Of course an actress does not need to use her brain in her work. Her figure does the job. Blurting out offensive statements mindlessly may be okay with an actress but the phenomenon is too widespread. Most of the people outside Jammu and Kashmir perceive Kashmiris as backward and uncivilized people. But they are ignorant of the glorious and humungous amounts of literature, arts, poetry, history etc the people this beautiful place have been creating since ages. We are one of the few people, who have a recorded history of more than five thousand years. The research and propagation of Buddhism and Hinduism in the previous era is well documented. Kashmiris were inventing music, literature, poetry and fine arts thousands of years ago, so it looks a crude joke, when a person from a place where almost half of the people defecate in the open in 21st century calls Kashmiris “uncivilized”. The more than 6000 year old silk road passes through Kashmir and many civilizations have benefitted from Kashmir and, she has imbibed many virtues and knowledge of other cultures.
The architecture, handicrafts and town planning in Kashmir around five hundred years ago was at par with other progressive cultures at the time. However, in the last five hundred years Kashmir’s arts, architecture and living standards have taken a hit due to obvious historic reasons. Now that cities outside Jammu and Kashmir have got pubs and discotheques and a small section of its people have a new found economic prosperity, they don’t feel the need to be prudent especially when making offensive and degrading statements about others. Oh, how can one ignore the elixir of newly acquired nuclear power, which intoxicates most of its citizens. Well, an intoxicated population which is so fond of its discotheque night life (which in any case is affordable to a miniscule population), misguided by a happy-news media which runs several hours of programming on lifestyle of the rich and the upwardly mobile middle class, is bound to have wrong notions and misguided sense of superiority.
Kashmir still has unmatched handicrafts like carpets, fine shawls, papier machie besides sub-continent’s two most influencial political families – Ghandi’s and Sharief’s – always boast about their Kashmir ancestry. Well, do we need a certificate from any Ram, Sham or Gansyham for the civilization that has a recorded history of more than 5000 years? We might not be rich, we may not have discotheques and our culture still prefers decent dress over miniskirts, does that qualify us for the derogatory words like “uncivilized”. No we are not! We just don’t have the arrogance to insult others and have always extended warmth to our guests. I think that is civilization.