Sunday, April 23, 2017

Origins

would have you believe
Brahma of Kashmir conflict cosmos. it all started with his illicit love of Sharda. Set the world in motion. He was once very powerful and much loved. Now few temples remain.


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and he still runs the show...Laxmi.

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the new weapon of mass destruction
the loveable destroyer
levels the world and sets the new circle in motion.
real
taluk-pyeth

epilogue

Apr 22, 2016

The evil thought occurred to me 
a decade ago
There was this old man, sitting smug, 
talking in front of a brick wall
Some kids had died
playing stones and bullets
over a piece of land
The man speaking to the camera said
the war will continue
till the solution arrives
to the point of Kashmiri satisfaction
Behind him
with a gentle breeze
a red rose creeping on the wall
fluttered a little
This house was his
It reminded me of my home in Spring
The evil thought occurred to me:
whether Pakistan, India or on their own
whatever happens in a hundred years
There is no solution to Kashmir
in which this man
will lose his house
Yes, they are dying
Yet, even their dead have homes
The rose fluttered a little more


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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Episode 3: 90 Exodus conspiracy


In the third episode of SearchKashmir video Dastangoi we look at "The Jagmohan Conspiracy" - the conspiracy theories around the Kashmiri Pandit exodus from Kashmir of 1990. And answer why Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the valley.



video link

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Guide to abuse a Kashmiri Pandit


More than a decade ago, when I was in college, I knew a guy who was great at abusing chemicals and equally great at using abusive language. As part of first year initiation rite in hostel, the guy would randomly pick any "junior" and start abusing him. He picked me a couple of times and it bothered me to no end. I had no understanding of the words he was using. I just assumed it was some sort of Punjabi slang. I knew these were abuses, I was familiar with some, but I didn't know what exactly some of these words meant. I knew Dogri abuses, which I found quite similar to punjabi but some of the words the guy was using were too new for me to grasp. So one day, while he is in his abusive rant, I stop him and ask him to explain to me their meaning. I told him I am Kashmiri and barely know any word from my mother tongue that can truly be called an abuse. The guy was shocked and was kind enough to engage me in a great discussion on human-animal anatomy, the breakdown of filiation and kinship and the use of racial prejudice and bigotry. Over the years I picked up more words from other languages like Marathi and Bengali, yet Kashmiri remained out of reach. I now know that some of the Bengali abuses have remained unchanged since 11th century with some of the abuses recorded by Kashmiri poet of Kshemendra from the Bengali students who used to visit Kashmir. Yet, Kashmiri abuses remain a challenge for me. For the longest time, I thought Kashmiri language had no abuses, which of course is not true. So, I started from the basics. The use of anatomy was the easiest to figure. You can use them to get to question filiation of a person. It all comes down to the usual genital stuff common in all other languages and culture, throw in words for sister and mother. However, it is the prejudice and bigotry based abuses in Kashmiri that are the invisible cherry on the profanity cake of Kashmiri language.

Here's a brief list of abuses meant for Pandits by Muslims in Kashmiri language [by the time you are through reading, probably we will have a bigger list or a list of abuses meant for Muslims by Pandits in Kashmiri language]

"Daal-e-Dadwas" [Bowl of Dal-lentils], a historical prerogative that Kashmiri Muslims use for Kashmiri Pandits....for vegetarian Kashmiri Pandits are perennially cowards who when scared would shit their pants easily, hence the lentits. If "nigger" is a derogatory term for a black in America, in Kashmir, for Kashmiri Pandit you would use "Dal Batta" (Lentil Pandit) or "Dal Gadwa".

There's an old saying among Kashmiri Muslims of certain kind:

Kann'e vassi Pouss
Batte baneh neh dost


"You might skin a stone, but a Pandit will never be your friend"

[via Sualeh Keen ] The variation of it popular among Kashmiri Pandits of certain kind:

Lishyi vassyi poas
Musalman banyi na doas


Lish is a nit, and poas is clothing/skin

You might skin a tiny nit, but a Muslim will never be your friend

A popular traditional abusive saying meant for Kashmiri Pandit woman:

Battne dodye Mass
Panditani may you hair burn.

My grandmother suffered it back in 1990, a random taunt from a young kid while she was buying vegetables. Origins of the saying - can't say - may be related to "Sati". The complete saying goes like: Battne dodye Mass, ye kya kortham dal gadwas.

The "hair burning" saying is common in some Buddhist culture, in a positive way.

Another one of the sayings.

'Battah miskeen, nah dunya tah nah din'.
The poor Hindu has neither the world nor religion.

This one seems like a variation of a Persian saying:
Cashmiri, bi Piri ; na Lazzet, ne shiri.
The faithless Cashmirian affords neither taste nor flavour. [ref: Rascally Kashmiri ]

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Cancerous Pandit


Opening lines of
The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Will Eisner
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An archive of anti-Kashmiri Pandit propaganda popular in Kashmir propagated by a certain intellectual class that directly befits from it.

Kashmir based magazine "Kashmir Narrator" has been trying to carry forward a discussion on the question of Kashmiri Pandit rehabilitation. The discussion is build around opinions sought and given by Kashmiris of the two communities and belonging to various cross section of society and ideological divide. The November 2016 issue had opinion from a lot of Pandits. I was among the people who voiced their opinion.

February 2017 issue carries the opinions of the majority community from valley. Among the opinions and be found some interesting dictats with the usual noise about "Kashmir Banega Palestine", and among those dictats stands out, like a dagger in a bleeding heart, this neurotic piece by a government employee who passes himself off as a Historian.



It starts off innocently calling future Pandit habitation cancer and then without provocation goes on to explain how every single pandit can be a potential cancer for Tahreekis.

Which reminds me of this sincere letter that was published a local Kashmiri newspaper back in 1991. "thwart any attempt by Pandits to return to the valley. Pandits have been cancer and once this cancer has been removed it should not be allowed to reappear."
The irony is that the cover of this Kashmir based magazine carries image of Geelani who wants Kashmir banega Pakistan while the back side of the magazine carries an advertisement for real estate in Gurgaon.


Some more opinions from the same issue of the magazine


When your limited exposure to cinema makes you too honest about your politics and propaganda. Bilal A Jan assisted Vidhu Vinod Chopra in making the first sleek masala thriller on Kashmir conflict, "Mission Kashmir" (2000) and has made documentaries financed by Public Service Broadcasting Trust of India.

According to him, it's not a matter of where Kashmiri Pandits settle...infact Pandits need to learn to shut up. If you are not ready to be held hostage, stay out. At least learn something from the Sikhs of Kashmir. For your heart shall be judged.



When you are a media veteran... capable enough to put an extra spin to the old yarn.
 Kashmiri Pandits of a certain older generation would recall Bashir Arif as someone associated with popular radio drama "Zoon Dub". Not many would know him as an accused in sexual harassment case.

According to this brethren of pandits...Kashmiri Pandit exodus was manufactured in 1990 so that in 2020 kashmiri Pandits would be resettled in colonies to spite Kashmiri muslims and to create Israel. And yes, ask about custodian property.... Property belonging to Muslims which is still being kept safe even after 65 years of partition while nothing could be done to save the Kashmiri pandit property in last 27 years.


When you are a political expert and have to come up with something beyond Palestine simile...when you are aware of "native" claim of Kashmiri pandits...you come up with African American simile. Yes...go ahead...Imagine an America in which all the African Americans have been sent off to Africa. Or better still imagine all the Native American have been sent off from North America to South America. Imagine Native American asking for native settlements in North America and native right to self determination living in South America. Imagine a society run by KKK deciding all the things for them.

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I am going add some more notable exemplary specimen of conspiracy theorists and professional hatemongers from Kashmir.


Here's how you review a book on Kashmiri Pandit experience in exile. The book in question: "A Long Dream of Home". I know most of the contributors to this anthology, including the one who still stay in Kashmir. I was asked to be one of the contributors, somehow I couldn't get myself to write about it.


So, here's how you review. You don't read the book (cause you are saving money), you just vomit all over it. All the accusations are usual that most Pandits are now used to. What stands out it the man who is making the claim, taking his timeout to spit bile on an Amazon review page.

This fellow, Abdul Majid Zargar, is a chartered accountant by profession. He is a regular contributor to Kashmir based dailies sticking to the old school Tahreeki line of thought. So far so good. The fellow however is also given a decent space by left journals like countercurrent.org and the well respected Economic and Political Weekly (EPW.in where I have also written in the past). At EPW he has co-authored letter with Anuradha Bhasin, the editor of Kashmir Times.

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Any ultranationalist movement needs a "parasitic" perennial villain. The fascists are and remain obsessed with parasites and creating a "clean" society in which no one will question their progrom. The language seldom betrays the emotion.

Antisemitic propaganda in Nazi Germany: on the left, a depiction of Capitalist/Communist Vermin in Der Stürmer, September 1944; on the right, a painting by Gustave Doré at an exhibition dedicated to the Wandering Jew in 1937–8

Below is a "sarcastic" response to Rahul Pandita's book on Pandit exodus "Our Moon has blood clots" where the respected author compares Kashmiri Pandits who talk about their rights to intestinal parasites who just can't stop scratching the ass.









The writer of the piece is editor of online newsite Kashmir Reader that was blocked temporarily in 2016  for advertising threats from Jihadi groups. This fellow gained acceptability and respect for he worked for Hindustan Times as an assistant editor and continues to write for them frequently.

[Update: 1 April 2017. The website has now taken down the "Worm" piece. 
Instead, replaced with a link to a piece that is supposed to critique of Rahul Pandita's book.
However, the original write up is still up as a Facebook note from Hilal Mir shared with friends . ]

Some more of educated bile from men who are supposed to be men of words:

Here are some comments to the original note. 




A man from Kerala contextualized it to his liking...he linked it to the satyrical tradition of O. V. Vijayan, a man whose satire took on the high and mighty and not the invisible minority, not the "other" by the "self". A Kashmiri Muslim Vijyan who writes about his own community's brute majoritarianism and lampooning it, is yet to arrive and even if he existed, would have be in exile like the Kashmiri Pandit community. 

Abir Bazaz, the filmmaker and professor at an American University, eggs him on. And in between likes a comment in which a random guy used the term "Daal-e-Dadwas" [Bowl of Dal-lentils], a historical prerogative that Kashmiri Muslims use for Kashmiri Pandits....for vegetarian Kashmiri Pandits are perennially cowards who when scared would shit their pants easily, hence the lentits. If "nigger" is a derogatory term for a black in America, in Kashmir, for Kashmiri Pandit you would use "Dal Batta" (Lentil Pandit) or "Dal Gadwa".

Abir is referring to the kings "turd" of Vijayan but at the same time liking a comment in which Pandits are called turds.




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A cartoon by Mir Suhail Ahmad Qadri for a local newspaper published on January 21, 2016. January 21 is date that most Kashmiri Pandits have fixed to remember their flight from Kashmir.

We see: The crying hoarse Pandit who exaggerates his suffering.



May be some more years and in Kashmir too we will have Holocaust Cartoon completion. Something that they already have in Iran.


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Template for defending Sikandars of the world



[Image: An extract from a photobook prologued by Neerja Mattoo/Suraiya Abdullah Ali (of famous Abdullah clan). Kashmir, Jammu & Ladakh: The Trefoil Land (1989)]

Template for defending Sikandars of the world

1. Take the name of Harsha, not in vain

Begin with reminding people about "similar" violence from Hindu past. Doesn't matter that the events are separated by a gap of 3-4 centuries. Doesn't matter that the account for these destructions comes from Hindu sources. In which, more often than not, the actions of the temple destroying kings is regretted. Doesn't matter that for his actions, Kalhana called Harsha a "Turk". He had mercenary turks working in his army. His turk legacy, and his influence on art fashion of the era can be seen in Buddhist Alchi Frescos of Ladakh. But, ignore all that.

Brahmin Kalhana mentions that just like a bad poet steals material from other poets, a bad King, plunders other cities. Take this truth and apply it no where else.

Foul mouthed S'amkaravarman plundered the nearby Buddhist site of Parihaspora to build his new town. But, the same king conquered and subdued areas which are now part of the imaginary map of the greater Kashmir.

In the defense of these Hindu kings, you can't say that temples were getting raided for material and political gain. Just mentions that Brahmins. Rest of the history, will fall in place automatically.

[A similar template can be applied to Mahmud of Ghazni too, and has been. Sadly, the nationalist Kashmiri writer has accepted that Ghazni was a motivated zealot. ]


2. Nice guy named Sikander (who, mind you, came much later).

Remind the reader how nice the fellow was. Scholar and patron of Sufis. Ignore what the historgraphic scholars of these Sufis wrote about him, or how they almost fought each other to claim as being the "influencers" of the king's actions. Ignore the sources in which his actions are lauded. Don't even wonder if there are works of any Sufi back then who criticised the action of the King. Was there a Musilm Kalhana in any of the Sufi orders?

Instead, remind them that since nice is not so often used with Sikander's name, it is possible that it is true, that he was nice guy, or at least as nice as others, and there's an ancient conspiracy at work to sully the name of Muslims, since forever, and ever, and ever. Only in extreme case mention that, it is possible that Sikander was possibly only 6 when he took over the throne. Temples are obviously destroyed. So, who did it?

3. The fanatic Brahmin

Remind the readers of the fanatic Brahmin convert Suha Bhatt. A neo-convert, a new convert, a bhatta on narcos, a fanatic. Forget that at that time there must have been hundreds of new converts. Where they fanatics likes new converts are supposed to be? Don't ask why Suha was fanatic? What empowered him? Don't ask if the missionaries asked him to think of himself as a Muslim Brahmin. It will all automatically somehow tie back to Harsha the fanatic. And, never, never ever, tell the reader that when Suha Bhatt went on his temple destroying spree, the name he chose was "Saif-Udeen", the "Sword of Faith". It was Saifudeen who was doing the destruction. However, during these acts only use the name Suha Bhatt.

4 . The Son

The glorious son. Could the son have been glorious, if the father was a fanatic? Tie it up to dad. Fruit has a bearing on a tree. Or, vice versa? You may mention his mother was afterall a Hindu, still buried among the stones. That's Kashmiriyat. Don't mention that the orthodoxy that supported the actions of Sikander and Saifudeen where always dragging Budshah down. That he was labeled kafir. That he too in his moment of violent query broke down a stone or two, what to do there was too much stone in Kashmir, and wood, he broke the wood of Sharda when the goddess won't talk to him. But, no one blames him. It's understandable. The historians and Kashmiris were always nice to him. That's Kashmiriyat. And, that's how you write history.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

kashmir-Casablanca

"badaam/paisley" in Casablanca (1942), actress Ingrid Bergman

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to Kali, Goddess of Terror!



Honour to Kama, God of Desire,
whose breath shipwrecks the flowers;
by the immaterial, airy arrows which
vanquish the three words, of Heaven
and Earth and Hell! And honour also
to Kali, Goddess of Terror!
For all things come to the ineluctable
chasm of her mouth, to be overwhelmed in
nothing.
This Triple world of ours seems only an
imperceptible reflection on that stormy sea,
or like a little vagabond carp within it. Already
that mouth has swallowed so dreadful a duration of time that even the Ancients have no count of it;
for the bold and careless lust of Kali cloaks itself in fraud against the unnumbered armies of those afflicted with a body!


~ 'Samayamatrika' of Kshemendra written during the reign of King Ananta, around A.D. 1050. [translation by E. Powys Mathers done in 1927]

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kabir and a Kashmiri saying

Kabir's 15th century sayings are a living phenomena in India languages. Everyone in North knows a Doha or tow. Did any of these sayings pass on to Kashmiri? Nothing much is know and linguistics seldom studied with a sense of wonder.


I recently came across these lines from Kabir in a song sung by Meghval community of Rajasthan.


video link

"Pehle toh guruji main janmyaPeechhe bada bhai
Dhoom dhaam sa pita re janmya
Sabse peechhe maai
Ber chalya mera bhai…"

O wise one, I was the first to be born
Then my elder brother
With great fanfare my father was born
In the end my mother
Time is slipping away…
[trans. via sayskabir]

The lines reminded me of a Kashmiri saying (that goes something like this...and given by anthropologist T.N. Madan in his study of Kashmiri Pandits):

God'e zaas be
pat zaai maej
telli mol
ti adi bude'bab

First was born
I
then mother
then father
and then
was born my
grandfather

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pad Pad gaya Pather, Likh likh gaya Chor

As a kid I remember sitting down to pretend study for exams, daydreaming. My grandmother would say "Pad Pad gaya Pather, Likh likh gaya Chor"....Just realized it's sufi kalam of Samad Mir ( (c.1893 – 1959)

Pad Pad gaya Pather,
Likh likh gaya Chor
Jis padnay say Sahil mile
woh padna hai oor

Reading, reading,
I became a stone
Writing, writing,
I became thief
It is something else
the study that gets you ashore



video link

Friday, February 24, 2017

the "phat" tantric sound. Kashmiri/Buddhist



video link

"phat" ritual. The finger snapping done by KPs and Lamas. In both cases, it is the end part of cleansing ritual that ends with a shock sound.

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Part 1: Feb, 2016. Shivratri. Jammu.
Part 2:  October, 2015. Ladakh. Inauguration of a small roadshide Dharma chakra.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Glass Lantern Slides of Kashmir from 1890s

Glass Lantern Slides of Kashmir from 1890s. Personal collection.
Music: Wanvun from "Vitasta", opera by Dina Nath Nadim.



video link

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Maithun/Amorous couple from Kashmir

20th Feb, 2016

Most old archaeological texts mentioned it. But, it took me two trips to find and identify it in the rubble.
"Maithun/Amorous couple" from Kashmir, Avantipur, mid 9th century. One of the most common motif in Hindu temples. These are the only two surviving in Kashmir.


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The courtship in the courtyard nearby.

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19th Feb, Manasbal

A boy and two girls standing next to a green mazaar of a pir next to the lake.

Girl A: Dopmay na me chu ne karun. (Told you, I don't want it with you)

She opens up her phone. Takes out the sim card and gives it to the boy.

Boy: Wayn kya! (please!)

The mediator friend, Girl B: Boozi wayn! (Listen, please!).

The girl is now furious and visibly upset. She will not listen.

"Dopmay na me chu ne karun."

She throws the phone to the ground, probably a gift, smashes it to smithereens and walks away.

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Biloreen saaq, seemeen tan, samman seena, sareen nasreen,
Jabbeen chuy aayeena aayeen ajab taaza jilaa, Jaa'noo


~ Rasul Mir, 19th century Kashmiri love poet.

Crystal Legs
Body Mercury
Jasmine Bosom
Daffodil Butt
Forehead,
a wondrous
polished
mirror,
my love

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yas zali bad'nas ash'qun naar
su zaani kyah gov hijr-e-yaar,
Maqbool kornas dil nigaar


The body set on fire by love
it knows meaning of separation from love
Maqbool, accepts an idol in place of heart.

~ from 'Gulraiz' by Maqbool Shah Qraalwari, (d. 1877) Kashmir. Based on work of Zia Nakhshabi, a 14th century Persian poet.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Artist Brij Mohan Anand in Kashmir


We know how the rightwing loonies in India react to nude art. We know what happens to the art and the artist. We know how the leaders of the right react. We know how the left intelligentsia argues back. But, what happens in Kashmir.

It's 1947 and Sheikh Abdullah sets up a cultural front in Kashmir to promote art. Left allied artists are at the forefront of the front. An exhibition is planned. Prominent from all over India are invited for exhibiting their work. Among these artists in Brij Mohan Anand who is invited by Kashmir Sahayak Sabha of Punjab. He spends time in Kashmir, travelling, sketching and painting. In September 1948, the exhibition is inaugurated by the Sheikh at Hadow Memorial College Premises, Shiekh Bagh, Srinagar.


At the exhibition, some visitors are offended by the work of Brij Mohan. He had included some nudes among his work. Sheikh sides with the Kashmiri moral brigade. Sheikh and Brij Mohan have a heated argument that soon turns physical. Later, the artist is told arrest warrants have been issued in his name. The artist silently packs as many of his paintings as he could and heads for the national highway where he finally hitches ride in an army truck, leaving Kashmir hiding under sheets of tarpaulins like some sheep.

And that's why you won't see Kashmiri artists exhibiting nudes in Kashmir. The Kashmiri society remains on right.

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The story is told in the book "Narratives for Indian Modernity: The Aesthetic of Brij Mohan Anand" [Aditi Anand / Grant Pooke, 2016]

Some of the Kashmir specific works of Brij Mohan Anand



First art exhibition in Kashmir. Srinagar. 1948.
Pandit Woman, 1948

Cover designed by Brij Mohan Anand
for Jamna Das Akhtar's novel "Kashmir ki Beti" (1978) based on Zooni Gujjar.

Chashmashahi. 1948

Kashmiri Muslim Woman, 1948

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ideas for art installations in Kashmir



1. With Love

Put a nail on the white wall. Draw a sketch of a turbaned man around it so that nail forms the tilak. Under the sketch the name is given "Premi". On the nail hang the "welcome" board, just enough to cover the eyes and "back" to cover the mouth.

2. Paradise or Kashmir

An empty room. With a line in white outside the threshold. the board outside the room reads, "Only muslims allowed".

3. Plebiscite

An empty room with empty AK-47 casings engraved with "Allah" and "Bhagwan". Put the one you like in a dice shaped white box whose surface alternatively read "U" and "N". At a given time a screen in the room, randomly shows the result of the voting. The viewers, can anytime take the casings from the box and throw them back on the floor, but they can't again put it back in. That is for the next set of visitors.

4. House

An empty shell of a wooden house half buried under the ground. A cement frame of a house next to it, growing out of it.

5. Pandith

Put a threaded man in a glass casing. The man counts money and sits in front of the idol of a Hindu god. Just let people watch. Project the live happening of the room in the room next to this room that people enter on exiting the previous room. People can watch their own reactions.

6. Doon of Language

Although aazaan sounds with interfere with all sound based installations in Kashmir, still this is sound based woodwork installation. A large egg shaped hall that from outside resembles a walnut, the symbol of brain in kashmiri idioms. The hall has four chambers, in such a way that two rooms, mimicking a walnut, sit on top of each other. People walk through it. In each chamber are playing sounds of a particular language, words taken from poets of these languages. Sanskrit. Persian. Hindustani. Urdu. Outside the shell are lines "Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar", wrongly attributing them to Agha Shahid Ali.

7. Imagined Past and Imagined Present

Visitors walks into a room, walk along a wall while archival footage of Kashmir is projected onto them. In the chamber, only soundbites of encounters in Kashmir in heard. In a chamber far away to it, viewer chamber, the people can see bits of old Kashmir on these people and the sound played is only traditional Kashmiri soufiyana kalaam.

8. Jammu

A room of tin walls kept at 47 degrees. On the roof is projected snowfall. On the floor, snakes. In a corner, a melting snowman.

9. Rebuild Srinagar

A giant statue of Laxmi next to a painted image of Sridevi. Put a hammer next to it.


I can go on and on. Put a water hyacinth in a glass and call it Dal. Take a pot of sand on a jar and call it Jehlum.

Put a water hyacinth in a glass bottle and call it Dal. Take a pot of sand in a jar and call it Jhelum. Put an empty glass jar, with nothing inside and call it Wular. Take a hammer and call it a statue. Call temple a park. Park cars on the mosques. Replace the wooden cones of the shrines with the cone of the loudspeakers. Take a Kangri and call it Kashmir, ask people to put ash in it. Call it all humanity.

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saruff






First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Pit Temple of Bijbihara


The pit temple next to the river is said to be ancient Shiv temple of Bijbihara mentioned by Kalhana as Vijeshvara. The sculptures found at Bijbehara are considered the earliest ones done in distinct Kashmiri style of sculptures. A lot of material from Bijbehara was moved to SPS museum in around 1898 by Captain Godfrey.



"Brashib" in Kashmiri or the Taurus. A Lion actually.
John Siudmak calls it influenced by Gandhāra style and dated around 5th century A.D.



Although lot of old fragments can be found in the pit, Siudmak mentions that this standing Ganesha is the oldest and from around early 7th century AD. Although, Siudmak had seen it in late 1980s, in his book "The Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Ancient Kashmir and its Influences" (2013), he reports the statue to be missing. [Is above the same one?]



fragments in the wall











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20th Feb, 2016

As I stood photographing, some security men came to check up on me. They asked some basic questions and left me alone. Then a young boy came asking. He belongs to the muslim family that now takes care of the temple. He mentioned that no one told him to expect a visitor, otherwise he would have made some preparations for tea. It seems the visiting Pandits always come after making pre-arrangements. I could see a dilapidated hut in a corner.

Much through the 80s the site was a regular victim of religious strife. People would break in and vandalize. Soon, a dozen more security men arrived. It was not normal. The security was on extra alert. Sensing that I was a pandit, these men started mentioning their own woes. "It is freezing cold here. We don't ask for much, just a proper toilet." I looked at the open pit in which the guards took dump. A pit dug in the ground with some jute rugs around as walls. They persisted, "Don't pandits have any organization that takes care of these spots. Inform someone. Have a toilet built. Look as this."The snow in the pit was melting.

Later in the day, there was a terrorist attack on a government building at Pampore about 30 Kilometer from the place.

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Previously, the 11 stone that went missing from the temple

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Video Dastangoi: Episode 2



Video Link

In episode 2, we look at the stories associated with the Kashmiri proverb "Kasheer Kah Ghar" (Only 11 houses in Kashmir) that has its origins in the beginning of the Islamic rule in Kashmir.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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