Song and music has been an inalienable part of Kashmiri culture, and has invariably reflected the ethos of the times in which it has been produced. As the winds of modernity blow over Kashmir, the song has seen a paradigm shift as it is now produced in accompaniment to non-traditional instruments.
The violence inflicted by the advertisement is a stark reminder of the ways in which populist imagination and the free market forces collude to draw ridicule and undermine the legitimate concerns of a marginalized people.
The tradition of writing lived experience in Kashmir is still in infancy, a byproduct of the turmoil that Kashmir has spiraled into since 1990’s. Not that Kashmir did not have a tradition of writing, on the contrary, the poetic tradition is quite old, and quite developed.
History is being repeated and rewritten every other day with the latest land laws and conversion of the erstwhile state into a union territory, and the process has been accelerated of late, even as the project predates the current era.
Palestine emerges as an alter-ego of Kashmir, in that both speak the language of resistance lonely and isolated in an increasingly disenchanted and uninterested world, seeking to evoke a poetics of resistance.
Music is the ultimate local and international communicator, transcending language barriers and undermining censorship unlike any other medium of protest. It has the ability to initiate, motivate, collaborate, communicate, instigate, nurture, dispute, repulse, and reconcile.
Suffice to say that neither integrity nor professional competence or professional behaviour entails targeting innocent civilians. The assertion of ethicality after a blatantly unethical act is aimed at erasing the violence of the act, and transform it into an opportunity to lend it a positive spin.
Of the total oeuvre of fiction produced from Kashmir, why has most literature been realistic fiction. The answer simply is that it is far easier to reproduce and write the experiential rather than the imaginary. Imagination itself is determined and conditioned by reality perceived by senses.
The coffee table book is different because its politics are well thought out and tie up with the larger project of commemorating and translating routines for consumption of an audience, which is as yet unconverted to either the popular ideology or the narrative of the government.
A slogan is inherently a public act. Unlike my private act of resistance, it achieves meaning and power only when it is performed in a public place. A slogan is a way of indicating that the public space which is regulated by the state, will be reconfigured and reimagined as the protestors seek to reclaim control of the space.