Guest Post by Suvaid Yaseen
Of late there has been a rising trend of Kashmiris – professionals, artists, writers, musicians et al presenting their works on Kashmir on a much wider level than before. The larger impression that comes out of it all is that the narrative has been taken up by the people for themselves. A welcome contrast to outsiders flying in and telling us what we want, how we think, and what is actually good for us.
So, every time a Kashmiri artist is presenting his/her work on Kashmir, the expectations among Kashmiris tend to go up. People start feeling that finally their narrative, of how they saw the things, what they went through, would be told to the world, bereft of the lenses of security paradigm through which Kashmir has been usually viewed – a strategic territory, with not-so-strategic, dispensable people.
This can be fortunate as well as unfortunate. On one hand there is a ready audience to appreciate and applaud your work. On the other hand there are expectations to ‘perform’. For the artists themselves, there are additional pressures of ‘balancing’ and having a ‘non-biased’ view from the other side.