- Posted September 9, 2013 by
Zubin Mehta concert in Kashmir hits controversial chord PARALLEL CONCERT STEALS SHOW
Kashmir: Opposing renowned conductor Zubin Mehta's planned concert in Indian-administered Kashmir’s 17th Century Shalimar Gardens, Human Rights Activists and Civil Services Society put up a hard line and unrehearsed show in Municipal Park Srinagar on Saturday here.
Mehta’s concert named ‘Ehsaas-e-Kashmir or Feelings for Kashmir’ whiles the parallel concert named ‘Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir or reality of Kashmir’
An Indian-born Parsi maestro was accompanied by the Bavarian State Orchestra and 1,500 people were invited, including government ministers and diplomats, and the performance is being broadcast live in more than 50 countries around the world.
The German ambassador to India, Michael Steiner hosted the concert supported by the governments in Kashmir and Delhi.
Earlier, German embassy said the concert is for Kashmir but selective audiences were invited under high security arrangements.
In sharp contrast to the stiff formality of the Shalimar Bagh concert where common Kashmiris were not allowed, the crowds at the Municipal Park resembled a carnival with all its gaiety and excitement.
People had been trickling in since morning, though the show was to begin late in the afternoon, a condition put by the government wary of the international media attention the event was sure to attract in contested Kashmir.
On the stage, artists, poets, and writers paid tribute to what they described as the resilience and struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
We are not against music or Zubin Mehta as a person,” Kashmir’s renowned poet and satirist, Zareef Ahmad Zareef, said. “We are only against the motives for which he is performing here,”
“When Kashmir will achieve its freedom, we will not hesitate in inviting artists from all over the world, including Zubin Mehta to celebrate.
Human rights activists Khurram Parvez said that the government made all attempts to sabotage our program.
He held the Chief Minister responsible restriction placed around the venue. "They created the false impression through the media that they had given us permission to hold the program, but they have put restrictions against people coming to the grounds,” he added.
The event included rap performances, a fusion music performance, theater director plays, Band-e-Pathar (traditional folk music), silent art and poetry.