23 September, 2020

'Thrones For Murderers, The Oppressed Await The Gallows' -- Why Kashmiri Poets Are Feeling Helpless And Choked

The snow of despair runs deep in the Valley. And the free-flowing words of Kashmiri poets are now frozen.

'Thrones For Murderers, The Oppressed Await The Gallows' -- Why Kashmiri Poets Are Feeling Helpless And Choked
outlookindia.com
2020-07-25T13:04:12+05:30

Kashmir’s  poets have been silenced by a siege—many of them are writing, but keeping it to themselves. As the otherwise vibrant local newspapers stopped writing editorials, columns, even news stories in the last one year, Kashmiri poets grieved silently. On August 5, 2019, upon hearing about Article 370, Kashmir’s legendary poet, playwright and songwriter Bashir Dada, who writes in Urdu and Kashmiri, says he felt helpless and choked. “I thought it’s all over…what’s the use of my poetry now? I felt humiliated. I didn’t write for long. And when I started writing and posted it on social media after a partial lifting of the communication ban, some friends from Delhi called me saying you should write some light stuff. What light stuff do they expect from us?” he asks. Instead, he wrote: Haatam na yahan koi, aadil na yahaan koi / Hai takht nasheen qaatil, sooli pe sawaali hai (Haatim is long gone! The just kings are dead / Thrones for murderers, the oppressed await the gallows).

Young Kashmiri poet Nighat Sahiba...

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