‘Kashmir-Before your eyes’, a six day film festival about Kashmir in Hyderabad would be the most memorable experience for its organisers. The event had a dramatic beginning. The organisers and [L.V Prasad Preview] theatre was attacked by the activists of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), youth wing of the BJP. Most of the property in and around the theatre was found damaged after the attack. After lodging the complaint with the police they [police] stalled screening of one of the films, ‘Harud,’ and said they cannot provide them security. “The list of films to be screened also included a documentary on Kashmiri Pandits,” said an organizer. Organizers were kept on move for all the six days as they were made to keep on changing the venues almost every day. Most of the films were screened in Art schools and Universities.
The program of three artists from Kashmir to perform in London turned out to be a hoax, only one, Waheed Jeelani, a local vocalist, was granted visa. Four artists from Kashmir were supposed to perform at a music festival at Kashmir Bhawan Centre on Albion Road, Luton to ‘promote art and culture of Kashmir’ but three of them were denied visa by UK embassy without citing a reason. The concert was scheduled to take place on the same day when Bavarian State Orchestra performed in Srinagar. Neither any politician nor the project co-ordinator, Dr S N Gunjoo, was of any help to the artists who after struggling for four days had to come back to Valley.
After being successful in creating a parallel historical event to Ehsaas-e-Kashmir, in Municipal Park, the organizers of Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir, are planning to release an album ‘tribute’ to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Khurram Parvez, one of the organizers of the event said, “Kashmir was demonised for being against art, culture and music in the run-up to the (Zubin) concert. This is not true. We want to use art and music to put across thoughts and opinions on issues concerning us. Music can really make a point as it did in Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir.” Afzal was hanged in Tihar jail February this year. He is survived by his wife and son. The album would be released on September 21, World Peace Day.
Kashmir is turning out to be the most horrifying place as far as the dog bite incidents are concerned. 43 cases of dog bites have been reported at Shri Maharaja Pratap Singh (SMHS) Hospital on a single day of September 4. In past three months nearly 2000 cases have been reported in the Valley. Bugham, Srinagar and Ganderbal are believed to be the worst hit. The ratio of the cases has increased with the onset of the wedding season in Kashmir. Ironically, when the rate of dog bite incidents is so high, the state health department is out of funds and is not able to procure anti-rabies treatment in the district hospital. Reportedly, SMHS is the only place in Kashmir where the treatment is available.
German embassy’s Ehsaas-e-Kashmir was nostalgic to many of the retired bureaucrats in Kashmir and brought back the memories of Jashn-e-Kashmir which was organised in 1955 in honour of Soviet leaders Marshal Nikolai Bulganin and Khrushchev. The event was organised by the then Prime Minister of the state, Baksi Ghulam Muhammed to showcase that Soviet Russia favoured India on Kashmir. “Hundreds of earthen oil lamps floating on the Dal looked breathtakingly beautiful,” said the retired officer now in his late 70s. “German ambassador Michael Steiner seems to us like another Bulganin,” a retired IAS officer said.
A total number of 8,664 pilgrims from J&K are proceeding for Hajj this year. 2 Hajj flights from Srinagar will operate daily from 7th September to 23rd September 2013 with a capacity of 275 pilgrims in each flight.
Dr Haseeb Drabu says J&K’s own resources from all sources including non-discretionary, entitled and formula based transfers from central pool, and own taxes are of the order of Rs 23,700 crore making 82% of the overall requirements of the state in 2013-14.