For long, Kashmiris have been captivated by the power of photography. But why? Why have so many of the world’s greatest geniuses with the camera produced some of their best work in Kashmir? Is it the unique tragicomedy of spectacular natural beauty and a gruesome conflict that has consumed generations? Why are there so many good photojournalists and photographers in Kashmir and why is their number on the rise?
Author: Arif Ayaz ParreyArif Ayaz Parrey was born and brought up between Islamabad and Anantnag, Kashmir. He studied law at Aligarh Muslim University.
Ever seen a dog trying to befriend other dogs?
No, I’m not talking about dogs in slavery, or, as some people like to call them, pets.
In recent weeks, as another cycle of protests dies down in J&K, there has been a surge in reports of incidents of looting, stone-pelting on civilian vehicles and, particularly, mysterious fires destroying schools and private property. No one knows who the perpetrators are…
“Khurram Parvez, in the front-row of human rights defenders in Jammu and Kashmir, has been arrested late last night from his home just down-street from Gupkar, the street the cream of collaborators, including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, live and breath in. Khurram had just returned home after immigration authorities had stopped him from travelling to Geneva to attend the United Nations Human Rights session.
At Srinagar, Khurram works with the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). The group is criticised by large sections of Kashmiri society for inserting themselves at a very mild point in the political discourse in Kashmir. People are frustrated that JKCCS’s focus on mere human rights abuse (which people believe, rather mistakenly, rarely includes the right to self-determination) distracts from the main issue of azadi from Indian occupation. “
While the real sangbaaz are busy heroically fighting one of the mightiest armies in the world and their local stooges, some “unknown elements”, allegedly J&K Police Sangbaaz Association in collaboration with IB Stonepelters League, have been busy putting up fake posters in some localities in Srinagar to bring disrepute to the sangbaaz by showing them as misogynistic etc.
We made a few additional posters to demonstrate the name of the game. Check ’em out.
Arif Ayaz Parrey imagines the questioning of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya by the Delhi police A thulla (passive aggressive term for a Delhi policeman)…
Generations of Kashmiris have already answered the rhetorical question, “Hum kya chahte?” (What do we want?) with “Azadi”—freedom from India. If there is to be any possibility of reconciliation, it cannot be answered with another question: “What about Kashmiri Pandits?” This latter question can be—should be—part of the answer to another question, “Azadi ka matlab kya?” (What does azadi entail?) But for that to happen, the first question must be heard, and answered.
Rumi always has the same questions for him. The first one is, “Can you understand Farsi?” Avtar nods, even though he does not understand the language. When he is awake, it always torments him that he is a liar even in his dreams. Rumi continues in Persian, which Avtar now understands because he has lied about it, “Do you know what murder is?”