Archive Page 2

The past, and it’s counter

In this last week Jashn-e-Azadi has been in the news again, sparked off by the cancellation of a screening scheduled at the Symbiosis university in Pune. In the attendant fuss that always accompanies such incidents, one story keeps cropping up. On twitter, on television, and on the net. This refers to the cancellation of a screening of the film ‘And the world remained silent’, at an undergraduate college in Delhi in August 2007, and the role of Jashn-e-Azadi (and its makers, I suppose) in edging out this film.

That there was no truth in this allegation was made clear only a few days later by Sanjay Muttoo, visiting faculty at the same college, but this clarification from the teachers who had scheduled the screenings has obviously had little effect. (Truth, as we have heard said sometimes, is no defence!)

This week a respectable Mumbai newspaper, the DNA, once again repeated the same old story of how a screening of ‘And the world remained silent’ was pushed out by Jashn-e-Azadi. This falsehood was accompanied by a twitter rush that tried to reinforce that story. Obviously, there would be some people who may think there is some truth in the allegation. Sanjay Muttoo, who still teaches at the college, wrote a letter of clarification to the DNA, but it seems not to have found place there. He has now mailed us a copy, and we share it with those who have followed the exciting life of Jashn-e-Azadi!

Invoking the memory of a past event often necessitates the invoking of a counter-memory.  I refer to the sequence of events Aditya Raj Kaul narrates to contend that a screening of Ashok Pandit’s film “And the World Remained Silent” in Delhi’s Kamla Nehru College was conspiratorially cancelled at the behest of “some powers”. He goes on to say that this was done to facilitate the screening of Sanjay Kak’s film Jashn e Azadi instead but “the Delhi police asked Kak not to break the law and the screening was cancelled.”

Implicit in this argument are some erroneous assumptions which I would like to contest invoking a `counter-memory’. Referring to Ashok Pandit’s film, Kaul says, “On the eve of the screening, the organisers called it off”. In stating this he would like us to believe that the college authorities had actually scheduled a screening of ‘And the World Remained Silent’ on August 24 and later reneged on this commitment. In fact, this allegation was also made by  Rashneek Kher in a post on the Sarai Reader-List way back in August 2007. As visiting faculty in the department of journalism in Kamla Nehru College then and the person who had invited Sanjay Kak to screen his film  ‘Jashn e Azaadi’, I  cross-checked the facts with Anubha Yadav, the then Teacher in Charge responsible for taking decisions regarding screenings. She acknowledged that a request for screening Ashok Pandit’s film had been made but was quite emphatic in denying that the college had agreed to screen his film on August 24. So, the question of `some powers’ making sure that the screening of Ashok Pandit’s film was cancelled to accommodate Sanjay Kak’s film just did not arise.

Aditya Raj Kaul goes on to say that “as expected, the Delhi police asked Kak not to break the law and the screening was cancelled.” I am curious to know how the Delhi Police got to know in the first place that Mr Kak’s film was to be screened in Kamla Nehru College. It wasn’t a great secret but I wonder if the Delhi Police as a matter of routine policing monitors each and every  film screening that each college organizes. Having agreed to screen the film, would the college authorities in some moment of insanity have themselves informed the police and invoked a direction from them not to do so? Or was it that activists from ‘Roots in Kashmir’ complained to the police and got the screening of Sanjay Kak’s film cancelled ? This question begs an answer, an answer that might contain clues to why the police asked Kak to cancel the screening.

Kaul says that Jashn e Azadi’ has “been denied a public screening certificate from the censor board.” I am quite intrigued by this statement of his. As far as I know and I have checked this up with Sanjay Kak, he has not once applied for a censor certificate. So, where does the question of his film being “denied a public screening certificate from the censor board” arise? Is Kaul just ill informed or has he been too lazy to verify his facts……or is he choosing to deliberately peddle a lie? I will be happy to be corrected if Kaul can substantiate this claim of his. Till that happens, I will continue to wonder if this is a tactical  move in the larger gameplan of trying to attack the film using the bogey of ‘illegality’  whenever it is scheduled for a screening to try and make it invisible in the public domain?

Sanjay Muttoo, New Delhi Feb 2, 2012


Jashn-e-Azadi in China!

Last week screenings of Jashn-e-Azadi took place in Beijing and Shanghai. This was part of the West Heavens initiative, developed, as its website tells us, ‘to foster closer understanding of India through contemporary art and scholarship, and develop cross-cultural dialogue based on visual culture and notions of Asian modernity’.

It’s probably appropriate that a contentious film on Kashmir should be part of a section called “You Don’t Belong”! (To be fair, the full title of the event goes on to say: Pasts and Futures of Indian Cinema & India-China Dialogue on Film and Social Thought.) Curated by the film-scholar Ashish Rajadhyaksha, the film event saw more than 30 films screened across 4 cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guanzhou, Kunming – and at multiple venues in each city. Most remarkably, all the films had Chinese subtitles allowing the audiences a remarkable level of access.

In Beijing Jashn-e-Azadi was shown at the Beijing Film Academy, which hosted the section on The Documentary: Testimony, Home, City. The BFA, like everything that we encountered in this brief week in China, is huge, has massive infrastructure, and although modelled rather closely on the film school in Moscow (more properly known by the acronym VGIK), seems very much to be riding the boom that China is currently experiencing. First world facilities, and more than 3000 students. What was surprising for the documentary screenings was the turnout: students, faculty, and members of a film club that the BFA hosts, all showed up from the first day, and the vast auditorium (it was the “medium” one we were told) was always comfortingly full. The Jashn-e-Azadi screening was followed by what was billed as “Filmmakers’ Round Table 1: Documentary Images and the Language of Rights”, hosted by Zhang Xianmin, who is a professor at the BFA, teaching Screenwriting and documentary, and highly respected for his work in promoting the independent Chinese film. The other panelist was the very successful documentary film-maker Zhao Liang. (For more on him, you could read about his much applauded five and a half hour film Petition, or turn to this interesting profile in the New York Times).

In Shanghai Jashn-e-Azadi was screened at the Shanghai Film and TV Literature Library, a remarkable public institution where people are already queing up at 10am to enter, read periodicals and books, watch films… In a city made almost grotesque by its spectacular success with capitalism, its these last vestiges of a former socialist experiment that made one a little less despondent. The audience here was mixed too, some students, but a lot of what we would call ‘ordinary’ people. The post-screening discussion was hosted by the theatre director Zhang Xian, one of the earliest independent Chinese playwrights in the Post-Mao Era. (In the discussion he identified himself as an anarchist…)

While the audience at both back venues had negligible background on Kashmir, they responded with a remarkable openness, alert not just to the particular historical event they were witnessing, but also to the aesthetic form through which the film was trying to address it. One of the most remarkable conversations I have had about Jashn-e-Azadi was with a journalist from the Chinese language newspaper Oriental Morning Post in Shanghai. The paper has done almost a full page feature on the film, and although I would definitely NOT suggest Google Translate as a way of approaching the text, the incredibly nuanced questions put by Shen Yi made me feel that this piece of writing would really open out the film to a Chinese reader.

Finally, I cannot resist putting this picture in: forgive the vanity.

A screening report from Nottingham

A somewhat delayed report, of a March 2011 screening at Nottingham University, sent in by Safoora Teli. Although I was not present, it’s a screening that I’ll always remember, because I woke up at 1.30am here in Delhi, timed to the end of the screening in Nottingham, and dragged myself in front of my laptop, to do what turned out to be an hour-long discussion on skype!

For the second time in the history of the University of Nottingham, Kashmir came to town. It arrived in the form of a film screening and was the second event in the ‘K’ Word initiative. The first had been a confrontational panel discussion in November 2010 where representatives of Kashmir, India and the British parliament were able to explore the conflict in Kashmir as manifest in the events of summer 2010. Nicknamed the ‘year of teenage killings’, 2010 saw 112 youths die in clashes with state security forces during civil protests. Whilst the story of Kashmir begins much earlier, the lives of these youths and the tangible unrest, stems from the late 1980s where murky politics and a rigged election led to an armed uprising in the valley. This was in turn, matched by heavy militarisation by India. Not relegated to the last century, Kashmir is still the most densely militarised zone in the world today with the ratio of military personnel to civilians last calculated at 1:7. Whilst such figures are always disputed, it is agreed that tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and thousands disappeared, leaving behind a discordant society of the haunted, bewildered and traumatised. This is particularly apparent in the phenomenon of the ‘half-widow’. These women whose husbands and often sons have disappeared without a trace or an identifiable body are still calling for answers, recognition and investigation. The stigma around Kashmir is furthered by the generic advice in tourist guides to stay away from the troubled region and that particularly persistent would-be travellers should consult their embassy.

Whilst they may happily advise you on your travels, meaningful discussion on Kashmir has been actively bypassed by governments for years, with political envoys warned not to mention ‘the ‘K’ word’. India’s hyperbolic sensitivity means that comments on Kashmir are easily seen as interference with the ‘domestic problem’ of Kashmir. In the spirit of salvaging diplomatic relations therefore, most states keep silent. The UN too strayed into the firing line as in September 2010 Ban Ki-moon was forced to backtrack on a statement urging all sides to exercise restraint in Kashmir. This was- his office reassured India- an internal administrative error. In the spirit of countering the anti-logic of politicians and their institutions, the students involved in the ‘K’ Word decided to not only mention this ‘word’ but explain its contemporary relevance and expose the devastation on human life that sidelining Kashmir has caused.

We aesthetically pleased students always intended to use the medium of film to convey the story of Kashmir. Recognising its potential to express the message of the ‘K’ Word and draw the viewer closer to the reality of the people of Kashmir, I instinctively recalled the film Jashn-e-Azadi. Having had had the pleasure of being put in contact with the documentary’s film-maker Sanjay Kak in December 2010, I got a copy of the film, an endorsement for the event as well as agreement to a live-skype Q & A session at an awkward hour of the morning in India. So, on March 17th, I welcomed a melting pot of students and professionals hailing from regions worldwide including the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Kashmir and Palestine to Jashn-e-Azadi. The twenty-strong audience was smaller than anticipated especially in comparison to the one hundred and fifty of the previous ‘K’ Word event. However meagreness in quantity was compensated by remarkable quality as demonstrated by the extent and depth of questions posed to Sanjay.

Rather than recount the narrative of Jashn-e-Azadi in deserving detail, a just reflection of the evening is evident in the responses to the film. Although one restless attendee was unable to engage with the documentary, complaining that it was too long and consequently seen to depart during the interval, for the remaining attendees the experience was an evocative and moving one. How the viewers were affected and what they were provoked to ask Sanjay is telling and does not need interpretation.

A few shared their thoughts.

Y Mir, Masters student from Kashmir: “Thank you for the screening of this movie, it was just amazing. That many graves in Kashmir bear just a number showed the extent of the devastation. Showing the rush at mental clinics too was vital to demonstrate the high demand faced by the only mental clinic in Srinagar by Iqbal park. There are at times so many patients awaiting treatment that they overflow onto the main road. I have been shocked by these scenes in reality and felt appalled once more when seeing them in the film. However, with its slow pace, I can imagine that it would be difficult for someone not from Kashmir to understand the beautiful way in which it was made and the beauty of the amazing poems and phrases used to frame it. I was glad that Jashn-e-Azadi still speaks of hope, and keeps that kashmiriyat alive in the traditions and customs of the Kashmiri villages. Everything was beautiful. I think the film was successful in spreading awareness about the situation in Kashmir but then I’m someone who accepts the message of the movie. The thoughts of non-Kashmiris should be given more importance. Overall an amazing movie.”

“The world has stopped thinking about Kashmir. How many more should die to for it to be enough to for the world to break out of its ignorance of these unjustified deaths? Without even looking at the legal issues, it is vital to address what humanity and freedom means to Kashmiris”

L Holmolkova, Masters student and Human Rights Activist, Czech Republic: “The film went beyond a narrow definition of the long-lasting conflict and showed the problem from the point of view of people, victims and culture, which was excellent since I have a feeling that this is exactly the dimension that most of the world does not know today since there is not enough attention paid to Kashmir. Leaving the political issue aside and jumping straight to the ‘feeling’ of people living for decades under the threat of terrorist on one side and army on the other was really great. It is exactly as one of the people in the film said: “The story of Kashmir has not been told yet.” It has not been told from the point of view of people and the movie is an important step to let the world know.”

“I was particularly struck by the fact that regular people as well as activists had their houses burned down. The persistent impunity for things that- may I say- often go often beyond the crimes against humanity threshold is terrifying and requires attention. In contrast, the director introduces the film with scenes from the great tourist summer and tourist seasons in Kashmir. I initially could not understand why this was shown but I soon felt that this was demonstrative of how India promotes the area as a great tourist destination whilst neglecting the problems that people face there. I liked how the film mingled the past with the future, taking the picture of the whole situation beyond just the political dimension.

“The movie showed the lack of space for civil society and human rights activists to function in Kashmir. As Sanjay said, the limited base for local activists means that the possible role to be played by organizations from outside is also limited as is the level of trust for these organisations. Ultimately it would be nice to have a follow-up discussion because personally, the movie introduced something new to me in which I started to be very interested. I really hope to learn more about Kashmir. This film can certainly be used to attract more international attention, not to the political issue but to the victims of the persistent arguments over Kashmir.”

Jashn in California: Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose

There will be a short series of screenings of Jashn-e-Azadi in the Bay Area in early March, so those who would like to catch up with the film, welcome!
March 4: Berkeley / 6 pm /  Association for India’s Development, Berkeley Chapter
March 5: Stanford University / 4.30 pm / Symposium: “Grounding Kashmir: Experience and Everyday Life on Both Sides of the Line of Control”
March 9: San Jose State University / 7 pm / Engineering Auditorium  (Weblink is awaited)

Screening news: London-Bangalore

Almost missed posting these two valuable accounts of end of the year screenings of Jashn-e-Azadi. They are particularly important because of the different ways they suggest for ‘using’ documentary films to spark off a conversation.

London – SOAS/ASAR: November 9, 2010
We took about a month to organize the screening of Jashn-e-Azadi at SOAS, University of London. Sanjay could not be in London, and being a student group, we did not have enough money to fly him in, so skype was chosen (something that should be tried more often with massive funding cuts in the U.K. nowadays). The screening + discussion with Sanjay was to be held at the Khalili Lecture Theatre from 2 to 6pm on the 9th of November. We were all part of the group ASAR which is Academics and Students against Repression. It was launched last year by a group of like-minded students and teachers who were keeping a close eye on the events unfolding in India – particularly moments of conflict where the Indian state was culpable of being hands-in-glove with big corporations or of securing its ‘territorial integrity’ at enormous human costs – and were trying to work out what are the best possible interventions we could make from here in London. The group was made up of both more itinerant students but also academics who are more or less permanently based in London. We partnered with CISD (Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy) at SOAS for organizing the screening.

Seeing what had happened over the last four months in Kashmir was a cause of massive concern for all of us. What was extremely frustrating was the narrowing of the very debate which the several outlets in the Indian national media were conducting on their television channels and print publications, a debate caught between the extremes of the nationalist ‘Kashmir is an integral part of India’ approach, on the one hand, and a very simple understanding of the demand for ‘azadi’ (‘freedom’) from Kashmiris, on the other. Sanjay’s film was refreshing because, it becomes clear as it unspools, it had different terms of debate altogether, and what we thought was the most important part of the work, its ability to listen to those whom this whole ‘conflict’ affects the most and is about – the ordinary people in Kashmir.

The fact that it was the Reading Week in the University of London the week of the screening, and that the London weather predictably played up its game with heavy pours, meant that the audience number was not what we expected. At its peak, there were about 40 people who came for the screening. The dvd offered some of its own difficulties and got stuck twice. But the SOAS tech staff was quite helpful and people got to see the whole film despite the hiccups. What was the strongest part of the event though was the discussion itself, uninterrupted by technical hassles and with Sanjay, being telecast probably from his private study, answering at length the questions that the audience asked. The discussion lasted a good solid hour and involved several entry points into ‘the Kashmir question’. There were questions about the craft of the film and its use of the ‘sentiment’ and poetry as something that propels the whole film and how that relates to hard ‘politics’ and to what effect. There were questions about the meaning of ‘azadi’ in Kashmir in the light of recent events, including the stone-protests, and the relation, if any, of this idea of ‘azadi’ to overtly religious feeling. Sanjay recounted the two meetings, in Delhi and in Srinagar, that discussed these many meanings and were a cause of the ‘sedition’ controversy that the national media churned out, implicating writers and thinkers. Questions were asked by both bachelors students and veteran civil rights activists based in London. One of the outcomes of the debate was that it became amply clear that Kashmiris and those with them, now more than ever, have to continue having strong internal debates about ‘azadi’ and have to constantly stage this complex argument of ‘azadi’, taking into consideration their own minorities, and their ‘fight’ is to be fought on the basis of what is there to offer as a post-independence vision as well as a means to redress the present and long-standing military excesses of the Indian state.

(reported by Akhil Katyal)

Bangalore – IISc: November 29, 2010
An impressive crowd of around 90 people gathered in a physics lecture hall on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science to attend a screenin of Jashn-e-Azadi. The audience, coming both from communities in and off the campus, sat attentively through the first disc of the movie, and opted through a democratic audience decision (via a show of hands) to watch the second disc of the movie rather than just discuss the first half of the movie. By the time the movie ended, it was around 9 pm – yet a thick group gathered in the center of the hall to discuss the issues of Kashmiri azadi and self determination. This discussion involved the usual individual asking questions which the 10 or so Kashmiris present answered, about the state of life in Kashmir, the omnipresence of armed forces, the routine yet serious harrassment that all Kashmiris undergo, and the views of people in and around the Kashmir valley. The narratives of the Kashmiris present in the room were very powerful and this moved most of the audience that had stayed for the discussion. The discussion was informal, it was emotional, and it was very productive. Around 35 people signed up to participate in a campaign to support Kashmiri self determination.

(reported by Kaveri Rajaraman)

‘Cinema of Resistance’: Katiyan, Uttar Pradesh

This week Jashn-e-Azadi was the closing film at the 2nd Nainital Film Festival, part of the ‘Pratirodh ka Cinema‘ (Cinema of Resistance) circuit of film festivals that have been so patiently (and brilliantly) put together by film-activists of Jan Sanskriti Manch. Fast growing into a legend on the alternative cinema circuit, the Gorakhpur Film Festival (already headed for its 6th edition) has spawned a series of clones all over Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Marked by a sharp curatorial sense, and a remarkable insistence on remaining unfunded (despite many offers of funding and sponshorship) the Cinema of Resistance festivals – and the many one-off screenings and workshops that they have encouraged –  are a truly unique initiative in the democratisation of screening culture in India. (And perhaps in the world)

Jashn-e-Azadi has been shown–and allow us this little list–at the following ‘Pratirodh ka Cinema‘ events:

  • 3rd Gorakhpur Film Festival , Feb 26, 2008
  • 1st Bareilly Film Festival , Jun 8, 2008
  • 1st Patna Film Festival, Dec 27, 2009
  • 3rd Lucknow Film Festival, Oct 10, 2010
  • 1st Jabalpur Saarthak Cinema Karyashala (Meaningful Cinema Workshop) jointly organized with Pahal parivaar, Sept 4, 2010
  • 2nd Nainital Film Festival, Oct 31, 2010
    (for those who can read devanagari, a brief report on the screening from the DewalthalPost)

Quietly upstaging all these remarkable screenings though, is one that we were not witness to. I’ve received a heart-warming report about it though, from Baijnathji, who mans the sales desk at all the ‘Pratirodh ka Cinema‘ events. Here is his account, in a quick translation:

27 April. Since 1995, every year 27 April refreshes the memories of a special day for my family, because that is the day our father died an untimely death. My father was simple by temperament, but in his personality there was a commitment to struggle. From the ordinary position as a laborer, he spent his life fighting against exploitation, injustice, and atrocities, and was always seen on the side of the oppressed.

After his death, a tradition has come about of organizing something in his memory on 27 April every year. Sometimes its a story reading, sometimes a discussion on the problems of farmers. But this year our doorway saw something quite different. We remembered him as we do every year, but in a different way. In the evening about 40-50 children, some young people and some old men and women were sitting there. On a table was a television. The children were thinking that a Bollywood film will start. The older people were hopeful that it would be the Ramayana or the Mahabharata. But when my brother set up the system, and ran it, what  they began to see was Majid Majidi’s Iranian film “The Children of Heaven”. In just a little while the whispering amongst the crowd turned into silence. When it ended, there was a demand to run the same film again. But the fear of a power cut made it necessary for us to begin the second film.

Sanjay Kak’s “Jashn-e-Azadi” began. As the film went on, the silence began to break. Watching the scenes from the film people began to whisper amongst each other. After the film it was tea time. But the electricity turned it all dark. But despite this people sat on the matting outside at our doorstep till late at night talking about this film about Kashmir.

In this large village situated on the borders of Bihar, the little doorstep of our house saw a few educated young people, some children, lawyers and teachers engrossed in arguments and counter-arguments of the reality of Kashmir, and the women were even abusing the army. People were saying that such films should be shown all over the place.

Baijnath Mishra
son of late Virendra (“Vaikunth”) Mishra
Village Katiyan, Post Office Katkuiyan
Dist Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh

For those who can read Devanagari, here is the original report too: Enjoy!

२७ अप्रैल – प्रत्येक वर्ष १९९५ की २७ अप्रैल की यादें ताज़ा कर जाता है . यह दिन मेरे परिवार के लिए एक खास दिन होता है. क्योंकि इसी दिन हमारे पिताजी की असमय मृत्यु हो गयी थी . मेरे पिताजी का स्वभाव सरल एवं व्यक्तित्व संघर्षशील था . अपनी छोटी सी औकात में श्रमिक जीवन व्यतीत करते हुए, शोषण, अन्याय, व अत्याचार के खिलाफ हमेशा पीड़ितों के पक्ष में खड़े दिखाई देते थे .

उनके निधन के बाद प्रत्येक वर्ष २७ अप्रैल को उनकी याद में मेरे घर कुछ न कुछ आयोजन करने की परंपरा विकसित हो चुकी है . कभी कहानी पाठ, कभी कृषक समस्याओं पर विचार विमर्श हुआ करता था . लेकिन इस वर्ष मेरे दरवाज़े पर कुछ अलग ही दृश्य दिखाई दिया . प्रत्येक वर्ष की भांति इस वर्ष भी उन्हें याद किया गया लेकिन तरीका बदला हुआ था . शाम को कुछ ४०-५० बच्चे, कुछ युवक  व कुछ वृद्ध पुरुष और  महिलाएं बैठे हुए थे . सामने एक मेज़ पर टेलीविजन  रखा हुआ था . बच्चे यह सोच रहे थे कि कोई बॉलीवुड कि फिल्म चलेगी . वहीँ   उम्रदराज़ लोग रामायण या महाभारत देखने कि आस लगाये हुए थे . लेकिन मेरे भाई ने टेलीविजन का सिस्टम ठीक करके उसे चलाया तो माजिद मजीदी की  ईरानी फिल्म “द  चिल्ड्रेन ऑफ़ हेवन” का नज़ारा दिखाई देने लगा . कुछ ही समय बाद आपस की फुसफुसाहट मौन रूप में बदल गई . फिल्म के समाप्त होने पर उसी फिल्म को दोबारा चलाने की मांग उठाने लगे . लेकिन बिजली काट जाने की आशंका को देखते हुए दूसरी फिल्म दिखाया जाना आवश्यक था .

संजय काक द्वारा निर्देशित डॉकुमेंटरी “जश्न-ए-आज़ादी” आरम्भ हुई . और फिल्म ज्यूँ- ज्यूँ आगे बढती गयी लोगों की ख़ामोशी भी टूटती गयी . फिल्म के दृश्यों को देखकर लोग आपस में एक दूसरे से काना फूसी करना आरंभ कर दिए . फिल्म के समाप्त होने के पश्चात चाय का दौर प्रारंभ हुआ . लेकिन बिजली नें अँधेरा कर दिया. बावजूद इसके लोग देर रात तक मेरे दरवाज़े पर चटाई पर बैठे-बैठे देर रात तक कश्मीर  पर बनाई इस फिल्म के बारे में चर्चा करते रहे .

बिहार सीमा पर स्थित मेरे बड़े से गाँव के मेरे छोटे से दरवाज़े पर कुछ किसान, कुछ पढ़े-लिखे युवक, बच्चे, वकील और अध्यापक जमकर कश्मीरी हकीकत पर आपस में तर्क वितर्क करते रहे और महिलाएं तो सेना को गलियां भी दे रही थी . ऐसी फिल्म को लोग कह रहे थे कि  जगह-जगह दिखाया जाना चाहिए.

बैजनाथ मिश्र
पुत्र स्व: वीरेन्द्र (उर्फ़ वैकुण्ठ) मिश्र
ग्राम: कटियाँ , पोस्ट: काटकुइयां
जिला: कुशीनगर  (उ.प्र)


blogchoice: stone in my hand & other new media stuff

blogmistri loves stone in my hand song by everlast and various kashmiri diy video versions of it. blogmistri also recommends  this song by a kashmiri rapper called (whatelse) McKash –  I Protest (A Remembrence)

another one

the iranian version of the stone

and finally the original

also look at this wikipedia entry

and this website calls you

and collage of images used as profile picture of many facebookers, twitterati from kashmir

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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