New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir today lost its only all-girls rock band, Pragaash, as its three teenage members decided to call it quits, a day after the Grand Mufti issued a fatwa terming singing as un-Islamic and asked them to abandon it. The band hit the limelight in December 2012 when they won the annual 'Battle of the Bands' in what was their very first public appearance. But things went downhill when the Grand Mufti issued a fatwa.
Even Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's tweet supporting the band was apparently not enough. Omar said, "Shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media and then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing". "The police will examine the threats issued and whether any provision of the law can be used to book those making the threats. I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them," he added.
Mehbooba Mufti, president of the opposition People's Democratic Party, said, "Singing has been a part of our culture and we have had many famous female artistes from the region. If these girls are facing such problems, then the government should step in resolve this issue."
Naeem Akhtar of the PDP said, "Mufti sahab has made it a habit of issuing fatwas on every thing. It gives Islam a bad name. Music is an intrinsic part of Kashmir's culture, we have had many great singers."
Najma Heptullah of the BJP said, "If god has given talent to someone, then to use god's name to put a ban on it is wrong."
Clearly though, the online threats, and the fatwa has had its effect. The three girls have not spoken but their decision to quit, it seems, is final.