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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Support builds up for Kashmir's all-girl band

PTI  New Delhi, February 04, 2013
First Published: 14:04 IST(4/2/2013) | Last Updated: 16:13 IST(4/2/2013)

The National Commission for Women and some parliamentarians on Monday came out in support of Kashmir's first all-girls rock band 'Pragaash' whose singing was termed as "un-Islamic" by the Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir.

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"This is wrong. Every one has their own perspective, there are traditions. But I believe that if after so many years of independence, we stop girls from any work, it will be our double standards," said Mamata Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women.

"On the one hand we say that both genders should be equal but on the other hand we put restrictions on girls, that girls cannot do this...I believe this is very wrong," she added.

BJD MP Jay Panda also came out in support of the rock band. "I think no body has the right to stop other people from expressing themselves through their music or other cultural activities," he said.

Naeem Akhtar, spokesperson of Opposition Peoples Democratic Party in J-K, said the entire incident was an "unnecessary controversy".

"Mufti sahab has made a profession out of issuing fatwas on every issue that is defaming religion," Akhtar said.

BJP MP Najma Heptullah also supported the all-girls band. "Saying anything in the name of religion does not do any favour to the religion...If you don't like songs, don't listen to them. To stop them (the rock band members) in the name of religion, I don't think it is the right move," she added.

The Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir Bashiruddin Ahmad had yesterday issued a decree, terming the bands singing as "un-Islamic" and asked the girls to abandon it.

The all-girls band has three class 10 students as its members - vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir, drummer Farah Deeba and Guitarist Aneeka Khalid.

The first live performance of 'Pragaash' (darkness to light) at Srinagar's music festival 'Battle of the Bands' in December had created ripples in the Valley.

But their euphoria was short-lived as the girls soon started receiving online threats for defying convention by choosing the field of music, leaving their parents worried and forcing them to keep a low profile.

 


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