Learning the difference between Group Identities and Identity Politics

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...

A Message from Kashmir

Dear British Paharis 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 against...

The Solitary Journeyman

The needle has struck, the hour has come, and the open road unwinds. With a heavy heart,  I place my soul’s keeping  into nature’s lair for the journey ahead. Of human depredation, her foibles, her impatience, I know her...

Are Azad Kashmiris bonafide Pakistanis?

What's the difference between 'Azad Kashmir' and Pakistan? Mainland Pakistanis By the term, ‘mainland Pakistanis’, I am strictly referring to Pakistanis from areas that constitutionally make up the territory of Pakistan. I am not speaking of nationality laws that apply to the citizens of Pakistan, but...

Reconciliation for divided Jammu & Kashmir; working towards peace

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...

What’s in a name? A brief look into place-names of the Pahar

Unknown (or often untold) stories live on in the names of villages and towns in the Pahar region of Jammu & Kashmir. Variably known as the 'Pahari Ilaqah', or the 'Pir Panjal' region, this area has a rich cultural heritage. The names of our...

Social media is destroying young people’s lives

Meedi Mydi Media Mo...! Meedi Mydi Media Mo I scour the pages of friends and foe Night and day, a restless soul I cascade into a virtual hole  Betwixt my Egyptian sheets My body aches, my eyes bulge  Fingers scaling, skin peeling My head vibrates, ping pong po   I voyageur into a universe...

Protected: The Mirpuri “Villain” of the Pakistani Imagination

There comes a point for members of any community to stand up and be heard. And that time has come for members of my community, the British-Pahari community otherwise known incorrectly as the ‘Mirpuris’. For far too long, our absence from the discourse on...

Protected: Fleeing poverty and becoming poorer; the truth of dispossession

Recently, given my father’s imminent demise, he is terminally ill with leukaemia, I started to ask him about his life in the land of his native birth, erstwhile Jammu, now split between India and Pakistan. I was quite startled about his individual story of...

What exactly is “cultural heritage”?

What do we mean by the term ‘cultural heritage’? For my British-Pahari readers, I have compiled a series of short posts to educate them about their cultural heritage, as a means of showing them that modern identities have never been around since time immemorial. Identities...