It was meant to be a distinctive cultural tribute to Kashmir and its people by having the Indian-born classical music maestro Zubin Mehta perform at the picturesque Mughal Gardens in Srinagar next month. But now in the midst of hectic preparations for the renowned classical orchestra Bavarian State Orchestra to perform live in the valley, separatist leaders have thrown a spanner in the works.
They say holding such a mammoth performance is inappropriate at a time when the region is in severe turmoil. “Legitimizing an occupation [i.e., by India] via a musical concert is completely unacceptable. Art as propaganda, as abundantly documented, was put to horrific use in Nazi Germany. We are sure you will understand that we cannot welcome anything even remotely analogous in Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.