Srinagar, March 24, 2013 (PPI-OT): A Member of Indian Parliament from West Bengal has composed a two-minute song as a tribute to Kashmiri youth, Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 9.
Titled ‘Afzal Guru: A Song’, the Kolkata-based singer-turned-politician Kabir Suman of All India Trinamool Congress Party, uploaded it on his website www.kabirsumanonline.com on March 20.
Kabir, 64, also speaks about the enforced disappearances in occupied Kashmir and the question of self-determination for Kashmiris. “Why couldn’t he meet his wife before his death? What national security crisis would it make? Why was the state so clearly short of breath? What was it that was so fiercely at stake?”
Then pointing out at the loopholes in Afzal Guru’s case, Kabir goes on to say, “The evidence wasn’t strong enough. Circumstantial, some noisy critics say. For me Mr Indian, …… the Kashmir my holiday land once so gape.”
Kabir also briefly touches about his time spent in the occupied territory. “How I miss the shikaras and the houseboats, the handsome men and women, the pretty girls selling cherries and apricot.” “…is he still alive the guy who cooked for us, does the smiling Farooq still drive the tourist bus, or did they all disappear in thin air like so many others in my holiday land,” Kabir says in the song, in an apparent reference to thousands of cases of enforced disappearances in occupied Kashmir.
At the end of the song, Kabir eloquently links the popular demand for self-determination to the injustice done to Afzal Guru. “Yes, after all a political less affair and self-determination always contraband. Afzal Guru, the man who found his grave in the jail where he was illegally done to death. I for one have a peaceful phase to say. Well, the state was so clearly short of breath.”
The recording of the song, Kabir writes on his website, was done on a handheld digital recorder. Only the built-in mics were used. “It was done at my residence. To hell with studios,” he writes.
“Kabir Suman has been writing on Kashmir for over a decade now, but all his work is compiled in Bengali. His ‘tribute’ to Afzal Guru was intentionally written in English so as to break the language barrier and reach a wider audience,” Shreya Banerjee, a Kabir fan from Kolkata told a Srinagar-based daily over phone.
Kabir Suman is popularly called a rebel in his hometown of West Bengal. He was formerly known as Suman Chattopadhyay but later changed his name to Kabir Suman after embracing Islam. Besides a politician, Kabir is also a modern Bengali singer, songwriter, musician, poet, journalist, TV presenter and an occasional actor.
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Kashmir Media Service
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549