Culture

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I returned from my Republic Day recreation with a phrase from Vivekananda stuck in the murky depths of my mind. Much as I tried, I couldn’t extricate it therefrom. It was, I was sure, one of those dangerous phrases that he spat out in his usual hurry to get the general idea across. I happen to be one of those people who think that he meant well—or at least every time that he said something that I subsequently came to read—I suspect that he simply didn’t care much whether he sounded polite or correct (or politically correct) in the course of

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Young Talat Bhat (fifth from right) protesting with fellow workers. After working on Kashmir conflict for years, filmmaker and activist Talat Bhat, is now turning his focus on Sweden through his own struggle against injustices and oppression in his upcoming documentary Rocking the Birger Jarl. Earlier Bhat has been the producer of Bring Him Back – a documentary that depicts the story of a Kashmiri freedom fighter Maqbool Bhat’s mother. Maqbool was hanged to death in 1984 and secretly buried by the Indian authorities. His mother has been struggling to regain her son’s remains. Talat left Kashmir for Sweden in

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A film by Danish Renzu and Gaya Bhola In the majestic Himalayan mountain range that spans India from the North all the way to the East, we focus in on the incredibly beautiful state of Kashmir in the North, the abode of Mystics and artisans but also raked with political turmoil. The land where tourists flock for vacations and it was a sought after landscape for decades, for many Bollywood movies. Neela, a Kashmiri beauty in her mid 20’s is in the marketplace shopping for her wedding. Orphaned at a very young age she lives with her Aunt along with

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Kehwa Talk session at Amar Singh College. Photograph by Rising Kashmir The author of “Kashmir Conflict and Muslims of Jammu,” Zafar Choudhary on Friday said that Jammu and Kashmir could not have been part of India without Sheikh Abdullah’s consent. The author was speaking during a session of Kehwa Talk – organized by Centre for Research and Development Policy( CRDP) in collaboration with the Amar Singh College Srinagar. Choudhary also said that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is in constant state of conflict. “Despite large scale killings of Muslims in Jammu region in 1947. The 1965 war created more divides

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MUNNU, the graphic novel published by 4th Estate this month, is the astonishing debut from Kashmir based illustrator Malik Sajad.  We asked Malik about the concept of the novel; where did the idea come from? Why a graphic novel? What is it about the Kashmir’s torrid conflict you wanted to explore? I came to know about this medium around 9 years ago. There were no graphic novels in the bookstores in Kashmir. Initially, I thought it was about visual journalism because whatever graphic novels I had seen were mostly about reporting which I didn’t enjoy and wasn’t particularly good at. 

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Do films hold up a mirror to society? Do they tell it like it is, or offer a narrative about ourselves that we are pleased to unreflectively accept? Actually, the answer to this is very complicated. Indian films rarely tell it like it is, and quite often we hang on to our filmy fantasies with greater tenacity than to the reality of our lives. So how do we tackle filmmakers who appear to be engaging in social commentary, albeit of the “khatti-meethi” variety? Do we believe them, or do we not? Do we believe them for the most part? And

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Performing artist Radhika Apte is back in news for a leaked video clip from her latest film. A scene from a 20-minute short film, directed by Anurag Kashyap, has been doing the rounds following Sunday on WhatsApp. In an interview, Kashyap said that the feature is a piece of his short film taking into account a genuine story. “The film has a capable snippet of a lady lifting her dress from the front and uncovering herself. Just a striking, gutsy performing artist could do such a scene.” Kashyap said, “Radhika Apte herself was so glad for it. Anyhow, when you

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A graffiti in Srinagar’s downtown area. Photograph by David Laumann The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, early this year had got its first art gallery. Worthy of its name, Gallerie One, unlatched its door to the public on 12 January 2015, creating a space where art and culture could have existed and flourished. But in a place where the unstable political atmosphere dictates the options, nothing is ever sure to last. Around a month after the Gallerie One was opened, on 23 February, it was shutdown by the government. Previously, the government had given the go ahead for

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Mohammed Safa is the Bangladeshi owner of a vegetarian buffet restaurant in Chapel Market, London which flaunts pro-vegetarianism messages as part of its décor, such as “Carnivorism causes Warfare”. But why promoting vegetarianism? “If you tried opening a vegetarian restaurant in this country 15-20 years earlier, you would have to wrap your business up in a week. There was no concept of vegetarianism back then. However, things have changed now.” As a group of individuals actively campaigning for healthy vegetarian food, the reason behind their choice of food propaganda is two-fold: (1) to promote vegetarianism amongst Muslims (especially Bangladeshis) who

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Dibakar Banerjee Sa rey ga ma pa dha ni! Bom phelechhey japani, Bom-er bhetor keutey shaap, British boley “bap re bap!” (Do re mi fa so la ti! The Japanese have dropped a bomb, The bomb contains a cobra, The British cry “Daddy!”) “Mummy!” is more likely the Briton’s exclamation of choice, but I expect you get the idea. I am willing to bet a few rupees that Dibakar Banerjee dreamed this silly rhyme at the time of writing the script for Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. For it is something one could recite to an especially annoying person on the elevator

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