Kashmiris protest Zubin Mehta’s concert

Kashmiris protest Zubin Mehta’s concert

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Zubin Mehta
Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) conferring the Presidential Medal of Distinction to the conductor Zubin Mehta in Jerusalem on Oct.15, 2012, for his contributions to Israeli society.

26 August 2013


Ambassador Michael Steiner,
German Embassy,
New Delhi, India.
Subject: URGENT Protest Letter to German Embassy on scheduled Zubin Mehta concert in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir on 7 September 2013
1.      On 22 August 2013, a press release was issued by the German Embassy that Zubin Mehta would be conducting an orchestra on 7 September 2013 at Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
2.      The press release quoted you as stating that the concert was for the people of Jammu and Kashmir by way of a cultural tribute. The press release also reads that the concert was intended to give a message of hope and encouragement to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The concert, said to be a part of a “broader engagement” is being organized by the German Embassy and supported by the “competent authorities both at Central as well as at Union State level”. The costs of the concert are covered by “benevolent sponsors mainly from the business world in India and Germany, as well as ‘Incredible India’ and the German Foreign Office”.
3.      The people of Jammu and Kashmir take immense pride in our rich history of resisting oppression. We also have historically cultivated a sublime tradition in, and love for, music. Music – which appeals to the higher truths of love, justice, dignity, and peace; which genuinely acknowledges the long suffering, and yet bravely resisting, Kashmiris; and which is performed for the actual public – is wholeheartedly welcomed. However, legitimizing an occupation via a musical concert is completely unacceptable. Art as propaganda, as abundantly documented, was put to horrific use in Nazi Germany. We are sure you will understand that we cannot welcome anything even remotely analogous in Jammu and Kashmir. Sadly, the occupation will be amply reflected in the demographics of the audience of the proposed concert – the list of “invitees only” is bound to be restricted to the members of the apparatuses of the Occupying State: from perpetrators of crimes, as heinous as murder, rape, and torture, to the local collaborators of the State and perhaps some powerless, vulnerable and compliant few.
4.      The people of Jammu and Kashmir, for whom this concert is purportedly meant, have been subject to an occupation by the Indian State for the last 66 years. These 66 years have exposed the people to various shades and faces of the Indian occupation. But, two features have been consistent. First, State brutality and absolute impunity. The institutional culture of moral, political and juridical impunity has resulted in, by some estimates [as of 2013], enforced and involuntary disappearance of at least 8000 persons besides more than 70,000 killings, countless cases of torture, rape, molestation and disclosures of over 7000 unknown, unmarked, and mass graves. There have been no effective prosecutions of the perpetrators to date. Therefore, absolute impunity.
5.      The second consistent feature of the Indian State has been its constant endeavour to forcibly control the public, regional and international narrative on Jammu and Kashmir. From criminalizing the popular dissent and resistance as “terrorism”, “anti-national”, or “unpopular”, to the more recent obsession with portraying “normalcy” and “peace”, the Indian State seeks to obfuscate the truth and forcibly control the destiny of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Since 1947, the Indian State has sought to use art, sports, cinema and culture to camouflage the real truth about Jammu and Kashmir. The scheduled Zubin Mehta concert is yet another attempt to control the narrative. It is an attempt to portray “normalcy” and “peace” to the international community and other stakeholders.
6.      In this context, it is most unfortunate that the German Embassy should seek to collaborate, perhaps unwittingly, with the Indian State in Kashmir, recognized as an international dispute by the United Nations and the international community, without any sensitivity to the aspirations of the people, or issues faced, or the machinations of the Indian State. It is unfortunate that the German Embassy lends itself to be party to an event that very obviously forms a part of the ongoing Indian attempt to control the manner in which the world views the unresolved dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.
7.      The German Embassy must be sensitive to the fact that the people of Jammu and Kashmir want peace and normalcy, but not as hollow punch lines of State craft, but as real concepts that flow from, and are necessarily linked to ideas of justice, dignity, freedom and political choice.
8.      The German Embassy must take serious issue with the fact that the Indian State seeks to disregard a European Parliament resolution, of July 2008, which urged the Government of India to hold an investigation into the alleged mass/unidentified graves in Kashmir, and called upon the European Commission to offer financial and technical assistance to the Government of India for this purpose. But, at the same time, the Indian State is eager to collaborate on convenient projects, such as a concert in Kashmir.
9.      The international community, including the German Government, must not allow itself to be party to activities that seek to further legitimize the Indian occupation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Nuremberg principles clearly established that to be complicit in crime is to commit crime under international law. There is no place for silence. There is no place for passive collaboration that seeks to be unmindful of the real issues that face a people. An occupation cannot be ignored or conveniently forgotten.
10.  A Zubin Mehta performance in Jammu and Kashmir, though a privilege, cannot be used to further an occupying State’s narrative. Therefore, it is incumbent on the German Embassy to immediately recognize the reality within which this concert is taking place. The German Embassy must issue a statement accepting the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir, and recognizing the pain and legitimate political and legal struggle of its people.
Names of the Signatories:
1.      Dr. Altaf Hussain – Author, Pediatrician
2.      Adv. Parvez Imroz – Human Rights Defender, President – Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
3.      Zareef Ahmed Zareef – Poet, Civil Society Activist
4.      Mohammad Anwar Ashai – Civil Society Activist, Businessman
5.      Abdul Majid Zargar – Columnist, Chartered Accountant
6.      Bashir Ahmed Dar – Civil Society Activist, former Secretary, Department of Education
7.      Zahid Ghulam Mohammad – Columnist, Author
8.      Dr. Javid Iqbal – Columnist, Physician
9.      Hilal Mir – Journalist
10.  Najeeb Mubarki – Journalist
11.  Huma Dar – Academician
12.  Mohammad Junaid – Academician
13.  Wajahat Ahmed – Academician
14.  Zahir-ud-Din – Author and Journalist
15.  Abir Bazaz – Academician
16.  Arif Ayaz Parrey – Writer
17.  Suhail Masoodi – Academician
18.  Fayaz Ahmed Dar – Researcher, Civil Society Activist
19.  Dr. Mirza Ashraf Beg – Civil Society Activist
20.  Samreen Mushtaq – Social Worker
21.  Uzaifa Basu – Social Worker
22.  Ifrah Mushtaq – Social Worker
23.  Imran Majid – Human Rights Defender
24.  Salman Bhat – Human Rights Defender
25.  Uzma Qureshi – Social Worker
26.  Parvaiz Ahmed Matta – Human Rights Defender
27.  Khurram Parvez – Human Rights Defender
28.  Shakeel Qalandar – Civil Society Activist / Member, Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies
29.  Sajad Hussain, Social Activist


  • Sanjeev

    Even I have no particular reason to support half-hearted, cynical and opportunistic measures like musical concerts. India must do away with article 370 and integrate J&K fully. As Indians begin to interact more intimately and fruitfully with the people of the state, the need for stationing troops for counter-terror duties will gradually dissipate. As Indians develop an economic stake in the state (and vice versa), peace and prosperity will return to the region. This is the quickest way to defeating the Jihadi ideology in the most durable and credible way.

    Simultaneously, an all-out effort must be made to educate Muslims in the state about the fraud Jihad being waged in the name of Islam. I have full faith that they will see reason and throw out the violent Na-paki animals that pass themselves off as freedom fighters.

    Jai Hind. Jai Kashmir.

    • Jonah Ryder

      It was never yours it can truly never be yours. Yours is the futility ours is the struggle. Say what you will, we know what we are and who we are. We know damn well what you are.

      This is what the world needs to know. This is what you suppress. This is occupation. This is #OccupiedKashmir.

      Sanjeev this below paragraph is a thanks to you ol buddy for pointing out this slight. :)

      Thank you for pointing out that poignant independent research of, unbiased, & unfiltered quality is needed. Without holding affiliations to one side or another. This must first be done by the reader. Clearly Sanjeev & the kind are adherent to one side of the story. Therefore we cannot take their points into account. Which brings me to yours truly, yes I and others like me are on the contrary, but I am not telling you, the reader what to believe, simply to do your research. Never mind, the research the charlatans try to pass off as such. If the the reader is blessed with intellect & can deduce upon the answer with following logic, then truly victory will be for the good.

      Here are the common problems in arguments that occur or are caused. These are often used as tools and devices by certain un-named parties to coerce and deceive. Therefore it of utmost importance to be aware of the following Fallacies:

      Here are some examples of fallacies you may encounter when making an argument:
      Appeal to Ignorance – An appeal to ignorance occurs when one person uses another person’s lack of knowledge on a particular subject as evidence that their own argument is correct.
      For example: “You can’t prove that there aren’t Martians living in caves under the surface of Mars, so it is reasonable for me to believe there are.”
      Appeal to Authority – This type of fallacy is also referred to as Argumentum ad Verecundia (argument from modesty). In this case, rather than focusing on the merits of an argument, the arguer will try to attach their argument to a person of authority in an attempt to give credence to their argument.
      For example: “Well, Isaac Newton believed in Alchemy, do you think you know more than Isaac Newton?”
      Appeal to Popular Opinion – This type of appeal is when someone claims that an idea or belief is true simply because it is what most people believe.
      For example: “Lots of people bought this album, so it must be good.”
      Association Fallacy – Sometimes called “guilt by association,” this occurs when someone links a specific idea or practice with something or someone negative in order to infer guilt on another person.
      For example: “Hitler was a vegetarian, therefore, I don’t trust vegetarians.”
      Attacking the Person – Also known as Argumentum ad Hominem (argument against the man), this is quite a common occurrence in debates and refers to a person who substitutes a rebuttal with a personal insult.
      For example: “Don’t listen to Eddie’s arguments on education, he’s an idiot.”
      Begging the Question – This type of fallacy is when the conclusion of an argument is assumed in the phrasing of the question itself.
      For example: “If aliens didn’t steal my newspaper, who did?” (assume that the newspaper was actually stolen).
      Circular Argument – Also referred to as Circulus in Probando, this fallacy is when an argument takes its proof from a factor within the argument itself, rather than from an external one.
      For example: “I believe that Frosted Flakes are great because it says so on the Frosted Flakes packaging.”
      Correlation Implies Causation Fallacy – Otherwise known as Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, this is a fallacy in which the person making the argument connects two events which happen sequentially and assumes that one caused the other.
      For example: “I saw a magpie and ten minutes later, I crashed my car, therefore, magpies are bad luck.”
      False Dilemma/Dichotomy – Sometimes referred to as Bifurcation, this type of fallacy occurs when someone presents their argument in such a way that there are only two possible options.
      For example: “If you don’t vote for this candidate, you must be a Communist.”
      Non Sequitur – A fallacy wherein someone asserts a conclusion that does not follow from the propositions.
      For example: “All Dubliners are from Ireland. Ronan is not a Dubliner, therefore, he is not Irish.”

      Sanjeev..or whatever you have spawned into as profile names are not controlled on here. This is not directed at you but to those that read your comments.

      You need not reply, having said that you surely may. Be it denouncing these retorts as spam or any other jest you try. It will just get repeated over & over & over & over…catch my drift.. :)

      If you are a regular on this site. You know these people like Sanjeev (& the like) as a craven sods that perpetuates the propaganda and agenda of India.

      Their purpose is to coerce and deceive the outsider who doesn’t follow the Kashmir conflict with vigor.

      Thus far they have abused, fueled hatful attacks both virtually and on ground.

      Please take their responses with a grain of salt & ask yourself why the voice of the Kashmir walla is repeatedly attacked by these hate mongers.

      I ask the reader to also consider the beauty of Kashmirwalla to allow them their voice as erroneous it may be. Regardless take this as your warning & please do your research on the Occupied region of Kashmir before coming to any conclusions.

      The voice of the voiceless must carry on, wether being attacked by the likes of mentioned or gaged by agencies on the ground.

      Truth must prevail, no matter how often and powerful the spin masters try to sabotage our attempts to putting it forth.

      Best Regards,

      A Humble supporter of the Kashmiri Cause.


      Thanks for helping us spread the word with every comment you post, this gets posted.

      #occupiedKashmir #occupiedKashmir #occupiedKashmir #occupiedKashmir #occupiedKashmir #occupiedKashmir

      • Sanjeev

        The above comment has been copy-pasted under a number of posts by the commentator. I have replied to it elsewhere.

        • Jonah Ryder

          It was never yours it can truly never be yours. Yours is the futility ours is the struggle. Say what you will, we know what we are and WHOM we are. We know quite well, what you are.

          This is when the witnesses need to grow strong. This is what you suppress. This is occupation.

          This IS #OccupiedKashmir

          • Sanjeev

            The above comment has been copy-pasted in a number of places on this blog. Does not deserve a reply.

          • Jonah Ryder

            It was never yours it can truly never be yours. Yours is the futility ours is the struggle. Say what you will, we know what we are and WHOM we are. We know quite well, what you are.

            This is when the witnesses need to grow strong. This is what you suppress. This is occupation.

            This IS #OccupiedKashmir

    • Hakim

      I think You have no knowledge about your indian history

      • Sanjeev

        @ Hakim,

        If you are addressing me, Sir, I would request you to educate me. This forum is meant for fruitful discussion without inhibitions.

        • Jonah Ryder


          You have no limbs to stand on this argument of ‘fruitful discussion’

          Acknowledge the Brutality of the Occupation by Indian forces first, then we’ll talk.

          Till then you are nothing but a hypocrite, Charlatan, a denouncer, a divider, & a hate monger.

          • Sanjeev

            @ Jonah Ryder,

            Thank you. To be called a string of thoughtful names by you, now almost feels like an honour. :)

            Allow me to answer your central point. Pardon me for my inability to imitate you as far as hyperventilating hysteria is concerned.

            1. I have pointed out numerous times to you (and others) that Indian Army commenced anti-terror operations in J&K in response to mindless violence unleashed by Jihadi organisations. It did not happen the other way round, as you seem to be mischievously (and not deviously, I hope) implying.

            Denying this fact or intentionally ignoring it amounts to falsehood. I hope you concede this.

            2. I am in agreement with you as far as the violent nature of the operations is concerned. When an army operates in civilian areas in pursuit of armed mercenaries hiding amidst population, unintentional deaths of civilians as well as soldiers are, unfortunately, bound to happen. They happen in J&K, in North-East and in areas under Naxal influence. They also happened with depressing regularity in Punjab in 1980s. Bullets do not know the identity of the person they hit. However, using this universal fact to paint an utterly false picture of the troops, insinuating that they have some kind of an agenda of random killings of Indian citizens, is despicable dishonesty.

            Such dishonesty is the principal reason the seperatist political movement in J&K has got nowhere in last 30-odd years. Trust me it never will.

            3. It is clear as sunlight, to me and to most other observers, that lofty terms such as human rights, liberty, democracy, freedom of expression, secularism etc, thrown up time to time by the Geelani Gang, are a mere facade as far as J&K seperatism is concerned. The real sinister agenda is quite straight: Violent Islamic Jihad against Ungodly Infidel Rule.

            Please disprove me. Do you claim that LeT, HM, JeI and JeM are actually groups of peaceful, soft-spoken bespectacled, middle-aged, dreamy activists yearning for equality of Muslims and non-Muslims the world over? :)

            Funny, wasn’t that? :)

            Jai Hind. Jai Jammu-Kashmir.

          • Jonah Ryder

            Underneath all the mockery you continue to evade all the ground happenings and everything i have said, End the occupation stop the Brutality. I’m quite happy?.. I was able to refer you to a thesauras btw..In it, look up malign while you are at it..as in growth..EVIL and so on..As in, the occupation of Kashmir by the Hegemonic Forces of India is Malignant. You are welcome.

            You ol fart :) You never never learn..

            Coercion, derision, deial, hypocrisy Such is the way of posting by Sanjeev Time & Time again..

            Tsk tsk tsk… Get a grip ol man ..

            Jai Kashmir!

            Go INDIA GO BACK.

            BTW I will not stop commenting due to the the very fact that your coercion based attempts at feeble propaganda on the bottom of articles written by Kashmir Supports is Malignant. I am but a humble supporter of the Kashmiri cause & a warning to those that read your posts. (very little take heed btw)

          • Sanjeev

            The above comment has been copy-pasted verbatim under a number of posts on this blog.

  • Jonah Ryder

    Yes the above is copy pasted, but I have mentioned that it would be copy pasted to warn against all u perpetuate Sanjeev. Go India go back!!

    Jai Kashmir !

    End the occupation

    • Sanjeev

      I have replied to the above comment (also copy-pasted) in another place on this blog.