Tag Archives: Pragaash

Azaadi (Freedom) for ‘Pragaash’, an All Female Band from Kashmir

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In the last month the streets of Delhi have echoed with a slogan familiar to many in Kashmir – ‘Hum Kya Chahtey ? – Azaadi !’ (‘What do we want ? – Freedom !’). Thousands of young women and men have chanted this slogan in Delhi while protesting against rape and sexual violence, and while doing so, they have also spoken out, with great courage and integrity, and carried explicit banners and signs about the fact that women in Kashmir have had to face rape and sexual assault by the AFSPA protected armed forces (the army, police, irregular counter-insurgents and paramilitary forces) of the Indian state. And no, the young people carrying these signs, and chanting these slogans, that talk about Nilofar and Aasiya Jaan, that name the atrocities and rapes that took place in Shopian and Kunan Poshpora have not been all Kashmiris. Some of them are Kashmiri students studying in Delhi University, JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia. But along with them, several of the young people who have been weaving the reality of Kashmir into the fabric of the protests in Delhi are not from Kashmir. Each time that they have walked with these signs and chanted these slogans – (and I have seen them in every gathering and every demonstration – their numbers are growing – as more young people in Delhi use the protests as sites of learning about the many complex realities of power and oppression) – they risk being branded as ‘traitors’ by the mainstream of Indian nationalist opinion, which can never question the Indian state’s conduct in Kashmir. They have tempered their sense of justice and deepened it with the substance of solidarity. Continue reading Azaadi (Freedom) for ‘Pragaash’, an All Female Band from Kashmir

A petition demanding the ‘Grand Mufti’ of Kashmir to step down

This petition has been put out by OMAR BASHIR

This is in context with your recent fatwa against the girl band Pragaash. This is less a fatwa and more a direct threat to silence young girls who have chosen for themselves a career path untrodden by women of Kashmir because of your misogynist approach. Your nefarious and illogical fatwas have caused more harm than they have done any good.

Mr Grand Mufti you have forgotten that Kashmir has a long tradition of Kashmiriyat and Kashmiriyat is an expression of solidarity and resilience regardless of religious differences. It embodies an ethos of harmony and a determination of survival of the people and their heritage. Women in music industry is nothing new in Kashmir, we have stalwarts like Raj Begum, Shameema Azad, Kailash Mehra and Mehmeet Syed singing for the past so many years. You must be aware that Raj Begum has been awarded the Padma Shri award in 2002. Continue reading A petition demanding the ‘Grand Mufti’ of Kashmir to step down