The issue is deeper than it appears to be
Pragaash, in every respect sounds to be classic. For few16 years old kids apparently smitten by the modernity bug, it seems out of place for them to go for the name Pragaash. If they had the free will, perhaps they may have opted for something sounding more modern suitable to Drum and Guitar; Pragaash gels well with Santoor and Rabab. My hunch is that even today the innocent girls after this huge controversy breaking out--- and may I reemphasise that the girls are completely innocent--- may not be fully aware what Pragaash connotes.
Kashmir is a conflict zone and many vested interests are working overtime to completely alter its traditional outlook. The way a completely non-issue was presented by the so called doyens of freedom of expression that as if Taliban from Qandahar have overtaken Kashmir only smacks of the sinister designs at work to change the complexion of the Kashmiri society. But before we strive to discuss the broader issue, few lunatic trends need to be forcefully condemned. Besides, there has to be a word of sympathy for the girls, who incidentally are just little older than my own daughter. The way the girls were severely berated on social networking sites amply demonstrates the filthy minds of the so called moral brigade. Hurling abuses and threatening inhuman consequences as macabre as rape is disgusting, this bigoted mindset has to be condemned unequivocally. How nasty and mean the self-righteous can turn out to be is mind-boggling. The girls at the worst may have committed a mistake, most probably inadvertently. The tendency to brand them as completely wronged fully runs contrary to the real spirit of reform. Instead of issuing long sermons, the task to reach out to the girls, if the need be, should ideally be left to their parents and guardians. They too are responsible citizens and must be conversant with normative behaviour and may fully well know; how to inculcate moral and ethical behaviour into their children.
The severe criticism of the rogue behaviour and worst come worst the criminal proceedings against the few accused of issuing threats and intimidations may suffice the needful. However how to deal with the media gone berserk on a non-issue? Particularly the self-consumed vigilante kind of a TV anchor, who believes him to be the conscience keeper of secular India, and having hysterical pontificating habits, is a real blot on the name of fair journalism. A number of primetime hours were devoted to discuss a completely travail issue as if a due attention is not paid to a imaginary threat to the members of amateur school band the whole edifice of freedom of expression in India will come crashing down. What a hypocrisy, just the other day the Justice Verma committee had harshly criticised the AFSPA providing complete immunity to the “systematic” sexual violence carried out against the women in Kashmir and other conflict infested areas; “At the outset, we notice that impunity for systematic or isolated sexual violence in the process of Internal Security duties is being legitimized by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act”.
It’s quite unusual for the a committee headed by as responsible and legally informed person like that of former Chief Justice of India to describe the sexual violence as ‘systematic”. For a change the learned committee has recognised the grave human rights violations as ‘systematic” and not merely as aberration. In haste an ordinance was promulgated but the important sections dealing with AFSPA have been completely overlooked. Has the conscience of these TV anchors completely died; is not a “systematic” rape of numerous women demanding justice since 1989, an issue worth discussion? The Indian media barring some exceptions, scream from the rooftops the moment the word Fatwa is uttered by some ignorant but have maintained a criminal silence on an issue as grave as systematic sexual violence carried out against a people. What a shame, instead of preaching us the virtues of freedom of expression the “media mafia” is better advised to look within and take care of its stinking filth. The less talked about that clown masquerading as a Mufti the better it is. Everybody in Kashmir knows that whose interests he serves; the bad image he portrays about the great religion of peace and tolerance due to his mercenary activities are however highly detestable.
Coming back to the real issue; the conflict ridden Muslim societies are completely torn apart by two extremes. On one hand, as the ignorant reaction to the oppression, the warriors claiming to be the zealots of Islam are trying to enforce the tribal blended narrow interpretations of the scripture that too on the behest of violent force. On the other hand, modern imperialistic forces in order to accentuate their control have somehow come to believe that the spread of modernity may eventually lead struggling people to abandon their just cause. Luckily so far Kashmir by and large is free from the first kind of extremism, we happily send our daughters along with our sons to school. However, alarmingly Kashmiri society is getting rapidly afflicted with an immoral modernisation campaign. This materialistic driven modernity has nothing to do with any enlightenment that a healthy education brings along with. Irrespective of any theological standpoint, music has not been an issue here, nor does it seem to be now. However modernity designed to inundate our cultural values is indeed a grave point of concern. Its time to wake up from the deep slumber.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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