[ blog flash 11 : bangalore ]

Jashn-e-Azadi had an accelerated debut in Bangalore last week: six screenings over four days, criss-crossing the city in a range of settings. The spread was made possible by the enthusiastic collaboration of that exciting engine of documentary screening culture in the city: Pedestrian Pictures and Films for Freedom (FfF), Bangalore, with Alternative Legal Forum (ALF) and a host of academic institutions that hosted the screenings.

The public preview organised at the Centre for Film & Drama (CFD), Millers Road, was for the regular members of the FfF screenings, who watched the film in the compact (and elegant) space of the CFD, and then stayed on to participate in a substantial Q&A. Jashn-e-Azadi opened 3 days of FfF screenings under the rubric of “notions of the nation”, and was to be followed by AFSPA 1958, a harrowing film from Manipur about the impact of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a draconian legislation which not coincidentally also applies in J&K. (In addition to the even more draconian Public Safety Act). On the last day there was to be a screening of  A Season Outside, a meditation on nations, borders, and violence. The remarkable thing about the FfF screenings is that members actually pay a reasonable fee, and do turn up for the monthly screenings. Something to learn from.

The other public preview was set up by Pedestrian Pictures and ALF in the hall of the Institute of Agricultural Technologies, Queens Road: an open screening for a mixed group of academics, lawyers, civil liberties activists, journalists, and others. Despite the length of the film, and perhaps because of it, there was a lot to talk about after the screening, and both days the screenings took on the full range of political, historical, social (and even moral) issues that any discussion on Kashmir inevitably throws up. In a city that has become a global icon for the “new” India, the fact that Pedestrian (and FfF and ALF too) are actively involved in a range of progressive political activities made them ideal collaborators for a film that deals with what most Indians consider “contentious”: Kashmir. (And few of us would know that even as glass-and-chrome Bangalore blazes across the world as a symbol of Indian modernity, Karnataka is being engulfed with a new and virulent strand of right-wing Hindu communalism).

There were also well-attended college screenings at Carmel College (for undergraduate students of Mass Communication & Media); at Christ College (for students of Sociology); for post-graduate students at Convergence Institute of Media Management & IT Studies (Commits); and at the Institute of Social & Economic Change for a small audience of research scholars. In each of these different contexts there was animated discussion, and sometimes very simple and sometimes very complex questions. But the purpose of these screenings, which was to furrow the hard-baked surface of public opinion on Kashmir, was certainly well begun. (How hard baked we know, since one screening had to be called off at the eleventh hour because “such” screenings were seen to be fanning “anti-national” sentiment, and even without seeing the film it’s critics had decided it would hurt their sentiments. This in a post-graduate research institute of “national importance”!!)

Predictably for IT-haven Bangalore, and perhaps sparked off by the press coverage the events received (including these reports in the Deccan Herald and The Hindu) this blog has seen a huge spike of interest, and hits have grown exponentially during this weeks screenings. Although there are no comments as yet, we think people will come into this space soon …

(Contact <filmsforfreedombangalore@gmail.com> <pedepics@yahoo.com>)


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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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