Jashn-e-Azadi
< how we celebrate freedom >

Khursheed Ahmed Wani

written and directed by sanjay kak
photography ranjan palit
edited by tarun bhartiya

(Click here for complete credits)

 

It’s 15th August, India’s Independence day, and the Indian flag ritually goes up at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar, Kashmir. The normally bustling square is eerily empty– a handful of soldiers on parade, some more guarding them, and except for the attendant media crews, no Kashmiris.pigeons___soldiers_2.jpg

For more than a decade, such sullen acts of protest have marked 15th August in Kashmir, and this is the point from where Jashn-e-Azadi begins to explore the many meanings of Freedom–of Azadi–in Kashmir.soldiers_paddyfield.jpg

In India, the real contours of the conflict in Kashmir are invariably buried under the facile depiction of an innocent population, trapped between the Terrorist’s Gun and the Army’s Boot. militants.jpgBut after 18 years of a bloody armed struggle, after 60,000 civilians dead (and almost 7,000 enforced disappearances), what really is contained in the sentiment for Azadi–for freedom?archive_boy_shouter.jpg

Amidst the everyday violence and ever-present fear in Kashmir, there are no easy answers to such questions. Where truth has been an early victim, all language–speech, poetry, even cinema–becomes inadequate to describe what we know and feel here.frisking.jpg So we reshape our curiousity, and point ourselves at what we can see, what we are allowed to see. The film then combines several forms and modes of expression to evoke the past as well as unravel the present:

We are witness to an ageing father in the Martyr’s Graveyard; we are with a group of men as they survey the dead in the mountain villages of Bandipora; we sit quietly in the Out Patients Ward of the Govt Psychiatric Hospital in Srinagar.martyrs_graveyard.jpg
But we look elsewhere too, in the satirical farce of Bhand folk performers as they play in a village square; in the tense undercurrents of an Army Sadhbhavna (Goodwill) camp in north Kashmir; and in the images conjured up by the work of contemporary Kashmiri poets.

Shot and edited between August 2004-2006 Jashn-e-Azadi engages us with the idea of Azadi in Kashmir.

In 2007, as India celebrates it’s 60th anniversary of Independence, this is also a conversation about Freedom in India.

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138 mins / Digital Video
Kashmiri/Urdu/English (English subtitles)
2007 (under production)

105 Responses to “synopsis”


  1. 1 Gaurav February 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Sanjay,

    This film sounds really interesting. How can folks outside of India get access to these and some of your other films?

    Thanks
    Gaurav

    • 2 T.H.Bhat August 24, 2009 at 5:52 am

      Kashmiri Pandiths, as they seems ignoring this fact that Kashmir was never a part of india…still whenever it comes,they r very much ready to call themselves as Indian’s rather than Kashmiri’s..this is what has lend them in situation where they r neither indian’s nor Kashmiri’s anymore.

      Telegram of Indian prime minster to prime minister of Pakistan Telegram No:-402/primin/2227 Dated 27 october 1947 “I like to make clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergencey is not designed to in any way to influence the state to acceed to india. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with the wishes of people and we adhere to this view.
      Telegram NO:-225 dated 31 october 1947 from prime minister of India to Prime minister of Pakistan. “kashmir accession to India was accepted by us at the request of Maharajah’s government and the most numerously representative popular organization in the state which predominently Muslims. Even then it was accepted on the condition that as soon as law and order had been restored, the piople of Kashmir would decide the question of accession. It is open to them to acceed to either dominion then.
      In this radio on 2nd november 1947. Indian prime minister Jawahavlal Nehru said. “we are anxious not to finalize anything in a moment of crised and without the fullest opertunity to the given to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ullimately to decide and let me make it clear that it has been our policy that wher there is dispute abouth the accession of a state to other dominion the accession must be made by the people of that state. It is in accordance with this policy that we have added a proviso to the instrument of accession of Kasmir

      In other broadcast to the nation on 3rd November 1947. Pandit Nehru said. “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ullimately to be decided by the people. Taht pledge we have given not only to the people of kashmir and to the world. We will not and can not back out of it.”
      In the letter NO:- 368 Primin dated 21 November, 1947 addressed to the PM of Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said. “I have repeatedly stated that as soon as peace and order have been established, Kashmnir should decide of accession by Plebicite or refurendum under international auspices such as those of United Nations.”
      The statement delivered in Indian consituent assembly on 25th November 1947, Pandit Nehru P. M of India said: ” in order to establish our bonafied, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of impartial tribunal such as the United Nations Organisation.”
      In this statement to the Indian Constituent assembly on 5th March 1948, Pandit Nehru said: ” even at the moment of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration that we would abide by the will of poeple of Kashmir as declared in plebicite or referendum. we insisted further that the government of Kashmir must immidiately become populer government. we have adhered to that position through out and we are prepared to have a plebicite with every protection of fair voting and to abide by the decision of the people of Kashmir,,”
      In this press-conference held in London on 16th January,1951, as reported by the daily ” Statesman” dated 18th January 1951,Pandit Nehru said . “India has repeatedly offered to work with the United Nations reasonable safeguards to enable the people of Kashmir to express their will and os a;warus tp dp sp. We hav always right from the begining accepted the idea of the Kashmiri people deciding their fate by referendum or plebicite.
      In his report to All Indian Congress Committee on 6th JUly, 1951 as published in the statesment, New Dehli on 9th July,1951, Pandit Nehru said. ” Kashmir has been wrongly looked upon as a prize for India or Pakistan. People seen to forget that Kashmir is not commodity for sale or to bartered. It has an individual existance and its people must be the final arbiters of their future.It is here today that struggle is bearing fruit not in the battle feild but in the mind of men.”
      In the letter dared 11th september,1951 to the United Nations representative, Pandit Nehru wrote> ” the Government of india not only reaffirms its acceptance of the principal that the question of continuing accession of the state of Jammu & Kashmir to india shall be decided through the democratic method of free and impartial plebicite under the auspices of the United Nations but is anxious that the conditions necessary for such a plebicite should be created as quickly as possible.”
      As reported by the Amrita Bazar Patrika Calccutta on 2nd January, 1952,while replying to Dr. Mooker Jee’s question in the Indian legislature as to what the cogress government is going to do about 1/3 of territory still held by Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said. ” is not the property of either India or Pakistan. It belongs to the Kashmiri people. when kashmir acceeded to India, we made it clear to the leaders of the Kashmiri People that ultimately abide the verdict of their plebicite. If they tell us to walk out i would have no hasitation in quiting, we have taken the issue to united nations and given our word of honour for peacefull solution to the people of Kashmir and we have determined to abide by their decision.”
      In the statement in Indian Parliment on 7th augest 1952, Pandit Nehru said ” let me say clearly that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure ofher people. the pleasure and goodwill of this parliment is of no importance in this matter, not beacuse this parliment does not have strength to decide the question of Kashmir but any kind imposition would be the against the principals that this parliment holds. Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts and if by some decree or adverse fortune, ceases to be part of India, it will a wrench pain and tomant for us. If however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means. we will not keep them against their will, however painfull it may be to us. i want to stress that it is the only people of Kashmir who can dcide the future of Kashmir……….. However sad we may feel about leaving we are not going to stay against the wishes of people. we are not going to impose overselves on the on the point of “bayonet.”
      In the stement in Loke Sabah { Parliment}on 31st, March,1955 Published in Hidustan Times New Dehli on 1Ist april 1955, Pandit Nehru said.” Kashmir is perhaps difficult of all these problems between India and Pakistan. we shoul also remember that Kashmir is not a thing to bne bandied between India and Pakistan but it has soul of its own and individuality of its own, Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir.”

      • 3 Chinmaya January 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm

        as they seems ignoring this fact that Kashmir was never a part of india …I feel like laughing at this huge and irrelevant comment . I guess you are some congress crook who takes nehru words and relies on them.

        Go and the Instrument of accession signed by the maharaja of kashmir. The law says once signed there is no question of going to the decision back and taking opinion of the people.

        You have written lot of baseless stuff which has no legal stand.

  2. 4 Aditya March 2, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Sanjay…Are you a Kashmiri Pandit ??? Ohhh, sorry I know u r a Kashmiri Muslim ! Alright, Got my answer…

    Will see you on 13th March at IHC with my entire team.

    Be ready to face us…

    Get Well Soon !

  3. 6 Sanjay March 2, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Shame on u Sanjay Kak..!..U dont hv a right to call u a Kashmiri Pandit..!

  4. 7 Rohit March 2, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Dear Sanjay,

    No hard feelings but I think you need to brush up. You should have made some effort to get some basic knowledge of Kashmir history and the made a film on so called “Azadi”. I completely beg to differ with you and others who have posted comments in favor of your movie. What is happening in Kashmir is not freedom struggle; this is an offshoot of Islamic fundamentalism being completely covered up by governments at centre who believe in appeasing minority community.

    Coming to history, Kashmir has seen violence at the hands of Muslim Rules and suppression of Hindu ethos. Lets us not go far away to expose the brutal side of the Fascist movement , the failed revolt in the months of Nov and Dec 1998 wore colors of Radical Islamic vision. I remember and my brethren ( in fact may be you also , if you were born and grew up in Kashmir) would also remember how Mullas mobilized Muslims inside Mosques and instigated them to revolt . Sermons were given out to take over TV, radio stations and government offices, in the name of Allah. Islamic slogans and complete vandalism was on show. Kashmir pundits were forced out of homes and abused, they were asked to be fore runners in the processions failing there families would have been at stake . Does freedom wear religious clothes..I feel the whole episode was barbaric and nonsense and you term it FREEDOM struggle.

    I have a few questions. If you have guts reply these. What kind of freedom struggle is this? By and large an average Kashmiri was living peacefully prior to 1997. Whether it was a Pundit or a Muslim. Where did Azadi come in from? Living standards were better than the rest of provinces of J&K where there no sign of unrest till 1998.

    Why did so called freedom fighters (militants) start targeting Kashmir Pundit families and giving them ultimatums to leave there mother land. Wake up Sanjay, you should know. Kashmiri pundits are aboriginals of the land of Kashmir and there right comes first. They never believed in violence and that is exactly why Radical Islam targeted them to avenge the Secular state of India – which they think to be Hindu state, forgetting the fact that Muslim population of Kashmir is just a small part of the total Muslim population of India. Why don’t we see unrest in other parts?

    Moderate Muslim families of Kashmir also believe that this is a political facet of the radical Islamic movement and not Freedom struggle. You don’t target people who don’t want to be a part of your nefarious plans and if you do you area barbarian and not a freedom fighter.

    So pleas don’t mislead. Violence breeds violence and that is what is exactly happening in Kashmir. They sowed violence, they are reaping violence. Many Kashmiri Pundit families are still living with dead shadows from past. Murdered kiths and kins , burnt houses , earnings of life time lost and there tormentors still roaming free. I would completely agree with Yasin Mailk on this point. He has turned Ghandian . He is of the view that violence wont lead up to any where. But being Gandhi is not easy. He confessed of Killing innocent people. Let him set his path straight, motivate surrendered murderers and himself to hand over themselves to law so that justice is delivered to bruised souls .

    Hope this has some impact.. Wake up before violence takes you over.

    All the best.
    Rohit.

  5. 8 Sunil March 2, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Sanjay
    Get Well Soon

  6. 9 sanjay pandita March 2, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Sanjay Mula (KAk) .

    Just tell me u r Muslim or Hindu. Please conform me .

  7. 11 Amit Raina March 3, 2007 at 6:10 am

    While would not like comment on the movie without seeing it. I hope it is not driven by individual quest for fame at the cost of the community. A Kashmiri Pandit sympathizing with Kashmiri Muslims and their struggle (or should I say zeal to kill the innocents).

  8. 12 Kuldeep March 3, 2007 at 8:34 am

    Who Started it ? We Pandits or the Zealots.

    You are a blot on name of our community. You deserve more than hell.

    SHAME ON YOU.

  9. 14 Altaf Qadri March 3, 2007 at 10:08 am

    It seems from the above messages that so called Kashmiri pundits find it against their religion and against their national intrest to write to show something which showers some light on the plight of Kashmiri muslims. No one yet seen the film but still people are hell bent against the maker of the film and Kashmiri muslims.. WHAT DO U GUYS WANT?

  10. 15 uday March 3, 2007 at 10:58 am

    dear all.

    1. can any body answer when was kashmir(Kashmir province rather more particularly the area dominated by Muslims in J & K as a whole) in reality the part of India post 1930.
    2.When any kashmiri inhabitant be it muslim/pandit/jammuities/ladakhis participate inany azadi function(indian Independay day/republc day morally?
    3.On the contrary the palkistani Independance ady has alwyas been celeberated .
    4. Even politicians be it today’s generation or erstwhile can also not claim fundmentally that they are part of india.
    hence it dos not matter what form or manner the azadi jushen is celeberated in Kashmir.

    people who have lived in the state have tasted this sentiment all their lives and people how havn’t lived inthe state can only make observations/comments based on what they have been told to believe.

  11. 16 Altaf Qadri March 3, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Dear Uday…

    Kashmir was never a part of India… If you read any article by anyone whose views are independent and not biased u’ll come to know that the intrument of accession was never signed by the Maharaja.. and the first PM of Indian Nehru, himself promised in a public gathering in Lal Chowk in Srinagar.. that Indian army will stay in Kashmir untill there will b plebisite… But that promise was never fulfilled. New Delhi’s approach towards Kashmir has unfortunately been of denial. Since 1947, it has denied almost everything in Kashmir. It assumed that by denial it would buy time and exhaust Kashmiris. But it failed to accomplish that feat. Kashmiris are still there with their genuine demands. Brute reprisal during last 17 years failed to break Kashmiris. This is the time when New Delhi should end its policy of contradictions in Kashmir and confess Kashmir is disputed territory not its integral part. Let the oppression end so that human life enjoys the dignity it deserves. Kashmir, which was once referred to as ‘Paradise on Earth’, has indeed become an occupied zone where the people of its land can’t even walk around freely. Indian media has always projected the Kashmir conflict as an Islamic problem and has twisted the facts influencing the opinions of not only Indians but the whole world at large.

    • 17 Anonymous February 3, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Dear Altaf Intrument of acecession is available in public domain, so dont show off your ignorance. Kashmir has been and will always be a part of India. As for plebiscite, the UN resolution clearly states that Pakistan should hand over entire kashmir to India and then plebiscite will take place. Tell me whether it was done or not. Kashmir doesnot have any future in pakistan.

  12. 18 Rafiq Maqbool March 3, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    People who are against this film should get well soon till 13 March so that they can watch it.I can just pray for their health.
    Get well soon our brothers

  13. 19 shafaat March 3, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    film sounds interesting, and pleasing
    seems at last there is some depiction of truth on Kashmir. Good work Sanjay
    A word for the hate brigade: Kashmiris have noting against you but we will never accept India as our country. Come what may. Thats a promise
    shafaat

    • 20 Anonymous August 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      if u do not accept india as your country, then what about the kashmiri pandit, was it not their motherland, why they had been dismissed to live in their own motherland. if you refuge to an indian than what about those pandits, why they have come to india b/c they feel that they are indian so as you are.

  14. 21 Abid Mir (KSA) March 3, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I will see this movie on reality basis instead of interest.
    Let me first see how much reality has been shown by Sanjay Kak. After i can give comments.
    By the pandith brothers be cool and watch this movie on reality basis.

  15. 22 J March 3, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Dear Rohit,

    you write long posts, and I read them all. But you seem to get the dates wrong all the time. First I thought you mistakenly wrote 1998 instead of 1988, but then you persist with 1998 and 1997. Either your warped understanding is well founded on a muddled history, or I am missing an important point you are attempting to make.

    Coming to all the rantings and ravings against a person who has taken the courageous step to depict Kashmir as it is today, I feel it is totally despicable to put a person on trial on spurious basis: That if he is Hindu, he has necessarily to side with the Indian point of view, whatever the truth. And if he begins to look dispassionately at the issue, if he is trying to bring to the attention of the world the plight of Kashmiris, he no longer belongs to his community. It is a shame.

    And without watching the film, how can you even begin to question the credentials of its maker?

  16. 23 M Yousuf March 4, 2007 at 6:17 am

    To all the visitors of this space!

    Call it by whatever name, the struggle in Kashmir has been and is against a system that has governed its people. Since 1947 that system happens to be Indian. This struggle has manifested itself in different forms in different periods of Kashmir’s history…alienation, discontent, corruption (moral, material and political), community and ideological isolation, and finally armed rebellion. It is not possible to understand the present without dispassionately reading through and understanding the political history of Kashmir. If anything is clear today about the Kashmiri struggle it is the total rejection of the Indian system of governance. And, the best justification for the struggle comes from the way Kashmir and its people have been treated by India and its armed forces during the last eighteen years.

    In 1990 whoever was or was seen to be part of the cutting edge of the governing system became targets of armed uprising. Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In that chaotic time nasty things happened to people, pandits included. But migration was a political act in part triggered by the extremist elements in the armed rebellion and mostly instigated by the Indian state’s unaccounted policy. Pandits made a conscious choice as if in a plebiscite. I am by no means trying to belittle killing of 77 pundits in 1990 and the suffering the community continues to go through after its exodus from the valley. But, in the same year about 500 innocent Kashmiri Muslim protestors were killed by the state forces in massacres like Gawkadal in Srinagar, not to mention many more who fell to the militant’s bullet.

    Democracy, as practiced in India and more particularly as applied to Kashmir, has never had any credibility in Kashmir. As experienced by what has been known as the mainstream political leadership in Kashmir (both past and present), this governing ideal can at best be described as co-option by arm-twisting. India has controlled Kashmir by force and deceit. India’s power and resources can continue to do so for a thousand years, but hearts and minds of Kashmiris cannot be won by a system that does no have the will or capacity or both to respect wishes of an entire people. The best that India can hope for, now or a thousand years later, is a good neighbor in the shape of an independent state of Jammu and Kashmir.

    The question that Kashmiris will have to answer for themselves is what kind of a state that will be. More than 80,000 lives lost, decimation of its social fabric, a life of indignity for its citizens day in and day out of their existence at the hands of occupying Indian forces and unaccountable social and psychological costs is the price paid by Kashmiris to define their struggle and aspirations. Today this people are engaged in an invisible fight. A fight for a space where a structure will be evolved that can finally replace the current occupation. The Indian state and its people fed by its dexterous propaganda is in a state of denial. This is the worst that the Indian state can do to its people….spreading lies, mutilating the truth about Kashmir, intoxicating its young and old to lead a whole nation into believing its own propaganda.

    Discussions and conversations about the ground reality of today’s Kashmir will reveal the truth. The sooner this reality is acknowledged the better. Otherwise future generations of innocent Indians will, like Germans, have to live a perpetual state of shame and apologizing for what is being allowed in Kashmir today as a deliberate state policy in the name of its innocent citizens.

    I hope Mr Sanjay Kak’s film is a slice of truth about Kashmir

  17. 24 Rohit March 4, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Dear J, what impact does it make if I say 1997, 1998 or any date. The plunder began in 14th century , take any day. Thanks for being a critic.

  18. 25 J March 4, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Rohit,
    Plunder, Rapine, Destruction of Kashmiris is taking place NOW. Are you trying to justify a systematic detruction of the Kashmiris by always going back into history, of which obviously you know not a zilch about?

    The question is not about 14th century, but about you and me, the present. Kashmiris live under the worst form of military occupation. (India has totally given up even the veneer it generally puts on its brutalities).

    Kashmiris are laying their lives to make it free. Make it into an independent country. You have an opportunity to contribute your bit to the cause, for our motherland. You can take this opportunity. But even if you keep ranting like this, if you keep maligning the name of your compatriots, even if you serve the interests of the oppressive India, you are still welcome into our hearts. You are still welcome in Kashmir.

    Things have changed dramatically. The new Kashmiri youth is conscious of its history, its problems; they are devising strategies for the future of the struggle while trying to survive the massive assault India has launched against all thinking Kashmiris. So if you call them ‘morons’, you are just exposing yourself.

    • 26 birbal August 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      dear j
      the problem started in kashmir in 1990 not befre that, what happen suddenly in 1990’s. before that it was a very peaceful state that all pak is pointing out its frustation and unfortu natly our dear brothers of kashmir are following the same.

  19. 27 Dilnaz March 4, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Whsy is t that every time someone wants to talk about the Kashmir conflict, Pandits feel that their plight should be highlighted first? I’m not a Kashmiri, a Muslim or a Pandit? Please explain.

  20. 28 naseer March 5, 2007 at 8:59 am

    I studied at National High School in Srinagar where 80 percent of students and 95 percent teachers were Pandits. Had Pandit friends, lots of them. My first love was also a fair, blond Pandit damsel, a year junior to me. My last year at that school was the first year of the resistance struggle in Kashmir. The flight of Pandits was a personal loss to me in many ways. While at school, studying, playing, and squabbling with Pandit mates and facing the subtle, condescending scorn of Pandit teachers (they wouldn’t stand a Muslim achiever) I found that even before they left, Pandits were pathologically sinking into a feeling that at one time might have been native to ghettoised and persecuted Jews of medieval Europe. And going through the uniform reaction of panidts to Sanjay Kak’s film (even without seeing it, and blinding themselves to the reality in Kashmir) I feel that the reaction is the outpouring of an irrational, groundless, skewed sense of victimhood in which Pandits have draped themselves. Kashmir belongs to those who are resisting the cowardly, brutal, and inhuman 700000 Indian troops. I also count it as a personal loss that Pandits are degenerating into sick clones of Golwalkar, Hegdewar, Godse, and Modi.
    (comment edited)

  21. 29 rafiq maqbool March 5, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    It’s good to know that people are there to show the world what goes on in Kashmir. There’s alot of pain and suffering in this world, but we can all hope for peace. Atleast that’s what we can try to do together.Hoping for peace helps us to cope with the trials that go on in life and it makes us feel better about ourself.

  22. 30 Rahul Khazanchi March 5, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Dear Sanjay,

    Congrats for showing the plight of Kashmiris who have been suffering from hardships created by both the terrorists(so called freedom fighters) and the Indian security forces.
    but before any further comments lets see the movie first.

    Let all Kashmiris irrespective of his religion come together and try to solve the never ending problem of our motherland. Kashmiri pandits and muslims have shared a centuries old bond and harmony (called Kashmiryat) which shoudn’t be shattered by a few unscruplous negative people from both the communities. AMEN

  23. 31 Manash Bhattacharjee March 10, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Some Kashmiri Pandits are showcasing their intolerance. They would like a Kashmir without Kashmiri Muslims. There would be Kashmiri Muslims who would also like the opposite to be true. Either we ask for permission for both communities to wage a war to decide the issue, or we also listen to those who might like to take a different route to freedom. If every Kashmiri Pandit and Muslim is “equally” entitled to speak on behalf of themselves both individually as well as in their idea of the collective, we should have the civilized sense to hear them before we decide to throw stones at them. I am amazed at the brutality of people’s opinions which seek to divide between those voices which have suffered but still manage to be critical and those voices which have suffered and ended with hatred. If suffering isn’t as banal as vegetables weighed on a scale to find out who suffered more, then every human being has to be granted his and her own view of suffering. No civilized community or individual can create a gulag to exterminate the critical voices of human suffering. Though we all would regretfully bow down our heads before those who suffered, we also cannot fail to point out that suffering alone, alas, cannot become a justified condition for war and hatred. Both Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims have suffered, and it is about time they respected each other’s suffering. But respect for suffering doesn’t mean that one has to behave like a butcher and the other has to behave like a lamb. The list of mutual grievances would surely be long and a contested one. But war and hatred will not allow the grievances to be put on the table. We are no longer in the Medieval Era where we would expect our local warlords and chieftains to fight battles and our respective Kings to win the wars for us. If we respect ourselves as thinking, democratic citizens we have to show it when it is most easy to succumb to medieval mindsets. We have to resist this barbarism of abusing those who would like to add their own story to this larger story of suffering Kashmiris. Your history comes in the way of Sanjay Kak’s memory; Kak’s memory comes in the way of your history – don’t brutalize this Aga Shahid-ian entanglement with vulgar retorts. You can elivate your own sense of suffering only by respecting his story. Or else, we have known suffering to be not always successful in humanizing people. Or else the Jews should have treated the Palestinians the way they would have liked the Germans to treat them. I remember an RSS rumour-story from my father where Gandhi was painted during partition as a Muslim in disguise. The same mentality seems to be working against Kak’s credentials. Kak’s film on Kashmir cannot get a verdict before it has been shown. You cannot turn so restless and timid about someone’s imagination. All those who are calling Kak names are Hindu Ayatollah’s. People are ready to turn sick for the sake of a diesase they love. The name of that disease is hatred. Those who are mediocre become the bussinessmen of hatred in any society. I have mixed pleas with harshness because I don’t think people are going to change overnight. So I thought I should better take them on from all fronts. I am not very sure whether this blog on the film should have been started before the film was screened once, but it has all the legitimacy in the world to promote and gather a wave of interest and opinions. I hope the film gets a civilized response from the people of this country. I hope Indian civilians do not behave like the Indian army.
    # 14 J

  24. 32 J March 12, 2007 at 5:49 am

    No debate is possible if comments like this (“Dr.Bhat’s”)are allowed on this blog. The malicious intent is quite visble in his venomous comment: He wants to drag the debate down to a level, where only people like him can argue.

    I take serious offense to the kind of language this doctor is using; and I believe many who have maintained a dignified way of debating here, should agree.

    I request the moderators to delete this comment forthwith.

  25. 33 Deepak Raina March 14, 2007 at 9:23 am

    HI EveryBody,
    I haven’t seen the movie but would love to do so what Mr. KAK has to say..Reading most of the your comments i can make out that the film has depicted something which has hurt KASHMIRI PUNDITS very hard.
    I just know that kashmiris are very strong enough and they dont’t react to everything that comes their way..This seems to be very much against our beliefs and our peace initiatives(which people have started thinking as our weakness)…..It must have really hurt every kashmiri pandit,thats why i see such strong reaction.
    Dear brethern,
    Let me tell you something about Mr. kak
    Born in Pune in 1958, Sanjay Kak attended St Stephen’s College, Delhi and the Delhi School of Economics where he read Economics and Sociology.
    So i dont’t think rather i am pretty much sure he will be ever calling himself a KASHMIRI.So we can consider him another one(Traitor) in such line who loves to blast everything that has nothing for him.
    Here i want to make a one simple point that seeing his accomplishments in film making we would have loved him making a film on the agony(Which he will never understand as he has not faced first hand) faced by kashmiri’s during last 18 years.
    At last i would love to laud my Brethern for being such great Survivors and overcomming such setbacks.
    In comming times We will be called one of the greatest communities in history.

  26. 34 Vishakha March 14, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Dilnaz,
    If u r not one of any of those , then u need to do a bit of homework before asking silly questions.

  27. 35 Deepak Raina March 14, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Altaf,
    You are among those you deserve to be sent to where you belong to.
    The style of your writing suggests what you are and what you were….It suggests what you people did to us Kashmiri’s….At every stage we believed you as our brothers but your minds became corroupt and i believe u already were that way but were just trying to show ur fake friendship….We were not able to judge traitors like you and we were betrayed.
    And let me tell u that u people are dying for a reason(which is no reason)….you are getting what you wanted 18yrs back…U must have heard that story of a person u just goes into a flooded river just for a thing which he thinks is blanket..His friends advice him not to go for he will flow with the water…
    But that guy like u ppl thought of the returns of doing it and went into the river and the thing was a bear and not a blanket…bear caught hold of him…He started crying for help and kept saying that “MAi toh kambal ko chhod raha hoon par ye kambal mujhe nahi chhod raha”.
    Your plight is same the thing u opted for 18yrs back is not leaving you even you ppl want to leave….and if u can see your ppl are suffering……They will keep on suffering…
    I know there are ppl who have realised their mistake and want peace in valley at any cost so i wont curse all of you…But all people like you….SHIVA will throw you where u belong to…
    And for your information i have muslim friends more than hindus in number….But they are not ******** and betrayers like you…They stand by what is right….

  28. 36 Aditya March 14, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    I wonder if at all this movie has the necessary censor cerification by the govt.

  29. 37 inder salim March 14, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    It is not surprising, and neither difficult to imagine that why the audience at IHC ignored the title ‘Jashin-e-azadi’ of the film. Jashin-e-Tamseel was a popular Radio Kashmir’s Theatre event ( a series of serious theatre productions ) and Jashin is a word which is associated with Baand Pather in the first place and then with some other form of celebration in Kashmir. In short Jashin is synonym of Folk Theatre in Kashmir.
    The Baand group in village Akingam ( south of Kashmir, the place I belong ) are down to earth people and know the pulse and feel of the times Kashmir is going through. Traces of past happenings can be felt through the form they employ to express their theatrical practices. Perhaps, one can imagine the quantum of metamorphosis that has gone into the form since centuries in the past. So imagine, for example, how British rule and the partition in India will be played by the actors after few centuries from now. But imagine, that the actors are like Baand actors who perform with meager resources to invest in the costume making and other details to produce a pather ( play ) to entertain as well.
    Baands usually work on satirical themes. The political content is woven into the form like we do while writing free verse. Humour is inevitable once absurdities are made essential elements to express. In the film, the Baands were seen playing the roles of erstwhile rulers who oppressed the subjects like most of Kings do, mostly when they happen to be from outside. Maskhar ( the one who makes you laugh ) is the other name of a Baand actor. Mr. Sanjay Kak, the film maker is not a Maskhar but he is neither a politician. But he is someone who wants to narrate the story of the people who are under pressure: a pressure of historical and political in nature.
    During IHC screening, when the anti-film protest intensified, Mr. Shuddha got up and asked a question about Innocence and Guilt which created a small giggle in the auditorium. He asked a straight question about the medium of film making itself when quite heated political arguments were going on between anti-film and pro-film audiences, with the film makers in the middle explaining different thoughts that went into the making of the film. Mr. Shuddha managed to distract the audience for a while like Baands manage to do, but IHC audience again turned serious and started arguing. It must be more profound than what I can sum up here on the real significance of Baand Pather like things in such a situation. When Baands play the roles, people simply watch them with their jaws wide open and laugh. They nonetheless talk about oppression in the past and even weave the present situation subtly. That is what happens to memories, both painful and pleasant after they filter through time to reflect the mind’s embedded grey matter. The question in the auditorium was how we enter the language of film making with a given Kashmir-complex. No doubt the film making is a recent phenomenon and is far from Baand Pather like mechanism to convey but it always tends to be so. Watching and listening a woman at a psychiatric hospital who talks about her nightmares, seeing fallen men with blood on the roads, or even a photograph which shows a ‘missing’ in a mere 4×6 black and white. Not only two dragon flies on the dry twig, a wailing woman at a shrine, but all other things which the film maker weaved- weaved finally to merge into ‘a one’ which tends to become Baand like structure. The use of words ( here, in Kashmiri ) by two Kashmiri poets interestingly fits into the language of this Baand in other medium. People sometimes tend to see ‘the film’ like Government officials see but not as medium for artistic expression. Strangely a Baand pather or a poem can be more radical and therefore more provocative to the establishment than a film but it is almost fashionable to corner film-makers these days. But , here the popular expression in Kashmir is that please don’t make ‘pather’ of this reality. So if the film was only a ‘pather’ then those who are affected would not like it so. The film is successful in that sense that it profoundly conceals the language of ‘pather’ underneath.
    I am perhaps, yet to touch the Innocence and guilt question which Mr. Shuddha mentioned. A patient at the psychiatric hospital was shown maintaining a diary whom the doctor dubbed as some drug addict. It reminds me of Jenet whose outbursts in various prisons were dismissed by the authorities at that time. The people who don’t find innocence valuable will always give it a name other than what it is. Now who is the guilty, I think we all: the whole humanity. I guess, anybody living in India with some sort of sanity would cry on seeing what Security forces are doing there. I too feel ashamed to see how people are humiliated and searched at a gun point. How sad, that so many innocent deaths have happened in the valley. I wish Indian forces had never gone that far, but perhaps they were pushed, and now the dynamics is one about this binary : truth on one side and power on other side of the fence as Mr. Geelani was seen quoting from the sacred text. Politicians make best use of the situation , and even Mr. Yasin Malik found an opportunity to point out mistake of non-mention of 700 kashmiri families in the film who face the music in Kashmir with other Muslims living there. As if those who have left, have left only to betray the independence struggle and not to save their lives. But Mr. Sanjay intelligently pointed out before the start of the film that unfortunately it is called as ‘collateral damage’.
    Things suddenly go wrong when a father slaps his little child. The good intentions of a father are meant to go wrong because they impose. The rebel child grows and becomes something else, something else, and even demands material share from his property. The love lost is never regained, even when the father gives all his gold. Things never normalize, no reconciliation until a spiritual path is adopted by one or the other. But then spirituality is a personal domain and how one can enter the heart of the other. If the Ranjit Hoskhote’s House of Islam ( at the Delhi Biennale paper reading thing ) is fighting a metaphysical war then it must have an inbuilt spirituality to sustain the struggle. Once the Jihad, the metaphysical and the spiritual blend together then it almost comes to us with a non-penetrable veil unless one becomes a part of it. And it is too difficult to enter and become one within to see what is happening inside. So the audience is looking from outside, and are free to feel pain of the other or take a different stand. But sometimes when the dream like thing called film falls on the eyes of those who sit in front of it , become a part of that reality in a metaphysical space. That is function of a good art, when the intimacy it develops becomes unpredictable: the red on the nose of a Baand or the blood on the fallen victim being to speak the same thing….another story as narrated by The Ancient Mariner.( by Coleridge ).
    Remember, how Baand actors were blessing all the humanity at the end of their pather in their own native village. All were blessed, even the Kings and the officials. So watch the film and Baands in a merged form.

  30. 38 Dilnaz March 15, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Dear Vishakha,
    if my question is so silly why dont u answer it and enlighten me :-). There were massive killings in the Valley before the Pandits left and after, how come you don’t answer questions about that? I wonder how you have managed to turn a blindeye to all those instances, and how you still do…
    At least I have silly questions, it’s a pity you don’t have any.

  31. 39 Pawan Durani March 15, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Since 1990, planned and organized secessionist-terrorism has brutalized Kashmir, the valley of peace and exquisite beauty. Systematic efforts have been made to destroy its syncretic culture, traditions, and heritage, by an orgy of mindless violence fueled by religious fanaticism and extremism, aided and abetted from across India’s borders.

    Terrorism has taken the thousand of innocent lives… men, women and children; the terrorists have indulged wantonly in abduction, rape, murder, arson, extortion and looting. Government officials, political leaders and workers, members of judiciary, print and electronic presspersons, and prominent citizens have been threatened, attacked and killed. Religious “codes of conduct” have been imposed on common people, and there has been large scale destruction of public and private property including over 400 secular state schools. More than 350,000 people of the minority community have had to flee their homes in the valley and today live as refugees in other parts of their own state and country. This is the “accomplishment” of the secessionists proxy-war in Kashmir.

  32. 40 inder salim March 15, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    We lost Darvish.
    Daveshe rov ( by Pairay Hatash- the poet, in the film )

    Blind Tiresias ( of Greek Tragedy ) had a gift of foresight. The Poet’s Protagonist is ambiguous and changes even the gender at will. The city is rotten and only s/he has the courage to declare what is happening. Tiresias has no political will to lead the people, but is spontaneous to reveal the truth in a form that suits the poet. The twist in the tale is inevitable, and therefore, an unpredictable future, but a disaster is round the corner.

    Baands at Akingam ( south of Kashmir ) reveal the rot in their own style, but the film maker ( Sanjay Kak ) reveals it in his own style. Kashmir is in pain, and all the Saints and Darveshs with a poetic foresight have gone. Their absence is part of pain, which hits the people’s spiritual being at the core. There is perhaps no incest going on in the valley, and neither the ruler is the murderer of his father. If we, for a while, even consider that a King Oedipus like character is ruling Kashmir, he is certainly not as courageous as King Oedipus who gorged his eyes in the climax of a deep anguish.

    And even if the bad ruler/occupier in Kashmir realizes the ongoing political incest, and dramatically gorges his eyes which conventionally love to look at the Indian map in its present form- what is worrying is that the two children ( from incest ) would never know how to rule, and are likely to kill themselves in the process, akin to the children of the real King Oedipus who killed themselves afterwards.

    So far it is about pain and about the pending issue i.e Kashmir, but I want to talk about the poet who intensely regrets the absence of a Davrish. What comes to my mind is Abdul Ahad Zargar, the poet/davrish who suffered a Fatwa because of his intuitional outburst in which he revealed the existence of a single woman who happens to be his mother and his better half as well. The establishment rejected the outburst, and the innocent people were punished for the mistakes committed by the men at helm. More such things might have happened in the past. So, Kashmir got a political incest, instead of a metaphysical one which could have paved a path to realize freedom in a much different technique and essence. But it was otherwise, unfortunately because, we have lost the contact with the poet/darvish. Tagore was sceptic about the way Nationalism was pursued by congressmen. Perhaps, we have chaos, because we don’t listen to the poet. The poet too will give us chaos but we can dance with it and sing it even.

    Death is the most interesting thing that I like to talk about when understanding confuses me. I guess, we all know everything. Just tell me one thing that we don’t know. We may not be able to name it or utter it but our gut feelings know what is good for our inner well being and existence. It is a different matter that we often ignore our respective inner voices.

    Here, the political beings, when identities dissolve. Tiresias, Lal Ded, Sheik Noor-u-Din and other great seers have not abandoned us completely. They are somewhere, around, reminding us about the disaster-round-the-corner.

    I am also thinking about the Nandigram deaths by CPI(M) govt. Perhaps we need to listen to what EARTH wants us to listen. Then the political is easy to understand. I guess…

  33. 41 Amit. March 15, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Dear Mr Sanjay

    I saw this movie.I got puzzled to see what you were trying to glorify….Militancy,Terrorism…Its misleading.

    I couldn’t understand how as an script writer/Director you could see only one side of coin.You have shown a comman man dying in cross firing between army and terrorist…but glorified if army men were responsible for the cross firing….There was killing due to army and not terrorists…

    You have potrayed terrorists as men of “Allah”. As if by killing innocent people they were offering “KURBANI” ….

    I couldn’t see any reason of this movie….there was nothing to understand and thing about in this movie.

    Pls don’t make such movies in future…which have no platform

  34. 42 Arjun Raina March 15, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    The idea of Kashmiri Indepedence must be debated discussed brought to the center of mainstream dialogue. If we as Kashmiri Pandits only offer the world the violence and nastiness that has resulted from our peculiar suffering then no one will listen to us.In these difficult times we must stay balanced and offer our views not our bile.The bile will keep us in the gutter where History has brought us.This is very unfortunate but History and its machinations are very difficult to comprehend .Who will suffer and who will prosper is very difficult to predict.As it is difficult to know whose hand was really behind the game that made us suffer.If all of life is only an illusion then even nationhood is only an illusion.No nationhood is absolute.To defend an illusion is not a thing of wisdom.The illusion of Kashmiri Indendence must be considered seriously.As must the reality of a peaceful and prosperous Kashmir.My father and mother would not like to die in the gutter of a life they have in India.Nor would I.We would all like to return to Kashmir one day and die as Kashmiris.For thousands of years that was my identity.It cannot be wished away by a few decades of life in the nation called India.These are difficult things.They must be thought through before we act.

  35. 43 siddarth March 16, 2007 at 5:14 am

    what happened to us?

  36. 44 sanjay March 16, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    this man who calls himself ARJUN RAINA thinks that India is a gutter, and Kashmir is the only place on earth to live and to die. Sanjay Kak the film maker has different take on the whole issue which is humanistic in form. but this is shallow we should be careful with words, otherwise it looks we are just all stinking…

  37. 45 Altaf Qadri March 25, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Mr. Pawan Durani,

    Your arguments are very precise.. but i would like to make a small correction. U shud have used ‘Indian Forces’ rather than ‘Terrorists’. This is wat the fact is. Rest all is fine. Thanx

  38. 46 Aadam April 1, 2007 at 11:04 am

    It’s not worth to comment on this movie without watching it first…But whatever it is…Being a Kashmiri we should see this movie irrespetive of whether a Muslim or a Pandith..I belong to Kashmir and firmly believe that the Kashmir is for Kashmiri’s ( Muslims & Pandiths ), but my mind never understand the psychology of Kashmiri Pandiths, as they seems ignoring this fact that Kashmir was never a part of india…still whenever it comes,they r very much ready to call themselves as Indian’s rather than Kashmiri’s..this is what has lend them in situation where they r neither indian’s nor Kashmiri’s anymore…This is the time for Kashmiri youth ( specially Pandith youth) to decide on which side they want to be. we should not discuss what happen to Muslims or Pandith during 1989 onwards, but should come close to decide what should be done now.. I believe that no one has this right to force people to vacate their homes and leave their land , but at same time i also believe that no one has this right to compress people for recognising force occupation..

  39. 47 Aditya Raj Kaul April 5, 2007 at 9:11 am

    @ Aadam

    That is the difference between Pandits and Muslims. Pandits clearly understand the psychology of Muslims but poor Muslims have always been confused. Pandits have alwaz been supporters of India but Muslims are still confused as to what they want. Some want to go with India, some with Pakistan, and some want so called independence.

    Kashmiri Pandit Youth’s are very clear about their decision. Our point of view was also widely appreciated when we interjected at the screening of Jash-e-aazadi at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. Kashmir has always been a part of India and will remain so. Pandits are the original inhabitants of the valley and sooner or later they will return with dignity, honour and respect when peace returns and the last terrorist is transported to hell.

    I hope it is clear to you. Or, Are you still confused ?

  40. 48 Dennis Dey April 5, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Showing the film is actually a tribute to Indian democracy. The frequent pro-Azadi slogans raised during the time it was shown only underlines India’s freedom of expression. Several writers on this forum has questioned whether Kashmir was ever a part of India. Kashmir was always historically a part of India from time immemorial, as evidenced even by the Chinese historians in Harsha Vardhan’s court. Driving out Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians from J&K to claim that “Kashmir was never a part of Indian ethos” will not solve any problem, as evidenced by the pro-Indian bias of world opinion.

  41. 49 Harjeet Singh April 6, 2007 at 6:42 am

    hi
    I want to purchase a cd/dvd of this documentry…can any one guide me…
    i m based at chandigarh..
    thanks

    Harjeet Singh pabla

  42. 50 inder salim April 16, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    1. can we ever go beyong this hindu muslim divide?
    i think of Basheer Baddar:

    ” Yahan ak bachay kay khoon say jo likha huwa hai, issay padain
    Abhi keertan tera paap hai, abhi mera sajda haram hai”

    Come, let us first read what is written in the blood of a child. Right now your ‘keertan’ is a sin, and my ‘sajda’ unholy.

    2. Kashmiris dont want to live with India, which is clear from day one. Jean Paul Sartre always supported the freedom of Algeria against the conventional intellectual trend in France. History proved him right.

    3. A through and sincere political understanding between Hindus and Muislims in this subcontinent ( India and Pakistan ) would help us to confront the Western onslaught significantly. In any sprehe, the white man’s ‘west’ would always try to keep us under its thumb.

    So let us be cool and find out ways to face the bigger challange, rather than this ‘within’ which is unrealistic.

  43. 51 Joshua Mcrory April 17, 2007 at 1:13 am

    Kashmiris are humans too
    This film and its debate has surprisingly divided Kashmiri Pandits and exposed them, unfortunately so. As a minority who ruled Kashmir for centuries at the expense of millions of Muslims who lived like slaves, the Kashmiri Pandit community seems blatant in ignoring the sufferings of their fellow kashmiris at the hands of Indian paramilitary forces and the militants, mostly the ones that are sponsored and supported by the Indian army and intelligence set up.

  44. 52 maira butt April 20, 2007 at 5:20 am

    I am really surprised to see the reaction of my Indian fellows.At least try to appreciate Mr. Kak for his wonderful use of camera.People who are afraid to appreciate this movie will still be GOOD Indian ,if they face up to the fact.May be they think KP’s tragedy is the only reality which Kashmir has ever faced.I wont say much but let’s approach this movie from a humanitarian perspective.

  45. 53 Nimi June 19, 2007 at 3:18 am

    Will there never be a time when we Indians (or Pakistanis) or even Kashmiris (since they do not want to be referred to as Indians) can discuss Kashmmir without getting agitated. Without saying… Pundits first, Islamic terrorism, insurgents-pakistan… so on and so forth…?
    Forget about a solution to the Kashmir problem…we cant even discuss the state without hyperventilating, even people who have never been there, and thereby know nothing about the place, have, not just fully formed opinions but interesting solutions.
    Back to the film.. i’m looking forward to it, and will make up my mind after i see it. I hope there will be a screening in Bangalore soon.

  46. 54 Ghazi Lone June 25, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    The solution is very simple. An honest, fair and transparent plebiscite in Kashmir. What the minority Kashmiri Pandit community must recognize is that 99% of the Valley and 85% of the total land-mass of Kashmir is occupied by indigenous Kashmiri Muslims. They, by and large, are revolted by the very thought of India. My sincere apologies to those whose feelings are hurt, but face the honest facts. Every single Kashmiri, even those that are for the moment working alongside the National Conference, are awaiting a day they can live free.
    Racially, Kashmiri’s have nothing in common with the majority Dravidian Indians. Culturally, they have nothing in common. Linguistically they have nothing in common. More similarities exist between an authentic Kashmiri and Greece then with the rest of India. There is a superficial level of imposed assimilation that has not entered into the hearts and minds of Kashmiris, even if it has entered upon their tongues.
    Let’s be mature, realistic and dignified and allow Kashmiri’s their right to self-determination. Really, India has no choice, since the alternative will be, sadly, perpetual war.
    Thanks
    Ghazi Lone

  47. 55 Umar Sheikh June 30, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Recently I was invited for dinner by a very hospitable Kashmiri Pundit family and while discussing Kashmir issue, their grandmother, who was around 80 years, broke down in tears and said to me that she will prefer to be in Kashmir in whatever condition rather than in India, she further added that we have nothing in common with India. These words resonated in my mind and reminded me of a great Kashmiri Pundit leader, Ram Chandra Kak, a great Archaeologist and Prime minister of Kashmir who laid the foundation stone for Independent Kashmir and always advised Maharaja against joining India. He wanted Kashmiris to be free, independent, and masters of their own destiny. After Maharaja signed Instrument of Accession under duress, he was charged for treason by the Indian Government and immensely humiliated during his court hearings and sent to jail for several years. After his release he retired from politics but always dreamt of Independent Kashmir. His political contribution towards Independent Kashmir is conveniently glossed over by Kashmiri Pundit scholars.
    I found many in this forum asserting that Kashmir was always part of India without realising the fact that before 1947 Kashmir was not even connected to India by all weather road.
    This film has brought Kashmir issue into spotlight and hopefully next generation of Kashmiri pundits will start rediscovering their own roots with some objectivity.

  48. 56 little indian July 12, 2007 at 7:57 am

    http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/documents/documents.html

    A link to the original documents.
    Unbiased readers can judge for themselves.

    Blogmistri has some doubts about the ‘unbiased’ bit, but for all those who are into neat and incomplete legal(?) labyrinths
    and not people’s messy desires, these links may be a beginning

  49. 57 Sameer July 22, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    I watched the compelling documentary Jashn-e-Azadi [How We Celebrate Freedom] at the Osian Cine festival in New Delhi. The film is a powerful narrative about the last 18 years of Kashmir’s low intensity conflict – a glade of earth where the Indian elite once used to honeymoon en masse. With his intrepid endeavor, Sanjay Kak seems to have stepped onto an uncomfortable territory. I think that sets this film apart. It subtly dissects the desolation and travails of a struggle, which is construed as sacred and star-crossed at the same time.

    On a much personal level I could almost immediately identify with poignancy of the effort. Being a Kashmiri, it felt like an emotive roller coaster. The images came rushing back to me as I saw horrors — known and unknown — unfold on the screen, sitting alongside an elite audience at Delhi’s Siri Fort. It is kinda tough but there has been an emotional bitterness about this war era – which a non-Kashmiri may find hard to fathom. I don’t know what went wrong and where but that is precisely what the film is trying to convey. Sanjay has stitched related narratives and crocheted them together by the theme — Azadi or Freedom.

    The elusive Azadi! I have been in Kashmir during those difficult militancy years. I vividly recount the dreary nights. The gunshots. The screams. It was a pain with no end. Of watching parents with hapless eyes. Their children being dragged out of homes and killed in cold blood. The persecution. Wily politicians. The wickedness of it all. And the quitetude. Jashn-e-Azadi rips open these closeted taboos. It zooms on tears that ordinarily get consigned to dust. It follows the steps of a father, who visits the Martyr’s graveyard in Srinagar – only to forget his son’s grave.

    Kak’s oeuvre is varicolored. He is simply effortless in his coalescing of the fragments – psychological scars, bruised souls, the poets’ lament, the clowns’hamming, dissidents’ spiel and armys’ duplicity in Kashmir. Sanjay talks to the miscellaneous Kashmiri. It must be hard being a sister and losing a brother and telling a film crew how he died after all those years. In her limited vocabulary. Trying to seek a shy solace after years of anguish. The tourist’s cheer in the meadows of Gulmarg only adds to the idiom.

    As the poet Zarif croons in one of the film’s many frames:

    I’ve lost the city of love I’d found,
    What frenzy is this
    My gaze has been silenced
    What frenzy is this?

    Jashn-e-Azadi is coming of age of independent documentary film making in India. Sanjay Kak is so much more real than the jingoistic crap that Indian media passes for. He showcases the innocence that incidentally got stolen in a paradise, once wintry night in 1989. And is still missing!

    Sameer Ahmed
    http://www.sameerbhat.blogspot.com

  50. 58 Junaid July 23, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Jashne-Azadi has multi-layered, polyphonic, criss-crossing narratives. Frames merge; so do the different aspirations and dreams. Azadi comes alive in the tearful eyes of a mother seeking blessings at a Sufi shrine; the playful Baands bringing a rare smile to long-stricken faces; or a commuter asked to stop for identity check, who throws his Identity papers down casually; thousands of people shouting in unison: “We want? Freedom”. A freedom staring down the barrel of the enemy’s gun.

    We discover a uniformed criminality which, in common parlance passes of as the security forces. Convoys of army vehicles, loaded to the brim with always-restless always-on-the-move alien soldiers fighting a war against no one. A war with no end; therefore, a war to the end.

    The stifled vision of Kashmiris. Behind barbed wires we get glimpses of the distraught faces of children, who do not quite understand if all Army wanted to give them was a vocational training why were they orphaned. We see young boys forced to strip and then slapped across their faces. Stories of rapine and arson narrated by sufferers with a limited vocabulary that do not quite represent the horridness of the actual experiences.

    An irony. Jashn-e-Azadi. How We Celebrate Freedom. A place where the last traces of freedom have been crushed underfoot by an arrogant occupier, how do people celebrate freedom? Jashn-e-Azadi! How We Celebrate Freedom? Muted Kashmiris handed radios by a bearded soldier. (Apparently, a Muslim.) ‘Listen to what is happening in the world’. Speak not. Treacherous occupier. A glib psychologist counsels an elite audience out of the ‘Resistance to the Occupation Syndrome’. Yet, another psychologist helps poor people rebuild their lives; lives eaten away by the Post-Trauma Stress Disorder. The Baands, too, bless their oppressive rulers in the end. What frenzy is this!

    The film-maker has people blaming him in Delhi for not talking about the plight of Pandits in detail. In Srinagar, he will have people accusing him for not depicting the miseries of Kashmiri Muslims enough. But the film, unlike the old man, in Kupwara, whose fate it is to keep counting the dead in the war, is not about numbers. It is about alternative, if broken, stories; stories of people on the street and in the fields. It is about a resistance, lived. It is about uncomfortable memories that come in the way of the occupier’s history.

    Jashn-e-Azadi is not the conclusive account, but it opens a thousand and one different ways of looking at Kashmir. Cheers!

  51. 59 sam July 24, 2007 at 6:09 am

    We’ve all been discussing the film ever since we saw it. It is amazing how an honest effort — tho a tad longish documentary — can alter public opinion and challenge received notions.

    I’ve since updated my blog and slightly tweaked my post:

    http://sameerbhat.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-we-celebrate-freedom.html

    Sameer Bhat

  52. 60 Roshni July 25, 2007 at 7:41 am

    I think the movie is powerful. It takes us to a bitter truth. Just because mainstream media is too busy trying to sensationalize news, it does NOT mean the rest also need to turn a blind eye towards hard-hitting issues like these. For some reason, issues like the ones in Kashmir and North East is always forgotton in the midst of all the page 3 journalism available.

    Roshni

  53. 61 Supriya J July 28, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Sanjay,

    Just wanted to say you have creaded a soul stirring movie, which really makes you think. I am just glad I got to see it, and I hope and pray that this movie screens throughout India.

    Good Luck with everything!

  54. 62 anila August 3, 2007 at 5:49 am

    hi i am a student of mass media and i got a chance to watch the documentary recently and i am completely in awe with it.i never knew that the kashmiris didnt want the indian army to be there. although i knew much about it but it really shocked me. i hope each and every one gets a chance to watch this docu and lets stop this system of actually banning such realistic and superb docu.

  55. 63 Barbara Ali August 4, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Hello Dears,My Kashmirie siblings,

    Kashmir will always be the ‘Jewel in Mother India’s crown’, please try to accept this fact and join each other in unity before its too late.

    Every Country has screwed and raped OUR BELOVED MOTHER LAND-INDIA.Independence has shattered her very face.Yet with what grace Mother India is still holding tight to those who have put her in great disgrace.

    By asking now for a seperate state, its like pouring iceing upon a hot PIE.Live or die situation is being forced upon those who are not satisfied with a share in the cake.

    I have worked under top Kasmirie business houses, and the Cottage Industries Exposition is doing very well in all the cities , towns and villages of India .

    These Kashmirie men have married so many of our other state Women, and they live so happily.Even many kasmirie women have accepted to marry men of the various states.Adjusting to all and praying for fate to solve the problem which is helping no one in the end.

    The Kasmiries’ I have had the opportunity to work with, and enjoy good times, when off duty, are still placed deep inside my heart.

    When I go any where I look for the CIE shops and even in Dubai, there is a famous one called the Islamic Art Emporium/Museum. etc,., in The wealthiest area ,and yet the same simple, humble Kasmirie is found to be working so happily along side other nationalities.How is this so?Yet in India they do not wish to even sit next to an inter state sibling of theirs’

    Kasmir is Mother India’s most treasured Jewel ,fitted deep into Her Heart and Soul.This is Her most -unmovable and special gift from God,like a dowry from above, let us all unite and pray for the past to be put away , and start a fresh for the sake of our youth who are destroying their lives in such kind of ways.

    Kasmir is ours to stay,this is no lie, and all of us true Indians are not going to let it be taken away. To be messed about with , no way!!!! Come join in the pie, this is no word of lie, we have enough to share, as long as your heart is ready to bear the thought of re-united you stand to share in the pie.Or ,just leave home and go away.LIke the prodigal son, when you return, you will feel better for sure, your mother wills till await you with wide open hands.

    What would you have done if you had the similar problem in your home , if some of the kids kept pulling your mothers’ eyes out and the rest were trying to pasify,well I am sure all fingers are not alike, so a few will try to break those fingers of the siblings who are trying to dig out the very eyes of their parent.

    Movie or story, does not create any disturbance to me, or those who are blessed with sensibility,and justice in their heart.We never like to sit back and watch,when a family member is being torn apart,kicked or booted ,stabbed in the heart, no , never, that is why ,many like me have opened this site to read and to share our own experiences of equality.

    Here in UAE, I have many friends who are also Kasmirians, and how sweet and blessed are these.No jokes, its only because, Our Mother India allowed all the elders, the neighbours and family friends to enter into her family amtters that this horrible situation Our Beloved Kasmir has come to!!!!I dont balme her, out of desperation she sort all of them to help in solving the bull dozzing of a silly bully in her family.

    I was so lucky to fly up into the sky and as the pilot slowed down and kept going round and round, over Our Mother India’s Crown, My heart gave a beat and I nearly jumped out of my seat and could not get over the sight of my life.OH! How Heavenly indeed.,as if I was in the midst of PARADISE!!!! just looking down , into those valleys, of slow motion, the mountain peaks with snow flowing down, and the different colours and shades that covered and captured my gaze only a true Kasmirie knows what I mean.

    I have lived a life of hell on this earth and after flying above The Himalayas and even seen so much of Kasmir I feel I ahve entered into Paradise,what more can one want? Heaven and earth, hell as well,tell me -why this feeling of unrest should prevail.

    MY prayers and blesing on every Kasmirie home and our Beloved India to solve this matter of Internal Bliss as soon as possible.

    With much love and warmth,to each one at home in Kasmir,

    Your pleading sibling till God helps to unite us very soon.

    Barbara Ali.

    Freelance Social Worker

    P O BOX: 38485, Sharjah UAE

    Land Line 00971 06 7456401

    MObile No:00971 050 6914668

  56. 64 Sailesh Mishra August 5, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Yesterday in Eve in Mumbai,It was my privilege to see this full length ( 2 hrs 20 minutes ) documentary on struggle for freedom in the Kashmir valley “Jashn-e-Azadi” – written and directed by Sanjay Kak.I thank my friend Shirin for inviting me for this show.

    On 15th August 2007, as India celebrates the 60th anniversary of it’s Independence, this provocative and quietly disturbing new film raises questions about freedom in Kashmir, and about the degrees of freedom in India.

    It was horrifying and disturbing to see the images of Kashmir – once heaven on earth.

    The documentary starts with a father visiting the graveyard to locate his sons grave,but finds difficult to do so because in one year time there are hundreds more grave added due to terrorism in valley.

    Somewhere I felt the documentary showed more about the brutality of the Indian Security Forces but did not show much about the cruelty and terror of Militant from across the border.Surprisingly it also did not talk about the kashmiri pandit’s plight.

    The valley has lost count of brutal death due to militant and security force.It shows helpless children’s and women’s,just struggling to live.

    The security force have to take the burn as they are in catch five situation,they are fighting an unseen enemy and the anger of the people.The security force have in situation build the tense and terror and at many places they have started the social work and goodwill work as confidence building measure.

    According to me the people of Kashmir are caught between the politics of across the borders.The unemployment and illiteracy has added the fuel to the terrorism.The religious leaders have taken advantage of this and misguided the youths of valley.

    Kashmiris should be encouraged to participate in the mainstream of social,economical and political India. Let them have interaction with people of other Indian States and with the development pace of the country.

    I hope there will be day when the Kashmiris’ will get Freedom from terrorism and once again we all will be proud to say “ Sare Jahan Se Acha Ye Kashmir Hamara”

  57. 65 unwashable wath August 6, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    the film was at least stirring, and your outpourings are honest from all sides. Most of us will realy like the k of j&k to have peace if at all it is possible by granting the wishes of some kashmiries and pakistanies. But I cannot sleep what will happen to the balance left with India. You will agree indians and pakistanis are brothers at least in meanness. World openion is still far away. Spare a thought,I have gone through this several times in my life time.

  58. 66 Ravinder Kaul August 7, 2007 at 7:08 am

    I haven’t seen the film and I would very much like to see it. But being a Kashmiri myself and belonging to the miniscule minority community of Kashmiri Pandits that was hounded out of the beautiful valley by Islamist terrorists in 1990, whatever I have read
    about the film from the blogs and other sources, I believe that the filmmaker has completely ignored the plight of this community, now living in exile in camps
    in Jammu, Delhi and elsewhere in India in a pathetic condition.

    Ironically, the filmmaker himself belongs to this community but he is probably suffering from a mental state that has come to be known as ‘the Stockholm Syndrome’.

    I will reserve my comments on the film till I see it myself but while making films sympathetic to the point of view of those who are waging an armed struggle for
    dismemberment of a nation state, we have to delve deep into the question of the need for the very existence of a nation state. Do we want India to survive as a nation state or do we want its dismemberment a la the erstwhile USSR? If we want the former, do we not need to defend the territorial integrity of this nation state with firmness and resolve?

    Moreover, what is at stake in Kashmir is not mere resolution of a territory that is claimed as disputed by some of the stakeholders. It is actually the larger question of the very survival of India as a Secular State that is at stake in Kashmir. J&K State is the
    only Muslim majority state in this country and the Sangh Parivar’s biggest weapon against continuance of secularism as a state policy these days is that India is a secular state only till the time Hindus are in a majority in this country. The moment demographic profile of this country changes, it will be converted into an Islamic state. Looking for an example? See how the religious minorities have been treated in J&K State, the only Muslim majority state in the country. Wadhahama (Hindus) Chhatisinghpora (Sikhs) and other similar carnages are still fresh in public memory. Can
    we stop Sangh Parivar to go to town with this kind of propaganda, if things do not improve in the Valley.

    Another point, the same army that is being castigated now for its atrocities was being hailed by the same Kashmiris for its positive contribution in sectors of health, sanitation, education, construction of roads and buildings etc. not many years ago. How did the
    same army men turn into demons overnight? No one need to defend the excesses by the army and the crime against innocent men and women committed by some of the
    army men, for which so many men in uniform have been given exemplary punishment. But why is it so that whenever there is a news by atrocities committed by
    army men, people feel free to hold loud, sometimes violent, demonstrations and whenever some innocent is killed or some woman raped by foreign or local
    terrorist no one utters a word. Is it not sufficient reason to believe that among Kashmiris the fear of terrorists is much more than the fear of Indian Army.

    The ‘martyr’s graveyard’ in Kashmir is a tragic reminder of a war waged on this country by a belligerent neighbour, in which most of those who perished were Kashmiris and not their own countrymen. But what about the thousands of Indian soldiers who died in Kashmir in a bid to defend the territorial integrity of this country. Does anyone shed any tears for the widows and orphans left behind by them? Did they all die in vain?

    I have not seen the film, but if it addresses all these questions in a balanced manner, then I think it would be a worthwhile exercise. If you have seen the film, I would be very glad if you could please give your impressions about the film in the light of what I have stated above.

  59. 67 Altaf Qadri August 22, 2007 at 7:02 am

    Ms. Barbara Ali,

    Have you ever tried to thought over the questions you have asked???? Have u ever thought why these “humble and simple” human beings, who were afraid to slaughter even a hen, picked up the gun? Sitting in UAE and talkin about your Mother India made me laugh. Mayb like other Indian and Indian politicians you are more concerned about the Land not the people, when you address Kashmir as Jewel in Mother India’s Crown”.
    Your “Mother India” gave step mothers treatment to its Jewel. Even as I was yet to be born when India became an independent nation, the lessons taught at school were enough to give me a feeling of being subjugated to people you could hardly identify yourself with. So independence from the alien people like Britishers is by all means worth celebrating. Even for those condemned to an abject slavery.
    But today my thoughts about Indian Independence Day are wandering off in a different direction. I cannot comment about the people living in other states of India, whether they have really ever gained independence or not. But being a Kashmiri, I have a lot of turmoil in my mind about the way independence is defined in our State.
    It is a fact that J&K State was an independent princely state much before when India became a free nation on August 15, 1947. But the short sightedness of the leaders while negotiating with princely State of J&K to join the Union of India without properly analyzing what would be future consequences gave birth to fighting for independence at regular intervals. And the ‘forced merger agreement’ signed between the then maharaja of Kashmir and the union of India is most tinted reason for Kashmiris’ independence movement. And I firmly believe that India’s step motherly treatment towards Kashmir added fuel to the fire, which resulted in the on-going armed struggle against Indian presence in Kashmir.
    One of the core reasons for separatist movement in Kashmir is the whole sense of being under occupation by a ‘foreign nation’. This sense comes from the fact that affairs at the local level are being micro managed by the officials appointed by the government of India and who on most occasions are unaware of the Kashmiri culture and customs and yet are expected to work efficiently with the local public. Never has India allowed to change this micro-management structure and always discouraged autonomy when it comes to managing their local affairs. To be precise, Indian government appointees (IAS & IPS officers) have been telling Kashmiris how to run affairs at the local level. Even as this has been a way to have control over the state administration or the police affairs in the State, but the current explosive situation, which is now 18 years old, is sufficient to substantiate the fact that all this strategy has boomeranged. Otherwise, what is the harm in having KPS and KAS officers at the helm of affairs so that Kashmiris are allowed to manage and police their own affairs at local levels?
    There have been numerous cases of government of India officers abusing their authority in Kashmir. This only further alienated the Kashmiris who view this abuse as yet another extension of the “illegal occupation” of Kashmir by India.
    India’s characteristic features present it as a secular and democratic country. But when it comes to the existence of India in Kashmir, these features are found missing. Kashmiris have been made to surrender their freedom and rights. The men in uniform, on the pretext of fighting for peace, have curbed the normal and routine activities of the civilian population. There is no guarantee that a Kashmiri leaving his home early in the morning to earn some bucks for his family will return safely to his home or even he may not come back forever. Because Armed Forces Special Power Act is in vogue, which gives free hand to police, military and para military forces to arrest or gun down any person in the name of curbing separatist movement.
    How can a Kashmiri forget, when not a very long ago, he witnessed that a student was gunned down in broad day light at Dalgate because the men in uniform suspected that the student was carrying a grenade. The forces’ personnel was rewarded instantly for his “courageous act”. The eyewitnesses gave statements to the media that the student was shot just because he had an argument with the force’s personnel. How can a Kashmiri eyewitness forget the incident in which sometime before a bakery owner, whose shop was opposite a CRPF bunker was shot dead while he was closing his shop for the day. The CRPF personnel justified his actions by claiming that he thought the baker was a suicide bomber. The baker’s father told that his son was killed because he asked the CRPF men to pay for their purchase during the day. These are not the only incidents, which have forced further alienation of Kashmiris, but lot of human rights violations at the hands of Indian security forces have been reported in different media vehicles during the past 18 years which have infused hatred, insecurity and fear among the civilian population.

  60. 68 Tariq September 16, 2007 at 10:40 am

    please somebody tell me how i can get a copy of this film.

  61. 69 Nidhi September 26, 2007 at 6:16 am

    Sanjay,

    Great work. I am impressed by your guts. The time has come when our community (kashmiri pundits) should take the responsibility of our deeds and this is a good start. Looking at the comments above from various people I feel that it is our community that has too much anger and hatred against the kashmiri muslims. This is not the pundit community my grand father used to tell me about. We were the most learned community in Kashmir but our greed and selfishness led to our plight. I think we should realise that it was not the Kashmiri Muslims who drove us out of the valley. It WAS US AND ONLY US. If we had the courage we should have stayed there, and fought for our rights, and if that meant dieing, then so be it. We should have not left kashmir. Let us not blame others for our own mistakes.

    We should welcome Sanjays efforts and make decisions that will be for the betterment of all Kashmiris- if we intend to go back to Kashmir.

    Wake up all Kashmiri Pundits. The time has come for believing in honesty and truthfulness. India has not done anything for us. We have been nomads since 15 years.

    God bless all Kashmiris and enlighten us.

    Thanks
    Nidhi

  62. 70 Aditya Raj Kaul September 27, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Nidhi,

    Firstly, You should have the basic knowledge of writing your full name; though maybe skipped it for some particular reason known only yo you.

    Secondly, I really appreciate the last sentence of your “motivated” post; you really need to get enligtened and may god bless you.

    Hope you think more about the things your grandfather told you and elaborate them.

    If Indian state has really failed you and moreover your own brethen; what have you done to show your anguish and protest. Or, are you another of those people surviving on Indian soil and “in dark” abusing your nation and its people.

    The above post surely indicates that its someone’s mischief.

    We have been scattered all over and living like nomads but aren’t the hero’s of Sanjay Kak’s film responsible for that ?

    And, do you still live in Kashmir? Maybe then you can recify your mistake. U mean to say that an entire community of around 5 lakh peopl made a mistake and what the violent terrorists did was right. Its amusing.

    btw am eager to know how was the response Kak got in his US and Canada propaganda tour…?

    Cheers !

  63. 71 Nastik October 6, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    i live in the states, where can i see this film?

  64. 72 Anonymous October 9, 2007 at 11:13 am

    This is for Mr Ghazi Lone and others who believe that Kashmiris are fundamentally different from Indians because they have a different language, culture, and customs and that they are not Dravidian (whatever that insult was meant to imply only cheapened his argument further). What he does not know is that this in fact the easiest way to describe a large majority of peoples in India. He is probably not aware of the cultural diversity or the complexity of life outside the valley. Kashmiris are unique, there is no disputing that, but so are a lot of communities in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Kashmiris are oppressed and continue to be oppressed, there is not disputing that either. Kashmiris are alienated, deliberately, institutionally, and systematically from mainstream life in India and Pakistan, there is no need to dispute that. Assertions of seperateness on basis of race and language are not needed to make your point, we are all humans. Let the facts speak for themselves, without resorting to cheap gimmicks and false notions of superiority that can draw attention away from the legitimacy of the Kashmiri struggle.

  65. 73 sidharth kaul. October 11, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Dear Mr. Altaf,

    Ab inito i am very much impressed by the way you talk and the knowledge for the subject you have got. no doubt you are in the right profession…
    there is only one thing i want to ask you, and moreover to any other person who is so much into the subject that they are typing a couple of pages….
    most of the people … i am sure for that… have not actually been to kashmir…
    now there is a hell lot of difference between what u Actually see and what u feel…

    coming back to the question that i was about to ask is that …

    how in the lord’s name do you justify the “people” (i would use “people” here to be so called “neutral”) attacking the mosques or temples ( the one incident that i remember now is that of raghunath temple jammu)…the latest incident being in Pak…killing the innocent people whom they even don’t know at the first part…

    Does ISLAM or Hinduism support that…Is that what Jihad is???

    SECONDLY, humanity is of prime importance…the issue of being a hindu or a muslim , asecondary…why kill innocent people????

    FOR YOUR REFERENCE MR. ALTAF: PLEASE READ .. AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO BE SO CURIOUS CAN ALSO DO THE SAME … READ….

    I CAN ALSO SEND YOU THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT SIGNED BY THE RULER AT THAT TIME …

    The Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharajah Hari Singh, ruler of the State of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), on October 26, 1947. It gives control of Jammu and Kashmir princely state (includes Jammu, Kashmir, Northern Areas, Ladakh and Aksai Chin) to the government of India.

    The accession was accepted by Lord Mountbatten, Governor General of India, the following day (October 27, 1947).

    “Whereas the Indian Independence Act, 1947, provides that as from the fifteenth day of August, 1947, there shall be set up an Independent Dominion known as India, and that the Government of India Act, 1935 shall, with such omission, additions, adaptations and modifications as the governor-general may by order specify, be applicable to the Dominion of India.

    And whereas the Government of India Act 1935, as so adapted by the governor-general, provides that an Indian State may accede to the Dominion of India by an Instrument of Accession executed by the Ruler thereof.

    Now, therefore, I Shriman Inder Mahander Rajrajeswar Maharajadhiraj Shri Hari Singhji, Jammu and Kashmir Naresh Tatha Tibbetadi Deshadhipathi, Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), in the exercise of my sovereignty in and over my said State do hereby execute this my Instrument of Accession and I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India with the intent that the governor-general of India, the Dominion Legislature, the Federal Court and any other Dominion authority established for the purposes of the Dominion shall, by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession but subject always to the terms thereof, and for the purposes only of the Dominion, exercise in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir (hereinafter referred to as “this State”) such functions as may be vested in them by or under the Government of India Act, 1935, as in force in the Dominion of India, on the 15th day of August, 1947, (which Act as so in force is hereafter referred to as “the Act”) .”

  66. 74 Daalat December 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    I have read all the comments with intrest, I have not seen the decumentry, i am seeing it this evening at Leeds University, I come from POK, where we get fair share of oppression from Pakistan, I have always seen myself as J&K state citizen by virtue of 1927 state subject, so I identify my self as Kashmiri.
    I have often wondered, if there was an accession then it was for the whole state and why have we been abandened. I also always have believed that, how India was democratic and tolerant especially Kashmiri Pandits and had a lot respect for them and admired their works in many fields.
    I suppose what I am trying to say is that all my percetions a kind of beliefs have been shattered by hostile comments by Indian Hindus and Valley Pandits.
    I have always written aginst any kind of fundamentalism including the recent global phenamena, however, I have statrted understanding now , this is so from the Valley Pandits, so cool, so intelliegent, so humble for centuries, one turn of event, opperassion has turned them fundamentalist in their thinking so how can you blame other communities who turn like Pundits under opperassion.
    I will comment on the documentry after watching it but please be rational, patient and fair

  67. 75 Daalat December 7, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I have seen the film now and found it to be intellectualy challenging, not at all anti anybody especially pandits. In fact silently it stresses that the society in Kashmir has fragmented without its lynch pin (pandits). In relation to Army’s brutality it is very soft and I believe if the whole picture was known to Indians at large they would be up in arms and put political pressure against organised atrocities from all sides. Please go and see it before making any hostile comments. Well done Sanjay there is a need for more info to come out of this very beautiful large concentration camp. And what about Pahari communty’s continious suffering: refugees in 1947/8 thousands stranded in Jammu and Mirpur, again 1965 tens of thousands from Rajori/poonch etc, 1971 and recent line of control firing. The whole thing should be seen in its context, why should one communty be holier than the other?

  68. 76 Dr. Sayed Nasreen Shah December 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Kashmir… is the land of people of Kashmir regardless of Islam and Hinduism. but it is never the part of India. Those pandits who are against Mr. Kak are not Kashmiris but are from India and it means Indians. How can a Kashmiri say that Kashmir is part of India. Very soon or late, Kashmir will be a country as per wishes of Kashmiri people and only Kashmiris can live there.
    The freedom of state depends on the majority. I know few fanatic pandits are weak in mathmatics, so i preffer to explain. What is bigger 90 or 10? Obviously 90 and 90% want freedom from India. And 10% are paid agents.
    Can any one hand his mother to any one? So how Kashmir can be handed by Kashmiris to India. Those who say Kashmir is part of India means they have handed there mother and daughter to India.

  69. 77 Dr. Sayed Nasreen Shah December 26, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Dear Barbara… Kashmir is never part of India… stay cool in Sharjah

  70. 78 numushtaq December 27, 2007 at 5:33 am

    Why Kashmiri pandits only count Hindus? What about Muslims of Kashmir. Let us see what majority of Kashmir wants

  71. 79 Kalboishakhi February 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    i am mesmerized by the trailor and all that has been written about your film.
    As you know Kolkata has a tradition of cinema lovers and we are trying to organise a small festival of films on the question of communalism and present politics.
    I would love to have your film as a part of the festival.
    we do not have much budget but are very keen on getting films with a difference,as yours.
    How can we go about getting a print?can you also detail the expenses,etc involved and who to contact and where?

  72. 80 Tarale Seena March 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Nidhi, if you meant “USA, and only USA”, I am there with you. The terror infrastructure left behind by the USA in Afghanistan spilt over into Kashmir, along with the newly unemployed jihadis. Until then, the Kashmiri struggle was largely peaceful and acceptable.

    If you meant “dying”, I am there with you again, you should have died, in Kashmir. Or perhaps served the JKLF. Poor thing, you and your ilk, their greed to live and give their children a better future, all this was responsible for those Jihadi hardliners to come at you. BTW, did they threaten your mother or your brother, in the middle of the night, at gunpoint?

  73. 81 Ajay Raina April 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Saw the film. It is sad that while this film could have been helpful in initiating some sort of dialogue between people on two sides of the Kashmir divide, it has got mired in silly controversies due to vociferousness of a few shallow hearted and short sighted people.

    At the outset I will say that no other film on Kashmir I have seen yet could get any closer in showing me why the ‘azadi movement’ is such a profound failure, even though some of the people continue to persist with the struggle. The absence of a flag / a national song and the absence of a unified leadership and moreover the absence of a philosophic – visionary approach to azaadi cannot just be glossed over. These are vital clues to the ‘faithlessness’ of their approach to their struggle and the betrayal that the Kashmiris – including Kashmir’s minorities – feel in their heart. People have suffered not only due to army oppression but also because of the oppression within. Moreover, the fact that this is entirely a movement of Kashmiri Muslims and not of entire people from this region makes it hard for me to own it as my own, as a secular or even a just and moral struggle.

    For me the question remains – Azadi ka matlab kya? Your film does not give me that answer. I wish you had also asked a few critical questions of yourself about your beliefs about Kashmir, because in its absence this film than remains a one-sided argument and we have had too many of those in Kashmir always.

    But coming back to the question of Kashmir, I do not think that people of India are not aware of what is happening there or in the North East or with Muslims. I think they, including the so called liberal – leftist – humanist – secular – pseudo secular Indian, have always chosen to ignore some of the hard facts and the the ugly face of their country. In my view Kashmiri Pandits, when they chose to come away rather than face death or assimilation, were the first to sense the seriousness of ‘azaadi’ movement. Why else would these Pandit organisations put up a call for a separate ‘Panun kashmir’ of their own in the immediate aftermath of 1990 winter.

    Except for the irritating bits of Ranjan Palit’s strange obsession with un-focussed images in all the films he shoots, I thought it is a brilliantly shot and wonderfully edited film. I especially thought that all the sequences involving the military – the independence day celebration and most importantly, the sequence with the villagers being given radio sets and the sequence with Muskan kids in the army camp, bring out very vividly an aspect of ‘occupation’ that you see not only in Kashmir but in all the border areas of India but which we choose to ignore only as long as we are not personally affected by it. Most recently, I have seen it in Ladakh. There is no aspect of life there there not impacted by Indian army. But we will not speak of Ladakh yet…

    I remember spending lots of time in some of the army cantonments in Kashmir as a kid when i used to be very obsessed about becoming an air force pilot, but the nature of our army was clear to me even than. I do believe that’s what the ‘karma’ of armies all over the world is, and my country’s army can not be an exception, but that does not also mean that the army should– or can–be allowed to get away with its conditioned response of disregard for human life and dignity of a struggling people.

    When I was in Kashmir on my first trip, I felt a strange sense of gloom and despondency in the people wherever I went, or perhaps it was my own internal turmoil externalised. I had felt very sad and depressed about Kashmir and its people and also about soldiers bogged down there in a life and death struggle, while everyone who created the mess there goes on with life like Kashmir was only a soldiers problem.

    When all other arguments ‘for’ the cause of Azaadi fail its votaries, they than speak of themselves as victims of 18 years of a violent struggle they started but did not know how to stop. Your film follows that argument and perhaps for the first time in any film about kashmir gives a coherent shape to that argument in most detailed form. But Kashmir is not only about what has gone on there in last 18 years or what was there during ‘hindu’ dogra raj. The fact that in your film you date the quest for kashmir’s azadi from the time of Mughal conquest does not mean that History of kashmir’s separate identity begins from there. Why would we not talk about Kashmir’s first muslim king. He was also an outsider. I do not see Kashmir now as about Azadi or about oppression or about unending cycle of violence. I see Kashmir as place where history has been divided into periods of Before / After / Hindu / Muslim/ your / mine. Why do we choose to talk about history of Kashmir selectively? You do the same, we all do.

    I had expected to feel very depressed after seeing this film, but strangely I am not. I also wonder, why I was not so moved by what I saw happen to the people of Kashmir in your film. I felt more shamed by some of the actions of the military and by the ‘vocal’ negativity unleashed by the Pandit community around your film. I do not know if I will be clearly able to explain to you why I should thank you for this film, but maybe someday I will.

    This has taken long, but congratulations once again in making a very courageous and heartfelt film.

    Ajay


    visit my blog:

    http://srinagar-memoirs.blogspot.com/

  74. 82 Rajesh Bhat June 20, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    just cool dwn & give a serious thought…

    if we kashmiri pandits want to peacefully settle back in kashmir we have no option but to live hormoniously with kashmiri muslim as we used to in older peacefull times. Otherwise, we like it or not, as a small minority we will not be able to survive if we still fan hatredness. they have, to be sincere & honest, definitely suffered much more than us.

    moreover it is sheer ignorance & foolishness to say that we pandits are “real” inhabitants of kashmir. we shd live with facts instead, and the simple fact is that these kashmiri muslims are no foreigners but mass reverted pandits. Such conversion have not occured only in kashmir but throughout world. Like in Europe, mass conversion to christianity. so what does that mean ? R they now not “real” inhabitants of their land …so this argument is totally foolish.

    moreover as a matter of fact we kashmiries have suffered bcz. of both the countries–India & pakistan. Pandits were threatened to leave kashmir not by kashmiri muslims but by those pakistani motivated agents who wanted kashmir to join pakistan, and also by India which used it as a ground for labelling kashmiri freedom movement as Islamic terrorism… simple politics! the apparent feeling that kashmiri muslims also wanted to kick us out was nothing but the fever of propaganda of communal hatredness. similar to what happened in Germany bcz. of Hitler’s propaganda. that doesn’t mean Germans are still anti-semites.

    if we look fairly, then it becomes clear that kashmir had to accede to pakistan owing to the geogrraphical & democraphical facts. but we pandits feel sick about it. we don’t want to accede to a “muslim country”. we have reasons to feel insecure & threatened…right? But then we must understand the simple fact that 90% muslim population of kashmir also may have their own reasons to feel insecure being with a “hindu country”…India. we have to be honest & fair in this context & so culturally we will be better together in Independent kashmir. we pandits & muslims will again live together hormoniously as we used to fr centuries. kashmiri muslims are soft hearted fundamentally speaking. how are more than one lakh sikhs peacefull living in kashmir ???

    if today any muslim leader who enjoys support of his community speaks of peace & friendship btw pandits & muslims… & wants us to return back to kashmir… we shd welcome his statements instead of going back into past & digging rotten graves. what signal are we sending ???

    what ever sanjay kak has shown in his documentry is a fact & we can’t turn our eyes frm it. i am myself witness to it… along with one crore population. don’t be foolish to accuse them that ur all liers & our India is innocent as a dove !!!

    i have written all this bcz. i believe in humanity before i afflict myself with any community. time has come to be honest, sincere, seek peaceful solution fr kashmir instead of beating around bush. that will simply result in disaster. let us stop this dirty war of humiliating each others religion. this won’t lead us any where. let us join hands & step forward towards progress & ensure prosperous future fr coming generations.
    peace be on u all…vth love…bye

    Rajesh Bhat
    Electrical engineer
    Missouri, USA

    • 83 T.H.Bhat August 24, 2009 at 5:49 am

      agree>>

      Kashmiri Pandiths, as they seems ignoring this fact that Kashmir was never a part of india…still whenever it comes,they r very much ready to call themselves as Indian’s rather than Kashmiri’s..this is what has lend them in situation where they r neither indian’s nor Kashmiri’s anymore.

      Telegram of Indian prime minster to prime minister of Pakistan Telegram No:-402/primin/2227 Dated 27 october 1947 “I like to make clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergencey is not designed to in any way to influence the state to acceed to india. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with the wishes of people and we adhere to this view.
      Telegram NO:-225 dated 31 october 1947 from prime minister of India to Prime minister of Pakistan. “kashmir accession to India was accepted by us at the request of Maharajah’s government and the most numerously representative popular organization in the state which predominently Muslims. Even then it was accepted on the condition that as soon as law and order had been restored, the piople of Kashmir would decide the question of accession. It is open to them to acceed to either dominion then.
      In this radio on 2nd november 1947. Indian prime minister Jawahavlal Nehru said. “we are anxious not to finalize anything in a moment of crised and without the fullest opertunity to the given to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ullimately to decide and let me make it clear that it has been our policy that wher there is dispute abouth the accession of a state to other dominion the accession must be made by the people of that state. It is in accordance with this policy that we have added a proviso to the instrument of accession of Kasmir

      In other broadcast to the nation on 3rd November 1947. Pandit Nehru said. “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ullimately to be decided by the people. Taht pledge we have given not only to the people of kashmir and to the world. We will not and can not back out of it.”
      In the letter NO:- 368 Primin dated 21 November, 1947 addressed to the PM of Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said. “I have repeatedly stated that as soon as peace and order have been established, Kashmnir should decide of accession by Plebicite or refurendum under international auspices such as those of United Nations.”
      The statement delivered in Indian consituent assembly on 25th November 1947, Pandit Nehru P. M of India said: ” in order to establish our bonafied, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of impartial tribunal such as the United Nations Organisation.”
      In this statement to the Indian Constituent assembly on 5th March 1948, Pandit Nehru said: ” even at the moment of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration that we would abide by the will of poeple of Kashmir as declared in plebicite or referendum. we insisted further that the government of Kashmir must immidiately become populer government. we have adhered to that position through out and we are prepared to have a plebicite with every protection of fair voting and to abide by the decision of the people of Kashmir,,”
      In this press-conference held in London on 16th January,1951, as reported by the daily ” Statesman” dated 18th January 1951,Pandit Nehru said . “India has repeatedly offered to work with the United Nations reasonable safeguards to enable the people of Kashmir to express their will and os a;warus tp dp sp. We hav always right from the begining accepted the idea of the Kashmiri people deciding their fate by referendum or plebicite.
      In his report to All Indian Congress Committee on 6th JUly, 1951 as published in the statesment, New Dehli on 9th July,1951, Pandit Nehru said. ” Kashmir has been wrongly looked upon as a prize for India or Pakistan. People seen to forget that Kashmir is not commodity for sale or to bartered. It has an individual existance and its people must be the final arbiters of their future.It is here today that struggle is bearing fruit not in the battle feild but in the mind of men.”
      In the letter dared 11th september,1951 to the United Nations representative, Pandit Nehru wrote> ” the Government of india not only reaffirms its acceptance of the principal that the question of continuing accession of the state of Jammu & Kashmir to india shall be decided through the democratic method of free and impartial plebicite under the auspices of the United Nations but is anxious that the conditions necessary for such a plebicite should be created as quickly as possible.”
      As reported by the Amrita Bazar Patrika Calccutta on 2nd January, 1952,while replying to Dr. Mooker Jee’s question in the Indian legislature as to what the cogress government is going to do about 1/3 of territory still held by Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said. ” is not the property of either India or Pakistan. It belongs to the Kashmiri people. when kashmir acceeded to India, we made it clear to the leaders of the Kashmiri People that ultimately abide the verdict of their plebicite. If they tell us to walk out i would have no hasitation in quiting, we have taken the issue to united nations and given our word of honour for peacefull solution to the people of Kashmir and we have determined to abide by their decision.”
      In the statement in Indian Parliment on 7th augest 1952, Pandit Nehru said ” let me say clearly that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure ofher people. the pleasure and goodwill of this parliment is of no importance in this matter, not beacuse this parliment does not have strength to decide the question of Kashmir but any kind imposition would be the against the principals that this parliment holds. Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts and if by some decree or adverse fortune, ceases to be part of India, it will a wrench pain and tomant for us. If however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means. we will not keep them against their will, however painfull it may be to us. i want to stress that it is the only people of Kashmir who can dcide the future of Kashmir……….. However sad we may feel about leaving we are not going to stay against the wishes of people. we are not going to impose overselves on the on the point of “bayonet.”
      In the stement in Loke Sabah { Parliment}on 31st, March,1955 Published in Hidustan Times New Dehli on 1Ist april 1955, Pandit Nehru said.” Kashmir is perhaps difficult of all these problems between India and Pakistan. we shoul also remember that Kashmir is not a thing to bne bandied between India and Pakistan but it has soul of its own and individuality of its own, Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir.”

  75. 84 Baasit Abubakr September 13, 2008 at 11:12 am

    its undoubtedly one of the greatest endeavours of the 21st century to stand out against oppression…
    dont mind what others are writing in the comments just go ahead with da good work
    KASHMIR is with yu and our prayers ar wd yu..

  76. 85 naomi October 13, 2008 at 7:37 am

    dear
    i saw the documentary. its 100%true. if you still have doubts dare to live in kashmir. i promise you that u will beg to leave

  77. 86 ZH October 23, 2008 at 11:07 am

    To All Who Debate and Argue here…
    The movement in Kashmir is not based on religion, at least if we see it in the context of what a common Kashmiri feels, says, and believes.
    For a common Kashmiri muslim the enemy is the state of India, that has taken his homeland forcibly and by deception.
    He is not averse of Hindusim as he has lived and lived in peace with it for centuries.
    Now talking about the slogans like Nizam i Mustafa please understand such feelings and slogans are found every where.
    There were people chanting Ram Raj slogans during Indian freedom struggle but what happened then… Majority opinions always superceed.
    Likewise the majority of Kashmiri muslims are off course having religious feelings, but they never have, and I am sure never will force these feeling on others.

    We all love the film maker Sanjay for being bold enough to present the true picture of what Indian oppressors is doing in Kashmir.
    Kashmir is yours and we all are with you SANJAY

  78. 87 junaid November 6, 2008 at 7:27 am

    reality tastes sour always. sanjay u really proved to be a mirror of kashmiri society. i feel proud to call u a man of truth.

  79. 88 An Indian January 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    I wish to congratulate Sanjay Kak for his brave efforts. He is truly an Indian who knows only the truth. Oppression committed by the might forces of India is driven by pride and arrogance. Kashmiris have suffered a great deal. I also knew Kashmiris, both Pandits and Muslims. Both want an independent Kashmir. Pandits like to return to such a Kashmir. Once again, you are a jewel and all the best for your future endeavors. You are like Iqbal said: ‘humnavea main bhi koie gul hun ke khamosh rahun’. You have listened to the voices from the graves. A Kashmiri would say in Iqbal’s terms ‘Qissa e dard sunate hain ke majboor hain hum’ .
    Ignore those BJP like morons who are agitated. That is their job.
    All the best.
    An Indian

  80. 89 jasir altaf haqani January 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    good work sanjay. keep it up

  81. 90 KP February 25, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Sanjay Kak is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome – twisting facts and clamouring for awards and attention.

  82. 91 Nikhil August 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Good trailer like some Rambo Film. The most interesting question is from where does the money comes to buy all weapons to fight against whole Indian army. Where is cause of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits. I guess if Indian government had given weapons to them than the scene would be different.
    Also where is the cause of … अधिक पढ़ेंthousands of Bhangi’s – Sweeper castes in India considered – untouchables’ by upper caste Hindu living in Jammu from 1954 and don’t still own the right to have a own home in the area which they are cleaning for the last 54 years. Where is the cause of freedom of religion that stops calling man of other religion his brother. Most of the money that Indian government gives to states of Jammu and Kashmir spends in the development of Kashmir region, factories, universities, tourism etc. Still the unrest among native people should have a real cause. What about the azadi – independence from violence. Western countries just want to sell weapons.

  83. 92 MAILMEHERE!! November 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Hey Guys unlike you I am not going in the religious aspects at all, but am going to share my experiences about Kak’s movie. i think even Kak does not know what he is trying to show. which face of Kashmir is he trying to show – is a question. I feel like the whole movie is a aimless collection of excellent video shoots. Had Kak cut short the movie to one and half hour he could have probably been specific to what he was trying to portray…

  84. 93 Aamir August 6, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Dear Mr.Sanjay feel sorry for some of the comments that people have raised against you with some serious hypothetical allegations.
    @ Rohit if at all you knew what history is . If at all you understood the meaning of History and then its significance.Rohit your rhetoric confusing a clear cut pro freedom and nationalist movement with a religious pro islamic movement is a simple example of your loud mouthed self opinionated mindset. Get well Soon.
    And as for you Mr. Kak. Thank you for all that you have tried and done.We are sorry for the bit that happened from our side.
    peace…!!!

  85. 94 shoaib malik August 10, 2010 at 6:13 am

    hi everybody i was just reading the articles u all gentlemen have submitted . in these articles i came to know that every one among you have conflicts with each others. some r favouring india and some independent kashmir. u r teasing each others on internet. as among u all are kashmiries wheather pandiths or muslims. itz not too good to attack and start communal hate. instead of this everyone among u should work on kashmir issue jointly. bcoz u all have the same rights. thanks

  86. 95 rahul srivastava August 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    hi sir, I have a simple question here, why kasmiri people don’t want to live with India, only one thing comes into my mind that it is only because they are Muslims, they are preaching a religion which does not allow any other’s religion to grow, look at Pakistan, any other Muslim country they all are the same, we as a Indian are fighting against that, we truly reflect a secular democracy, where 2nd largest population of Muslims are living with us peacefully, we can not allow talibani view of Kashmir people to have a Islamic state, it is against our ideology, if there is any solution they can get out of it is only blood, they need to get educated, and start think about their future. their are lot of things except Islam, i urge kasmiri ppl that i am a hindu but i don’t believe in any religion because no religion is made by god. so please get educated. stop glorify killing of people in the name of conflict, as we too are sad for killing of every single youth in kasmir.

  87. 96 rahul srivastava August 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    India is against any Islamic state or their idea , the idea of Islamic state is suppression of women , normal human rights .

  88. 97 Roshan Zamir October 18, 2010 at 5:33 am

    The Documentary,”Jashn-e-Azadi” was among the first initiative taken by any some other than Muslims to bring forth the plight of People of Kashmir ( Muslims and Pundits) both community haves suffered enormously and there is no body who can justify even the death of ‘One Person’

    the Director has been true to his conscious, Neither Hindu Nor Muslim, Sanjay Kak has transcended the limits of religious Bias, cultural Hegemony, Racism and Hatred. In the recent past among very few Directors is Sanjay Kak who has removed the goggles of Prejudice and recorded such an important document.

    We have to learn, to live with each other, In spite of our differences and complexities. We have to drain out the Colonial venom from our mind set. I think the only choice left for all us to learn How to live tolerantly with each other and respect faiths of other people too……. We neither can be oppressed for very long and nor we can be oppressor.
    respectfully submitted.

  89. 98 Shiva January 31, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Let me begin by saying that I have not watched Jashn-e-Azadi yet. But it is quite obvious by your argument that the concept of the film is short sighted, which is not any different from other political propaganda movies.
    The problem with this clan of directors is they are so obsessed with their myopia that they completely forget to see the issues on a larger scale.
    A director talking about child labor tends to claim his focus only on one point that is to free the child from his ‘unethical’ work. That director gives no importance to things like what drew that child to engage in labor. Things like the economic status of the family of that child, education level and also the consequences after the child is freed from the labor is hardly an issue to the director.
    Kak is no different. His whole fantasy based on one idea. That is a state in a free country is guarded by the army for years and the people in it are facing problems. He rightly guessed that his idea would fetch him some international awards.
    What about the history of Kashmir? What about the fact that the demography of Kashmir was changed dramatically with infiltration and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits and Buddhists? Who would give protection to them other than the Indian Army? Don’t we see the flood of Wahabi Islam replacing the Sufi culture of Kashmir? What does this indicate?
    You talk about plebiscite? See the change in religious and ethnic changes in the valley since the idea of plebiscite was first floated. Non-muslims of Kashmir are forced out of the country by intimidation and violence. Where were you when they were suffering some of the worst kind of torture? If you think that winning mandate by changing the demography is a right thing, then I see no difference between you and a Nazi.
    I know that Kashmir is suffering. I have my sympathy for my fellow Indians of Kashmir. But, why is there a sudden attempt to put the blame on India Army? Who started the infiltration, which then lead to military involvement? Who started separatism based on religion? (And, where are your secular credentials, when you don’t see this?)
    It is certainly not our Army who started all this? They leave their houses and stand there to guard this country. Had the army not in picture, we would have seen a giant Taliban state rising in there. It was the army which upheld our idea of secular society by not budging down to the terrorists. The effort of army in restoring peace is seldom undermined. If people in Kashmir are talking about normalcy, elections, education and politics that is because of the army.
    It is a matter of utter shame that you fail to notice that terrorists take shelter in the foolish theories by intellectuals like you. You should take your head out of the box first to see the reality. Those separatist imbeciles who invest their theories on the people’s suffering are biggest culprits. Do not work as their think tank. Do not turn Kashmir in to a Taliban state. This film might fetch you some awards, but will not save Kashmir from Islamic tyranny.
    May peace prevail in the valley.

  90. 99 Rahul February 1, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Kashmiri Muslims come running around selling shawls and Kashmiri garments and items in India. Kashmiri Muslims earn money from India.
    Indian Government announces packages for Kashmir’s development.
    Development work is looked after by the Indian government.

    Separtists and other Kashmiri self-styled freedom fighters coax the Kashmiri children to pick up stones and attack Kashmiri Armed Forces.
    I don’t deny that armed forces have been responsible for some incidents.
    Yes, protesting Kashmiri youth have been shot at. Some evil army jawans have committed acts of rape and torture. It is shameful indeed but it is not the complete picture.But, you’ve got to accept the fact that disputed territories anywhere in the world unfortunately have certain human rights violation.
    The point I’d like to raise is the sheer hypocrisy prevailing in the opinions of many (pseudo)intellectuals. Terrorists causing bloodshed and fear-psychosis in the minds of innocent people of Kashmir are glorified as rebels and martyrs. These uneducated and brainwashed youth are systemically trained in POK militant camps with only one agenda: fight against Indian Armed forces.

    The people are failing to understand that whatever little development and source of income that Kashmir has comes from the Indian Union. It’s just like reaping the fruits from the tree and then destroying it. Kashmiri children are paid to pick up stones when they should have been encouraged to use education as their instrument and weapon.

    What kind of a freedom does Kashmir want?
    A. An indepent state. If Kashmir goes this way, it won’t last long, a small and weak country it will become surrounded by the mighty China(look what they did to Tibet) and Pakistan. It would be even worser than it is.
    B.Pakistan. Education and development would go down the drain. Talibanisation would take over. But if this what they(kashmiris) want for their children than they should be ready to pay the price.

    I don’t expect the Kashmir problem to get solved until my entire life time atleast. You may call me a pessimist but I think it’s SAD, but it is true.Kashmir,today is a money-minting machine for politicos.Nobody, wants a rational solution.

    The Kashmiri Pandit community is so pissed off and they have reasons too! Being a secular and non-violent community and suddenly becoming the victim of selective cleansing from the valley after brutal killings. Loss of a motherland can never be compensated!!!
    And those few who think that the Pandits were cowards who fled here’s a line for you: We were a minority. Imagine you live in a neighbourhood where there are 10 pandit families and 100 muslim families. Women from your community are being raped. Your relatives being brutally murdered .Loudspeakers are blaring telling you to leave or die? There is no choice.

    ****************************************************************************************
    I hope against hope that its snowing in Kashmir. The guns are gone, the terrorist are gone and even there is no need for Armed Forces. Kashmiri Pandits are back in the valley. Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits are celebrating together the festivals of Id and Herath(Shivratri).Harmony and peace are back.
    Children are playing with toys not bombs.The youth is picking up books not guns. The gods,theirs and mine are happy.
    The beauty is back.The paradise is back. And, most importantly the peace is back. (Nobody is shouting for aazadi but everybody has found the real meaning of aazadi dwells in the peace of the valley,not redrawing borders)

    Alas! It’s just a daydream! A vision!

  91. 100 Zamir Ahmad butt February 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    First of all I am surprised about the person who hasn’t watch the film is commenting on. I am reminded of an incident which took place in Pune just few days ago when an army went did was charged by the traffic constable and how the hall Gullah took place once the army contingent reached to the police station and hurled abused and even mishandled the police office. I am surprised the level of ignorance and hatred is loaded in the minds of people. Aren’t we aware of the fact the arms business is the largest business in the world and people involved in this business Public and Private sector earns billions, how can some one just forget this fact.
    Sanjay Kak has done a wonderful work, he hasn’t created any stereotypes. Which is the habit of capitalistic and anti minority ( muslim, Chrisitan and Dalits) media. He ramined true to his conscious, and unfortunately many aren’t. His film has only touched the tip of the iceberg. Lakhs of people have died. I wish to know if someone, brother is killed, who by all means is innocent, mother or sister is raped, or gang raped, children killed even 8 years infant aren’t being spared. Killer and murders usually get away as they are protected by the draconian laws such as AFSPA. Why then shouldn’t be AFSPA implemented through out the country? Let us impose AFSFA throughout India. Then I think people will realize what AFSPA is?
    One has to understand that people living in Kashmir are Human beings and they too deserve respect and honor, their voice should be heard, share in the natural resource which are been looted by the federal government.
    People of Kashmir don’t have to hear preaching form the crude, corrupt, dogmatic and anti human elements and minds especially from those who are against humanity and they need not to care even shit for it.

  92. 101 sanchitkoul March 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Long live my motherland, i.e India. Guys we are all Hindus. Even the coverts i m talking to have hindu ancestors. Dont be offended. We are all Brothers and has anybody here visited the somnath temple?? It has been ravaged numerous times but it still stands tall. I call it the might of “Hinduism” or we can call it the might of “India”. Its a symbol of our diversity. Please be cool. Many of you have hindu surnames and are muslims. What does this mean??

  93. 102 Farhat Mehmood April 15, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I would like to asek the people who are going over the rooftops and shou that maharaja hari singh signed the treaty of acession with india , have any one seen that treaty ever , which as per indian version hhas been lost first go and brush up ur knowldge regarding history of kashmir then u should post ur comments on this issue


  1. 1 Of Kashmir and Kashmiriyat. | with malice aforethought. Trackback on November 4, 2010 at 9:13 am
  2. 2 Centre Right India » Confusing And Subverting Free Speech Trackback on January 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm
  3. 3 Books Are Fashionable Too Trackback on May 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

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Jashn-e-Azadi is available through various online outlets like amazon

You can now buy a DVD of the film, or Download it and watch
More than two years in the making, Jashn-e-azadi [How We Celebrate Freedom], is a feature length documentary by film-maker Sanjay Kak which explores the implications of the struggle for Azadi, for freedom, in the Kashmir valley.

Click here to watch the Trailer

As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of it's Independence, this provocative and quietly disturbing new film raises questions about freedom in Kashmir, and about the degrees of freedom in India.

And here is a short Interview with the film-maker.

This Jashn-e-Azadi blog is an open forum for conversations about the film, about Kashmir, and about Azadi itself.

For more information about screenings, sales and broadcast write to
jashneazadifilmATgmail.com

links

For dispatches from the present

Voices of protest can be found here or call you from here

Stone in my hand

In the season of solutions, the late Eqbal Ahmad's wise words have to be remembered

Kashmir blog has the best one line blog take on Kashmir - they call it paradise, I call it home.

Zarafshan is a Kashmiri blogger whose blog (and blogrolls) are "just ways of dispersing news, views and feelings!"

For a considered discussion on the vexed issue of Pandits in Kashmir see Kasheer. And for more on this Ephemeral Existence

And a discovery called Paradise Lost

RSS Kashmir via Greater Kashmir

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previews

Festival screenings

Thiruvananthapuram
May 26, 2008 / International Video Festival of Kerala
Munich
Apr 28, 2008 / Dok.Fest
Amsterdam
Feb 10, 2008 / Himalaya Film Festival
Amsterdam
Nov 28, 2007 / International Documentary Festival
Kathmandu
Oct 12, 2007 / Film South Asia
Delhi
July 22, 2007 / Osian’s Cinefan film festival

Previous Previews

London
7 Dec 2007 / School of Oriental & African Studies & Sacred Media Cow
Leeds
6 Dec 2007 / Workshop Theatre, School of English, University of Leeds
Egham, Surrey
3 Dec 2007 / Royal Holloway, University of London
New Delhi
26 Nov 2007 / Russian Centre of Science & Culture & Magic Lantern Foundation

New Jersey
Oct 5, 2007 / College of New Jersey
New York City
Oct 4, 2007 / Columbia School of Journalism
Austin
Oct 2, 2007 / University of Texas
Philadelphia
Sep 28, 2007 / Temple University
Philadelphia
Sep 27, 2007 / University of Pennsylvania
New York State
Sep 26, 2007 / Vassar College
New York City
Sep 25, 2007 / New School for Social Research
Boston
Sep 23, 2007 @ MIT
Toronto
Sep 22, 2007 / SALDA
Toronto
Sep 21, 2007 / University of Toronto
New Haven
Sep 20, 2007 / Yale University
Minneapolis
Sep 18, 2007 / University of Minnesota

Hyderabad
Aug 10, 2007 / Pure Docs, Prasad Preview, Banjara Hills

interrupted previews!! [[ MUMBAI ...
July 27, 2007 (Fri)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, 85 Sayani Road, Prabhadevi
July 30, 2007 (Mon)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Prithvi House, Juhu...]]

Bangalore
July 14, 2007 / Institute of Agrl. Technologies, Queens Road
Bangalore
July 13, 2007 / Centre for Film & Drama, Millers Road
Nashik
June 13, 2007, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Hall
Pune
June 12, 2007, National Film Archive of India Auditorium
Guwahati
May 29, 2007, Blue Moon Hotel
Shillong
May 26, 2007, Assam Club, Laban
Patna
May 12, 2007, Hindi Bhavan Hall
Srinagar
March 31, 2007, Tagore Hall
New Delhi
March 23, 2007, Sarai-CSDS
New Delhi
March 13, 2007, India Habitat Center

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