That young people are channeling their frustration into music instead of violence is a positive development, but Pervez is critical of “repressive tactics” being used to silence artistic dissent.
“The government is afraid of any such thing that brings people together here. Anything that binds people, whether it is music, art or writing,” Pervez said. “The government is scared that they will get the international community to attend to the violations here.”
Last month in Srinagar, music was back in the headlines for the wrong reasons after the German embassy in New Delhi organized a performance by the 70-member Bavarian Orchestra conducted by Indian-born maestro Zubin Mehta.
The “peace concert,” intended to showcase picturesque Kashmir’s tourism potential, was attended by about 2,000 invitees, but became embroiled in controversy after local separatists accused Germany of endorsing Indian sovereignty in Kashmir.
It gave MC Kash a new subject and inspired his angry protest number Orchestra of War (Beethoven Remix).
Its lyrics include: “You selling peace? You stupid? In a land that’s still disputed. Your vision’s all polluted if you can’t see the persecuted. You selling peace we ain’t buying it This is Orchestra of War.”