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Kashmiri youth talks of agony through rap, graffiti and writing

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Srinagar, after a quarter century of turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir, a section of the new generation is taking to music, writing and other art forms to tell their stories.graffiti-680839_640

The mass protests over the Amarnath land row in 2008-10 changed the perspective of 20-year-old Fahad Idrees and others of his generation on the Kashmir issue.
Dozens of protesters were killed in police and paramilitary firing in different places across the state after the government tried to transfer 99 acres of land in the Kashmir valley to the Amarnath Shrine Board. The decision was rescinded within five weeks, after uproar and violence.

A teenage boy, known by the name MC Kash, hammered the “words of pain” on a piece of paper and his rap song, “I protest”, on YouTube became a sort of anthem for the summer protests during 2008-10. It also inspired many others to share their feelings through rap.

Fahad Idrees is one in the brigade of music rappers and believes rapping is a form of storytelling for him. “I yell loudly and put all my feelings into it.”

For Idrees, rap is a medium to vent his anger in the form of words. “Every other medium of expression is controlled. After witnessing such turmoil in the state, I chose to tell my stories of pain and suffering this way,” he says.

In this rage, Fahad is not alone. In 2013, when the famous musician Zubin Mehta held ‘Ehsaas-e-Kashmir’- (the feel of Kashmir) in Srinagar, Fahad and his friends participated in a counter event – ‘Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir’- (reality of Kashmir) organized by civil society groups, performing rap on the stage.

While many chose music as an expression, some youngsters took to the traditional method of writing.

Towfeeq Wani was only 17 when his first novel titled “The Graveyard” got published. Wani says: “It is my way to resist the atrocities in Kashmir.”

“I chose to write the book after being haunted by the nightmares after the uprising in 2008. The images of the boys who were killed continued to haunt me even when I left Kashmir,” Wani told IANS.

Wani, now 19, completed his high school from Aligarh and is now doing his Bachelor’s in English from Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.

In 2013, a compilation of the protest writings of Kashmir was edited and formulated into a book by another young journalist, Fahad Shah.

The book ‘Of occupation and resistance – writings from Kashmir’, included the memories of young people.

Another bunch of young minds in the Valley has chosen graffiti to express anger and tell their tales. On the banks of the river Jhelum, under the shade of mighty Chinars, the walls are splashed with graffiti drawn by a young boy who does not want to be named.

“Writing on the walls was missing from Kashmir. For me, this is a chance to express anger and protest against the atrocities in a peaceful way,” the boy says.

One of his works on the walls of Sopore explains, “Bring back our dear ones”. About this graffiti, he says, “I drew this after being a part of an Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) association”.

“During the turmoil, thousands of people disappeared. Who will raise a voice for their families?” he asks IANS.

The artist believes that everyone has his role to play. “Everyone has his/her own way of expression. Mine is the paintings and I will continue with this.”

The reason for his anonymity, he says, is fear of police action. “Some immature boys hijacked our work by writing ‘Welcome Taliban’ and ‘Long live ISIS’ on the walls. But we have nothing to do with this,” he says.

(IANS)

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Manoj Bajpayee is an amazing actor and a team player on set: Sidharth Malhotra

Sidharth Malhotra on Thursday treated his fans to a question and answer session over Twitter.

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Actor Sidharth Malhotra
Actor Sidharth Malhotra. Wikimedia Commons

November 7, 2017: Actor Sidharth Malhotra, who will be seen sharing screen space with Manoj Bajpayee in “Aiyaary”, says the National Award winning actor is amazing and a team player.

Sidharth Malhotra on Thursday treated his fans to a question and answer session over Twitter.

A user asked the “Student Of The Year” actor about his experience working with Manoj in “Aiyaary”.

Sidharth replied: “He’s an amazing actor and a team player on set.”

“Aiyaary”, set in Delhi, London and Kashmir, revolves around two strong-minded Army officers having completely different views, yet right in their own ways. It is a real-life story based on the relationship between a mentor and a protege.

Presented by Plan C and Jayantilal Gada (Pen), the project is produced by Shital Bhatia, Dhaval Jayantilal Gada, Motion Picture Capital.

When asked about the development of the film, Sidharth replied: “Awesome. Excited to show it in a few months.”

Sidharth, 32, also described his “Brothers” co-star Akshay Kumar as his “brother from another mother.”(IANS)

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‘Black Day’ Protests : Restrictions Imposed in Srinagar to keep security in check

Separatists leaders have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

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restrictions
police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in parts of Kashmir. (Representative image) VOA

Srinagar, October 27, 2017 : Authorities imposed restrictions in various areas on Friday to prevent separatist-called protests to mark the Accession Day of Jammu and Kashmir to India.

Joint resistance leadership (JRL) of separatist leaders — Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik — have asked people to observe October 27 as a “black day” in Kashmir.

It was on this day in 1947 that the Indian Army landed in Srinagar Airport following the accession of the state.

“Restrictions under section 144 of CrPC will remain in force in Nowhatta, M.R.Gunj, Safa Kadal, Rainawari, Khanyar, Kralkhud and Maisuma,” a police officer said.

Heavy contingents of the state police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were seen disallowing pedestrian and vehicular movement in these areas.

Railway services in the valley have also been suspended on Friday as a precautionary measure. (IANS)

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UN General Assembly: Pakistan Representative Maleeha Lodhi goofs up, labels Gaza photo as Kashmir’s

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Maleeha Lodhi at UN General Assembly
Maleeha Lodhi at UN General Assembly

United Nations, Sep 24: In a failed attempt to counter India at the UN General Assembly, Pakistan’s Representative Maleeha Lodhi tried to pass off a distorted fact. She displayed a disturbing picture of Gaza and labelled it as the “face of Indian democracy”.

Lodhi was responding to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s description of Pakistan as a “pre-eminent export factory for terror” at UN General Assembly 2017.

The photo, Lodhi displayed at the UN General Assembly to show Indian “atrocities” in Jammu and Kashmir was of 17-year-old Rawya Abu Jom. In reality, the picture is of 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, where two Israeli airstrikes hit Rawya Abu Jom, family’s apartment in Gaza.

Exercising the Right of Reply, Maleeha Lodhi accused India of “crimes against humanity” and of carrying out a “campaign of brutality” in the Kashmir Valley. To prove her point, she held the photo of the girl whose face was riddled with wounds.

The photo has been featured in many photo galleries online, including by the New York Times and the Guardian.(IANS)