Information about Kashmir

Via Sabbah Haji…

Great to know you’re a big reader. here’s been very little English writing in Kashmir from Kashmiris. I’m listing a few below – because I have found writing by non-Kashmiris to be painfully biased, insensitive, or inaccurate [there are exceptions of course].

Kashmiri writers:

1. Sanjay Kak’s recent collection of essays on Kashmir: Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada In Kashmir, which is non-fiction, and sprang from the Summer of 2010.

2. Nitasha Kaul- a young academic and writer. Here’s something from her: http://site.nitashakaul.com/uploads/nitasha_kaul_kashmir_OD.pdf

3. Basharat Peer’s ‘Curfewed Night’ again is autobiographical non-fiction.

I cannot recommend any other objectively written non-fiction on Kashmir and its history, because I haven’t come across too many books myself.

4. Mirza Waheed’s ‘The Collaborator’ is a novel, Kashmir-based again.

5. Malik Sajad is a young Kashmiri artist, and he has a couple of graphic novels up on his site: http://www.kashmirblackandwhite.com

Here’s a video you might find useful to throw light on the entire Kashmir conflict, background, history and perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T15bV7iaiRE. It’s a conference/panel discussion featuring Mirza, Sanjay and Nitasha.

I have heard a few recent films on Kashmir are pretty good, though I haven’t watched them here. Not available in Kashmir ironically.

Try watching ‘Harud’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nVJLQIAQYk

‘InshaAllah Football’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmYhtoPuXxg&NR=1

‘Zero Bridge’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SA1m_KjpIk&NR=1

The idea that politicians were real heroes

This is the problem with this rich and anguished generation. Somewhere a long time ago they fell in love with the idea that politicians—even the slickest and brightest presidential candidates—were real heroes and truly exciting people.

That is wrong on its face. They are mainly dull people with corrupt instincts and criminal children.

—Hunter S. Thompson. “Dance of the Seven Dwarfs.” San Francisco Examiner. 6 July 1986. (Collected in Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80’s)

Before I lost any of my senses

In youth, before I lost any of my senses, I can remember that I was all alive, and inhabited my body with inexpressible satisfaction; both its weariness and its refreshment were sweet to me. This earth was the most glorious musical instrument, and I was audience to its strains.

—Henry David Thoreau. “Journal: July 16, 1851.” I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau.