A few days ago Albania faced their historical enemies at the football field this time in the former Yugoslavian capital Belgrade. The hostilities run deep in both countries which faced a brutal war and subsequent ethnic cleansing in now independent Kosovo.
During the Euro 2016 qualifier match between the two countries, flag of Greater Albania (an area covering all parts of the Balkans where ethnic Albanians live) was flown over the pitch by a drone. The tensions escalated further after a Serbian player ripped down the flag and resulted in a scuffle between players. The crowd later joined with anti Albanian chants and throwing everything they could on the Albanian players who ran for cover.
Years ago in 1983 during the first ever international match between India and West Indies in the volatile capital of Srinagar in Kashmir. Pitch was dug by pro independence/Pakistan fans at the stadium, resulting in clashes with the Indian Forces. Scores of Kashmiris were detained later by the Indian authorities. A great embarrassment for India infront of the touring side. Later another match was played between India and Australia under a more ‘controlled’ environment. Coincidentally both the matches were lost by the World Champions of that time, India. Continue reading
To be honest, Bollywood Films on Kashmir are a subtle form of grey propaganda armed with superhero-like-soldiers-secret-agents and vilified rebels (most likely from Pakistan.) While in the backdrop are Kashmiris used to lighten the canvas with exotic undertones.
For example: The Indian soldier always falls in love with a Kashmiri women. That a wanted Kashmiri militant will change his mind after coming from ‘Sarhad Paar’ to join India, after the soldiers killed his parents in cold blood.
Or a scantily clad Tabu dancing in a hideout while ‘terrorists’ arm their perverted eyes on her cleavage. This is Bollywood stereotyping Kashmir which sadly the Indian people and others take up as basic education on Kashmir.
Assi khoon dyut na? Azaadi
assi yaar dit na? Azaadi
lakchaar dyut na? Azaadi
garre baar dyut na ? Azaadi
gam khaar dit na? Azaadi
teilli kyaazi yee ne? Azaadi
dil ti jaan dyut na? Azaadi
dil daar dit na? Azaadi
zuw jaan dyut na? Azaadi
madanwaar dit na? Azaadi
shuir paan dyut na? Azaadi
baar baar dyut na? Azaadi
dil-jigar dyut na? AZADI
assi loul bourna? AZADI Continue reading
Some four years ago, when I left Kashmir, I met a Palestinian for the first time in my life. I grew up hearing with Palestine and Al Aqsa, sometimes in protests or sometimes from the elders. I was fascinated with Gaza, which had become a metaphor for resistance. There were many places given sobriquets of Gaza of Kashmir, like the Old City and Maisuma.
Mir Suhail’s cartoon on Kashmiris solidarity with Palestine.