[ blog life 2 ]

The Jashn-e-Azadi blog has started breathing.
Reader’s comments are unearthing questions of significance –
for instance these comments on KEYWORDS

Feb 24th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

The Indian state has spread lies, lies and more lies that most people in India could easily suffocate from misinformation. It will be like oxygen to get a picture beyond the nonsense dished out from Indian Army press bureaus. Looking forward to seeing the film on 13 March.

Feb 26th, 2007 at 6:29 am

I hope Radhika is proven right. Kashmiris have long been deceived, misinformed, suppressed, and often their voices of dissent have been diluted or neutralized by so-called sympathizers from civil society…
Though we have yet to see the film, this blog has kindled a ray of hope that, at least, our story of endeavour and suppression will be told honestly…

Ali Imran offers another comment

Feb 26th, 2007 at 6:21 am

Amid confusion and betrayal, slogans are articulation of commitment. Many may find these slogans absurd, but for us in Kashmir, these signify the unflinching and un-articulated support for the Right to Self-determination. Yearning for azaadi…

Maybe the people who find these slogans absurd will also find the poetry merely sloganeering.


10 Responses to “[ blog life 2 ]”

  1. 1 Altaf Qadri February 28, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Kashmiris, despite being at the receiving end of the violence, are incredibly brave people. The frightened faces of Kashmiri men, women and children are examples of what Kashmiris have gone through over the years. The graveyards of Kashmir are example of what has happened to youth of Kashmir. 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.

  2. 2 Nishant Dudha March 2, 2007 at 6:55 am

    When people are wounded in body and mind, even the smallest hint of sympathy gives solace and the provider of that sympathy obviously feels like a messiah sent from above.

    It is a sad, the current happenings in the valley. As sad as they were 16 years back. But during this entire course of 16 years I can’t help but be critical of the role that the intellectuals among the Muslim community have played. The only voices that one has heard from the community has been of religious leaders and politicians each with their own axe to grind. I question only Muslims because I remember the announcements from loud speakers about annihilation of other communities in the aspired Nizam-E-Mustafa. Here let me tell you that I was a 10 year old then. I do not hold any grudge against the community because all the three times that attempts were made on my fathers life, it was his Muslim friends who saved him. Not only that but also, because I spent a lot of time while we were in Kashmir in a wonderful village called Murran in Pulwama. That was my “matamaal” and every body in that small village, irrespective of their religion was a Mama and showered their love on me.

    Away from the valley, during my student days, I made many friends amongst Kashmiri Muslims. Every time the story was the same. Parents used to be well educated and had sent their children away from the valley for further studies. And after studies, all of them are well settled in their respective professional careers either in India or abroad. None of them returned to work in the valley or work for the movement.

    The point that I want to make is that, those who could afford and had some basic education, they all sent their children outside the valley. The ultimate sufferers as happens always have been the ones who either could not afford it or were not educated enough.

    Religion is an important part of life. It helps us see the right and live a life of righteousness, but that’s about it. Beyond that, the sad fact is that one has to earn their bread.

    I would like to know if the leaders, especially the ones who talk about azadi or the others who talk about ghulami of Pakistan after India, do they have any plans or visions for the valley post-independence?
    What plans do these leaders have for education of the youth? I am sure you would agree that Madrasa education will not suffice to make Kashmir a viable economy.
    What plans do these leaders have for employment of the youth?
    What plans are there for infrastructure and development?
    What are the plans for the future generations of Kashmir?

    Somebody needs to remind them, that they have a responsibility towards the generations to come as well.

    Let us see facts. Pakistan within itself is in strife. It came very cose to becoming a failed state. No ethnic group other than Punjabis are happy. Development work in Azad Kashmir is next to none. Atleast, we have an engineering college and medical college in Kashmir.

    What has the movement given us Kashmiris?
    The Muslims- Violence has killed our normal life way of life. Death has become something to which we have become shock less. An entire generation has grown with it is carrying the psychological scars. I have heard 4-year-old kids can tell from the sound, the gun that has been fired. In short innocence has been lost.
    The Hindus, many of them are living in sub-standard conditions outside the valley. In alien conditions, people have died of causes unheard of before- sunstrokes, scorpion stings and snakebites.

    It is high time that public rallies against violence of any form and opinions are created for peace and harmony. That automatically in some time would return us to the times where again we can smell the roses in our gardens rather than gunpowder, and people will stop disappearing.

    Nishant Dudha

  3. 3 Farrukh March 2, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    When oppressed and margninalized people around the world get a chance to articulate thier voice, i think its an occassion worth celebrating. The 1990s Protest in Kashmnir was celebration, a celebration of oppressed masses, who came out of the slumber created by generation of oppression first by sikh monarchy, then by dogras and recently by Indians. It was the time when ‘dumb,driven cattle’ without following the ‘shepherds’ tried to chalk out a path of themselves. I hope that the ‘Jahishn-i-Azadi’ will come close the the expectations of thousands of oppressed Kashmiris.
    The people whether Indians or Pakistanis or may be kashmiris who talk about what has movement given us kashmiris? should first ask what he or she has given to the movement if he or she is a kashmiri. Second if he or she is an Indian,and has some idea about the oppression that we Kashmiris have suffered at the hands of oppressive monarchies or at the hands of india, should support the oppressed Kashmiris, or even if they dont support us,but i think they have no right to dub our movement as anti-national or terrorist or something like that. And for those who think that the ‘peace’ in kashmir would bring back ‘smell to the roses and gardens’ and stop ‘people from disappearing’ i think are talking about the ‘peace of the graveyard’ and the smell of yambarzal that grows in the graveyards acrosss kashmir. Further, i think such people should question who is responsible for the disappearances in kashmir. Pleople do not disappear on their own and they just cant ‘stop disappearing’!
    My Indian friends will do us a great favour in not comparing us to Pakistan. I wish they will come out of this someday and stop comapring us with Pakistan and Pakistani Society. Lastly i must say the vision of independent kashmir, the aspiration, the sentiment,is for an independent kashmir with a secular outlook where everyone will have equal rights whether a kashmiri muslim/pandit, a dogra, a ladakhi or balti or mipuri, because that is what kashmiri has been and stands for.

  4. 4 Rohit March 2, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Farrukh dont fool yourself. Ask hardliners are you will cease to exist . An Independent secular state is a dream. How many disappearances where there before 1998. Minuscule rather none. Majority missing fled to Pakistan for arms training . They either perished in mountains or while crossing over. Was there Army or Indian forces before 1998. What had happened at that time. What instigated revolt. Answers in : Islamic fundamentalism. It can only be linked to surge of fundamentalism through out the world. You are not to be blamed, every one gets misled at some point. Why are trying to fill empty egos.

  5. 5 J March 2, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Dear Nishant Dhudia,
    Thanks for asking what a post-Independence Kashmir would look like. Here is what emerged after a lot of deliberations with fellow Kashmiri friends.

    Our Vision:

    Kashmiri nation is multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multilingual. It has evolved into a provisional nation to struggle for all its constituents’ political independence from both Indian and Pakistani yoke. It seeks to unite our divided motherland. (Thus the term ‘Kashmir’ is itself provisional till a more representative term replaces it.)

    Once independence is achieved in the form of a state, this diverse constitution of the Kashmiri Nation will be taken into consideration while devolving as many powers as possible: so that no ethnic, religious or language group achieves dominance over others, other than by the stint of merit.

    Kashmiri Nation seeks independence, first and foremost, because it follows naturally from the right to national self-determination endorsed as one of the most important articles in the UN Charter. But more than that Kashmiri Nation seeks to establish a social, democratic, peaceful, multicultural, open and secular republic, all of which is not possible while India and Pakistan rule by having divided the historic Kashmir.

    Independent Kashmir will seek to promote peace and tranquillity in South Asia and around the world. It will become a full-fledged member of the United Nations and perform any functions asked of it, (except military intervention in other countries.) It will help bridge differences between India, Pakistan, and China (all of whom it shares its borders), by providing a neutral platform for them to resolve their disputes.

    Kashmir will not build any offensive or defensive army, except for the purpose of internal peace and order. In any conflict among its neighbours, or others, it will not take any sides. Kashmir will not allow its territory for any military or terrorist activity by any country against other countries.

    Kashmir will follow a mixed path of socialist distribution and capitalist opportunity. Internally it will seek to empower socially, economically, and politically weaker sections, while externally it will help weaker countries non-controversially. It will jealously guard the human rights of its citizens and the guest foreigners.

    Kashmir will seek to become a hub of knowledge in the fields of science and technology, humanities, social studies, art and culture. All the marginalized cultures, languages, and knowledge systems will be provided equitable opportunities to develop. It will promote hospitality, cosmopolitanism, cooperation, inter-faith understanding, and a dialogue of the civilisations.

    Kashmir will preserve its historic artefacts, and value its tradition of multiple histories.

    Kashmir will embody the feminist values of love and feeling. The constitution will be sympathetic toward the differentiated rights of its women.

    Nishant this might look fanciful to you, but I assure you a big section, many many people are talking about many of these issues sometimes seperately, sometimes together… Not leaders, but people on the ground. Independent Kashmir will be like this, and if it is not we will fight for it.

  6. 6 Nishant Dudha March 3, 2007 at 6:15 am

    I wonder why you have taken the monicker J, for thats generally the slang term for the word Jealous in campuses around the globe.

    I can’t help but notice your willful intent in distorting my surname. I would slot it in the category of “Intelligent Mischief”

    In any case, that aside, thanks for responding to my post. The picture of an independent kashmir that you have painted seems pretty impressive and very ideal, kind of Utopian if i may take that liberty.

    “Nishant this might look fanciful to you, but I assure you a big section, many many people are talking about many of these issues sometimes seperately, sometimes together… Not leaders, but people on the ground. Independent Kashmir will be like this, and if it is not we will fight for it.”

    Well I think this is a marketable thought that has been arrived at after the 16years of futility. But tell me were was this thought process in 1990 which some people have mentioned as an outpouring of emotions of the opressed class. Where the pandits ever made a party to this vision. I am not trying to communalise it but just putting down the facts. What these people mention as opressed class in the publicity material for Jash-n-azadi, take any economic survey of Kashmir post 1947 and pre 1990 and you will know where all the economic benefits were heading.

    I am all for this vision that you have outlined here, but i hope this is consultative in nature and not at the expenses of any community or sect and not at the expense of Kashmiriyat.

  7. 7 J March 3, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Dear Nishant Dudha,

    First I apologise for misspelling your name. It was totally unintentional and not, in the least, willful.

    I am happy that you have responded positively to what many Kashmiris have already warmly responded to. I will not shy away from criticising the many drawbacks that the Kashmir’s struggle for independence has had. I think if Kashmiri leaders in early 90s had actively convinced Pandits not to leave, things would not have come to this pass. The sudden migration of Pandit community left all sides bitter: Pandits felt it Muslims who wanted them out, and Muslims felt Pandits betrayed them by leaving alone in the crucial struggle against the Indian occupation. This made communication impossible.
    What would Kashmiri independence movement possibly have got from Pandit migration? Nothing, but a bad name. You have to understand who benefitted from it. India, absolutely. For now, India could hide behind the argument that Kashmiri struggle was all about ‘Radical Islam and Terrorism’, and thus carry out its atrocities with total impunity.
    The important thing now is to forge a joint movement to drive Indian occupation forces out.

    You pulled of a good one on my J. But I am not interested in such issue diverting tactics…

  8. 8 Abida April 1, 2007 at 3:27 am

    I would like to watch this documentary, where can I get it?

  9. 9 Chander M. Bhat January 8, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Dear Nishant Dudha.
    Read you mail in which you have mentioned that your matamaal is at Village Murran. I also belongs to that nice village. I am a writer and have written a book on Village Murran titled MURRAN ‘MY VILLAGE’. Plese send me the details of your matamaal as I am revising the book and second imprint will be out within few months. My email is; chander_1831@rediffmail.com
    Chander M. Bhat

  10. 10 Kashmiri Pandit September 18, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    My ancestors are from the village of Murran. I wanted to reply to “J” and “Farukh” regarding their aspirations and dreams of Kashmiri People. First of all the freedom struggle of Kashmiri Muslims was the ethinic cleansing of the society (Pandits), they coudn’t tolerate that a minority was educated, doing well , having decent jobs and being in the merit always. What they coudn’t tolerate was majority community was not getting educated so well, they went to Pakistan for training , gave it a secular Azadi twist and started killing helpless, harmless Pandits. Anywhere in the world Muslims fight with other religions, they do not tolerate the minorities and while in majority they wipe out the other religions, and subsequently in minority they demand equal rights.
    India is the miost tolerant society, if this so called freedom struggle had happened in other country, they would have been wiped out. See how Pakistan is trying to wipe out Taliban since it does not help them, or for that matter Sri Lanka wiped out LTTE. It is time for India to get rid of this scourge.

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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


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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Festival screenings

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

Previous Previews

7 Dec 2007 / School of Oriental & African Studies & Sacred Media Cow
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
Oct 2, 2007 / University of Texas
Sep 28, 2007 / Temple University
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
Sep 23, 2007 @ MIT
Sep 22, 2007 / SALDA
Sep 21, 2007 / University of Toronto
New Haven
Sep 20, 2007 / Yale University
Sep 18, 2007 / University of Minnesota

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...]]

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



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