Kashmir is spectacularly gorgeous but the travel magazine spreads and tourist brochures mask a less than heavenly reality. An ongoing conflict has taken the lives of tens of thousands of Kashmiris. The Himalayan region is divided by India and Pakistan but claimed in its entirety by both. And trapped between these states are the Kashmiri people. What they might desire is of little concern to India and Pakistan who use Kashmir to justify massive military deployments. Cross border shootings and artillery strikes at any time could escalate into a major war. And don’t forget both countries have nuclear weapons. Kashmiri non-violent struggles against Indian rule have barely been covered in the media. It doesn’t fit the narrative India has propagated: These are Islamic terrorists controlled by Pakistan. Except for a few troublemakers, Kashmiris are happy to be part of India.
Sanjay Kak is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker based in New Delhi. His work reflects his interests in ecology, alternatives and resistance politics and movements. His films include How We Celebrate Freedom and Words on Water. His latest film is Red Ant Dream. He is editor of Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir.
Program #KAKS003. Recorded in Chicago, IL on March 17, 2013