(translation from the Urdu)

Arshid Ahmed / Kashmir Uzma / April 1, 2007

“Jashn-e-Azadi” in Kashmir

Film by son of the soil film-maker Sanjay Kak screened at Tagore Hall

Kashmiri film director Sanjay Kak’s new documentary film Jashn-e-Azadi was screened at Srinagar’s Tagore Hall this weekend. The film is about the ongoing rebellion in Kashmir. The 2 hour 18 minute long film looks at the impact of the last six decades on Kashmiri society, by particularly focusing on 1990 onwards, and capturing these twenty years on film.

The starting point of the film is the Indian Independence day celebration on August 15th at Srinagar’s historic Lal Chowk, where a handful of BSF personnel are shown singing the Indian National Anthem. In this scene, if there are any people not in uniform, then they are press photographers and TV journalists. What is ordinarily a Lal Chowk bustling with the activity of people, is on this day eerily silent.

In another scene, in the midst of Srinagar’s Martyr’s Graveyard, an elderly man is shown looking for his son’s grave. Having witnessed his son’s funeral, this unfortunate father’s tearful conversation makes this film extremely emotional. Later, in the border town of Kupwara, a young civilian says “my work is to dig graves, sometimes it’s a militant, and sometimes an innocent civilian”.

Through his film Sanjay Kak conveys the impact of the rebellion of the last two decades. Speaking to Kashmir Uzma Sanjay said: “The story of Kashmir is yet to be told. My film is only the first stage of this immense story”. The film depicts the oppression and brutalisation by the Security forces, and the resulting agonies of the people are captured in the film: it shows many families who have seen their kith and kin being killed before their eyes by Security personnel. It also shows unidentified bodies (without even a shroud to cover them). On the other hand, he has also tried to show the projects run by the security forces – Operation Goodwill, Sadhbhavna and Muskaan.

In Jashn-e-Azadi the psychological impact on Kashmiris of the ongoing rebellion has been very forcefully brought out. And it demonstrates thow in the last 17 years the continous pressure has resulted in a large number of people becoming victims of psychological ailments. And this figure is continously rising. At different points, speeches of many Army men and pro-freedom leaders have also been given space.

A large crowd was present to watch the film, which included a wide cross-section of opinions. Many of the viewers engaged in high pitched slogans in favour of freedom, Pakistan, and militants. And so declared that it was the first completely independent film on Kashmir, one which truly reflects the state of affairs in Kashmir. At the end of the screening, many prominent citizens expressed their gratitude to Sanjay Kak for the film. On the other hand, separatist leader Shakeel Ahmed Bakshi presented his own shawl to Sanjay Kak as a token of his appreciation.

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2 Responses to “Kashmir Uzma report”

  1. 1 Asheesh Kumar Shukla December 19, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Hi I am Asheesh. A Journalist. As a pathfinder of truth I need to know what is going on in Kashmir. How ever I try to get the information on Kashmir through some journalsits over their yet I need more facts . Please feel free to chat or contact with me at asheeshkumarshukla@gfmail.com.
    May Peace prevail on this Paradise on earth.

  2. 2 Asheesh Kumar Shukla December 19, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Hi , I am Asheesh. A Journalist who wants to bring the pain of the people of the valley into lime light. I am preparing my resources to write a book on the struggle of people. Please feel free to contact me and chat with me on asheeshkumarshukla@gmail.com

    May peace previal in the paradise on earth.

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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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