Security has been tightened in the entire Kashmir Valley, especially in the summer capital of the state in the wake of Saturday’s planned concert (Feel of Kashmir) by the Bavarian State Orchestra and Indian-born conductor Zubin Mehta.
The concert is the first of its kind in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and will see an audience of 1,500 guests, including ministers, diplomats, Industrialists, sports and Bollywood stars.
The concert, organised by the German Embassy in India, aims to “reach the hearts of the Kashmiris with a message of hope and encouragement”, said Germany’s Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner.
But to the large number of civil society members and the separatist leaders, “The concert revolves round the politics of exclusion, where perceptions are manipulated to give false impressions.”
A group of civil society has even decided to conduct a parallel concert (Reality of Kashmir) on the same day.
“Germany must accept the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir and recognise the pain and legitimate political and legal struggle of its people,” the group said.
Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani sees the event as an attempt to give legitimacy to “Indian rule” in Kashmir. The octogenarian has called for peaceful protests today and a shutdown against it on Saturday.