Hanging anniversaries of Kashmiris Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru separated by a day, for which Hurriyat had called for a march to UNMOGIP, remained tense but passed off incident free. Barring incidents of minor protests and a few bouts of stone pelting, most of the city was under informal curfew. While most of the separatist leaders remained limited to their homes, under house arrest, lawmaker Engineer Rashid attempted a seminar in Kupwara but was not permitted.
Two young musicians Umar Majeed and Zubair Ahmad, using Santoor and Rabbab, recorded their 4-minute rendition of Pakistan’s national anthem on a mobile phone. It set internet on fire as the video was watched by more than 250 thousand people within two days. It became major news across India and Pakistan and they were termed to be a duo that used art to break the borders. They have been uploading their works on internet but have not got such a response ever. Apparently in a bid to address the geo-politics, they recorded another number – the song that Shamima Azad sung when her husband Ghulam Nabi Azad ruled Kashmir.
It might have been a sheer coincidence. In the evening, a rightwing party claimed state’s premier institution in Kashmir-specific, and the next morning, J&K Bank Chairman was presiding over a function in Channi Rama to dedicate a fully furnished dormitory for girl children, in addition to, three smart classes to the orphanage where destitute students study. Before driving home, Parvez Ahmad promised the inmates that whoever excels in studies will be sponsored by the bank.
India and Pakistan might be trying to pick up the threads for re-engagement but it is the pigeon who made the news. A pigeon suspected to be a courier of Pakistan and named 5547 Janbaz Khan was arrested by BSF after a hectic exercise. He was handed over to police but he escaped from the police custody in Sri Ganga Nagar. A cop opened the cage out of curiosity and the bird fled. With pigeon free, it is now the cop who is facing music. A case has been registered against him.
Suffering from cancer, 25-year old Sana – whose father was slain by BSF in 1990, put up a huge battle for survival. For more than a year, she had to undergo a series of treatments but the cruel disease continued recurring. Last month when it recurred, the family was literally bankrupt. So the media took over. Within less than four days, the family account was stuffed with cash of Rs 25 lakh, the exact amount that doctors said she requires. Grateful family appealed people not to donate any more. A week later, Sana lost her battle with life. One of widely mourned deaths, the society felt reassured that it has the capacity to deliver in worst situations.
It is a story worth a film. Iftikhar had crossed the LoC for becoming a militant. There he settled after marrying Rohina Kiani. In 2016, Gulzar was desperate to come home, to Ganderbal. His wife was not ready. He took their son, flew him to Dubai and then to Srinagar where he remained in police station for some time. By then, Kiani had moved the court in India with the help of Pakistan High Commission. Her argument was simple: Gulzar is not biological father of the kid and that he has been unauthorized kidnapped. She won the case and the kid was handed over to her at Wagha. After a very long time, the TV anchors that day were calm.
For the B Ed colleges in J&K, there is good news. Bihar has approved the degree certificates from the twin universities of Jammu and Kashmir for appointment of teachers in secondary and higher secondary schools. The decision was taken by Bihar cabinet. This decision will help the B Ed Industry have a new lease of life.