Kashmir Valley gives peace a chance with music concerts

first_imgDivine Sufi melodies, in tandem with the rebellious strains of rock music, are reverberating across the Kashmir Valley this summer. And the large turnout for these concerts indicates that locals, particularly youngsters, are thirsting for an encore.The trend beat the perception that the state government would be confronted with a serious law and order problem this month in the wake of the slogan Khoon ka badla June mein lenge (the murders will be avenged this June). Far from the return of the stonepelting mobs, ground zero was busy hosting musical shows, business conferences and sports events. Sunday, for instance, sizzled with three music concerts being held at different locations in Srinagar during the evening. All the three venues were teeming with listeners, mostly youngsters.On Saturday night, too, the Institute of Hotel Management in Rajbagh came alive when hundreds of youngsters sang along with the Zero Bridge band. The group is named after one of the bridges on Jhelum river and its lead singers are Kashmiri youths based in the US. The show also saw One Young Kashmir, a group 20 boys and girls who have dedicated themselves to social causes, performing. The By Naseer Ganai in Srinagar band, however, had a word of brutally candid advice for those touting musical shows and festivals as indicators of peace in Kashmir.Delhi singer Kabul Rishi belts out Bollywood hits of the ’80s.”No one should sell them as peace,” Irtif Lone of One Young Kashmir said. “These shows don’t put it the (conflict in Kashmir) on the backburner. They are simply an effort to work for social causes and provide youngsters some space for entertainment,” he added. The group’s singers even asked the audience to maintain two minutes of silence for those killed in the 2010 demonstrations. The main attraction of the Saturday show was Roushan Illahi, who is better known by his rapper title MC Kash. The track ‘I Protest’, which describes the turbulence of 2010, propelled the 20-year-old to prominence. It begins with news clips from the height of the protests, and ends with him listing the names of the people who were killed last summer.However, on Saturday night, he sang the number Fist Held High. Another musical festival that attracted hundreds of people, including politicians, was organised by Kashmiri singer Waheed Jeelani at the SKICC along Dal Lake on Sunday. Here, singers from all over the state mesmerised the audience with ghazals and Sufi songs. At Hotel Vivanta by Taj Srinagar, Kabul Rishi, made the people shake a leg to Bollywood’s golden hits of the ’80s. Rishi is a young singer from Delhi and this was his first performance in Kashmir. Earlier on Sunday, a Punjabi mushaira was organised at the Government College for Women. Last week, New Delhi-based Kashmiri filmmaker and writer Sanjay Kak released his book Until My Freedom Has Come – The New Intifada in Kashmir at Hotel Grand Mumtaz. The book is a compilation of writings about last year’s unrest.advertisement”Since January, the authorities have talked about the slogan Khoon ka badla June mein lenge to justify the clampdown in Kashmir. Violence has been inflicted on the ground to silence the people. June is here and this book talks about 2010. This is our badla,” Kak said amid thunderous applause from the audience.last_img

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