For all these days, the Haj House is a colourful moasaic during mornings as hundreds of Muslims are escorted to airport for their Mecca Mukarama pilgrimage. For the families accompanying them, this brief gathering is a huge intercation to see people they might have never seen before. They diplay their affection and love for the members leaving for brief 3-week Hajj: some cry and create scenes, some beg the pilgrims to pray for them at Kaaba and many repeat the advises their elders must follow. Off the Hajj House, however, hundreds avail private srvices to ensure their pilgrimage even if costly is soley funded by their earnings.
India and Pakistan fought pitched gun-battles with each other and killed many Kashmiris straddling the LoC. Then they fought in UN. And finally they are resuming some contact at NSA level next week. Islamabad had invited separatists for consultations and it triggered tensions. State government, at first seemed to have helped them both but eventually it took dramatic turn with separatists being released within two hours of the detention on Thursday, days before NSA talks. Later, government termed it ‘communication gap’.
Kashmir had already Bangladesh, now it has a mosque in memory of General Zia-ul-Haq, the Pakistan dictator who was killed in an air crash. Earlier called Ganai Masjid, the residents of Jamalata locality renamed it in the name of Pakistani dictator as it was being reconstructed when his aircraft was hit by a projectile in 1988. The mosque had originally been built by Jamal-ud-din Madni.
After staying away from public for more than a quarter, ruling party president Mehbooba Mufti was back in limelight. There were two instances that made her newsy last week. First, when she shared stage on August 15 with her arch rival and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and was caught sharing a smile. This photo went viral and invited bricks and bouquets, praise and ridicule. The second was pretty serious. She went to South Kashmir and told a gathering that Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed is not “in his best of the health”. She asked them to pray for him.
Famous Mahatta Studio that has preserved its photo collection for a long time has turned 100 and the third generation is busy preparing an exhibition. The studio started by A N Mehta (they have changed to Mahatta because Europeans cannot pronounce Mehta) in 1915 had a branch in Rawalpandi in 1946 and in Cannaught Place (Delhi) in 1948. To flaunt their century, Mahattas’ have scanned three lakh negatives and created 3000 positives. Now they are exhibiting only 300 in the ongoing exhibition in the Twin Art Gallery at IGNCA.
This man is Dr Viroopaksha V Jaddipal, an associate professor in Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, and a recipient of Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman announced by the President for young scholars in Sanskrit. For this Sanskrit scholar from Karnataka, UGC has granted him Rs 7.11 lakh to study Kashmiri scholars Prakasavarsa (9th Century) and Jonaraja (14th Century). But it is his assertion that makes him news. He says Rama Pandita’s 1861 treatise Kashmira Theertha Sangraha lists 72 Theertha Kshetras in Kashmir which need to be revived. How many yatras can Kashmir afford?
B B CANT
Sixteen years after he was killed in a Fidayeen attack on November 3, 1999 in his B B Cant office, Army instituted an award in the name of PRO Major P Purushottam, one of the finest public relations man the force has ever given to Kashmir. The trophy unveiled by outgoing Corps commander Lt Gen Subrata Saha was awarded to Army Goodwill School, Wuzur, in North Kashmir. His widow Lt Col (retd) Valsa Purushottam was the chief guest of the function.
Rs 50 Cr is the amount that state government will pay as premium under Asra to the group life and medical insurance of nearly 114 thousand destitute in J&K
Of the 416 kanal state land, J&K Sainik Board wants 173 kanals for a Sainik Colony. Though 6000 ex-servicemen have applied for the plots, J&K government says it is not coming up