Authors Posts by Babita Mittal

Babita Mittal


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When India won the three-Test series against Sri Lanka in Delhi this week, it was their ninth consecutive Test series victory. In these nine series, India have played 30 Tests, and lost only two. Only two teams in the history of the game have won nine series in a row: England did it between 1884 and 1892; and Australia equalled that record between 2005 and 2008. England accomplished it in an age in which cricket was almost unrecognisable from the game it is today. And the Australian side that achieved it is one of the truly great teams of the contemporary game. So India’s is a remarkable feat.

It is pertinent to ask whether this India team is one of the truly great ones of the modern era. Not really. Not yet, anyway. Despite having triumphed in 21 of the past 30 Tests, this team does not wear a cloak of invincibility. It does not strike fear into the hearts of the opposition in the manner of era-defining sides such as Clive Lloyd’s West Indies, Vivian Richards’s West Indies, Steven Waugh’s Australia, or Ricky Ponting’s Australia. An aura of invincibility is one of those intangible things in sport: it is hard to define precisely, but we know it when we see it. A truly great team would not have struggled to bowl out Sri Lanka – as India did – on the final day of the Test in Delhi.

In the nine-series-winning streak, there are no famous wins, nothing to compare with Port of Spain in 1976, or Headingley in 1981, or Eden Gardens in 2001, or Adelaide in 2003. One can only play the opposition one has been handed, but the lack of the kind of victory that enters cricketing lore does nothing to burnish this side’s reputation.

Finally, just one of the nine winning series has been played outside Asia. The true litmus test in cricket is being able to prevail in hostile, unfamiliar conditions. During their nine-series run of victories, Australia beat South Africa in South Africa – a mighty achievement. And months before that streak began, Australia beat India in India – one of the toughest jobs in the modern game. That kind of triumph is the hallmark of an indisputably great side.

India play tough series away from home in 2018. If they can acquit themselves with honour in South Africa, England and Australia, there will be no room for debate. This team would then have staked a claim on greatness.

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For the first time since 1995, the Congress is looking at its best chance yet to wrest Gujarat from the Bharatiya Janata Party and, at the same time, cement the position of its soon-to-be president Rahul Gandhi.

The party is banking heavily on the Patidars’ anger against the BJP, a factor that will be big in the first round of the two-phase polls on Saturday.

At stake for the Congress is a crucial momentum that it needs ahead of state elections in 2018 and the general election in 2019.

A win in Gujarat will boost Congress’s chances of retaining Karnataka — which may have elections in March-April — and ousting its arch-rival from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan later in the year.

The Patel factor

Patels, who constitute 12% of Gujarat’s 60 million-odd population and considered the core supporters of the BJP for the past two decades, are up in arms against the ruling party over the reservation issue. They can potentially influence the outcome in around 60 seats in a 182-member state assembly.

With Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel pledging support to the Congress, the nervousness in the BJP camp is palpable.

The addition of Other Backward Classes (OBC) leader Alpesh Thakor and tacit support from Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani have also raised the hopes of a turnaround for the opposition party after 22 years, of which Modi ruled for 12.

The party face

As part of its strategy, the Congress has not declared its chief ministerial candidate and party leaders suggest this works to their advantage and checks factionalism.

But, important, it is also a lack of a credible face in Gujarat for the Congress, which has leaders like Captain Amarinder Singh in Punjab and Virbhadra Singh in Himachal Pradesh. The campaigning, largely, has been around Rahul Gandhi.

Lessons from 2012

Saurashtra and Kutch are crucial for both parties as these have the highest concentration of seats in the first phase. Together, they account for 58 out of the 89 seats going to polls on Saturday. In the 2012 assembly elections, the BJP won 35 while the Congress bagged 20. Of the remaining three, two were won by the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) of Keshubhai Patel and one by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Hence, a party that wins the maximum seats from the regions could have the leverage to form the next government.

A keen contest will also be witnessed on the 12 seats in Surat, the diamond and textile hub of the country. Here, the Congress is hoping the trading community will vote against the BJP to show their displeasure over demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

For his part, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has campaigned extensively in Saurashtra and south Gujarat, taking on the BJP over issues such as the note ban, GST, job losses, farm distress and its development model. He even coined the phrase “Gabbar Singh Tax” for GST in one of his election rallies.

But as the polling date drew near, the campaign narrative shifted to Gandhi’s temple visits, Ram Mandir issue and political mud-slinging.

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फिल्म बनाना कोई सरल काम नही, इस काम करने के लिये एक टीम वर्क की जरूरत होती है, तीन दोस्तों ने मिलकर एक फिल्म प्‍वाइंट आफ व्‍यू बेहतरीन टीम वर्क के साथ बनाई। इस फिल्म के कलाकार जो प्रोड्यूसर भी हैं, देवानन्द पाठक से एक साक्षात्कार में फिल्म प्‍वाइंट आफ व्‍यू के बारे में जानकारी ली।

वार्तालाप के प्रमुख अंश-  

एक निर्माता के रूप में आपकी प्रथम फिल्म है, और फिल्म बनाने का आपने सोचा कैसें ?

उत्तर:- जी हां फिल्म निर्माता के रूप हमारी प्रथम फिल्म है, जिसे हम फरवरी के अन्त में प्रदर्शित करेंगे। हम तीन दोस्तों ने मिलकर प्रोडूयस किया है ?

प्रभाकर झा, रामेन्द्र पाठक और मैं देवानन्द पाठक हम दोस्तों के मनमें काफी समय से चल रहा था कि एक फिल्म बनानी बस फिर क्या था, हम लोगों ने एक टीम वर्क के तहत मेहनत की और सही समय पर मेहनत रंग लायी और फिल्म तैयार हो गई।

क्‍या आपकी फिल्म को किसी फिल्म महोत्सव में अवार्ड मिला है।

उत्तर:- जी हां जयपुर फिल्म फेस्टिवल में बेस्ट फिल्म का अवार्ड मिला है। फिल्म की रिलीज से पहले अवार्ड मिलना मैं एक अच्छा शगुन मानता हूं। ईश्‍वर ने चाहा तो फिल्म सफलता के झंडे गाड़ेंगी।

आपने फिल्मों में तो काम किया है क्‍या टीवी में भी काम किया है ?

उत्तर:- मैं पिछले सोलह साल से मुंबई में हॅू और तबसे काम कर रहा हॅू। मैं टीवी में जैसे जोधा अकबर, अकाश, ”सावधान इंडिया” इसी तरह मैने बहुत सारे टीवी सीरियल किये है। फिल्में भी कुछ नाम बता देता है ”दस”, ”बस एक पल” और ”गहर” आदि।

पाइन्ट आफ व्यू में आप क्या दिखाना चाह रहे है ?

उत्तर:- कुछ मित्र कही गये है और एक घटना घर जाती है जिसे सबने अपने-अपने नजरिये से देखा । उदाहरण को तौर पर एक किरदार अन्धे का है, उसने इस घटना को अपनी मन थी आंख से कैसे देखा। हमने ये दिखाने कोशिश की है, किसी को काम नही समझना चाहिय। ईश्‍वर प्रत्येक व्यक्ति अपने आप  में सम्पूर्ण बनाता है।

इस फिल्म में कुछ नया किया है आपने ?

उत्तरः- जी हां, मेरी फिल्म मे एक किरदार भूत का है, अभी तक आपने फिल्मों में भूतों को सफेद कपड़े पहनाकर और हाथ में एक मोमबत्ती जलती है। पाइन्ट आफ न्यू में हमने भूत के किरदार को नये तरीके से दिखाया है।

आप फिल्म प्रदर्शित होने से पहले अपने दर्शकों से कुछ कहना चाहेगें ?

उत्तर:- हम सभी दर्शकों से यही कहेगें कि आप इस फिल्म को सिनेमा घर में देखें । ज्यादा से ज्यादा लोग जाये खासतौर मैं यूपी के दर्शकों को कहूंगा कि मैं अयोध्या का हॅू तो अपने इस यूपी के भाई को सफल बनाईये।

फिल्म के प्रमुख कलाकार कौन है ?

उत्तरः- शॉन विलयम, सबरीन बेकर, देवानन्द पाठक

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भारत में मुसलमानों की सबसे बड़ी संस्था ‘जमीयत उलमा-ए-हिन्द’ की उत्तर प्रदेश विंग..
कल दिनांक÷ 9 दिसंबर 2017,
दिन÷ शनिवार,
समय÷ दोपहर 2 बजे,
स्थान÷ यूपी प्रेस क्लब,
हज़रत गंज, लखनऊ में *प्रेस कान्फ्रेंस* का आयोजन कर रही है।
*प्रेस कान्फ्रेंस* में 12 दिसंबर 2017 को आयोजित *राष्ट्रीय एकता सम्मेलन* से संबंधित बातचीत के अलावा हाल ही में असम के 48 लाख हिंदू-मुसलमानों के समर्थन में आये सुप्रीम कोर्ट के फैसले पर भी संबोधित किया जायेगा जिनका मुक़दमा सुप्रीम कोर्ट में जमीयत उलमा-ए-हिन्द ने ही लड़ा था।
मुख्य अतिथि÷
मौलाना अरशद मदनी साहब,
अध्यक्ष, जमीयत उलमा-ए-हिन्द.
मौलाना अशहद रशीदी साहब,
अध्यक्ष, जमीयत उलमा उत्तर प्रदेश.
इनके अलावा देश के कई अन्य वरिष्ठ धर्मगुरु भी *राष्ट्रीय एकता सम्मेलन* में शिरकत कर मुल्क की एकता और भाईचारे को बढ़ाने की बात करने के लिये उपस्थित रहेंगे।

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Politicians and commentators in the Arab world voiced dismay on Wednesday night in response to Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his plan to move the American Embassy, with a prominent Jordanian figure proclaiming, “Peace is dead.”

Abdul-Hadi Majali, former speaker of the Jordanian Parliament, told Al Jazeera, “The Jordanian people are as angry as the Palestinian people. Tonight, Trump killed international legitimacy. For many years it was dying, now it is total death. We had been hoping there would be peace but now the peace is dead.”

“The time has come to say no to the US,” he added. “Geography, history and religion are with us. What we are demanding is international legitimacy, but Israel is behaving recklessly and is supported by Trump.”

The foreign minister of Turkey, which threatened to sever relations with Israel if Trump went ahead, reacted swiftly, tweeting it was “irresponsible” and that the move violated international law.

Trump’s decision is expected to resonate strongly among the populace of many Arab countries, given their continued identification with the Palestinian cause. But despite the scheduling of an emergency session of the Arab League for Saturday, governmental actions are unlikely to reflect the public’s anger. “So far, Arab governments are busy with their own internal affairs,” said Mkhaimar Abusada, a political scientist at al-Azhar University in Gaza. “The Gulf countries are preoccupied with the war in Yemen and with containing the Iranian/Shi’ite threat, so we probably won’t hear a thing from them.”

At the street level, however, Abusada predicted mass protests and demonstrations in Amman, Cairo, Tunis, Khartoum and other Arab capitals.

“I don’t think we will see protests that destabilize the regimes, but they will reflect defiance against the American move,” he said.
Abusada said Trump will be seen as having taken an anti-Muslim step that will have an impact on al-Aksa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. “It touches the feeling of Muslims. Trump is not recognizing west Jerusalem as the capital, he’s recognizing Jerusalem without differentiating between east and west. In a way, it will be seen as recognizing the occupation of al-Aksa.”

However, Abusada said he did not expect emotions to run as high as when the police installed metal detectors at entrances to the site last summer, because it does not involve the same sense of “physical intrusion.”

Public opinion in Jordan, which has a Palestinian majority and is the custodian of al-Aksa, is expected to be strong in reaction. The Jordan Times wrote in its editorial Wednesday that Trump was harming moderates in the region. “The current administration is ignoring US history as a peace broker, as a supporter of forces of moderation and the position of its friends and allies in the region at this critical time.”

Egyptian writer Emile Amin, in an article in the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat, wrote that Trump was fueling extremism in the Arab world. “The Arabs have no more substantial cause than the Palestinian cause, caught between pain and hope over seven decades. Trump’s decision is a big change from the international consensus since before 70 years. Now the efforts of the lost peace between Palestinians and Israelis have reached a dead end. It is over forever. Even if Trump looks at his decision as a small symbolic step, it bears in it dramatic painful meanings which offer legitimation to the occupation.”

Amin suggested that Trump was “pushing the region into a whirlwind of doctrinal hostility. It is an absolute conflict without any compromise. He is triggering a new wave of violence and counter-violence in a volatile region. Most jihadists believe that only through jihad can they achieve their goals,” he continued. “Trump is inflaming the soul of jihadists to continue their terror.”

Shibley Telhami, a fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, also said extremists would be boosted by Trump’s move. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Telhami said Trump “lives in another world. Tonight he offers a gift to all extremists. He talks of making peace but his decisions are the death of peace.”

“He gave no consideration to Arab and Muslim leaders who asked him to change the decision,” Telhami said.

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My name is Yogesh Khanna. I work at Tata Consultancy Services and make Rs. 28,000 every month. I live in Chennai with my wife and my parents. My wife and I have wanted a child for a long time. After 3 heartbreaking miscarriages, we were blessed with twins on November 8, 2016. It felt as if all our prayers were finally answered. But tragically, she delivered in the 24th week of her pregnancy. As a result, our babies were extremely premature and underdeveloped. After a month, we were devastated as one of my babies breathed his last.

Fate has forced me to bid farewell to all my children so far, save for one. I have named my son ‘Veera’ because he’s a fighter, a survivor. He has also given my wife and me the strength to fight this indescribable battle. It’s been one whole year since my child came into our lives and all he’s seen is the four glass walls of the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). He’s been breathing with the support of a ventilator. I want to take him home but to do so, I would need an oxygen concentrator, 24X7 nursing support, and a few oxygen cylinders to keep my baby alive. All of this comes at a staggering Rs. 7,20,000. I’ve been longing to free him from this prison he’s found in the hospital. With your help in the form of donations, I believe I can finally take him home. (For donations click here)

I hate talking about how much money I’ve spent on my babies and have avoided it all this while. But I’ve sold every piece of jewelry we had, exhausted my savings, and exhausted three loans from the bank to pay the bills so far. I had even applied for one more that did not get through. I have absolutely nothing left. I think if I’m asking for your help, you deserve to know my story, my struggle, and my helplessness.

After spending Rs. 12 lakh on the baby that I never got a chance to meet or even hold, I’ve already spent Rs. 53 lakh on Veera. Every day that Veera spent in the NICU has cost me Rs. 15,000. His lungs are underdeveloped. The month in which he was delivered is crucial for a baby’s lung development. That’s why the support he needs is higher as compared to normal babies. Once we take him home, for at least six months, we’ll have to buy a machine called the oxygen concentrator that costs about Rs. 2 lakh. We cannot afford to pay for this machine so we’re planning to rent one at Rs. 18,000 per month. Every 4 hours, Veera needs suction – this is something that can be performed only by a nurse, so we’ll also have to pay for her services at Rs. 50,000 per month. (For support click here)

Additionally, to keep him breathing, we need to purchase oxygen cylinders and have two backups as well. The doctors advised us to stay around the hospital in case of emergencies but the monthly rent in that area is as high as Rs. 30,000. If anything happens to my baby, I don’t think I’ll have the strength or courage to fight for anything, ever again. Your help can save our family from this irreparable loss. (For help click here)

Every person we know, including our parents, asked us to give up on the child looking at the unforgiving numbers on the medical bills but I went against all of them. Today, Veera is 5.5 kg from just 740 grams. He’s given me his support so far and now I have to win this final stage of my battle. As his first birthday gift, I want to take him to the comfort of our home and take care of him. If you’re still reading this story and think my baby deserves this chance at life, please help me give him this birthday gift – I’ll be indebted forever.

You can help Yogesh by clicking here and donating to his fundraiser on Ketto.

Xiaomi is doing very well in India, even better than the company’s own expectations. For a brand that came into the market only three years ago to outrank well entrenched rivals like Samsung is no small feat. Sales of its Redmi Note 4, as well as the Redmi 4 have helped the company become a household brand.

It’s not just the affordable price of the Redmi 4A that made the phone so admirable in the market. Steady performance coupled with excellent cameras have helped the Redmi 4A to raise the bar. But the success of the Redmi 4A is such that the company thought of launching its sequel in the same year itself: the Redmi 5A. While the Redmi 5A might not be totally different from the Redmi 4A, it does offer small improvements. You will be able to pick up the Redmi 5A for a starting price of Rs 4,999 on December 7 at 12:00PM via Flipkart and  Here is our review of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A specifications: 5-inch HD 1280 x 720 resolution display| Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor|2GB RAM +16GB storage/3GB RAM +32GB storage|microSD card slot option (up to 128GB) |13MP rear +5MP front camera|3000mAh battery|MIUI 9.1, Android 7.1 Nougat

Xiaomi Redmi 5A price in India: Rs 4,999 (2GB RAM +16GB storage), Rs 5,999 (3GB RAM + 32GB storage)

Xiaomi Redmi 5A review: Design and display

At first glance you’ll wonder what has changed, it looks pretty much the same as the Redmi 4A. If you have used the Redmi 4A, you will not see a major improvement in the design department. Its all plastic body has been jazzed up with a metal finish. My review unit came in ‘Gold’, but the phone can be purchased in several other colour options including Dark Grey and Rose Gold. Coupled with a rounded, smooth design, Redmi 5A looks and feels comfortable in your hand. To my surprise, it doesn’t feel slippery, which is a big relief. The device weighs only 137g so this device feels light compared to some of the other phones on offer in this same segment.

The Redmi 5A retains those chunky top and bottom areas of its bezel, like the Redmi 4A. And underneath the display are three capacitive buttons that are not backlit. The power button and a pair of volume rockers can be found on to the right side. The other side houses a dual sim tray and a dedicated microSD slot. There’s a standard microUSB port on the bottom of the phone and a headphone jack and an Infrared port on the top. The Infrared blaster can help users to control other devices in their home.

At the back is a single camera setup with a flash on the top-left. The mono speaker is at the bottom. The Redmi 5A doesn’t offer a fingerprint scanner for added security, unlike the Redmi 4. This is a ‘Made in India’ phone.

The Redmi 5A’s screen is the same 5-inches in size as the one on the Redmi 4A and doesn’t pack any more pixels. So essentially, it has a resolution of 1280 x 720p and a pixel density of 296 ppi. I’m totally fine with the quality of the display; images are sharp, and videos look impressive. It’s perfect for a Netflix craving. If you’re coming from a feature phone background, the Redmi 5A’s 5-inch screen will be a huge upgrade. I can’t ask for more at this price point.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A review: Hardware and software

Xiaomi Redmi 5A has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor under its hood and it performs reasonably well. For everyday tasks the Redmi 5A shows no sign of lag. Browsing the web and running apps should be of no concern on the phone. Even with dozens of Chrome tabs open at once, the Redmi 5A never stuttered. In my testing, I loaded both Shadow Fight 3 and Sonic Forces Speed Battle to check the gaming performance on the Redmi 5A. Both games ran smoothly. But this device is not meant to handle heavy graphics intensive games like Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 8.

My review unit had 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. On the AnTuTu benchmark test, Redmi 5A scored 36,626. I believe the 3GB RAM (it has a built-in 32GB storage) variant might be a slightly faster in performance, but honestly, I haven’t tested that model. Though both models come with an expandable storage (up to 128GB).

In the sound department, Xiaomi Redmi 5A has cracked the code by managing to cram a mono speaker. The Redmi 5A is loud enough, even when a bunch of people around in the room. It’s not quite as bass[y), though.

Redmi 5A’s 3000mAh battery lasted close to 27 hours on a single charge. On a typical day, I make lots of calls, browse the web, check emails on a regular basis, with WhatsApp running constantly and Facebook app running in the background, watching YouTube videos while commuting to office, and streaming music through Saavn. It’s good to see that the phone’s battery lasted more than a day. I suspect if you are an average user the Redmi 5A’s battery might last close to two days.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A runs on MIUI 9, which is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. MIUI 9 brings with it a ton of big and small features, as well as typical Google features like split-screen multitasking and even Google Assistant. What I like about Xiaomi’s native MIUI is that it’s simple to operate and easy on the eyes. The phone didn’t feel sluggish, even though it is not running a pure version of Android. Xiaomi has also preloaded a slew of third-party apps like Amazon Shopping, UC News, and the Microsoft Office and Skype apps.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A review: Camera

It’s hard to expect a great camera experience on a phone in this price segment. The Redmi 5A, however, is an exception. In fact, the camera is the most fascinating aspect of the Redmi 5A. The primary camera has a 13MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, along with PDAF ability. The front shooter is a 5MP one with an f/2.0 aperture with smart and beautification modes.

I tested the back camera in a number of conditions including in a bright day light. The images it produced were full of detail, sharp and the colours were just right. In very low light, it flatters though. The back camera can also record 1080p video. The recorded video looked crisp when played on my desktop.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A review: Conclusion

The Redmi 5A is not targeted at those who already bought the Redmi 4A. Instead, Xiaomi says it is targeting first-time smartphone buyers, especially those who are looking to upgrade their “dumb” feature phones. At Rs 4,999, Redmi 5A is the most affordable Xiaomi smartphone in India. And it tells a lot about the company’s expectations from the Redmi 5A. When you look at the Redmi 5A, its design, specifications, 4G LTE connectivity and cameras, all this makes the phone stand out in the competition.

While less expensive than the Redmi 4, the Redmi 5A isn’t that cheap, as you can pick up the JioPhone for free and Bharat 1 for as little as Rs 2200. The latter phone even support WhatsApp and Facebook on the device. But the Redmi 5A is a complete smartphone, boasting faster performance and a superior camera, making this a phone well above the notch.

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Breaking ranks with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference of which he is an executive committee member, Abdul Ghani Bhat, leader of the Muslim Conference, met Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s Special Representative on Jammu Kashmir, because, according to him, “dialogue is the only effective and civilised way of addressing issues bedeviling relations between nations or peoples”.

Ahead of Sharma’s first visit to the Valley in early November, the Hurriyat’s Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq and Yasin Malik, had issued a statement against any engagement with Sharma. “…For any Kashmiri to be part of this futile exercise will only undermine our internationally acknowledged legitimate and just struggle, nourished by the blood of our martyrs and great sacrifices and hardships rendered daily by the masses,” the JRL statement had said.

However, Bhat, a former chairman of the Hurriyat who has been left out of the JLR, met Sharma at his home in Srinagar on November 27 during the latter’s second visit to the Valley. Reports that a second separatist leader was also in the room could not be confirmed.

Days after the meeting, he told The Indian Express on Wednesday that there was “bound to be a difference of opinion” in any group of individuals “with heads on their shoulders but (differences) should not be misconstrued as confrontation, much less as a different path. We follow the same path, occasionally collectively, occasionally individually”.

“(Mirwaiz Omar Farooq) said a few years back, who the hell is Geelani. He is on record. But now he recognizes him as his head in JRL. We break to make ourselves. It does not matter,” he said. Declining to elaborate on his meeting with Sharma, the one- time teacher of Persian said he would release a formal statement on that “in due course”. He said seeking a negotiated settlement on the dispute of J&K was one of the ways laid down in the APHC’s constitution.

“It is very close to the constitution of the APHC if you talk in terms of a dialogue with India and with Pakistan in an effort to find a way out,” he said. “APHC is not a grouping of angels on earth. We are human beings, we can go wrong, I may go wrong, but what needs to be understood is that all of us support dialogue under the APHC constitution”.

He said the difference of opinion in the APHC was a sign of the “good health” of the separatist grouping.
“So what if there are fissures. The entire world wants peace, and when you seek peace, you seek settlement of the disputes that threaten peace. This is so straight, mathematically correct,” he said.

The Hurriyat leader said in supporting dialogue, “I probably represent the best of each one of us in the south Asian region. I don’t want to die tomorrow in an atomic holocaust, I don’t want to burn alive with my kith and kin and the entire region. Who wants it? Kindly bring him by the ear to me. I want to talk to him and understand his politics”.
The Hurriyat leader said the situation in the region was getting “explosively” volatile and “we have to be alive to the dangers inherent in the situation”. A nuclear-weaponised region, said Bhat, “enjoins a duty on its leadership” to work for peace.

“We wish well for both India and Pakistan. But we in Kashmir want to establish our identity. I want to be called either a Pakistani or an Indian, I don’t want to be called as a man representing the dispute on Kashmir. I am the dispute talking to you — I don’t want that. And for that, I want a dialogue to happen between India and Pakistan to happen as quick as possible,” he said.

Asked about those who were opposed to dialogue on the ground that nothing had come out of numerous rounds of talks, and had picked up the gun for ‘azadi”, Bhat said: “It is the memory of collective discontent, it is alienation…The collective soul of Kashmir was wounded right in the beginning in 1947. The wound is bleeding. It cannot be addressed with food, or clothing or carpets or buildings. It has to be addressed”.

“Azadi,” Bhat said, “implies I have the freedom to decide what I choose to decide, it is a recognition of the right of a people to self-determination”.