Srinagar: A group of people opposing the forthcoming Zubin Mehta concert to be held here in Jammu and Kashmir Sep 7 have decided to hold a parallel event the same day to show the 'truth about Kashmir'.
The 90-minute concert would be telecast live in over 50 countries. Zubin Mehta is scheduled to arrive in a special plane along with his 100-member orchestra Sep 5.
"We have invited poets, singers, musicians and other artists to our concert on September 7 at noon in the city's uptown Municipal Park," Khurram Parvez, spokesman for the joint initiative of various civil society groups and individuals, told IANS.
"The idea is to depict the pain of the people of Kashmir. We are holding a photo exhibition the same day. That is why our concert is called 'Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir' (The truth about Kashmir)."
"We believe you cannot have a feeling about Kashmir without knowing the reality about this land," he said, referring to Mehta's concert being called 'Ehsaas-e-Kashmir' (The feeling about Kashmir).
He said they were opposing the Zubin Mehta concert because the government of India is using this exercise to obfuscate the truth on Kashmir.
"We are not against Zubin Mehta or for that matter any other musician coming to Kashmir. Our opposition is because the European Parliament passed a resolution in 2008 asking the government of India to investigate mass graves and forced disappearances."
"Nothing has happened so far in this direction. Germany is a signatory to the resolution. How can they hold a concert in Kashmir when India does not care for the human rights of Kashmiris," Parvez asked.
"Human rights are no longer a sovereign duty. Human rights are a global duty and Germany has to understand that," he said.
Asked whether he agreed with separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's appeal for a shutdown against the concert, Khurram said: "Geelani sahib has no other means to register his protest. How else can he register the protests?"
"We are doing it in a different way, but both are means of peaceful protests."
Parvez said holding a parallel musical concert had become necessary "because some vitriolic journalists in Delhi are trying to give an impression that Kashmiris are against music and culture."
"Now if we plan to oppose a concert through a concert I don't think the authorities should have any objection."
"If they disallow our concert, which is being held miles away from the venue of the official concert, then also the world would understand who loves music and culture and who is trying to use it as a tool of oppression," he said.