Though the boys and the cops engaged in an intensely long battle in the sprawling Eidgah, cameras were recording a sweet photo-op in the lawns of Hazratbal, home to the holy relic. After they offered their Eid prayers in the first row with the security detail, as usual, Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed and his predecessor Omar Abdullah shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Belonging to two different generations, the two politicians are fierce political opponents who work as each other as fault finders. That was perhaps why both the leaders brushed aside the suggestions coming in wake of fractured verdict in 2014 that they should get closer and form the government. But the handshake for cameras sounded an apt congratulation for young Omar for managing the highest ever followers on his twitter, the micro-blogging social website. Now Omar has 1004004 followers which is more than 1000693 votes his party polled in the state in 2014!
Journalist Imtiaz Bakshi, who died in Press Colony, on May 15 has now University of Kashmir’s German Language centre in his name. It will now be called Bakshi Imtiyaz Alam Summer Institute of Foreign Languages (BIASIFL). The centre has launched an eight-week course for learning German and 40 students have enrolled already. The course is sponsored by his elder sister Prof Tasneem Bakshi Rosner, who lives in US. Bakshi, an ace copy-writer, had taught German language at the University of Kashmir’s Institute of Foreign Languages and Tourism department, earlier.
The never-say-die spirit of Dr Farooq Abdullah was on display when he lost his throne as head of J&K Cricket Association to his erstwhile friend’s son, Imran Raza Ansari, state’s sports minister – a position he held for 35 years. As the new body of the scam-ridden Association elected Ansari, Dr Abdullah approached an excise magistrate in Jammu to get a stay order. Once out, it conveyed Dr Abdullah is still in fighting mode. To boost this image, he actually went to the office of the association the next day and thundered in a press conference. He even sent an application for registration of an FIR. The fact is Dr Abdullah is unlikely to have any sort of control over the body, which has been more in news for money and less for the sport. In anticipation of the outcome of the results, Cricket association has new bank account and new signatories! Interestingly, however, the new body has elected Mehboob Iqbal to one position despite the fact that he is one of the accused in the case.
Scripts seem to have gone terribly wrong. After shooting Fitoor in Srinagar for many months, the lady Rekha felt Director Abhishek Kapoor was showing her much older than she is! She walked away forcing the producer to cancel all the recordings and start afresh from the scratch by replacing Rekha with Tabu. He finally changed the sets. Now he will shoot in Warsaw, Poland! The film is a Hindi adaptation of Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations and stars Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgan and Aditya Raj Kapoor. Kashmir’s loss is Warsaw gain.
Northern Command happily stated that the infiltration has gone down. Against 97 in 2013 and 65 in 2014, Lt Gen D S Hooda said there were not many in 2015. Most of the militants who cross over are killed soon after – 100 in 2013, 150 in 2014 and 40 in 2015. But the General did not talk of ex-filtration, a process of people from here crossing for the other side. A few days later, it was revealed that 22 students of Army’s Goodwill School in Badkote Handwara had left the school on July 6 and were on way to PaK for arms training. Students of eighth and ninth standard, they were actually intercepted when they were taking a bath at Watsar. A decision of their own, they told cops that they took help from Google maps. The anecdote has vindicated the debate that streets have more influence on young minds than schools.
They broke the bread together at a breakfast in the last week of Ramzan. Many people thought the Kashmir separatists might move beyond the issue based “unity” especially after Geelani rejected the Pak embassy invite for an Eid Milan. Mirwaiz kept his schedule. Now when he is back with the reassurance that Islamabad will continue the moral, diplomatic and the political support, it really would have meant a loss had he skipped the meet. Kashmir would have missed this lovely snap too.
On the eve of Eid, it was a rare polar convergence at Jammu where Prime Minister Modi, his finance minister Arun Jaitley, Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed and his predecessor Ghulam Nabi Azad attended the birth centenary celebrations of veteran Congressman Girdari Lal Dogra. His daughter Sangheeta is India’s Mrs Finance Minister and top NC leaders are custodians of his Samadhi. Modi insisted that he does not believe in dividing legacy and regardless of the ideologies, people have worked for the country. Dogra, a lawyer from Kathua, entered politics and became the finance minister who has the record of presenting 27 budgets to the state assembly. He had died on November 27, 1987. Modi, however, raked up a controversy by saying that people are known by the son-in-laws, these days (a reference to Robert Vadra) while explaining that Dogra and Jaitely were from different political ideologies and neither of the two is known for each other.
In his recent two day visit, NSA Ajit Doval talked less and heard more. After all he needed lot of input for framing agenda of the meeting with his Pakistani counterpart. He sounds reassured that the ISIS flags being waived by some boys do not essentially means the Middle East mess is extended to Kashmir but was concerned over homegrown militancy. He had his own set of suggestions for the security grid for improving the situation. He had a series of meeting reassuring the government that Delhi is willing to manage the state’s issues on priority. But the man sitting at the pyramid of India’s security set up wants the right-wing BJP in the state not to exhibit itself immaturely. Doval had detailed separate meetings with both Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister. If people privy of some developments are to be believed, the man from Delhi wants BJP to focus on governance rather than wearing the ideological badges and showing desperation that they be seen.