Stop Running My Life Anymore – Kashmiri Awaaz

I don’t know if it has happened to you but this particular thing has happened to me like a million times, the latest one being when my dad was about to buy me my favourite bike and the neighbourhood Bhat sahab came in with these words..

Bhaijaan, aapke bete ki pehli bike hai… Bullet sambhal nahi payega…. koi aur dila do

And, the next day I had a “splendor+” at my door, with more happiness on Bhat Sahab’s face than my father’s.

Yes, I am talking about this situation when complete outsiders are able to manipulate you or your decisions according to themselves. Bhat Sahab in this case can just be an example but today I see how someone is manipulating the decisions that concern not only me but my entire state.

The announcement of Zubin Mehta’s concert in the valley came in as a surprise and a pleasant one for that matter to not only me but to a lot of my friends as well. Music for years has been bridging gaps between nations, between religions, between sects, between individuals and this concert appeared nothing less than an effort to bridge some man-made gaps between people living here and to promote certain culture but we can avoid talking about that here. However, like everything else in Kashmir, the event is already mired in politics, and its most vocal opponents—apart from the habitual separatist groups and a self-styled grand mufti—have been from the educated Kashmiri elite. Their reasoning is that it amounts to legitimising Indian rule in Kashmir via a concert and that the event itself is an attempt to portray “normalcy” to the West

And to this pleasant step, our very own Bhat Sahabs have some comments to make.

We are not against music but we are only making the point that when grave things like human rights violations are happening here, how is it appropriate to hold a musical event. Rather than that Germany should help us in other things. Take the example of dying Dal Lake. Why can’t they help us do something in that why only a concert”

“How can the people of Kashmir understand what is totally alien to their musical tastes.”

“the German Government, must not allow itself to be party to activities that seek to further legitimize the ‘Indian occupation’ in Jammu and Kashmir”

“Germany must accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir and recognise the pain and legitimate political and legal struggle of its people.”

I will not be using any names here and will continue to call these people Bhat Sahabs (no offence to the caste) of J&K but I want to ask a few things here:

1. How can something as beautiful as music be associated with something as complex as politics. Was it an announcement made by the Indian Government? Was it an effort to attract some votes by a political party? Was it even a Hindu or a Muslim who planned something like this?

If the answer to these questions is  NO, then why is there a problem if an Embassy wishes to promote its culture and its music in a beautiful state which has a long history of a beautiful culture of its own?

2.  When Pt. Ravi Shankar said, “music has no language. It catches your imagination and holds you spellbound whether or not you understand the finer points“, did he mean nothing? He is the same person who has represented Indian music and Indian culture in 6 continents, countless number of countries and in front of crowds that can beat the population of Kashmir. Now when Bhat sahab talks about the language and the taste of the Kashmiris in music, are they doubting the power of music, or they are questioning our love for music or they are just thrashing the statement made by Pt. Ravi Shankar, because if any of that is the case, we might have the new Rolling Stones,  Cliff RichardDiana RossModern TalkingCharles AznavourBing CrosbyNana MouskouriDeep PurpleIron MaidenTom Jones,  Dionne WarwickThe Andrews SistersLuciano Pavarotti of music among us.

3.  If your neighbour comes to your house with his kid and asks him to dance. Ok wait, let me reframe it. The neighbour in this case actually sneaks its kids in when the house owners are away. When a relative who has come from Europe to meet you, and asks his kid to sing for you, do you sit, listen and enjoy the kid’s song or you jump up saying that you have issues with your wife and thus the kid cannot sing in your house?

Can you see Germany in that relative from Europe? Can you picture Bhat sahab in a man who has troubles with his wife and is adamant to make them public, even after knowing that he has to live with his wife because she is the one who’s putting bread, butter and Kahva on his table?

I’m sure these questions will be a little tricky for many of you so I’ll come to the Europe relative narration again.

If a rich uncle comes in with a lot of money and says- “I will buy you a new shirt”, do you sit and crib about how much you need a new notebook instead? Or you thank that rich uncle for the shirt and ask your dad for the notebook that you need and while your dad gets you the notebook, you continue to use the hundreds that he had already got for you?

Who are you to tell the Germans to spend money to develop the health and education facilities in Kashmir? Who are you to tell them to dirty their hands in your failed efforts of cleaning the DalLake? Who are you to blame them of being party to ‘India’s interference’ in the valley?

On a more political term, this effort is completely justified.

Germans wanted to promote their music and culture in India, the Indian Government allowed them to organize a concert in Kashmir, the Germans are spending their resources to organize this concert and it will be me, you and all our family and friends who will be entertained at this concert. I don’t see a point why you or anyone should raise his voice against this.

The same thing happened when the girls band came up. The same thing happened when girls started going to schools. The same thing happened when kids wanted to join the Indian bureaucracy instead of the terrorist camps and the same thing happened when a cricketer wanted to play for the Indian cricket team. And we, we have just learnt to take it all with a pinch of salt.

But, I can’t allow these things and these Bhat Sahabs to keep ruining my life anymore. I am taking a stand against them today, are you?

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  1. Why do you hide behind an anonymity such as ‘Kashmiri Awaaz’? I suspect you’re a hindu apologist of Indian state. There is no place for any such thing as music, dance, photography (images) in Islam.

  2. swaleha /

    I have really enjoyed your article thoroughly and want to say yes it is very important to stop such Baht Saab’s interfere in any matter.

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