India: Filmmakers harassed, writers speak out
Though there have been several documentaries on Kashmir, including Jashn-e-Azadi by Sanjay Kak, filmmakers aren’t allowed to work there freely. They have to shoot with low profile and hide the cameras in robes or luggage. Otherwise, they may have their footage deleted and the work halted by the civil and military authorities, reported Kashmir Media Service.
When filmmaker Pankaj Butalia was shooting in the Valley for his yet-to-be-released documentary ‘Textures of Loss’, the Indian troops forced him to delete the footage.
The well-known filmmaker from New Delhi isn’t the only one who has had to withstand hostilities from troops or the authorities to be able to document the tragedies of Kashmiris.
The recent years have seen several documentaries and feature films on Kashmir, highlighting the killings, torture, disappearances and other human rights violations. The list is growing with ‘Jashn-e-Azadi’ by Sanjay Kak as the first one and ‘Harud’ (autumn) and ‘Ocean of Tears’ as the latest entrants.
But in an apparent bid to prevent the documentation of atrocities, the filmmakers, professional or amateur, aren’t allowed to work freely by the civil and or military authorities in the Valley. The filmmakers have to shoot with low profile, minimal crew, and hide the cameras in robes or luggage for otherwise they may have the footages deleted and the work halted.
Kashmir Media Service – 25 March 2013:
Documenting Kashmiris’ tragedies evokes hostilities
Video: Democracy Now!
Documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak who recently produced the film ‘How We Celebrate Freedom’ and wrote the book ‘Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir’ is interviewed together with author Arundhati Roy about foreign media’s portrayal of the current situation in Kashmir, recent curfews, press bans, and Internet shut downs in the area, and why the death of Afzal Guru is so important.
Sanjay Kak and Arundhati Roy have been harassed, threatened, arrested, and banned in India for expressing their opinions about Kashmir.
Democracy Now – 18 March 2013:
Arundhati Roy & Sanjay Kak on Context for Kashmir Unrest After Hanging of Afzal Guru, Part 2
“In part two of our conversation with acclaimed author Arundhati Roy and New Delhi-based journalist [and documentary filmmaker] Sanjay Kak, they discuss the case of Afzal Guru, who was hanged last month for his alleged attack on the Indian parliament…”