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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 group identity intersects with a contested territory, say “Palestine” (native lands, indigenous peoples and self-determination...
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 suspects, a few white men exuding a sense of importance. There would be an unequal...
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, that is no longer the case. In the past,...
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 relations. If you belong to a group that is being described negatively by writers, social...
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 size of Mirpur expanded beyond its original limits to include areas (Rajghan) with much older...
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 far too long, our absence from the discourse on all things “British-Pakistani”, “British-Muslim”, “British-Asian”, has...
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 soldiers, without failing to mention that there are an ample amount of Muslims in the...
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 they are actually making political claims about the territory we call Kashmir. Historically, Kashmir was larger...
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 we became a settled community in the UK. Like Israel it is a contested piece...
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 versions of the claim without even realising it. The idea is a simple one; our...
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 misleading, so I should point out that he was from the erstwhile Kashmir State, and...
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 an address of endearment. “Chaudhry” this, “Rajah” that, these were the sorts of titles thrown about...
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 were an automatic gateway of conferring Saudi citizenship on foreign nationals – women to be...
Pakistan we are told was created for Muslims in 1947. The chap credited for the creation of Pakistan, Mr Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was the grandson of a Hindu convert to a heterodox sect of Islam, not considered Muslim by mainstream Sunnis and Shias. We know he wasn’t an observant Muslim. Far be it for any of us to tell...
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Preliminary questions to think about…? How does propaganda work? General Context? How does propaganda work in Kashmir? Specific Context? Who benefits from propaganda? How do some people, unwittingly, spread the propaganda even when the propaganda has been designed to undermine their interests? What is messaging (images, words, ideas), and is it different from propaganda? How does Social Media aid...
I was asked by the human rights activist, Tanveer Ahmed, to offer my thoughts on the failures of Pro-Independence Azad Kashmiris to prosecute a freedom struggle against the Pakistani State, within the context of the Kashmir Conflict. This is a very broad area to cover, and I am only able to offer my insights about British-born Azad Kashmiris and...
Apparently, if you read the Guardian, Britain is a racist society. White writers aren’t saying this, BME writers are, because the leftwing Guardian doesn't do divisive politics, it just does identity politics, which needs the right identities to express the ubiquitous grievances. Where there are grievances, there are opportunists. And so, the narrative follows its course across Britain’s woke-conscious communities,...
Bibi and Deedee are two characters that I hope my fellow travellers on the path of enlightenment, and by that I mean students of the English language and Creative Writing, can help develop into storytelling. Without getting into debates about what constitutes a story, philosophically speaking, or resorting back to a literary tradition that can produce Greek Tragedy, I...
Meedi Mydi Media "Mo"I scour the pages of friends and foeNight and day, a restless soulI cascade into a virtual hole Betwixt my Egyptian sheetsMy body aches, my eyes bulge Fingers scaling, skin peelingMy head vibrates, ping pong po   I voyageur into a universe of unknownsA world of pixels, a dream of fictionsI swipe...
Having been born and raised in the UK, whilst ascribed an ethnic minority status from birth, I discovered that identities are complicated things. Being ascribed a group identity is one thing, but not feeling part of it is another thing altogether. We can have multiple identities, belonging to multiple groups, with our legs and arms in different camps. Experts have...

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