Stifled Creativity


Departing from the grim news, which is a regular from Kashmir, Pragaash, the all-girl rock band, is a first of its kind, and it also serves as a ray of hope for many optimists who wish for emancipation in the state.

After the eruption of militancy in the late 80s, all forms of entertainment were ceased in Kashmir. Therefore, this band has come as a welcome news for all the music lovers.

However, good things don’t last for long and the same has happened with the band.

The girls faced threats and abuse from faceless online bullies.

These male chauvinists resorted to social media, like Twitter and Facebook to express their disgust against the band. They opined that a girl band was detrimental to the society and shattered the image of their community.

Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of Kashmir, was one of the many people who offered help to these progressive youth. He even asked  them to continue performing and not allow any extremists to overpower them.

Nevertheless, this is not the first time that a form of art or cultural expression has faced an opposition. The recent ban on Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam bears testimony to this.

So, is our country a victim of cultural terrorism, where any progressive idea or any work of art acts like a flagrant excuse for protests?

This assault on creative freedom is mainly because the perpetrators of these protests know that the girls have no device to defend themselves.

Therefore, they were bullied into ceasing their activities and had no other option but to go underground.

The only person who seems to be standing up for the girls is Omar Abdullah, who has ordered the police to investigate into these threats.

From all of this, one thing is pretty clear; there is no democracy in the country, because democracy doesn’t mean restricting people, but giving everybody an equal say in all matters.

My question to the society is, why does a domain like culture, have political undertones?

Restricting individual freedom is a cultural crisis that we are currently facing. This allows marginal groups to come to light and dominate the situation.

The youth of Kashmir have seen a lot of violence and they wish to be detached from the same.

Therefore, I think that the girl band should continue to sing. They rocked the valley once, without blowing up the place (literally) and they can do it again. In fact they should, because it’s time that the valleys resonates in music for a change.

Smriti Sudish

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