Saturday, January 4, 2020

Abdul Ahad Azad's Shikwa-e-Kashmir by Rahul Wanchoo

A SearchKashmir production.
Second in the series on Kashmiri poetry

Rahul Wanchoo brings alive an old forgotten work of Abdul Ahad Azad (1903–1948). Azad's work titled "Shikwa-e-Kashmir" had imagined Kashmir as a figure narrating its own tumultuous history, all that it witnessed in all the centuries, concluding that world is always in constant motion, always has been, always will be, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, that man has to learn from history, from mistakes and hope for a better future. The video puts the poem in context of present history of Kashmir, and reimagines it as a lament by a Kashmiri Pandit. In the end, optimism of Azad (of 1940s) is contrasted by pessimism that surrounds us in present times.

I asked Rahul, we need to shoot this in an abandoned Kashmiri Pandit house. I want to see you sing it in those ruins. Finding the house proved to be a challenge, not that there are not many such houses in Kashmir. Fear. There is fear. The people visiting are afraid. The "guardians" and in some cases, the pandits still in Kashmir, are afraid what camera might be used for and how it would impact them. Something so simple became tricky. In the end, Rahul mentioned his mother's birth house is still there in Kashmir. I asked him, "What about your own house?" He replied, "It is a rubble." So, the song was shot in Rahul's matamaal, or what remains of it. Once the song was done, I asked him to give me some Sahir Ludhianvi.


Video Link


Lyrics:

Zamaan Kaetyah Karaan che Gardish 
World, how it spins

Na chus araam na chus karaar
knows no relief, finds no peace

Zamaan Kaetyah Karaan che Gardish 
World, how it spins

Na chus araam na chus karaar
knows no relief, finds no peace

Kaman Baharan Karaan Dadvun
Many a Gardens, it burns down

Kaman Baharan Karaan Dadvun
Many a Gardens, it burns down

Kaman Dadvanan Bahaara 
Many a burnt ones, it returns to Spring

Zamaan Kaetyah Karaan che Gardish 
World, how it spins

Na chus araam na chus karaar
knows no relief, finds no peace

Kwcchee be rechhnaev-thas
cradled in Lap

Kwcchee be rechhnaev-thas
cradled in Lap

Kwcchee be rechhnaev-thas
cradled in Lap

Kwcchee be rechhnaev-thas
cradled in Lap

Timai ttaa'tthy karum yimoov sanz gulshanu'ky paa'tthy
dear ones, those bedecked like a garden fair

na rood-y tim gul na rood-y bulbul
neither the garden, nor its birds, now remain

dilas me gai Khaar Khara
My heart it turned dust and ashes

Zamaan Kaetyah Karaan che Gardish 
World, how it spins

Na chus araam na chus karaar
knows no relief, finds no peace

Yimav achaev wuch me
With these eyes I have seen

Yimav achaev wuch me
With these eyes I have seen

Yimav achaev wuch me
With these eyes I have seen

Yimav achaev wuch me
With these eyes I have seen

Raaz Laltaaditas hiwi gul falaan wariyah
many a blooming flowers like King Lalitaditya

timan achan tal no' treesh naagan
Before my eyes, those springs have dried

gatshaan baagan chhu loorpara
my Gardens, they stand pillaged

Zamaan Kaetyah Karaan che Gardish 
World, how it spins

Na chus araam na chus karaar
knows no relief, finds no peace

Zamaan Kaetyah Karaan che Gardish 
World, how it spins

Na chus araam na chus karaar
knows no relief, finds no peace

Zamaan wuch wuch hi banaan chu insaan
Watching the world, people learn

wuchum ti wariyah hetchum ti wariyah
I have seen a lot, learnt a lot

Zamaan wuch wuch hi banaan chu insaan
Watching the world, people learn

wuchum ti wariyah hetchum ti wariyah
I have seen a lot, learnt a lot

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Prem Nath Bazaz on Ruin and "Land Reform", 1954


"But what of those who had purchased the land since 1934 when as a result of the recommendations of the Grievances Enquiry Commission and for the first time under Dogra rule, the land was allowed to be sold in the Valley. A and B are two brothers. In 1935 A purchased 1000 kanals of land for 30,000 rupees and B purchased building for commercial purpose for an equal amount. According to socialistic principles both the brothers have been having unearned incomes for all these past years. Today the Nationalist Government has deprived A of his land but B is still in possession of his property. What kind of justice is this? And whether the landlord had inherited the land from his forefathers or purchased it in his lifetime if the land is the only source of income to him what sort of justice is it again that he is expropriated without compensation when the State has made no alternate arrangements for his employment or livelihood. By being a landlord he does not cease to be a member of the community."

From: "The History of Struggle for Freedom in Kashmir: Cultural and Political, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day", Prem Nath Bazaz, 1954

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previously:
Some Supreme Court Cases, non Article 35(a) and the Propaganda

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Prem Nath Bazaz on Muslim Communalism, 1967


In the aftermath of Parmeshwari Handoo case of 1967, Prem Nath Bazaz went on to write an essay titled "Kashmiri pandit agitation and its Aftermath". In it he exlained what lead to communal flare-up in the valley. He blamed Jan Sangh affliated Pandits for fanning the issue and generally suggested that KPs should try and play a contructive role in Kashmir, be more liberal so that Kashmiri Muslims may mirror it and try and be more liberal. The piece is often selectively quoted as proof of KP fanatism, however, in the same piece Bazaz tells us the root of the issue, how Muslim communalism was working in the valley and how Pakistan was fanning it.


"In 1947 at the time of partition which was accompanied by inhuman deeds on a large scale in North and East India the communal harmony was put to a heavy strain but the Valley people rose to the occasion and successfully withstood the wave of frenzy from outside ; the culture of the Valley and its old traditions were heroically preserved. Other occasions arose during the last twenty years when the people had to pass through more severe ordeals but they did not flinch or waver in maintaining their balance.

 That after 33 years of continued harmony the fires of fanaticism were alighted afresh last August by Pandit demagogues no impartial observer can deny. But while making an objective appraisal of the unfortunate episode it would be fair to point out that Muslims are not free from blame in bringing about this situation.

 There can be no manner of doubt that a majority of Muslims is obsessed with the desire that Kashmir should accede to Pakistan. If that aim is achieved it is obvious Pandits will have to leave their hearth and home and become refugees in India. If there was any doubt about it the Azad Kashmir Radio and, inspired by it, a by-no-means mute section of Muslims has been constantly warning Pandits that the Valley is bound to join Pakistan so they should take time by forelock and be ready to depart. What alternative do these threatenings leave to Pandits but to determinedly oppose the demand and tenaciously fight back with all resources available to them. It becomes the foremost duty of even the liberal minded Pandit democrat to defeat the Muslim purpose ; for self-effacement is no part of the philosophy of liberalism or democracy. Muslim politicians shall have to propose a solution which should be acceptable to the non-Muslims. It is well to remember that the Indian subcontinent was partitioned because the minority wanted it so. Had the issue been left to the vote of the majority (right of self-determination) the unity of the subcontinent would have been maintained. As long as the Muslims insist upon the right of secession Pandits will be morally right and politically justified in opposing the demand. This may appear unreasonable to the Muslim politicians but they will ignore it at their own cost."

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P.S. In 1968, in the aftermath of 67 riots, my grandfather was convinced by his brothers to purchase a piece of land in Jammu. In 1990 after reaching Jammu, we found some of the land encroached (we let them be), and some part of the land missing, soil dug out and sold. In 1996, we managed to build four rooms over the remaining plot after spending a year, breaking savings and saving money. A few years later around 1998, the ancestral Kashmir house was sold to build four more rooms. Pandits, even Bazazs of the world, knew what was in store for Pandit community. Death or exile. 67 was the last time they put up a fight on the physical ground, in the streets. It also sealed their fate, Tahreek knew Pandits had to be removed from the equation.

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Previously: Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz on Article 370



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