From the Editor's Desk

From the Editor's Desk

Social Distancing as Virtual Proximity — Musicians Worldwide Serenade People from Their Homes in the Times of Coronavirus

Social Distancing as Virtual Proximity — Musicians Worldwide Serenade People from Their Homes in the Times of Coronavirus

As part of a global initiative, musicians worldwide have offered a series of virtual concerts via different social media platforms to encourage people to take social distancing seriously while also spreading awareness about Covid-19 safety measures all around the world. Here are some of those live sessions from around the world that will not be seen by 8 million Kashmiris whose internet speed has been restricted to 2G.

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Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Over 170 Academics from Around the World Demand India Restore High-Speed Internet, Release Kashmiri Political Prisoners

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Over 170 Academics from Around the World Demand India Restore High-Speed Internet, Release Kashmiri Political Prisoners

While the world readjusts to handle the Coronavirus, Kashmir is stuck under 2G internet (which was first rolled out in 1995) and without adequate equipment and facilities. As a result, the following letter has been sent from the Kashmir Scholars Consultative and Action Network (KSCAN) and Concerned Academics & Professionals from around the world to the World Health Organization, UN Special Rapporteurs, and various international health organizations. You can view the official letter here. We have included relevant links embedded directly from the original news sources at the bottom of this letter. For more, check out our Kashmir 2019 Siege section.

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Live Performances by Ramooz in Anticipation of Their Debut

Live Performances by Ramooz in Anticipation of Their Debut

Ramooz is a Kashmir-based band formed by Zeeshaan Nabi on lead vocals, guitar, keyboards and electronic instruments, Ayan Joe on bass, guitars and backing vocals, and Srinath S. Kumar on drums and percussion. Both members accompany Zeeshaan Nabi during live performances of their original songs while also combining forces on improvisational pieces on stage. Since July 20, 2019, the band spent five months in Kashmir under complete lockdown working on their first studio album (with work shifted to Delhi in November 2019), while remaining together as a musical unit for over the last five years. Their first official performance was at The Piano Man (Gurugram) on January 5th, 2020. Their first music video from their album will be released in April. Meanwhile, here is a sample of their music from their live shows.

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Preface and Introduction: The Many Faces of Kashmiri Nationalism (Speaking Tiger Books, 2020) — by Nandita Haksar

Preface and Introduction: The Many Faces of Kashmiri Nationalism (Speaking Tiger Books, 2020) — by Nandita Haksar

In January of this year, Nandita Haksar’s “The Many Faces of Kashmiri Nationalism” (Speaking Tiger Books, 2020) was re-released in a revised and updated version taking into account the revocation of Article 370 by the Indian government (on August 5, 2019). According to its author, this book “traces the tortured history of Kashmiri nationalism, primarily through the lives of two men: Sampat Prakash, a Kashmiri Pandit and Communist trade union leader who became active in politics during the Cold War years, and Mohammad Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri Muslim who became politically active at the beginning of the Kashmir insurgency, coinciding with the end of the Cold War, the defeat of Soviet Union, and the start of the War on Terror. The stories of many other Kashmiris are also woven into this account.” Whereas the introduction to the book epigraphs verses written by Bahar Kashmiri in the 1940s, the preface to this updated version begins with lyrics from “Elaan” (July 2019), a song by Kashmiri rapper Ahmer Javed. We present the preface to the revised edition and the introduction to Nandita’s book here, courtesy of its publisher, Speaking Tiger Books. Included are relevant articles, interviews and videos at the end of this document to familiarize readers with Nandita Haksar’s greater work as a human rights lawyer, teacher, activist and writer.

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