The three little souls who were perhaps dimly mistaken to choose music in their lives must have been anguished to see how they were treated in recent times. Number of people in Kashmir valley, from common masses to the grand mufti, went on troubling the all-girl rock band "Pragaash' which came into limelight soon after its first public appearance in the month of December last year.
Now the question arises, were the girls wrong on their part? They might have been aware of the fact that music is not allowed in their religion and that it might not be accepted by locals. However, their inspiration lies in the valley itself.
In recent years, a number of music bands have evolved in valley especially in Srinagar city which got tremendous appreciation from people and have been applauded in various events organized in the city. Seeing people being awarded for their particular talent perhaps induces interest in minds of those who have similar talents. I believe the case is same with regards to the ‘Pragaash’ band.
One cannot overrule the fact that various elements of music have flourished in the valley including a private radio station majority of whose’ content is based on music. The station reflects that numerous music lovers are present in the valley. Obviously the channel would not survive the market without any audience. Another fact, majority of the privately owned cars have audio systems installed just because people listen to music while travelling.
Same is the case with various events which are some way or the other related to music, may it be a full-fledged music event or a small backdrop in other events. Music is not only about songs; it is as well used in the movies and television programs in background which gives a soothing effect to the sequence. News channels which people watch on daily basis also use music in the backdrop of headlines and other programs. Although music in this form is listened by all who watch the programs, they perhaps do not realize it.
Accepted, music is ‘haraam’ (prohibited) in religion - Islam, but is it prohibited only for a portion of society? No, it is not. So I believe, if ‘Pragaash’ has not been accepted by people, they should even not accept music from other sources or allow all of them to continue with the same.
(The author, a native of Kashmir valley, is an under-graduate student of Journalism and Mass Communication at a Noida based University