At a screening of Jashn-e-Azadi in Hyderabad I was asked if there was a reason why the word ‘intifada’ was used in the context of Kashmir. I tried to explain that the news of the first Palestinian Intifada (and in particular, the television images) came to Kashmir at a very crucial time: in the aftermath of the infamous rigged election of 1987 . The character of the street battles that followed surely took inspiration from what was happening in Palestine…
Someone then asked me what the precise meaning of intifada was. The unsure nature of my response has egged on another viewer of that day to send us this – thanks, Bhashwati:
As a verb intifada means “to be shaken, to wake up”. As a noun it means “shudder, awakening, uprising”, with the implication of “a shaking off” — referring to the process of shaking off sleep or shaking off the dust from one’s feet.
In the context of 37 years of Israeli military occupation (as of 2004), Intifada represents a ‘shaking off’ of the chains of occupation.
The word was first coined in 1987, to describe the first Palestinian uprising against Israeli military rule.
Last week there was a connected comment on this blog from yet another viewer of that days TEFLU screening – thanks, Shafeeq:
This was something I had to ask after the screening at TEAFLU, Hyderabad:
In your docu, the resistance seem to have the language of Islam, also there is this reference to ‘Intifada”. Now, even though an influence of cable TV, intifada carries other connotations too, of an Islamic struggle against the infidel imperialists.
So, what exactly is the role of Islam, is it a garb in which resistance carries itself forward? or is it a programme in itself?
Is Kashmir existing in a metaphysical space (of course, a resistance fighter was pointing to metaphysical battle) for the Kashmiris, in oneness with Palestine and Chechnya, or are they aware of the concrete geopolitics which then can’t avoid Pakistan from referencing? Can’t that be one of the reason why while West [of Kashmir] is so familiar to Kashmiris, South [of Kashmir] is so distant?
I think this is an important question, which I’m unable to answer. We’re posting it here in the hope that sometime in the near future (days, weeks, months, even years), some people will reflect upon this, and share their ideas with all of us.