MOST COMMENTED

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...

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...

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

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 stories - “dad’s visit to Israel” - when a...

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...

The Curious Case of Authoritarianism, Digital Media & Pseudoscience

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...

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...

Contextualising prejudice within its social and political settings; explaining why and how Pakistanis demonise Mirpuris

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 British Azad Kashmiris, otherwise less popularly known as the Kashmiris, but selectively as the Mirpuris.   For...

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

It’s ‘Azad’ - 'Free'. "Okay!?" "It's Azad Kashmir!" "Free!" This is Pakistan’s official stance on 'Azad' Jammu & Kashmir. But what is 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...

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's the place from where our forebears originated, before...

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, antisemitism has become so common these days (I’m speaking of hatred against Jews, and not criticism against Israel), that you’ve probably come across multiple...

How Mirpuris were invented by ethnonationalists opposed to Kashmir’s Independence

People everywhere want to learn something about their past. I did too. I was born in the UK. The first member of my direct family to come here was my maternal grandad. He was a veteran of the British Indian Army. Terms can be...

The Feudalism of the Western Himalaya and Myths of Caste Identities

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting with some local guys consuming 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 as...

Muslim Ummah Syndrome and Identity Politics

Some years ago, Saudi Arabia proscribed its male citizens from marrying the citizens of four nationalities. Pakistanis were included on this list. The Monarchy had its reasons, no doubt, good or bad; the preponderance of such marriages was given as the primary reason. Apparently, marriages...

A Message to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

Dear Pakistan Occupied Kashmiris I speak to you through this medium as a brother from Indian Occupied Kashmir. I speak to you for our shared homeland, history, and continuous struggle against oppression and aggression. We are the children of hills and mountains. We fought collectively...

Oh Kashmir, who did you offend!?

Oh Jammu & Kashmir, what was your crime? Who did you offend that they long to punish you? Are you not a people, old as the nations of the world, older than the straight borders of colonial maps? Nay, nay, you are not a nation!...

Reconciliation for divided Jammu & Kashmir; working towards peace

video
At some point in the not too distant future, Commander Farooq of Mong and Dr Karan Singh, son of the last Dogra Jamwal Rajput ruler of Jammu & Kashmir, could (and should) meet in Mong, auspices of the people of “Azad” Jammu & Kashmir. This...

India, Pakistan, and “Kashmir” – the Economist explains…!

This is how the Economist explains the "Kashmir" conflict using the colonial label of 'Hindus' and 'Muslims' - these are 'constructed labels' however common-sense they seem to us today! There is a huge scholarly body of knowledge that demonstrates that before the emergence of...

Reclaiming AJK For Her People [Video Segment]

video
EXCERPT from "The Evolution of AJK Public Agency" "Before arriving here, I can confidently assert that I was neither a patriot, nor a nationalist or even a democrat. I was a journalist working in various conflict hotspots around the globe (Iraq and Afghanistan), had regular...

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...

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

video
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...

What are cultural spheres?

The term ‘cultural sphere‘ can be used in different contexts. At the core of the idea is the notion that a culture can be shared between people living in a clearly demarcated territory. There are three ingredients that I would like to explore in this...