Reviews

Dead eyes and dead conscience

Dead eyes and dead conscience

Many of you must have seen the documentary recently aired on Al Jazeera, Kashmir: Born to Fight. Although a well-intentioned film, its title seems a little bothersome. It puts an implicating optics on Kashmir and Kashmiris. This title makes it look as though the problem is because Kashmiris are the troublemakers — they “fight” forcing […]

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Kashmiri Society as Reflected in Folk Songs: Mirrors on the Wall of Time

R L Talashi Kashmiri folk literature is a treasure trove of unwritten socio-cultural history spanning centuries. It is particularly true of our folk songs. These songs depict life in various hues and moods as well as the dark and colourful aspects of the traditional Kashmiri society. Rich in depicting emotions, dreams and miseries, these folk […]

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Sanjay Kak’s Witness: An archive of memory in the face of constant erasure

Witness, a new book celebrating the work of nine Kashmiri photojournalists was recently launched throughout India and abroad. The book is a collection of more than 200 photographs taken between 1986 and 2016. It is not a visual guide to events in Kashmir as some may think. It is visual-textual narrative that draws you into […]

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Motifs of Misery: Weaves and woes of the Kashmiri Shawl A visit to the Kashmir of 1820s through William Moorcroft’s ‘Travels’

Motifs of Misery: Weaves and woes of the Kashmiri Shawl  A visit to the Kashmir of 1820s through William Moorcroft’s ‘Travels’

Madame Defarge of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities used her knitting to document the names of those whom she perceived to be the ‘enemies’ of the French revolution. Had someone like her existed in Kashmir, perhaps its history would too have been weaved into its famed shawls. It would be appropriate too, for the […]

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MANTO: THE WICKED WITNESS

MANTO: THE WICKED WITNESS

May 11 was the birth anniversary of Sadat Hasan Manto – the short-story writer who, among many other afflictions, had a serious predicament. In his imagined after-life he had envisioned himself in a state of perpetual conjecture — whether he or God was a greater story-teller. The matter was never settled probably because of the […]

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Amanullah Khan: Life history of an azadi ideologue

Amanullah Khan: Life history of an azadi ideologue

The life story of Kashmiri nationalist leader Amanullah Khan, who recently passed away, epitomizes the rise of a territorial Kashmiri nationalism that transcended the parochial idea of an ethnic nationalism tied to Kashmiri language. Amanullah Khan’s nationalism drew upon a progressive Kashmiri Muslim cosmopolitanism and a secular internationalism. His life experiences spanning different cultural regions […]

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Art scene in Kashmir: A Palette of Problems and Promise

Art scene in Kashmir: A Palette of Problems and Promise

When militancy broke out in Kashmir in 1990, it was accompanied by a violent response from the state. These two opposing phenomena set-off new narratives and a new socio-political dynamic. There was a sudden movement: from life to death; from ‘order’ to disorder; from dwelling to displacement; from volume to silence; from calm to commotion; […]

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A Chronicle of State’s Killing Machines

A Chronicle of State’s Killing Machines

          Abductions and killings in fake encounters by state forces in India have been known for a long time. But such grave issues hardly find way in any public debate. The corporate-owned mainstream media also steer clear of such issues because of their largely pro-establishment editorial policies when it comes to […]

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When Eqbal Ahmad was shot at in Kashmir

Eqbal Ahmad was clearly one of the finest examples in South Asia of what his friend Edward Said called a “public intellectual.” He was also one of the first to urge a serious examination of the political roots of modern militancy in the Middle East and South Asia. Eqbal Ahmad taught at a number of […]

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Songs, strings & struggle

Songs, strings & struggle

It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon. Two young artists are trying out a song at their Bemina residence. Guitar notes ring out in the room. A sweet melody breaks out: Cze ha yaar shubi Mubarak. The song builds to a crescendo. And the duo jams out the full song. The first thing that catches your ear […]

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