Articles by our Charkha-Sanjoy Ghose Fellows

Refugees in their own country

By Khursheed Wani

On the face of it, this small two-storey tin-roofed structure in central Kashmir's Budgam town is like any home constructed by a white-collar Government employee for his family. Inside, five families are huddled up in eight small rooms. Gloom is writ large on everyone's face.

In one of the rooms, a wrinkled bed-ridden woman is gazing at medicines placed alongside her head. In another room, a young lady is breast-feeding her newborn child. On the terrace, septuagenarians Nand Lal Koul and Brij Nath Padyay are seated on two ramshackle chairs, sharing with each other the memoirs of the past and deliberating on the bleakness of future. more...

Homeless in their home

By Khursheed Wani

More than a hundred workmen - masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and labourers are working overtime in this small hamlet to give finishing touch to a cluster of buildings, which are all set to create history in the trouble torn Kashmir Valley.

These residential structures would be the abode of displaced Kashmiri Pandits who have volunteered to return to their birthplace after 15 years of migration. Officials say that as many as 1,600 Pandit families have formally approached the Government for returning to their homeland. They say that first batch of them would be arriving by June-end to be accommodated at Sheikhpora. more...

Development Conflicts Within State
Development Versus People Of Gurez Valley

By Pradeep Dutta

WHETHER it is coming of a large hydroelectric dam, a thermal power plant or a nuclear reactor, the environment-development conflict follows a standard pattern. First the government in its role of developer approves a mega project to supply infrastructural inputs electricity, water, transport etc. In the process they forget, or ignore, or suppress, crucial side effects and environmental impacts. When socially conscious citizens, independent experts and civic groups highlight its negative consequences, soon a major battle develops. On one side, there are environmental agitations, public interest litigations and political movements opposing the project. And on the other side are the interested politicians, the government agencies and the industrial-commercial/contractor lobbies pushing for project. more...

Internal Dynamics Among States: Another Factor Contributing To J-Ks Waterwoes

By Pradeep Dutta

Besides the Kashmir issue, the internal dynamics among states constitute a major chunk of the debate on water sharing. The grievances of certain provinces/ states, and disputes between them e.g. Punjab and Sindh in Pakistan over Indus waters, and similar rows among Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan over water sharing manifest the level and scope of the greater dispute.

As per experts the Punjab and Haryana (in India), the two lower riparian states, with nearly 20 million acres of cultivable land, are going to face a crunch over water in the next five to ten years. This is the reason that Indian Punjab last year unilaterally annulled the water treaties with neighbouring states and refused to build key canals to share resources. more...

Dependent on the Army - Is this a bubble economy?
Uncertain nature of Army affects sustainability in Ladakh

By Tsewang Rigzin

The issue of sustainable development is much talked about today in Ladakh. Several governmental and non-governmental organizations are striving to achieve self-reliance in the next 20 years in this region. Ladakh had been a self-reliant nation for centuries, but processes of modernisation, the tourism industry, the Army and subsidised rations in the last few decades have overwhelmed this sustainability. The deployment of the Army for the last five decades in the region has gone through several stages, and the Army has touched every aspect of Ladakhs life, economy, employment and the environment. more...

Forces in the fragile ecology
Indian Army in a delicate high altitude environment

By Tsewang Rigzin

Environmentalists and eco-concerned people fear that Ladakh's fragile ecology faces many threats, particularly from certain military activities. Ladakhi culture has always laid stress on keeping water clean, and as a result the streams of Ladakh are normally much cleaner than those in the rest of India. However, today while the Army is attempting to focus toward alternative sources of energy, many of its activities has had a rather hostile affect on its environment. more...

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