Film screening highlights violence in India
RSVP for the event by sending an email to email@example.com with “Kashmir” in the subject line or call 405-325-1584
Students can discuss conflict in South Asia centered on a film screening and comments by a panel of experts tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History’s Robert S. Kerr Auditorium.
The discussion, titled “Gendered Violence in the State of Kashmir,” will open with a screening of “Ocean of Tears,” a 25-minute film by Kashmiri film producer Bilal Jan. The film follows how the Indian state has established its control of the area through the use of force, specifically highlighting the violence experienced by women as just one of many effects of the ongoing clash between Pakistan and India over the territory, according to the event flier. Though funded by the Indian government, the film was banned from the University of Kashmir last year, according to the Kashmir Reader.
“The film lacks the polish of a professionally-made documentary, but at the same time, it shows the garish reality of how exactly women have been treated by Indian armed forces,” Mariam Mufti, the event’s organizer, said.
Afterward the screening, there will be a panel discussion. The panel will consist of Emily Rook-Koepsel and Mariam Mufti, both assistant professors in the International and Area Studies program as well as Nyla Ali Khan, visiting professor of English and multicultural studies at OU, author of many books and a native of Kashmir.
“It’s the ideal mix [of panel members,]” Mufti said. “Three academics, one working on India, one working on Pakistan and one Kashmiri.”
The state of Kashmir has been rife with conflict from Pakistan, India and an internal liberation movement for almost 60 years, since the Indian Independence Act in 1947. As a result, it continues to be a site of widespread violence and a playground for religious extremists and terrorists, Mufti said.
Soldiers have been accused of committing severe human rights abuses during the capture of villages, specifically the terrorization and mass rape of women. Yet the western media has been largely silent on the Kashmiri conflict, a disturbing fact considering that both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers, Mufti said.
Recently, however, increasing aggression between Indian and Pakistani armed forces and the hanging of a Kashmiri militant have drawn attnetion to the area by, Mufti said.
The panel hopes this event will allow students to become more informed about the situation in South Asia and to engage in an informed dialogue about potential solutions, Mufti said.
Refreshments will be provided for those attending the event, Mufti said.