Archive for February, 2013

roll up! the jokers have arrived

Few days back, some Grand Mufti named Bashiruddin, issued a fatwa on Kashmir’s first all-girl band Pragaash for a gamut of things, primary of which was music being haraam and what followed was a volley of accusations, counter-accusations, threats, debates, apologies with some even saying the mufti is “highly unpopular” and “fringe”. Ok! Kashmir surely must be a nice place with all those fringe elements, lakes, rivers, mountains, kafirs, military men, moderate, semi-moderate, good and bad separatist-cum-jehadis, terrorists crossing LoC from PoK, azadi wannabes crossing LoC from Indian Kashmir (Arundhati Roy will surely not approve of this name) to PoK, stone pelters, apple and saffron growers, boat riders of the dal lake et al. I have somewhat followed Kashmir’s history and those of the apologists too and I am convinced of things so this is not about me but about an article I read in Tehelka. It was the usual pom-pom of a circus media calling itself circus (that maybe gives them some sympathy but further robs them of credibility). I have been reading Tehelka for over a year now and yes I like it for their tight and uppity articles but they are often mundane and predictable. But I can deal with it.

I am seriously in need of some time. Today morning at a public meeting (where we do communal exercises like Surya Namaskara and stuff) a gentlemen told me to prioritize things (family first they told me clubbed with society and nation followed by ambition and friends with the clichéd cup of tea too) and writing a blog to express my disgust over a Tehelka article comes last but then if one has to fill up (like the proverbial last drop of water in a jar full of sand) one has to write and so here it goes.

Mr Junaid says, “Media cherry pick evidence, real or concocted, that might link Kashmiris to religious fanaticism. Such misrepresentations are then hurled back at Kashmiris to delegitimize their political struggle”. Well, nothing could be more absurd than this. Media definitely cherry picks events and by giving you the space to write an apology for Kashmiris, it further reinforces it, so when you say that “it’s a media circus” I kind of agree but would have more had you instead said, “media is a circus”! Media has been propagating lies on particular people, events and organizations to brand them fanatics so it must not hurt when one gets back the same dirt one throws on others. Again I am reminded of a proverb, “so you sow shall you reap”. And no brother, the mufti’s self-righteous diktats can’t be called misrepresentations but assertions and why would anyone pick that to delegitimize Kashmir’s “political struggle” when at least I for sure know what it stands for and how it takes shape and course. So, if you chose to link the mufti’s blahs with fanaticism of Kashmiris you are again reinforcing the same lies media propagates. What I think of Kashmiris is independent of what the mufti dictates. Or are you freezing my pressed doubts on what the Kashmir struggle is really about? Leave it at that!

a "fringe" law expert

a “fringe” element

You further say, “Most Kashmiris don’t have access to social media. The broad brushes of generalization, however, which work in tandem with stereotypes against Muslim societies, paint all of them as uniformly extremist.” Again, peddling nonsense via a media rag and blaming the media. I am reminded of Rahul’s drab Chintan Shivir speech which blamed the party of many a evils yet the man loves it all the more! I really don’t know why you needed to say most Kashmiris don’t have access to social media. The Kashmiris who abused the members of Pragaash (for being shameless and unislamic amongst other things) definitely had. Many elsewhere in India don’t have access to internet too. So what? Why was this needed to be said unless of course you want to do something for them “as a young man and not just as a citizen of India” (bad humor I am sure). We don’t paint the Muslim society as a homogeneous one, neither the Kashmiris for that matter but we know who does what. Stereotyping suits best for the media and works for them and unsurprisingly in the apology you write this gets repeated. We deal in specifics. And yes, the stereotypes against Muslims are blown best by media – they love Muslim ghettoisation because it helps them put blame on the Chief Minister of a certain state for “malnutrition” (someone must be proud of me) amongst “other” things.

oh! well! fringe!

oh! well! fringe!

And then you throw a bouncer when you write, “The Indian media has rarely taken the issue of free speech in Kashmir seriously!” Oh yes, am sure Tehelka is from Tahiti. Or haven’t you read those mammoth articles by Ms Arundhati Roy or editions of The Hindu the day after Afzal Guru was executed or those poor-terrorists and cruel-Indian-army documentaries? Most of Indian media highly sanitizes news related to Kashmir and repeatedly peddles nonsense to suit agendas which serve mysterious people (wish I were Sherlock Holmes for a while). Hereby I take the pleasure of showing some “issues” (a better and more specific version has apparently been moved from You Tube) which the Indian media definitely didn’t show! I agree, shame on Indian media!

It’s time for lunch and I have already devoted so much time to your writings and yes, what exactly differentiates a pro-freedom guy, a pro-azadi guy and a separatist guy? You advice the media to report the “complexities” of Kashmiri society! Well, media creates complexities, doesn’t report them per se! You further spin the apology to give it some shape by relating the volley of hate and criticism for Pragaash since the event was organized by CRPF! Oh, well, you wanted it organized by JKLF instead? Or whom? You didn’t say that!

peace to the "martyr"! too much for me to say!

peace to the “martyr”! too much for me to say!

Peace be upon Kashmir! Peace be upon India! And no, despite all the persuasion and brain-washing I am still not convinced that Afzal Guru was given an unfair trial and that he is a “martyr” or that the mufti is a “fringe”!