Syed Basharat | Kashmir Times, Jammu | Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sanjay Kak portrays true picture of Kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 31:

Celebrating Independence Day under the military might while curbing the right to freedom of Kashmiris was the crux of the 138-minute documentary ‘Jashn-e-Azadi’ by Sanjay Kak, which was screened in Tagore Hall here, today.

Kak, in his documentary has to a large extent succeeded in portraying the real picture of day-to-day happenings in Kashmir. “It has been a laborious job to shoot this documentary,” observed Kak while answering a question at the end of the screening.

It was the third screening of this documentary. The first was held in Delhi on March 13. Kak believes that the documentary has been made in order to ‘disturb’ the Indian audience who, according to him, has a different realization of the Kashmir issue.

“Just enough,” said Kak, what he wants to convey to the Indian audience. He added that his purpose of screening the film before Indian audience is that they will feel concerned about the Kashmir issue.

The documentary by Kak, unlike other, is without any Pakistan bashing and going by the sequence of events he has portrayed in his documentary the audience feedback at the end of screening was that he has depicted real situation in Kashmir.

The director has been able to juxtapose the events skillfully as one event of happiness leads the audience to contrasting reality of sorrow and grief.

Kak said that he cannot manipulate the truth and that has been the hallmark of his documentaries. “I have named them as Mujahids in the documentary as the local call so. Besides they (militants) identify themselves as Mujahids,” he added.

When asked about the absence of migration of Kashmiri Pandits, Chattisingpora Massacre, disappeared persons and some Hindu militants who have been killed during the movement the director of the documentary replied that his intention was not to make an encyclopedia on Kashmir but he has tried his best to include whatsoever was possible for him within stipulated time.

The documentary has described almost every dimension the Kashmir issue including a scene about an old man trying to locate his son’s grave in a martyrs graveyard, a young accustomed grave digger narrating how he has buried a number of unidentified people, burnt villages, frisking and beating, public resentment, blood spilled on streets, crackdowns, funeral of militants and much more.

The documentary also shows the people suffering from psychological disorders and dying tourism industry. In today’s screening some separatist leaders including Masarat Alam Bhat and Shakeel Ahmad Bakshi were also present among the audience and both lauded the efforts of Kak. Besides these leaders the audience included journalists, writers, theatrists and students.



3 Responses to “Kashmir Times report”

  1. 1 arif July 20, 2007 at 9:08 am

    it is great to read this report. Kudos to both the correspondent and Sanjay Kak

  2. 2 Cyrus July 23, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Great Work there. Its about time

  3. 3 S Bakshi December 11, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    well first of its kind, deeply representing the resistance root in History, folk etc…. not influenced by propaganda… ray of hope, a gift by a community is, often never expected. Professional one… every one notice… but hardly one one cared… Sanjay… if some one wants to see the other picture rather than corporate press… do have a glimps of JA.
    S Bakshi

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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

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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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