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Mela Gadri: A Revolutionary Festival

Mela Gadri: A Revolutionary Festival

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Showkat Jan                                                  Revolutionary

Every year people from Punjab and its adjoining areas venerate birthday of various martyrs and paying tribute at their death anniversaries. One of most important celebration is ‘Mela Gadri Babean Da’ which is observed every year. This year I travelled miles to look developments that are trendy in fest. Presently we are countersigning hegemonies imposed by state and its structures upon on our ideological apparatuses including media and other platforms.

Individuals are not permitted to rise their counter arguments against the state structures, In fact when we took stance in contradiction of these pre-dominant structures of society, are murdered, fest like this have lot of importance.

It puts question on state run mechanisms by providing space to liberal minded people to proliferate their own perspectives of bitter reality. It brings counter narratives which is not acceptable designed for state in any cost and is unrestricted from our present day culture.

This year fiesta saw 200th birthday of Karl Marx, as usual the fiesta leadoff on 31th October with singing and different competitions on day, and plays during night hours. I arrived in late night hours of first day, missed some popular series.

When I stepped down from auto Riksha I was astonished, walls were ornamented with Red Revolutionary flags and pictures of renowned revolutionary leaders.

Every corner of Desh Baghat Hall echoed revolutionary songs. In late night hour’s poets from different parts of country sung verses of poetries, the motive of singing poems was to develop critical thinking among youths and alert them to take diversion from mainstream politics.

It was challenging task for me to understand typical Punjabi, I queried about the rhyme content, and one of my friend was much familiar to Panjabi.

He replied, our media and market manufactured discourses are isolating younger generation from primary concerns, this content speak about those primary concerns.

Next day, Frist November, initiated with hosting of flag, I was perplexed to see there was not a single sign of Indian tri-color, the flag that they hoisted belongs to Gadhar Party.

After watching whole event many questions cropped up into my mind, if the similar act would be occurred anywhere in Kashmir, they must be tagged as terrorists and entire festival could be barred forever.

After it, the life history of Karl Marx, his philosophical work and its significance in Indian context was performed by different groups.

For me the most heart touching scene was in end when entire team paid tribute to Karl Marx and holding placards of  Indian liberals like, Ghutam Navlakha, Arundhati Roy, Gauri Laknesh and others, the act was followed with slogans, like “HUM KA CHAHTYE AZADI’’, “ HAQ HUMARA AZADI”, “KASHMIR BE MAANGYE AZADI”.

I don’t know what I was feeling for the minute; I got completely lost in slogans what they vibrated. Again many questions hits hard into my mind, why India is having problem if Kashmiri’s chant same slogans, in fact they take delivery of pellets and bullets after chanting same slogans.

What kind of freedom they are demanding from their own state. The second event of the day was theatre plays; first one was performed by SemulJhon and group.

Their act was jam-packed with blame and raised several queries against Modi Governments tyrant approach towards their own public.

Professor Anand Taltumbde, who was requested to deliver lecture and rising fascist culture in India. But unfortunately he was arrested earlier in links with Naxalism and was not able to reach the place.

On all three days most striking thing in fiesta was book stalls, publishers and book sellers from throughout the country were selling books and people came from many parts of the country to purchase the books.

I was looking for books, suddenly my eyes went where publisher was selling Islamic literature. I took one of the books in my hand authored by Zakir Naik, publisher asked me, your language signifies you don’t belong to Punjab. I replied I belong to Kashmir; I was stunned to hear his argument about Kashmir.

He respectfully said, there is severe Human Rights violation in Kashmir, with each passing day some bone chilling reports are coming from Kashmir, Indian forces lashed out terror on innocent people.

He also said, few days ago we along with Punjab University Students Union SFS [Students for Society] organized a seminar to aware people about human rights violations trendy in Kashmir.

It was very hard to find the culture especially in northern parts of India where people are criticizing culture of government by presenting their counter culture by various means and justifying it rationally.

The storm of queries is still hitting my mind, how could leftists manage such a land to run Anti-state, anti-BJP and pro-people propaganda. I was from such a place where state fascist forces brutalize people by arranging same kind of events.

In Kashmir several times folk tried to unite peacefully to share their narratives, but altogether government and its structures barred people to join the events.

To the state “Mela Gadri” is threat posed by liberal minds against their imperialistic role. But for the left minded people it is platform to raise questions against human sufferings, inequalities created by these institutions and only way to proliferate their ideology.

Showkat Jan is Student of journalism at Central University of Jammu

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