‘Kehwa Talk’ Celebrates its First Anniversary; CRDP Releases ‘Breaking Mazes’



KL Image courtesy: Javed Dar

On the New Year eve, a Srinagar based ‘think-tank’ – Centre for Research and  Development Policy (CRDP) released a book ‘Breaking Mazes’ on its first anniversary in a function held at Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary School here.

 ‘Kehwa Talk’, a CRDP initiative, is held every fortnight wherein the think-tank invites a guest speaker who talks on a range of issues concerning Kashmir.

‘Breaking Mazes’ is an anthology of ‘Kehwa Talks’ edited by Dr Peer Ghulam Nabi Suhail. Suhail, a Development Policy expert is director CRDP. He studied MA and PhD in China and has taught in various Chinese and Indian universities.

It contains eight sections on varied subjects that include religious nationalism, forgotten political histories of Muslims in Jammu, gradual erosion of Jammu and Kashmir constitution, Indus Waters Treaty and hydropower politics, employing conflict for (un)employment, language and identity question in Kashmir, changing role of women in Kashmir, and of trauma and sufferings in Kashmir.

Contributing authors include Muhammad Maroof Shah, Dr Dibyesh Anand, Zafar Choudhary, PG Rasool, Nyla Ali Khan, Gowhar Geelani, Gulshan Majeed, Mona Bhan, Mohammad Shafi Pandith, Nissar Ali, Ajaz Ul Haque, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Zareef Ahmad Zareef, Riyaz Masroor, Subaya Yasmeen, Mushtaq Margoob and Dr Arshad Hussain.

Breaking Mazes

The book launch was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Loss of Social Spaces: Self-Censorship or State Control’.

While the session was moderated by Dr Peer Ghulam Nabi Suhail, Dr Dibyesh Anand, Head of Department of Politics and International Relations at Westminster University, London; Prof Siddiq Wahid Radhu, Intellectual and former vice-chancellor of Islamic University of Science & Technology (IUST); Dr Shah Faesal, Director Education Jammu & Kashmir; Riyaz Masroor, Srinagar based BBC Correspondent; and Shakeel Qalandar, Kashmir’s well-known businessman were the Panellists.

Prof Siddiq Wahid, an acclaimed academic, said that it was the “business of the State” to limit spaces but “resistance to that comes in many forms and it flows like a river”.

“It is our job, the job of the civil society to constantly challenge the state to create spaces for social and intellectual debate,” Prof Wahid said.

For Shah Faesal the “state does allow space” for social and intellectual debates, but in “situations that are inimical to law and order the state imposes certain restrictions to maintain peace”.

Dr Dibyesh Anand was of the view that in regions like Kashmir the “state often uses democracy as a tool to deny democratic space for dissent”.

‘Breaking Mazes’ is a 223-page book published by Ali Mohammad & Sons available in the market for INR 200.=

Kehwa Talk

Dr Peer Ghulam Nabi Suhail, Kehwa Talk’s founder and Director of Centre for Research and Development Policy (CRDP) said he was indebted to all friends and acquaintance because of whom Kehwa Talk became a reality and achieved grand success.

“Kehwa Talk, as you know is now one year old. We started our first Kehwa Talk session on 6th December 2014 and with your support we are moving ahead, by taking baby steps, towards our mission of creating social and intellectual spaces in Kashmir,” Suhail said.

‘Kehwa Talk’ is an initiative to reclaim lost social and intellectual spaces in Kashmir.

Participants included Kashmir’s revered satirist-poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef, theatre director Mohammad Amin Bhat, Dr Fozia, Brij Nath Betab, journalists Nazir Masoodi, Naseer Ganai, Peerzada Ashiq, Gowhar Geelani, Basharat Masood, Shuja ul Haq, Idhrees Lone, Saima Bhat besides many others like Raashid Maqbool, Samaan Latif, K Asif, Mubashir Hassan, Heena Muzaffar.


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