Parallel Show to Zubin Mehta's Concert Held in J&K

Parallel Show to Zubin Mehta's Concert Held in J&K

A parallel concert "Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir" (reality of Kashmir), organized by civil society members to protest Zubin Mehta's concert, was held here today with the organisers accusing the government of not allowing free movement of the people.

"Despite various tactics by the government, people still managed to make their presence felt. But, still there were hundreds of people who were not allowed by the authorities to attend the cultural concert," said Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir spokesman Khurram Pervez.

He alleged the authorities had put restrictions in place and did not allow the movement of people freely.

"The government gave us permission at the 11th hour and that too on conditions as they were scared of the support that we got from the people.

"We got hundreds of calls from people who had wished to express their solidarity but they were not allowed due to the restrictions. Still, we were able to hold the concert in order to protest against the Zubin Mehta's concert," Pervez said.

The concert, held at the Municipal Park here, saw various performances like poetry recitation, play, folk dance including the famous ‘Bande Paether’ and music performances by the youth.

The event was attended by chairman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and former interlocutor Radha Kumar.

Kumar said it was good to see civil society opening up various forms of "dissent" as art and culture had no barriers.

She said it was "very unfortunate" that there was no headway on the report submitted by the team of interlocutors to the Centre two years ago.

Altaf Ahmad, one of the organisers, said the cultural concert was organised in response to Mehta’s event which was being held for the "elitist" class.

On the other hand, the civil society concert was open for all Kashmiris to express their feelings in the form of any expression, he said.

"We are gathering here in response to what is being orchestrated at Shalimar Gardens (Mehta’s concert) which is for the rich, by the rich and of the rich," Ahmed said.

As the event concluded, a group of youth took out a protest rally but were dispersed by police using water canons.

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