‘In strife-ridden zones, it is important to construct narratives’
Emphasising the need for narratives to be recorded, London-based noted academic and novelist Dr. Nitasha Kaul on said that “in strife-ridden zones it was important to take ownership and construct narratives.”
Dr. Kaul said this in her 90-minute long KehwaTalk on the theme “Our Word Is Our Weapon”: Art, Literature and Politics at the auditorium of Srinagar’s prestigious Kothibagh Hr. Secondary School.
The program was organised on Thursday by Centre for Research and Development Policy — CRDP. With respect to students and the Kashmiri society at large, the author of novel Residue said that “there is a need for creating a systematic way of recording the events and ideas.”
“The state is now using extreme forms of violence against the protesting youth and there is support for that violence from the Indian society at large,” she said.
Emphasising on using “word over weapon” Nitasha said “Word is more powerful than a stone in the present political atmosphere wherein brutal means of force is preferred against any sort of violence”
In the backdrop of recent student protests and stone-throwing incidents involving girls, she asked girls to “think of creative expressions of resistance.”
“Well, what is not written is not remembered. Words are weapons,” Dr. Kaul said while responding to queries of girl students.
She encouraged young students to take to writing novels, poetry and different art forms to give expression to their feelings and aspirations.
Most girl students passionately asked about the options one has in an atmosphere where spaces for dissent stand choked and as many as 22 social media networking sites are banned by a government order.
“A stone thrown will be remembered for a day. But words will be remembered forever. Words have a longer shelf life and they provoke people to think,” she said.
Director CRDP Dr Peer GN Suhail moderated the session, which was attended by over 200 girl students, Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary School Principal Dr Romana Qazi along with her staff, distinguished scholars, academicians, civil society members and journalists.