Kashmir: Conflict and Image Archives
Duration: 00:44:39; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 32.300; Saturation: 0.051; Lightness: 0.461; Volume: 0.229; Cuts per Minute: 10.100; Words per Minute: 116.541
Summary: The immediate event was a photo exhibition that had been mounted at Batmalloo, Srinagar. We were keen to look at various collectors of images in the Valley, to see what propelled different image-collections. In this case, it seemed to be an attempt to keep a sort of photographic record, mostly of army atrocities in the Valley.
Shakeel Bakshi has been a student leader of the ISA, in the Valley. In this conversation, he shows us sheets from the photo exhibition, talks of the reasons for the collection and his political views.
Interviewed by Jayshree and Hansa
Produced by Majlis.
Shakeel Bakshi talks to an interviewer, about why his organization holds exhibitions of photographs and images.
Shakeel Bakshi: This kind of exhibition, complaints, these happen in a transparent society. The problem for us here is we cant do these things. And when someone tries to, state repression starts. We can't do this for more than one or two days, there is a ban after that. So for us, just preserving these things, is a big issue. ( interviewer keeps interjecting- Hmm, Hmm)
In other words, we cannot keep these things in one place. Often we lose all our things in state repression. They have been snatched, confiscated. So more important than the exhibition is the preservation of the exhibits, which..
Camera zooms in to close up of his eyes. On the soundtrack, Azaan starts. He talks of how they have felt that under occupation by India, major events of their history have been surpressed. He talks of the Melkawa incident of the nineteenth century,
when shawl weavers protesting unfair tazes, were ruthlessly stampeded and killed by the British.
Shakeel Bakshi: Because often out here, since we are under colonial occupation, so our history is nowhere written
I will give you an example from before my birth, an incident of 1865
1865. Whereas the Melkawa incident took place after 34 years. In this our worker class was drowned in the river. Live. So these incidents are not written about anywhere in our history. Because history is always written according to the desires of each ruler. So to preserve these things is also at attempt to give a correct perspective to history
Shakeel Bakshi: 1865. Whereas the Melkawa incident took place after 34 years. In this our worker class was drowned in the river. Live. So these incidents are not written about anywhere in our history. Because history is always written according to the desires of each ruler. So to preserve these things is also at attempt to give a correct perspective to history
Shakeel Bakshi talks about the function organized to commemorate the anti-tax movement of shawl weavers in the nineteenth century
Shakeel Bakshi: So that is why we had this function the other day.
This was against taxes. These shawl weavers, they were agitating against taxes, then they were ruthlessly stampeded, and drowned in the waters.
28 died. Some 300 were exiled to other parts of Kashmir. Outside Kashmir also, 180 died in prison.
There is no book which records this, no mention of it, such a big incident, whereas in America,, that incident in May, to do with workers, the whole world observes it. So this is also an issue for us, that our own history is nowhere recorded, the past 150-200 years. With that also in mind, our exhibition This is one of the main aims. The other issue is, at this time the corporate press..
Interviewer: This painting here.. can you tell us something more about it? About the text that is written there, or where you displayed all this..
-Yes, about that..This was two days ago. 18th April, 1865, was when it happened, we went on the spot, it was displayed there. This was just the day before..
Interviewer: Where did you display it the day before?
Shakeel Bakshi: Zaldagaar, where the incident happened, we went there, then we
Interviewer I see, in the same place..
-We had displayed this with selected people, so that history could be remembered.
But the texts that are written there, can you tell us, how..
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes, I can tell you ( reads) Let us remember the resistance heroes. Labour martyrs. 28 shawl balfs, weavers, in 1865, 29th April. On 29th April, their collaborator, Rajpal, ancestor of D.E.DHar( loud microphone disturbance) stamped and crushed the labour revolutionary movement, during his.. in the river..near Zaldagar, Rajpatan. Leaders of them were Rasook Sheikh, Ugli Baba, Lala Son Bhat..Okay?
Shakeel Bakshi: And they were taken to Bahoo jail, Ramnagar jail, some 300 kilometers away from..
below is written the place at Zaldagar, where we gave a programme too, at 11 am last Sunday.
. He shows a painting depicting the incident. He talks of the commemorative function organized at the same spot, Zaldagar, where the weavers' agitation had been ruthlessly crushed. Microphone disturbance because of the Azaan
Interviewer: And who has done this painting?
Shakeel Bakshi: (Dropout on the video) A local artist. Because there is no other surviving image, so this one ..(tasavoraate?) was made and kept.
Shakeel Bakshi: Similarly, in the press, one breed.. those who grew up in these twenty years have no knowledge of what happened in these twenty years. Because a concerted (maksoos) attempt is being made, to make an environment which is divorced from history. That is why we are preserving history via photo exhibitions.
Shakeel Bakshi: And all these photos, to keep them, preserve them, is a big issue in itself..(loud traffic sound)
It is a very moveable thing.
Interviewer: So to preserve it, you have to... it has to be more mobile.
Yes, yes, yes, see I will tell you.. meaning..
Shakeel Bakshi talks some more about the painting of the Meklawa incident, then he talks of the similar reason why they hold photo-exhibits, to preserve the history of the people that is unwritten by the rulers.
He gets up and moves to wall behind him, shifts around papers
If there is ever any emergency of any sort, we can pick this up and...Interviewer: You can keep it like thisShakeel Bakshi: His..Interviewer: His.. face.. okay.. you may have to capture them(unclear) see the.. see the face.. (some talk in Kashmiri, a few phrases)Shakeel Bakshi: I will tell you..(he turns one page around) In this, are all the aged..Interviewer: HmmShakeel Bakshi: All the dead here are aged people. This is Dr. Akshahi. He was a bone specialist. They killed him in a vehicle. Interviewer: He is also from this district?Shakeel Bakshi: Yes. He was a specialist, a bone specialist.
Shakeel Bakshi gets a big roll of brown paper from the wall in the background of the frame, he comes upto camera. Camera tilts down to where he is opening the strings on the large brown paper roll. A matchbox slides off and falls into one of the folds. The roll opens to many mid shots of dead bodies, all seem like young men at first glance.Image shows mid shots of dead bodies.These are of aged people. Shakeel Bakshi talks of the photographs. The papers with photos on them fall out of frame, door beyond overlit. Kitchen things are lined up against the wall behind Shakeel Bakshi .
Interviewer: This organisation of yours, when was it formed?Shakeel Bakshi: This was- 1985Interviewer: 1985. And then you were its student leader?Shakeel Bakshi: YesInterviewer: Will you tell me something more about that?Shakeel Bakshi: Yes, sure, about it..Shakeel Bakshi: This is of all the demonstrations that there were.. These are some photographsInterviewer: Which year?Shakeel Bakshi: This is from then till now.. some selections( camera goes closer to the stills, at first glance, many long shots of buildings destroyed, people standing among them)Interviewer: Have you kept any record, of which photo belongs to which yearShakeel Bakshi: Yes, absolutely, these are from 1990 till today.Interviewer: Which specific photograph can you say, is from 1994, or from 1995?Shakeel Bakshi: I shall keep telling you which.. See, this is from the 1990's.I will show you a larger picture of this, there.
Shakeel Bakshi shows some of the photographs from the exhibition. The photographs are put onto sheets of brown paper, categorized, according to gender, event, age and other such demarcations. Hee has been shifting different sheets of brown paper. He lifts up oneA picture of a deserted road corner.
He shifts the papers, comes upon a picture of a woman with her arms thrown out, standing before a army man whose back is to the camera. More women stand behind her.
A still of a line of men, all in pherans, walking past a row of jeeps. All the men look towards the jeeps
Close up of photographs, his fingers on one end of it
camera pans to previous photographs of woman before armyman
Shakeel Bakshi: This is how, in that time, a crackdown is taking place.
And this is a typical parade for identification
Interviewer2: Oh this is how the identification is done, somebody identifies
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes.. yes
Interviewer2: they are made to parade in front of the Jeeps.
This is a big issue, if someone's heart beats or something before this- then it is said- you are the guilty.
Interviewer: These renegades, do you mean?
Interviewer2: No, no, no, no. What they do is, in jeeps, someone who is the informer, or whatever
Shakeel Bakshi: Hm
Interviewer2: He comes, in an army jeep. And then all the local people are paraded like this. Like all the men
Interviewer: Hmm, hmm
Interviewer2: So then, that is what he's saying, if someone's heart beats or something, then they say, you are guilty. Or the person in the jeep identifies. That is how it happens?
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes
Shakeel Bakshi: This is army, womens
Interviewer2: So who has taken these photograhs like this? Meaning
Shakeel Bakshi: These are taken by different people
Interviewer: And since when are you preserving them? documenting them?
-From the first day
Interviewer: Which was the first day?
Shakeel Bakshi: I will show you photographs from 1986
Interviewer: Show me
Shakeel Bakshi: I will, first
These are all of children
Shakeel Bakshi: These are photos of women, rape cases.
Interviewer: Why is that photograph cut ? Some of the photos
Shakeel Bakshi: Like I had said earlier, they have to be preserved with a lot of difficulty. Some of these were burnt, some were buried below the ground, some..
This is that 80 year old, from Kunan Poshpora, who in the rape case, there was a gangrape. In the 90's.
This one is from Bihar
Interviewer2: She is from Bihar?
Shakeel Bakshi: Hmm
Interviewer: So why you have kept that picture also there?
Shakeel Bakshi : Which one?
Interviewer: The one you were showing just now?
Interviewer2: the one from Bihar
Interviewer: Why have you Shakeel Bakshi: kept her photo- kept it in? I am just curious
Shakeel Bakshi: Whatever happened here, in Kashmir..
This is women- all the women that were killed..
Interviewer: Do you have any women in your organisation?
Shakeel Bakshi: There were some, before.. but then.. they started work on their own
They were in our organisation, seperately before ( unclear)- the Muslim Khawateen Markas- we had formed that
Int 2 : Who are with the Hurriyat now?
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes, we had formed that.. these are tortures, tortures
Shakeel Bakshi: This is how torture is done out here. In this, plastic is melted..
This is our photo exhibit..
Shakeel Bakshi shows photographs of affected women and children
Camera pans to previously shown photograph of woman standing before an armyman.
Images of women, a large caption that reads WOMEN
He turns a sheet to show the photos to the camera
Another sheet is lifted to camera, photographs of a woman standing alone in the frame
Caption says Childhood lost and vanish, camera pans over
Camera pans over other photos of women. He points with a pen refill.
Photo of a woman standing by a white Ambassador car, a child in her arms
He shows still of bodies with torture marks on them
A still of a white bearded man, holding up a placard with photographs.
Shakeel Bakshi talks of how sometimes as an exhibition, someone might identify a loved one.
He talks of the Cease Fire Line, the terms they use rather than Line of Occupation, which is the term used by the Indian authorities.
The camera pans over pictures on the sheet categorized as tortures. A page of upside down photographs turned around to face the camera. Dead bodies, faces in the pictures.
Onto the brown paper, with a marker Deathline CFL (Loc) is written under the row of photographs.
He talks of how they try and preserve their pictures
Another sheet of photographs. Camera pans photographs.
Interviewer: And who is this gentleman?
Shakeel Bakshi: This is just a civilian.. the people who come to see. He may have identified a relative of his ( in the pictures).
Interviewer: Do you keep copies of this?
The negatives, do you keep copies?
Shakeel Bakshi: It is very difficult to keep them carefully.
Interviewer: So how do you do it?
Shakeel Bakshi: Some of these things are such- they are unidentified. Then this way they are identified. People recognise- this is our person, then they are identified
Interviewer: What is CFL?
Shakeel Bakshi: Cease fire line
Int: Ceasefire line. LOC
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes, Loc, its real name is Ceasefire Line. We don't believe in the Loc because its original name is the ceasefire line. It's name was changed after 1972, not with our consent.
( unclear) we call this ceasefire line because it is part of us.
Shakeel Bakshi: This is - the political activity of this place, of women, of unions.. showing that..
Interviewer: So how do you preserve these (pictures)?
Shakeel Bakshi: How to preserve these things, is a difficult issue. New technologies have helped us. Otherwise, we would (take) these from one place to another.. we would have to make many copies, then they used to be kept in different places.
Now these days what we do is.. we take cd's and so on, from digital cameras..
cease fire line
line of control
Int : So do you just preserve them or also distribute them?
Shakeel Bakshi : No we also distribute them
Shakeel Bakshi : We have these here, if someone comes, we give them a cd, then they look through it. Last time, these people who had come to Delhi, from the Mazdoor Union, they had taken them from us.
Shakeel Bakshi : we gave them on a cd.
Int : Who else takes these cd's ?
Shakeel Bakshi: We give it to everyone who we know will not use it..
(shot of his hand, his fingers on his toes) in a wrong way
Int : In a wrong way?
Shakeel Bakshi : He won't show these photos in the right perspective, like how these days- on television there is a strong rush of disinformation, (drop out) those who had got hurt by the earthquake, or the houses that were broken in that, that is shown, by way of song, in a way, to suggest that it was because of the present moment, even though that is actually
( he laughs)
Int : Hmmm
Shakeel Bakshi: Meaning they have the footage, this is a remarkable thing
Int : In the wrong context
Shakeel Bakshi : Yes, no. For one, I am the killer, for example, I am the killer, someone (mutasir) has died because of me, now I go as his saviour. The photograph is his, the narration is mine. For instance I tell him, I am your saviour. This is like that. You see, these slogans they have of a Happy Kashmir, Kashmiriyat, all these songs that are going on nowadays, they are showing footage of the Uri earthquake. Houses were destroyed there, they are showing that they were destroyed because of the movement. Such a big distortion. And that too on Indian television, government
Int : So who is doing this?
Shakeel Bakshi : India is doing it.
Int 2: On Doordarshan?
Shakeel Bakshi : On Doordarshan and those channels with similar views, on them. Now people are also affected (mutasir) by what they see, that there is so much brutality, they don't know that this is footage of this area. So these are the thing, to distort history.
Shakeel Bakshi talks of how they distribute photographs, how they photographs they give out are sometimes used in a way that distorts their original contexts, for example using photographs of a natural devastation to somehow suggest it is a consequence of the movement.
Image: next to the rows of photographs of protests, the words written with a marker, Shock
When the photos are lifted, we see the embroidered rug below
Int : So what are these distortions, do you remember someone taking the footage from you and distorted it?
Shakeel Bakshi : It happens often, that people come here, whether they are from (unclear) then there is a exchange of material in Delhi
Int : For instance?
Shakeel Bakshi : Like if the people from the agency ask for the footage and offer money in return. This happens. Then this is used in their own ways. For instance they make Kashmir File, or something that is anti this movement, an anti people(from here) programme, they do it in a way that.. for instance the renegades, the civil army that the army had made here, they will show photographs of them, but frame it in a way that makes it seem it is the photograph of freedom fighters. But who are these people actually?
There was a incident sometime back in Delhi
(Image: He is trying to remember) through a photographer in Delhi- with a rifle and photos- was arrested then.... all those who were renegades, all those who were of this civil army, their people.. then it was shown there that this... then there were arrests, of many of our students. So this kind of distortion..
Shakeel Bakshi gives more instances of distortions in the use of the photographs taken from their collection. He alleges that certain television programmes make anti movement programmes. They sometimes use footage of the government sponsored civil army and project it like it is the militants in the Valley. He thinks and recalls an instance in Delhi when a photographer was arrested in Delhi, his images, of renegades(unclear narrative) on the basis of this alleged misinformation, many Kashmiri students belonging to his organization were arrested.
Int: Do you have documentation of these photographs?
Shakeel Bakshi: No, not much of this kind.
Int : So how do you remember?
Shakeel Bakshi : Some of these things we keep seeing. We have made documentation of some, but we have very little time..we have a lot of other work to do. (drop out ) So whatever we can, we have done, we could not do all of it, that is a big project, it needs a big(drop out) initiative
Int: So what were your activities in the 1980's?
Shakeel Bakshi: In that time, what had happened was.. Jagmohan was here
Int: Which year did he come here?
Shakeel Bakshi: That was after 1984. 1985.He had drawn the lists of the professional colleges according to his wishes. That is, not for genuine boys. There was distortion there, it was not according to the population. This had given a new face to the movement at that time. That is when Islami Students League ...for one's rights here..there should be a proper list of professional colleges here. The bureaucracy here had started drawing it up according to their wishes. The rights - that was the platform on which Islamic Students League was formed. Yasin Malik was also part of it, he was the General Secretary at that time, and Gani, who was martyred in this movement, so we have been running it since then itself. So this is it.
Shakeel Bakshi talks of how their documentation is a limited effort since it is only one of their activities.
He is asked what the organisations' other activities are.
He talks of the Islamic Student's League and the context and the injustices in which it came into being, during the controversial tenure of Jagmohan as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
islamic student's league
Int : All these photographs- these dead bodies, where must they have been buried?
Shakeel Bakshi : In different places. One more thing, out here no one spot was kept as a central burial place- deliberately so. So that- (tareekh main? ) - in some small number- they are found. What is said, that a lakh people died here..the figures that are quoted.. so that the graves for that figure should not be in one place. Otherwise in many places- they are unnamed, in many places, there is no sign left of the graves,
Int: But the photographs that you are have, are they from some one area, or from everywhere?
Shakeel Bakshi: These are from everywhere.
Int : So how do you collect them from everywhere?
Shakeel Bakshi : We have our- work- like that. People give us, they support us.
Int : So are they more from Srinagar, or from outside also?
Shakeel Bakshi: There are fewer from Srinagar
Int : Fewer from Srinagar
Shakeel Bakshi: Because we want to represent the unrepresented areas.. which does not have a voice, that…
Int : Okay jee, thank you.
Int 2 : Will you show the sheet with crackdowns on it, again?
Shakeel Bakshi talks of how though a lakh people have reportedly died in this time, there is no central burial ground. Many are buried in un named graves. He is replying to a question asking where all the bodies that they have photographic records of, have been buried.
He says they try and collect material from outside Srinagar also, because they want to represent unrepresented areas.
central burial ground
Camera on a softboard, statistics, photographs, his fingers balancing a pen, go over the objects on the board.
(Photo of people with green head bands and a banner)
(points to a cap in the frame)
Shakeel Bakshi: And we make a database that shows what is happening when, what is the position. What is happening in demograhics, what is the situation of education.
This is a very special photograph, of a eight year old child
( photo of child staring, head to one side, at the camera). His name is Wasim Sheikh. The Wakora Camp killed him- force. This is Sharifa. She was killed- it was civil army, because she had refused to marry a man from the forces, so she was killed. She was working in a flower bed.
Int 2 : Is this a JKLF march?
Shakeel Bakshi : No, this is our march. That is me.
Int : So do you document both army and militants related deaths, or just..
Shakeel Bakshi: Both. Death is just- death.
Int : This is a important .. from the nineties. 30 were burnt alive in this. 15o houses. This is an event of 6th September, 1990.
Int 2 : What had happened?
Shakeel Bakshi : Army had burnt it down, a famous locality of Srinagar, Noorbagh.
Shakeel Bakshi: This is a photograph of 1986.
Shakeel Bakshi : This is a man who had disappeared, he was a special leader of ours at that time, Mohammed Amin,. He is also disappeared.
This is 1985, 1986..
Int 2 : Where is this photograph taken?
Shakeel Bakshi: In Srinagar. This procession was taken out in Srinagar, on the roads.
Int 2 : A procession regarding what?
Shakeel Bakshi: It was a procession of Millaad.
Photographs of a devastation. Image of a recently extinguished fire, scattered people around the frame.
Another photo: a two shot of two men wearing army caps, (with a still photographs at the peak of one cap), on horses, going through a market. One man's hand is extended. Delight Kitchen ware board can be seen behind. People watching. Shakeel Bakshi points to the man in foreground. A black marker has been used to encircle his face
Photograph of a group of people, a black marker has been used to number them. Shakeel Bakshi points at each figure and names them, one by one. Camera zooms in, very close. The shadow of his finger moves over them one by one.Close shot of a bearded mans face printed, in black and white. Light reflections bounce of the glossy paper like glass shards
This is one very historical photograph
Shakeel Bakshi: This is Yasin Malik, the other one with him, that is Naim Khan
Int 2 : The one who is in the Hurriyat?
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes. This is me. This is another person who has died, Rafique Shahi, this is Mahmud Sadr who is not here right now, and this is Ishfaque Majid. This is from then, these days all these people are big.
Int 2: Who is this?
Shakeel Bakshi : He is- from the time when the Crusades happened. He is a hero from that time.
Int : Who is he? Is it Saluddin?
Shakeel Bakshi: His name is Salauddin Ayub
Int 2 : So this photograph from1986 - was it- a party formation.. what is the occasion?
Shakeel Bakshi: The occasion was the annual party speech, I was giving the speech.
Int 2: meaning.. for.. organization?
Shakeel Bakshi: It was the ISA, Islam Students'..
annual party speech
islamic student's union
Photographs of a huge sitting crowd of people taken from the front, a flag in mid foreground, a barricade seperates the huge bulk of the crowd from a open front area where a few scattered people are sitting or standing. The year, 1990, is written in with the marker and something in Urdu)
This is from the nineties, there was this biggest gathering..
Shakeel Bakshi : This was Ishfaque Majid's funeral.
Int : So when you have kept pictures of your activities, which also includes the photographs of some disappeared persons, there were also some who were martyred, in the midst of that why have you kept Salauddin's image?
Shakeel Bakshi: First thing, let me tell you these are not photographs of our activites, these are all historical events
Int : Yes, yes, you had also participated?
Shakeel Bakshi: No, these are of that time, these are events of a event of 1986- he is also very important, Ishfaque Majid.. It was an event of 1986, it was an important moment, this is a record, one's own activity..
Int: ji, ji, ji
Image of man in blue buttoned shirt, his fingers pointing at himself, smiling.
Next to him two photographs of a man in a similar cap to the interviewees, another one of a group of men, once again, oin the foreground a man in the cap like the interviewees. Photo of a dead child, a boy, on which is written in a felt pen- 'Freedom of Press. Even kin of a News Agent was not spared at Kangan by Brutal Indian Army.
Camera been panning different photographs, a man lying on his side, patches of blood, patches of blood on a cheek of a man sitting in profile.
Camera shows a young boy smiling before a wall on which is a metal statue, whose face is not seen. Written with marker on the photographs '(not clear)'class student killed by Indian forces in Sopore.
Shakeel Bakshi gives details of these cases, all of which are army related killings, he goes onto say.
Shakeel Bakshi: His name is Maqbool But, in Wapora, Ganderbal, the force also shot him.
Int: In the midst of this why Salaudin?
Shakeel Bakshi: I will tell you. Salaudin is - a religious one- this is a picture from the Kibleawal- what we call Bykal Maqdas, what is now in Philastine.. this is from that wall (unclear).
Shakeel Bakshi: This is from Ganderbal.. Kangan.. he was doing reporting, they killed him and his son also.
Shakeel Bakshi: This is Qayoon Lone, of the 8th Class
Int 2 : Are these all army killings?
Shakeel Bakshi: yes, these are all army
Int: are there any militant related deaths?
Shakeel Bakshi: Militant related death- is not there.
Camera pans down, photo of interviewee on board, in profile. Image of women shouting slogans
Int : There is not even one, among these?
Shakeel Bakshi: No. The army is taking care of those ( chuckles)
Camera pauses on the printed text below the photograph of the protesting women.
Text: The University students protesting against the custodial killing'
Int : Is it important for you to .. (unclear)
Shakeel Bakshi: If you do it..then I will show it
Int : Ji, I personally.. (smiling)
Shakeel Bakshi : You have this question, right?
Int : It is just my question
Shakeel Bakshi: When there is justice- (points to the wall) these are unrepresented, unattented, unnoticed.. In truth, they say that in Kashmir we have (killed) so many terrorists.
These are the terrorists. Now so much oppression, who will represent it? The state, or..people. We want that these are unrepresented, so these should be represented. Now we are not doing it in a professional way, that this side also lost people, that side also..You understand what I am saying?
Shakeel Bakshi says the photographs he is showing are all army related killings. He says he has not kept records of militant related deaths. He says his work is to represent the unrepresented. So many have died, and all deaths are projected as terrorist deaths, when it is not so. When there is justice, he says, he will record other deaths too.
Interviewer seated, Shakeel Bakshi walking towards her. (he points to the wall)
militant related deaths
Int : That was not my question. I was asking if there was any common man, any ordinary Kashmiri who dies in this..
Shakeel Bakshi: We have kept those pictures also here, it is not like that. But I will reply to your question. We have kept those also. But I won't mention them- why? Because the state is doing propaganda of that- these many dies- everyone knows. I am showing you that aspect of the picture, that is in the shade, that is not represented anywhere.
Int : So are not both in vision? (unclear)
Shakeel Bakshi: When there is justice, I will do that too. When the State, whose responsibility that is, does justice, I will also do it.
Int: But might it not happen that that documentation is lost?
Shakeel Bakshi: I have all that..
Int: You have the pictures, but on these you have written..
Shakeel Bakshi: All- I have written it all
Int: So you remember it all?
Shakeel Bakshi: I have written it all behind.
Interviewer asks Shakeel Baksi whether there are any photographs of ordinary Kashmiris who have died (because of militant violence)
Shakeel Bakshi says that the state is collecting those pictures. He says he is looking at another aspect, less recorded.
Camera goes to where there is a sheet of brown paper with pictures of dead bodies and written in bold, a caption 'Children'
Camera pans and goes closer to the photographs of a balding man lying head down on the road, blood flowing by his head. (Camera pans from that picture to the other side of the page, also mostly empty. On the top is a half torn picure. You can see a man's face, a chain, a bruised body)
Int: You have written it. Could you show one as an example?
Shakeel Bakshi: With pleasure, with pleasure
Shakeel Bakshi gets up, pulls out an album from the shelf, comes back, sits, and opens the album out to one page, takes out a photograph that is in a jacket in the middle of an empty page.
He shows the inscription first: This is Wanchoosahab. Hridaynath Wanchoo.
Int 2 : He was a trade unionist?
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes
I have this picture (starts putting it back in) but- I will not send it- with the thought that I should measure both sides in the same balance.. Those who have more crimes, I am representing those- that are un represented.
Anyone else who wants to represent that, can.
Shakeel Bakshi : This is a special picture. Of a body, it is kept in chains, it is thrown.
Int 2: Where
Shakeel Bakshi: Into the lake.
He turns the page. The picture is upside down
Black and white photographs, many people sitting, clay pots around, a lot of light reflection on the photo's glossy surface. The camera misses the Magaan picture at first, hovers around the end of a picture, with a thumbtack, instead. Camera on a photograph of standing, praying people. Camera pans, a crowd on the ends of the frame, the bulk of the frame is occupied by footwear
Int : You want to come on this side?
Shakeel Bakshi gets up and goes to the wall behind
Shakeel Bakshi: I had this photograph, I was showing you, of the 1980's, you were saying.. there was one photograph here
Shakeel Bakshi in profile against a wall with pie charts
Shakeel Bakshi: It was really old, it was here- yes, here it is-
Shakeel Bakshi: This is of the 1990's.
Shakeel Bakshi: In Maagam, in the 1980's, it was a Sunday, a whole village was burnt.
Int 2: The photo has a shine
Int : This..says
Text printed down one side of the photographs.
Shakeel Bakshi: (reads) This village of Maagam which was razed? (nazararz)
And this is one more incident- the mass killing at Khanyar. It is going to be its anniversary in a few days. This is a picture of those times, of just those who were killed- just their footwear.
Camera on a photograph of standing, praying people. Camera pans, a crowd on the ends of the frame, the bulk of the frame is occupied by footwear. Statistical representation of
"Employment in Officer Category in Indian Govt. Estab. in Kashmir as on 1.1.1989 (Source by Prof. Soz in Parliament). Kargil Demography 2001 Census.
A cartoon of a bunch of politicians sitting on a carousel the shaft of which is buried into the struggle of a suffering Kashmiri man who is lying down and taking the weight of the entire table. Date: 25.4.01
Int : Jee, what is written there? Is it in Arabic?
Shot of a paper cutting of a eagle, below which something is written
Shakeel Bakshi: This? No, this is Urdu.
This is Shaheen, he writes, I am the dervish of the world of birds, Since Shaheen does not make a nest.
Did you understand
Int: Jee, jee. And these statistics that you have put up?
Shakeel Bakshi : These are of different areas, where what is the population, where the religious demo is going, from where to where..
Indian state says it is very secular, but I will show you once you have completed, I am showing you a graph
Camera moves, to a bar chart. His finger points.
Shakeel Bakshi :This in 1961, the Jammu Muslim population was 10%, it reduced to just 4%, meaning it reduced by 50%.
Int : The reason for this?
Shakeel Bakshi: The reason for this was mainly that migration.. Pakistani refugees were settled there, because of which the area became unsafe and Muslim migrants migrated. This is just from before 1981, meaning, before this movement, that I am talking about. This is the data census, Government of India. In the same way, in each area in Jammu- like- this is Doda, it was 65%, it became 57%, and this Kathua, this is Udhampur, this was 38 and now it is 26.
It was 13 in Kathua and now it is 6.
Camera pans over a image of Outlook Traveler maps, which describes Kashmir's "red of the chinars and the high altitude moonspaces.. image of blue lake".
Shakeel Bakshi continues his talk of demographics, this time of Kargil, Ladakh, Leh.
Image of a rows of women in burqas, each carrying a white platter on which a green cloth covers some round object.
Int : Take a nice detailed one..
This is about in 1981, what was the position here? What was the ratio of local people here?
Shakeel Bakshi: What was it in Class 4 (employees) what was it in this.
Int: That demography is just of Kargil, not of Ladakh.
Shakeel Bakshi: Of Ladakh also..of each area.
Int: Where is that? I am sorry, I am sitting, from here.. I can only see Kargil
Shakeel Bakshi: yes, yes.. I will tell you one thing..the overall situation is this that all this is of the total Jammu and Kashmir, this and that side, Jammu and Kashmir, so it looks at who has what ratio
Int : Jee, jee
Shakeel Bakshi: Here it is, how much is it of Leh, how much of Kargil, all the districts are also written..
The total population of Ladakh is 2. something
Int: Who all are represented in this?
Shakeel Bakshi : All, the population. (unclear- check- feesadi)
Int : And all these maps that you have put up, the reason for that?
Shakeel Bakshi nods his head. He is standing against the wall on which maps can be seen.
Shakeel Bakshi: So that it is in in front of our eyes, and all the.. general information.. (unclear)
Int 2: What is this, this image of women?
Shakeel Bakshi: This is not of here, this is from there- it is of Shias.. from their side.. religious, Shia
Shakeel Bakshi quoting a survey listing schools, which includes how many schools are used as army bases. . It is from a government survey
Camera pans to another statistic
Image of a newspaper, things written in- Urdu?
Picture of allegedly murdered South African trainer of the Pakistani cricket team . Group of policemen standing outside a gate, a woman in a burqa stands in the background of the frame.
Shakeel Bakshi talks of his childhood, the desire since then for independence for their land.
Close up of the image of the crackdown, men walking past a row of jeeps wit small milky white eyes. Men looking towards the jeep, wearing pherans. White insides of hoods of soldiers standing on one side of them. Bare wintry trees behind. The image has a blue wash
Shakeel Bakshi: This is about how many schools there are..
Shakeel Bakshi: Schools and location of forces.
Int 2: Whose survey is this?
Table with schools arranged district wise, their names.
Shakeel Bakshi : It is the governments'.
Int 2 : So where do you collect these things from, meaning, all these..
Shakeel Bakshi: Of these people only- their reports, their websites. Government..
Int : What had you thought in your childhood, what would you grow up to be?
Camera goes into the image.
Shakeel Bakshi: From childhood itself there was this that if our country could be independent, it would be a great achievement.
In : Even in the 70's?
Photograph of people crowded around a display of photographs put up on the wall of what looks like a tent. Green trees outside. A child and a very young boy in the foreground.
Shakeel Bakshi talks of the political climate of his childhood, the awareness of oppression. He hopes better things for the next generation, a freedom to pursue various ambitions.
Shakeel Bakshi: See, in this, Batmalloo is also - historical
Image of three young men on a vehicle carrying a green flag, a few people watching standing by the roadside, outside the closed shutters of a shop.
Shakeel Bakshi: When I was born, I was born in March, in December there was a big revolutionary matter of a holy relic.
In: Which year was this?
Shakeel Bakshi: This was 1963. The relic was stolen from here
In : Oh, yes, Hazratbal.
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes
Shakeel Bakshi : So you imagine, from childhood itself, in 1965 a year after that all of Batmalloo saw the army. We had to (unclear)
Now from childhood itself if a person sees all this, what will he think? That thinking ( is there when) there the fiza is independent. There a person gets into some work from childhood. Out here when you only see oppression fro childhood, then the first thing is, this oppression should get over, then other things can be seen to. Even if I don't become (something) the next generation will. This is a shot of the last photoexhibition.
Int 2: So do you do this every year?
Shakeel Bakshi: They don't let you do it, they put a ban the very next day. Even though, things like this..
Camera pans over other photos in the album, a dead face, a group of women holding up a photograph, looking into camera.
Int: So what do you want? What should the coming generation do?
Shakeel Bakshi: So that they have the choice, from childhood till adulthood, to become whatever they want to..
Image of a group of people sitting around what looks like burnt craft work
Image of an old man, his hand at his collar, looking at photographs of dead faces, put on a white sheet, for the exhibition. Camera pans up, a dead body, women crying, the photographs is cur in a curve at one end.
A photographs of freshly dug graves, men pouring earth onto them, people standing behind railing, in the sun, watching.
Shakeel Bakshi talks of the goal of self determination.
He shows pictures of people from a leper's protest against an attack on some of them.
Int: The kind of political colonizing our times should not come in the way of someone's dreams, in the way of someone choosing their destination, or of becoming something.
Int : And the conditions of today, what do you feel about them?
Shakeel Bakshi: We do not measure events against a measuring rod every year. We have a goal, that we should get self determination, that is what we see.
Shakeel Bakshi: This is a mass graveyard.
This is very important.
Image of a cluster of people sitting, some holding a placard.On the ground, behind them, an uncemented wall.
Shakeel Bakshi : These people, they too have not been spared. They have that illness, what is it called, when people are quarantined.
Int : Leprosy?
Shakeel Bakshi: Yes, leprosy. The ones with leprosy were also beaten up/killed ? then all the lepers had come out to save them.
Int : (unclear) I don't remember
Shakeel Bakshi: ( small laugh) alright
Photograph of a flowered- bier. Security personnel, guns cocked, stand there and there. Some young boys standing in mid frame. Camera moves out, some men carrying the bier.
Camera pans to a image of women, one in the foreground holding her face.
Shakeel Bakshi explains different photographs, one of the last rites of a Pandit, one with a mass burial, one of a big fire in the market place at Sopore.
Shakeel Bakshi: This was a man of our minority community who had stayed here. His last rites are being performed. Muslims.. This is our culture ( voice drops)
Int 2 : When was this?
Shakeel Bakshi : 1990'2 1993/1994.
Int 2 : And this photographs up there?
Photograph of metal beds, placed diagonally, white sheets on them, in what looks like ground- grass growing, trees beyond. A man standing to one side. A herd perhaps, beyond him?
Shakeel Bakshi: This was a mass graveyard.
Int : It's really reflecting the light hunh?
Int 2 : I am trying..
Int : It's the film on top of it, na?
Int 2 : yeah, yeah, yeah.. I am trying..
Shakeel Bakshi : This is Sopore, the fire there.
Int 2 : Yes, the fire that had broken out in the Sopore market.
Shakeel Bakshi : Hmmm.
sopore market fire
Image of a green and pink bier being carried by a very large crowd, most in the sun, one central part carrying the bier, in shade.
Camera pans up, sees a photographs of slippers.
Photograph of a burnt mosque. People in what has started looking like a courtyard, the upper walls burnt
Photographs of men, women, running on a road, cars, autos parked. Winter foliage, a bus front? on the left hand corner.
A top angle photographs of a dead man, a hand clutching at his pheran.
Back in the room, camera zooms out and tilts up to where a painting is hanging on the wall, of the incident). Next to it, picture of a boy at a masoleum, praying, picture is rotated vertically.)
Photographs of two foreign looking women, dressed in Western casuals, sitting on a chair, mikes towards them, the photo has deteriorated.
Shakeel Bakshi : This is the incidents of the deaths, their slippers etcetra were left there
Photographs of people among the dust and rubble of a building, torn photographs ,
Shakeel Bakshi : The whole village burnt
This mosque.. descration..
Int 2 : When was this?
Shakeel Bakshi : This was 1994
Int 2 : This was Srinagar, no?
Shakeel Bakshi : mmmm
Shakeel Bakshi: This is 1993
Sounds of children. birds
Int 2 : When was this?
Shakeel Bakshi : (not clear)
Photo of a large gathering of people, men probably, filling the foreground of the fream. Before them, on the gras, in a covered cot. They are mourning. Beyond them in the distance if anothe crowd, from the colours visible, it could e a group of women.
A photograph with a woman pointing outwards prominent. In one torn out corner, a person, probably a journalist, makes notes. A red television set up front. The photo is removed from the album and put on the rug. The camera zooms into the green box before the woman.
Shakeel Bakshi sits with the photo album, in mid long shot.
He pulls a photo out of its jacket.
A photo of a group of women holding empty jewellery cases
Shakeel Bakshi: This, what I was saying, that they took their things, here it is.
Shakeel Bakshi : Whatever belonged to the girls and women of the household, gold, they would take that. Then they show it to the press, that look.. Whatever gold jewelry there was of the women- daughters, daughter in laws, they would take it away. They are showing empty boxes. This is a ring box.
Int : When would this be?
Shakeel Bakshi : 1992
Shakeel Bakshi : This is the work
Int : What other things do you do?
Shakeel Bakshi scratches his head for a bit.
Shakeel Bakshi : (unclear) ..occupation should end. This is our additional
Int(laughs) : My urdu is not that good.
Shakeel Bakshi : What will end all occupation that is there..we get involved in that way..
Int : Could you be more specific?
Shakeel Bakshi: Every kind of- that is guaranteed to us by the United Nations Charter..we are fighting for the self determination, we are doing all that
Int 1 : Izafi means?
Shakeel Bakshi : Izafi means extra. Meaning this is not the prime work.
Int 2 : ji, ji
Shakeel Bakshi : This is all just..
Int : Thank you very much
Shakeel Bakshi : Thank you
Shakeel Bakshi leans back on the wall, takes off his cap, rests it on his knee, scratches his head.
Graveyard near the location
Shots of graves in the graveyard