Separatist leaders,civil society members oppose Zubin’s concert

Mehta is scheduled to perform in Kashmir’s Mughal garden — Shalimar Bagh,on September 7

Written by Rifat Mohidin | Srinagar | Published: August 27, 2013 1:23 am

The proposed Zubin Mehta concert has received strong opposition from Kashmir’s separatist leaders and civil society members. They have appealed to the German embassy in Delhi to reconsider their decision to conduct a music concert in “disputed Kashmir”.

Mehta is scheduled to perform in Kashmir’s Mughal garden — Shalimar Bagh,on September 7. The chief organiser German Ambassador Michael Steiner had earlier said that he was confident the programme would go off without a hitch.

Moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq stated his disappointment over the announced concert in Kashmir. “Crores of rupees will be spent on boarding and lodging of the artists who will be flown in chartered planes,and on TV and media rights of the event,” Farooq said. “Instead of spending the money on this event it would be better if this money was used for the healthcare and education of people in this conflict zone.”

A number of civil society members,human rights activists and social workers wrote a protest letter to Germany embassy in Delhi: “Legitimising an occupation via a music concert is completely unacceptable. Art as propaganda documented,was put to horrific use in Nazi Germany. We are sure you will understand that we cannot welcome anything even remotely analogous in Jammu and Kashmir.”

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