘free’ of? According to the Pakistani state-enforced narrative, Azad Kashmiris are free from Indian tyranny. Women aren’t being raped by Indian soldiers, and by ‘Indian’ they mean non-Muslim...

Understanding Disinformation and Propaganda on Kashmir

Those who argue that Kashmir is the Valley of Kashmir and that Kashmiris are the ethnic Kashmiris of the Valley are engaged in deliberate disinformation. These sinister interests want you to think that they are making ethnolinguistic claims about the people we call Kashmiris, but...

Whose “Kashmir” is it? Conflict & Territorial Claims; the abuse of myths

As in my earlier post on Israel and competing myths of exclusive origin, Kashmir serves as a good example of national myths and territorial claims. But unlike Israel, Kashmir has a special place for us. It is the place from where our forebears originated,...

Why do anti-Semites say “Israeli Jews” are not “real Jews?”

You must have heard the claim that modern-day 'Israel' is a country with another people's language and religion? If you haven't, you're probably living in some idyllic wilderness (that's a good thing), and you can skip this post. If you have, anti-semitic propaganda has become...

The Feudalism of the Western Himalaya; Patronage, Caste Myths and Colonialism

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting with some local guys as they consumed copious amounts of alcohol to the backdrop of a varied playlist, and it dawned upon me that my opposite number were unaware of the ‘caste-titles’ they were fondly using...

The Dilemma of ‘A’JK State; trying to understand its cogs and bolts

From Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's search for modern-day governance in 2018 to the Maharajah's dream of a neutral state in 1947. How can we connect the sham democracy of AJK with our diaspora living in a mature democracy in the UK. DAY 47 #ajk #AjkMagayAzadi Quote of the Day “It...

Colonial myth making and the Martial Races

Heather Streets, author of "Martial Races; the military, race and masculinity in British imperial culture, 1857 - 1914" said, "...the savage representations of masculinity that lay at the heart of martial race ideology* were a crucial imaginative site upon which Anglo-Indian military elites responded to,...

Protected: Contextualising prejudice within its social and political settings; the phenomenon of “othering”

The following post was updated 30 October 2020 https://youtu.be/97IES3jFOg0 There comes a point for members of a community to stand up and be heard. And that time has now come for members of our community, the British-Pahari community, otherwise less popularly known as the 'Azad' Kashmiris, but...

Race fallacy and social relationships

Steven Garner, author of "Racism, an Introduction" said, "'Race' is a fiction that we turn into a social reality every day of our lives. It lies at the heart of the complex, historical and multifaceted sets of social relationships to which we attach the label...

A quiet triumph for humanity

Politics and politicians herd us like sheep into a protective ‘national’ net that restricts and exploits us rather than allow us to utilise our strengths. It has now been nearly three months since my naani (maternal grandmother) reunited with her brother and sister. They were...

Reclaiming Azad Jammu Kashmir For Her People

The Evolution of AJK Public Agency Citizen’s Opinion + Citizen’s Resources = Citizen’s Control of Public Policy The most important aspect of modern-day governance is a consensus on public narrative, which is derived from an orderly aggregate of genuine public opinion. As the citizens of Azad Jammu...

The Importance of Cultural History; Kashmir – a Fragmented Land

The immediate thoughts which sprung to mind when faced with the word ‘history’ were recollections of sitting in a high school classroom making notes on British monarchs. However, it is only after following the dictation of the National Curriculum, I found myself with a...

I’m a person who can talk

I can dance, I can sing I only do my thing I can run, I can hide I take myself with pride Because I only have one life Sometimes I’m organised, sometimes I’m just a mess, and I know I will always try my very best Shout out your opinions to me Cuz...

Who are Azad Kashmiris? Are they Pakistanis, Kashmiris, or Occupied Indians?

Anonymous Quote “They’re fighting over Kashmir! One way to win this fight is by splitting the people into different groups. When people are divided, or adopt identities of neighbouring people naively, the occupiers win. Indians and Pakistanis celebrate their own unity. But Jammu & Kashmir...