Of Army and the Local perception: Mapping the Social Image in Kashmir – Adfar Shah

Of Army and the Local perception: Mapping the Social Image in Kashmir – Adfar Shah

The Kashmiri identity still continues to be like the gown of a poor man that needs to be mended without delay as the patches of pain and misery have been bombarding the common collective consciousness since decades now. The question amid this whole disarray and incessant turbulence is whether army as a credible institution of the nation has lived up to the mirror image of goodwill ambassadors especially in the conflict zones like Kashmir or merely proved a tool of the repressive state apparatus? Has the army ever tried to or evaluated its total intervention and assessed the positive impact of its social interventions? Has it tried to study or gauged the local perception or impact about all its good will programmes? I am unsure.  Despite of the fact that conflict is purely political, finding answer to,  have the men in uniform ever treated the turmoil hit masses especially the Northeast and Kashmiri people as the people of their own country or their own public or have been dealing with them merely with an ‘enemy’ perception, is a question for both people and the army. Since 1989, when the armed conflict started, there has been every attempt to alienate Kashmiris from the time and space. In the dark heartlessness of flying bullets, the general name given to all belted forces by locals is Bharti Fouj/military/security forces and the second general name is ‘Army’. Though security forces consist of various agencies like army, state police, CRPF, BSF and others but people (Kashmiris) simply address all with one collective/common name as army (the greatest burden of and credibility challenge to army itself).This is perhaps because the oppressed feel hardly interested in classifying the oppressors (as a majority of masses still assume of these security forces). Though Army runs a chain of public (Awam) welfare programmes but has hardly been openly/widely lauded or hailed ever for any of their social work/people’s welfare related interventions. If the Army continues to be known for anything (infamously), it is still fear, encounters and the never ending dichotomy between them (fouj) and the civilians. The question is, are they (the men in uniform) merely the unkind/men with impunity or something beyond...

Bash on Regardless – Shyam Benegal

Bash on Regardless – Shyam Benegal

“I never give any kind of message, because every person has to find his own way…” ShyamBenegal, is amongst the people meeting whom is a privilege. A veteran Indian film director and rather a visionary. Interacting with a wise person such as himself whose office’s simplicity to start with was an eye soothing sight and getting to know his way of making films, technically referred to as “middle cinema” was indeed an experience. A highly learned and soft spoken gentleman, who’s appealing personality and his talks full of fruitful and fulfilled experiences, he has shared with The Analyst World Team. A word with Shyam Benegal VEDCHETAN PATIL : The reason we wanted to have this “Dialogue” with you is because when the film industry was moving towards glamour, yours was an absolutely different approach. So, in accordance to that, we’d like to know more about your thought process especially about the movies. SHYAM BENEGAL :  Well, what is glamour? You have to define what glamour is, because to me when you say somebody is glamorous…How do you define galmorous?….. For me the person with painted lips and wearing fancy clothes is not necessarily glamorous. “Glamour for me is something that which comes from the innate self.”  Some people are glamorous by nature, some people are not. But, making somebody add this  doesn’t make any difference. Basically, beauty is important. It’s like saying, TajMahal is very beautiful, but does it need whitewash to make it look more beautiful? We don’t need that. Similarly, glamour doesn’t mean anything to me, beauty does. And beauty can be of so many types, there can be beauty in personality, in looks, in action, in speech. All these things are a part of the same thing, so what you need on top of this to whitewash the TajMahal? I’m not interested; it’s about how you define glamorous. Like, for instance, when I started, I didn’t do any make up on my artists, neither girls, nor boys. In fact, if they had any make up on their face, I’d make them remove it. If girls had lipstick on, I’d have it removed. The reason being, there is natural beauty to people....

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