Cultural shows replace sound of bullets in Kashmir


New Film Policy brings Bollywood back

Jammu & Kashmir’s Film Policy launched last year has facilitated the shooting of films in the picturesque locations across J&K, and with this Bollywood’s golden era of 70s-80s has made a comeback.

The administration has opened cinema halls in Shopian, Pulwama and Srinagar districts and efforts are afoot to open cinema halls in every district.

Artistes, who are a reflection of social values and social progress of any society, are being facilitated and administration is providing them with all the possible facilities and help.

A proposal has been moved to provide the senior artistes with financial assistance and to accommodate the kith and kin of the artistes who have passed away.

Efforts are also being made to document and preserve folk treasure of songs and tales. The cultural organisations, departments, artistes and the people are working collectively to preserve the precious cultural and folk traditions of Jammu and Kashmir.

The administration is aware of the fact that artistes are the soul of any society and their welfare is of utmost importance. It’s putting in dedicated efforts for the handholding of young artistes, while the seasoned and experienced ones are being roped in to train the budding talent.

The culture of Jammu and Kashmir is being promoted among the people of other states by sending the artistes to perform there, and the artistes from other places are being invited to participate in the events being held in J&K.

The cultural exchange programmes have strengthened the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ movement.

The Centre has included many proposals sent by the J&K government in the existing schemes and programmes of the government.

In a nutshell, J&K is being connected with the rest of the country through culture with artistes acting as ambassadors of ‘brand J&K’.

Former political regimes played truant

From 1996 to 2019, the politicians, who ruled Jammu and Kashmir, had completely forgotten that J&K has a culture of its own and it needs to be preserved.

Soon after Pakistan-sponsored insurgency broke out in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990, the terrorists issued diktats to artists to stay away from the cultural activities. They wanted to destroy J&K’s culture and erase history.

The political governments that came into power from 1996 onwards didn’t pay much attention towards reviving J&K’s culture and connecting the erstwhile princely state with the rest of the country.

No heed was paid towards providing a succour to the artistes, who lost their jobs due to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, nor was any attempt made to give young talent a chance to carry forward the legacy of their ancestors.

The former rulers had only one agenda, i.e., they wanted to connect Kashmir with Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Pakistan by reopening bus routes and allowing the artists from other side to come to J&K and perform and vice-versa.

It’s unfortunate but true that the mainstream politicians, who were provided all the privileges and perks by New Delhi, for three decades encouraged the separatists by supporting their moves in one or other way.

Kashmir-based politicians never missed any opportunity to appease Pakistan and its stooges, who were active in Kashmir. Their actions in a way gave legitimacy to the separatists and their agenda of separatism.

The leaders, who used to claim that they represent the people, fell short of working for the welfare of a common man.

Change in scenario

However, the scenario changed in 2019 after the Centre announced its decision to scrap Article 370, a temporary provision in the Constitution. The dispensation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the past three years has ensured that J&K gets back everything which it had lost due to the mishandling of the Himalayan region by the former regimes at the Centre and in the state.

As on date, youngsters from J&K are performing in national and international cultural events. They have formed bands and are using social media to reach out to the audience. Videos uploaded by the J&K youth on social media are watched across the world. The youth in Kashmir are leading from the front to restore the identity of J&K by promoting its art, culture and skill.

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