Advertisement
Friday, Dec 03, 2021
Outlook.com

Don’t Pray For Palestine

Is art criminal? The case of a graffiti artist in Srinagar poses that simple question to all of India. It’s not only Gaza that’s bleeding.

Don’t Pray For Palestine
Illegal? | Photograph by Umer Asif
Don’t Pray For Palestine
outlookindia.com
2021-06-04T14:26:53+05:30

Every stranger sounds like a cop to Mudasir Gul, 32, an artist detained recently for graffiti showing solidarity to Palestine. While painting the words “We are Palestine” with the weeping face of a woman, her head draped by a Palestine flag, on the gates of a flood spill channel on the Jhelum in Srinagar, Gul had not imagined he was inviting police action. Demonstrating solidarity with Palestinian people has long been a popular political tradition in the Valley, and graffiti one of the common means. On May 14, when Israel was hitting Gaza with missiles that killed civilians, Gul thought that telling Palestinians are not alone in their pain through graffiti is the least expected from an artist like him. Now he says his first graffiti, which caused his detention, was also his last. “I won’t do graffiti again. Isn’t it illegal?” he asks and then answers himself, “Yes, it is illegal. That’s why people say it is safe to do graffiti only in the darkness of night.” He says it has become difficult to talk.

Graffiti is everywhere in Kashmir—on bridges, walls, riverbanks—always in support of ‘azadi’ (freedom), and sometimes in support of militants and Pakistan. And most have black or white paint over  them, reminders of the relentless efforts of government forces to wipe them out. Sometimes graffiti can be seen below the coats of paint.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Mamata In Mumbai: TMC Is On Warpath To Rob Congress Of Its Allies

Mamata In Mumbai: TMC Is On Warpath To Rob Congress Of Its Allies

On one hand, Mamata Banerjee's TMC has a rapport with parties like NCP and Shiv Sena, while also maintaining friendly relation with the Samajwadi Party in UP.

Didigiri? Mamata Snubs Congress Amid Growing NCP-Sena Ties

Didigiri? Mamata Snubs Congress Amid Growing NCP-Sena Ties

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee left out the Congress from a meeting between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena leaders Aaditya Thackeray and Sanjay Raut in Mumbai.

Mumbai Test, Day 1 LIVE: India Bat First Against New Zealand

Mumbai Test, Day 1 LIVE: India Bat First Against New Zealand

New Zealand clinched a morale-boosting draw in the first Test in Kanpur. Can India win the two-match series in Mumbai?

Rajasthan: After Cabinet Expansion, Congress Shifts Focus To Strengthening Party Ranks

Rajasthan: After Cabinet Expansion, Congress Shifts Focus To Strengthening Party Ranks

Following the tussle between Sachin Pilot and chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress had dissolved all district and block committees after the former was removed as deputy chief minister and as the party president in July 2020.

Advertisement