Authors Posts by Fahad Shah

Fahad Shah

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Fahad Shah is a journalist, writer and filmmaker. He is the founder and editor of The Kashmir Walla magazine. He has written extensively on politics, culture and media in Kashmir for various national and international publications and was a Felix Scholar at SOAS, University of London. His latest book Of Occupation and Resistance is an anthology that focuses on the resistance and politics of Kashmir and directed the documentary, Bring Him Back.

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In the Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir, despite the fact there is no legal basis and neither the public or religious scholars have elected him, “Grand Mufti” Bashir-ud-Din has been running a self-styled parallel judicial system, calling it the “Supreme Court of Islamic Shariet (Central Dar ul Futwa).” In mid 70s, Bashir-ud-din, with a post graduate degree in Arabic from the Aligarh Muslim University, was appointed “Grand Mufti” by late Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, the state’s last Prime Minister in 1960 but recently the government mildly denied Bashir-ud-Din having any alliance with the government. For decades he has been giving diktats from

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Jana Begum In a single storey mud-brick house, she lives with her two daughters and a son. Fifty-one year old Jana Begum is one of those women whose family was caught in world’s most militarized zone, Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir. She lost her four sons and her husband in the last seventeen years. Another son has been disappeared since he left home to visit his in-laws place. In 2012 summer, I went to meet Begum at her village, Devar Lolab- 120 kilometres north of Srinagar, the region’s summer capital. The village has a population of 5000 inhabitants and has been largely

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Afzal Guru, Sarabjit Singh and Sanaullah Haq By Fahad Shah Two men on the death row in the two neighboring countries can be a silent war. It may not be visible to us like the drones or missiles falling on buildings and killing people. Being on death row is in itself an extreme punishment after being convicted. There are several cases in which the convicted person denies of committing the crime. The silent war has been going on between India and Pakistan for years now and still continues. To some extent, on 2 May 2013, the war had a face

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By Fahad Shah [I]n the political arena of the Jammu and Kashmir, a little known family before 1930s which made it to the pages of history is the Abdullah’s of Kashmir. Starting from Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who belonged to a shawl weaver family and became the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to the current Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his grandson, the family has been in the mainstream politics of the state over the years. Born in 1905, Sheikh Abdullah emerged as the powerful political figure of the then princely state, Jammu and Kashmir, but after his political defeats in

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By Fahad Shah | New Delhi The Jammu and Kashmir will be having a shrine board for the Chandi Mata Machail Dham pilgrimage in Kishtawar. The board will be constituted if the bill, placed in the legislative assembly by a Congress party member, will be passed. The pro-freedom leaders, however, have been demanding the dismantling of the earlier shrine boards and oppose this proposed one. A copy of the bill, passed by Legislative Council on October 10, 2012, was laid on the table of the house for the consensus of the Jammu and Kashmir state legislative assembly by the Secretary

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Protests outside Afzal Guru’s home in Jagir, Sopore on Feb. 13, 2012. By Fahad Shah Sopore, Indian-Controlled Kashmir Without letting him to see his family one last time before he was killed, on February 9, 2012, Mohammad Afzal Guru, born on June 13, 1967, was hanged and buried in the Tihar jail of India at 8 am. A day before I arrived in Kashmir. The first thing I was told next morning was “Afzal Guru has been hanged.” I had nothing to say. Looking at the Congress policies in past, I knew that the Indian government will do it someday before

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The members of the Pragaash band. Photograph by Shuaib Masoodi for The Indian Express In Kashmir- a disputed region, the first girls’ rock band performed in public during a “Battle of Bands”, in the capital city Srinagar, on December 22, 2012- hosting different local bands. Two days after the performance, the band members started receiving threats and abuses on social networking sites. Since then they have remained away from the public glare and have been told by their families not to talk about music anymore. The band named Pragaash meaning “from darkness to light” in Kashmiri, has Farah Deeba as

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By Fahad Shah Jaipur, India While India celebrates the 64th year of the implementation of its own constitution, the majority of the people listening to an eminent panel, discussing ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression’ in the Jaipur Literature Festival, voted that “there is no freedom of expression in India”. The discussion, on third day, attended by around 5000 people (the organizers said) were asked about the freedom of expression in India. The other option “sufficient freedom of expression” too got some votes, but still lesser. It was the part of the ongoing five day festival- a carnival of literati in

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By Fahad Shah New Delhi, India: There is no dearth of books on India’s capital city. Still some corners of this city have fountain of untold stories. Nobody Can Love You More: Life in Red Light District is the first book on Delhi’s red light area, GB Road, authored by journalist and blogger, Mayank Austen Soofi. Austen is famous for his blog The Delhi Walla and the four guidebooks on Delhi published by HarperCollins India in 2010. Once a hotel steward, his first non-fiction book, Nobody Can Love You More has been published by Penguin India this year. During Mughals,

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Taking inspiration from Palestinian, Tunisian, Egyptian, Bahraini, Syrian graffiti artists, the underground graffiti artists group, El-Horiah, of Kashmir has named itself after El-seed, a Tunisian graffiti artist who writes graff in Arabic. Horiah is an Arabic word for freedom in which the group says they believe in. They are a few young boys in their late teens and early 20s who have been making graffiti on the streets of Kashmir. From walls in the outskirts of Srinagar to the congested business hub Lal Chowk, the group has been sending messages for people to read and understand. One of the group members, a young

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