The Himalayas, Kashmir and Good Stories
Today I saw Episode 2 of Walking the Himalayas, a show on Discovery Plus(originally published by Channel 4 UK).
The Host and the crew travel through Kashmir.
Kashmir- the heaven on earth.
What a Beautiful Place Kashmir is. I have never been to Kashmir, often seen pictures and videos of the natural beauty that Kashmir is. But, watching Kashmir in the show was a different experience.
There is a seamless transition from the Himalayas in Pakistan, to the Himalayas in PoK, to the Himalayas in India- in the Union Territory of J&K. The Mountains remain the same, nationalities change. Cultures change, Humans remain the same. The long Himalayan Range has many stories in the valleys. There is a Line of Control on the ground. With barbed wires, security forces, and strict rules. But, there is no difference in the people living on each side of the LOC. They have the same story, The Nomadics of the Gurjar Tribe travels with their herd of goats and sheep for gazing. Animals know no Boundary, goats often get close to the LoC in the search of Grass. The elders of the tribes do not want their children to continue the tradition. Holding a torn book, a young boy says he wants to become a doctor. Lives across the LoC are very similar.
As the crew ventures into the beautiful city of Srinagar, one could see a city of normal people, working for their livelihood, working for a better future for their family, and life is just normal. I know Kashmir is the one of world’s most Militarized Areas. There are severe security concerns and Indian troops are working very hard to protect the borders and maintain peace in the region. But, in this process, we have often overlooked the common and simple people of Kashmir. Documentaries like Walking The Himalayas gets us close to the people living in the interiors of Kashmir. When the camera zooms in the eyes of children, when the crew enters the small kitchen of the house and shows women cooking food for the family, one would realize that the life is as normal and simple as in the rest of the country.
The perception that we have of Kashmir is the one with a state with unrest. With the firey reporting of the media channels, we have come to believe that Kashmir is a different place. Different from India. Maybe we need to tell good stories of Kashmir to the world. We need to show the humane side of Kashmir to the world. We need to move some of our cameras from the firing and bombarding borders to the houses of the Kashmiri people. This way, we might understand them, we might know more about them. There should be some positive reporting about Kashmir, some good documentaries about life in Kashmir. The Himalayas is the endless mine of Stories. We have to pick the good one, the positive one. Because Kashmir is Beautiful and so is India.