Saturday, 11 July 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 193 of 2020


Preparing to leave Dadyaal for my cycle ride from Chamb (in tehsil Barnaala where AJK begins in the South) to Sharda (where AJK ends in the North).

I'll also be doing a lot of work on Google Maps on this particular tour, something that I've regrettably not given any attention to in all my previous tours.


Just as we brought you the Upper Jhelum Water Canal Agreement we hereby bring you the Gilgit Lease Agreement between the British Indian Empire and the State of Jammu & Kashmir:

Any discernible reader will gauge the difference in equation of balance between pre 47 governance in J & K under an autocracy and the despicable terms under which governance operates here post 1947, despite us supposedly living in the modern democratic age. In the case of AJK and GB we don't even get to see an agreement, let alone agree terms safeguarding our interests.


Friday, 10 July 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 192 of 2020


There is always a lot brewing under the surface of public life in AJK but the list of public interest issues are rapidly piling up, almost in sync with the summer heat. The governing structure remains archaic as does a lot of the public activism confronting it.

The archaic governing structure persists because self interest in the local population remains dominant over public interest.

That is not entirely true of the whole population and an increasingly levelling 'playing field' provided by communications technology is giving bold armour to citizens to sway towards public interest.

The number of politicians, activists, journalists and even young doctors of all political persuasion encountering threats to their existence is rising too. This is a sign that the Pakistani State is hurtling towards a fiasco in Jammu Kashmir & Allied.

It doesn't want to change its opaque and obfuscating approach to this territory.

Threatening the people of this territory to 'fall in line' with the Pakistani State's myopic and utterly selfish approach is likely to incense and embolden the local people even more.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 191 of 2020


For those of you who get to see me working (file work indoors or public activism outdoors) will quite easily relate to how I operate.

Of late, I have spent many a day 'cooked up' in my room in Dadyaal, deep in file work. I have a ceiling fan in this room but when the sun breaks in I sweat profusely. The heat of the machines I'm working with only compound the problem!

Furthermore, I have to either sit on a hard plastic chair to work or on a soft sofa (whose foam gives way to its rough wooden structure underneath within a matter of minutes). Yes, this doesn't say much for the quality of craftsmanship in this territory but that is a whole topic in itself. Alternatively, I can can sit cross legged on my bed which is made of rope and thus is more suited to lying down rather than sitting down!

My major shortcoming throughout the past 15 years and 3 months of operating here is that I've spent a considerable amount of time outside in field work or simply put, activism. If that was blended or if half that time was spent on file work I would have had a much more effective impact on this society. 

One should only consume or generate as much information as one can manage, organise and categorise.

Since the global pandemic, I've been able to begin addressing this shortcoming.

Meanwhile, on the accounts front (public funding) I had made a conscious decision on the 10th of March this year to stop directly canvassing for public funding of public interest work. I had been very active - at times - in seeking public funds directly from the public since 2014. However, I made this decision in Hajeera on that day as I feel my work has matured to that level in our society.

The onus must now lie on the public to take initiatives for public funding. The initiative taken by the public of Hajeera that day gave me the necessary confidence to make that decision.

I don't regret it.


Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 190 of 2020


As part of my attempts to deliver public interest output in AJK, I do periodically assess my performance and introspect. Although it isn't necessary that a higher viewership indicates better content but we obtain an indication of our reach and are also able to identify weaknesses which need addressing. 

We began our weekly Urdu programme on JKTV (every Sunday at 9pm to 10pm AJK time) on the 19th of April and haven't broken our trend yet. We neither intend to either, at least not until I leave this world. Indeed, I hope someone can continue with it thereafter too.

We compiled some viewership stats after the first 6 programmes and now that we've completed 12 weeks, I thought it in order to update my readers on how we've progressed, now that we have 2 sets of 6 programmes to compare:

We conducted the first overview on Day 151 of 2020 which corresponds to the 30th of May 2020.

This is our second overview (Day 190 of 2020) and of course it corresponds to the 8th of July 2020.

Viewership stats as they stand at the moment:

First 6 weeks

Programme 1.0 - 19/04/20  - 2,300 views

Programme 2.0 - 26/04/20 - 3,900 views

Programme 3.0 - 03/05/20 - 4,100 views

Programme 4.0 - 10/05/20 - 2,900 views

Programme 5.0 - 17/05/20 - 1,700 views

Programme 6.0 - 24/05/20 - 2,600 views

Mean average viewership over the first 6 weeks = c. 2,917 views

Second 6 weeks

Programme 7.0 - 31/05/20 - 2,900 views

Programme 8.0 - 07/06/20 - 2,300 views

Programme 9.0 - 14/06/20 - 2,100 views

Programme 10.0 - 21/06/20 - 1,000 views

Programme 11.0 - 28/06/20 - 1,700 views

Programme 12.0 - 05/07/20 - 2,400 views

Mean average viewership over the second 6 weeks = c. 2,067 views

Mean average viewership over 12 weeks = 2,492 views

Therefore, there is much to introspect over how we are conducting these weekly programmes. The leading question is: Why is the mean average falling when it should actually be rising with time?

I'm sure we will obtain the answer(s) in due course.


Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 189 of 2020


Here's an update on the shroud procession (Kafan posh kaafila) from Trarkhel to Muzaffarabad:


Daily Diary (DD) - Day 193 of 2020

1512hrs: Preparing to leave Dadyaal for my cycle ride from Chamb (in tehsil Barnaala where AJK begins in the South) to Sharda (where AJ...