Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Film talk about Kashmir

Someone said:
We are foolish people. when we are people of J&K, then we dont realise that tourism is our major source of income and once its lost we are in danger of sieged by poverty and unemployment but no we are surrounded by wrong notion that central govt. did not do anything for us. Sheikh Abdullah was not central govt. He was J&K’s own person and mostly he and his family members remain CM of J&K.


Someone replied:

While I agree with what you wanted to say through your post, Peace and all.
Nevertheless, I can safely say that you do not know what the problem in Kashmir is all about. You also used the word ‘self respect’. I have heard this word used a thousand times by Kashmiris when they are told about ‘Tourism and poverty and unemployment…’
Their reply: ‘what about the self-respect’ ‘Swabhiman' and 'Bharat ke tukdau par palna…’.
Guess we can blame Bollywood for such cheesy dialogues.

Sheikh Abdullah, the great one. Kashmir was crying when he died. You know what they did to his grave many years later. They piled shit on it and people have since desecrated it many times since. You know why. Cause he lost his peoples' respect. People thought he sold Kashmir to India. And his Son… At first nobody took him seriously. He was a mas’khara. He went roving around town on his scooter with Shabana Azmi as Pillion rider. Then he matured to be a fulltime Joker. I have seen him on local T.V channel singing Dilip kumar song ‘Sukh ke sab saathi, Dukn me na koi, Mere Ram...’ in a temple. Talk full blown Bollywood. Who would take him seriously?

You want people to stop being paranoid. Post 1989. There are generations of people in Kashmir who grew up seeing Army on the streets with guns, cement bunkers on street corners. For them it must be common usage to say something like, ‘ Hey Kiddo! Bring me half kg meat from the shop near CRPF bunker. No! not the shop near BSF bunker… That stuff isn’t good.’
Is this normal conversation? Are these people normal?

Well, it isn’t easy being normal living under the much used term Shadow of Guns. Hearing blasts, gun shots, sirens, blackouts, bunker, fuji…. a whole lot of a new Vocab that normal people can learn. They must be seeing empty depilated houses of Pandits everyday…at night the ones without light. Maybe they think about the price it would fetch, about business and about a no good kashmiri Pandit getting richer and about building a shopping complex over it ... again just business. Or maybe some feel genuinely sad looking at those houses. But, then what good is Sadness.

There must be a whole new generation of Muslims in Kashmir who wouldn’t know what a Pandit looks like. They might think I have horns, wooden hooves and a big Saffron Tilak on my head. And a whole new generation of Pandits may think that the Kashmiri Muslims are the one with horns, wooden hooves and a taqiyah.
It all becomes a one big Mobius Strip.

Having said all this. I still don’t understand why was I thrown out of Kashmir. Who is the director of this film that I can fuck? But, it’s no film. It’s life.
A film can have a perspective, a voice, an opinion, a message, a moral, or just a plain ol’story; it can offer an opinioned solution, an Ad, some song and dance, mountains and snow.
A life can only have miniaturized elements of these.
Film offers certainty and permanence where life offers none. Many people attach with so-called Movements of Liberty, rights blah blah…for the same aim : certainty and permanence.

"We live in the trenches out there. We fight. We try not to be killed, but sometimes we are. That's all."
~All Quiet on the Western Front


Just like this dialogue, uncertainty of life told in front of camera or in a page of a Novel is a Certain statement. It may or may not be binding in real life but to the work, it’s binding. And to the people reading or watching it. It may become binding or appear binding.
A filmmaker or a writer puts a lot on line when he goes out to state, ‘this is what I believe to be ‘certain and binding’ ’. History and people may not judge them kindly. And in a still developing Nation like India, it can at times be labeled as ‘going against the process of Nation building’. ‘Anti-National’.
So, it’s all quiet on all Fronts, watch the naach gana, occasional news, sip a cuppa Irish coffee and be glad that you are not living in the same Universe.

-A conversation that strangely( or not so strangely) took place at a Cinema Blog

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