[ blog flash 12&half-mumbai continued ]

pandit says ban

a nice blog entry on the episode. anyone who can produce the copy of the email complaint referred in the blog, gets a free poster from blogmistri

and a discussion at passionforcinema 

sarai reader list conversation (1 & 2) on the interruption

mumbai police 1

mumbai police’s crack critic team

mumbai police 2

mumbai police’s crack critic team 2


1 Response to “[ blog flash 12&half-mumbai continued ]”

  1. 1 nishant August 7, 2007 at 7:45 am

    There was a mail invitation doing the rounds of the “E-mail Fwd Circuit”, which spoke of a Documentary made by this young Indian filmmaker with many accolades and awards for his past portfolio of work in the “Festival Circuit”. On any other day, I would have just trashed the mail, I am not really the arty variety, but what caught my eye was that the movie was about the place where I was born and it had been made by a person whose name suggested that he was from the same earth. The title was interesting “Jash-e-Azadi” which translates to Celebration of Freedom. I myself have very open views about the entire Kashmir imbroglio. I have often found myself discussing with my friends from the majority community the end-games that could get played out in Kashmir. I have discussed threadbare this concept and need of freedom. But that I guess would be digressing from the topic. Coming back to the topic, after validating the directors credentials from the internet, I thought to myself that possibly this could be one attempt by a new age film maker to put things in the right perspective and I ought to watch it.

    Little did I realize then, that this decision of mine is going to send me hurtling down to the Library, to revise my wordlist prepared during the MBA entrance days. And I was glad to find I did remember the meaning correctly. It continued to be “category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to document reality”.

    While Mr Kak’s film was marketed as a Documentary, it is full of conscious omissions and commissions that take it out from the documentary genre and place it in the category of advertorials. The patronage of Yasin Malik, a person who should be currently in Jail but for the lack of spine in the Indian leadership is a clear indicator of the motive of this piece of Jehadi propaganda. Calling Jashn-e-Azadi a documentary is as good or as bad as calling a Ramsey movie as Classic Cinema. It is what yellow is to journalism and B-grade is to Bollywood cinema. It tries to give the Jehadi movement a justification by playing on the victim syndrome and completely closes its eyes to the hardships and miseries heaped upon a population of half a million because of their inability to organize themselves and fight back like the Jews did, because of their belief in the Indian constitution, because of their relatively small numbers that prevents them from being a vote bank. And he claims on his blog that a group of people are following his screenings in an attempt to gain publicity, and I quote him…

    “a small group of people had made it their mission to follow the film around and appear to stop it from circulating. (*Appear to*, because they too know that they cannot actually stop the film, but they do know that there is mileage to be got from appearing to stop it).

    “These net-warriors (net-bullies, really) are living out a sort of fantasy life on the web, able to say what they want about the film, abuse, propagate falsehoods, lie, whatever. ”

    Well Mr Kak, never has this (what appears to you a small group) tried to prevent your screenings. This group believes and practices what the great Voltaire had to say, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it”. We are not like your producers, who would muzzle the creative freedom by picking up a famous poet and his son and mutilating his body beyond recognition and leaving him to rot in the fields. This may be your methods of bringing about self censorship. How can you cry hoarse about censorship and freedom of speech, when your own blog is moderated? Sans censors, even pornography is an art form and the fact that you choose to moderate your blog space makes it clear that you do subscribe to that fact. Else you would have published even those comments full of invectives at you and allowed people to draw their own conclusions. In that context what you practice and what you preach seem to be at odds. What this group has consistently attempted to do is to be present at your venues and highlight that aspect of this Jashn (celebration) that you have so conveniently chosen to hide and misrepresent. What they have tried to do on internet is, also present the other side of the story which has sadly gone unreported in this nation of a billion.

    In this nation where centuries of foreign rule, first Islamic followed by British has made us inherently apologetic about our religion. Where the media has sold its soul and the only suffering that they recognize is those faced by anyone but Hindus, we have tried to be objective reviewers of your movie and raised questions that any logical person watching that movie should. Unlike the much hyped director of the movie, this motley crew does not depend on Wahabi monies. This group does not call murderers, rapists and looters as Saheb. All these people who are everytime at your venues and protesting in Gandhian fashion against your venomous propaganda are working professionals, students, artists who do it to show the truth to the world. To impress upon the rest of the Indian population, that either they wake up now or be ready for another round of slavery, which is so evident in all GoI social policies.

    Patriotism as a concept is long dead, but that does not imply that we do not have a sense of pride in calling ourselves Indian. It does not imply that we in the name of freedom of expression, allow people to mock on the armed forces of this nation who die out there on the borders so that we can have peaceful sleep at night. It does not imply we promote film makers who in the name of Campaigning against Censorship hack on the roots of the concept of nationhood. It is the continued attitude of servility and inferiority in the general Indian masses that allows movies like this to be produced and shown in India, which allows terrorists to roam freely on the streets of India, which allows for different yardsticks for those in power and the common man. It is this attitude, which makes it fashionable to run down everything Hindu and Indian in that order, which makes it intellectual to speak out against injustices selectively, which makes it fashionable and profitable to be on the rolls of the corrupt and inefficient.

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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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