BJP praises Omar, takes on critics of Kashmir's all-girls rock band

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 04, 2013 08:00 hrs

New Delhi: Lauding Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for coming to the defence of the all-girls rock band from the valley, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said that those claiming themselves to be liberals are exposing themselves and even their double standards have come to light.

BJP leader Balbir Punj said 'there is an effort to 'talibanise' the society, particularly in the Kashmir Valley and several other parts of the country'.

"I salute the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mr. Omar Abdullah for standing up for the salvanisation of the valley and standing in favour of these young girls who are just taking resort to music to entertain themselves and others. And it is a liberty and right, which the Constitution of India gives," said Punj.

"But the people who claim to be liberals, particularly left liberals, by their sheer silent they are exposing themselves and the double standard which they have even they come to light," he added.

Support has poured in for the Kashmir Valley's first all-girl rock band Pragaash', who have now stopped live shows following threats and criticism on social networking sites, from all sections of the society, including National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma.

After threats, Kashmir's first all girls music band is now facing a fatwa from Muslim clerics. Kashmir's Grand Mufti has condemned the rock band and issued a fatwa against them, saying music is bad for the society and women must be under a veil at all times.

Abdullah has backed this band, and said it is a shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media and then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing.

"I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them. The police will examine the threats issued and whether any provision of the law can be used to book those making the threats. Shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media and then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing," he tweeted.

The members of the all-girl band have been receiving warnings, even rape threats, on the social media ever since they first performed in Srinagar two months ago. This band has received abusive and hate messages on their Facebook page for defying convention by choosing the field of music.

Farah Deeba, Aneka Khalid and Noma Nazir started receiving the threats soon after Pragaash's first live performance, at Srinagar's Battle of the Bands, an annual music festival, in December last year.

The criticisms have hit the morale of these young girls, but they have remained defiant and are fighting on. 16-year-old Nazir is the vocalist and guitarist, while Khalid is the bass guitarist and Deeba is the drummer. Both Khalid and Deeba are 15 years old.

The focus of this band, which is decided against public performances for now, is on producing an album.

The band Pragaash, which means from darkness to light, was formed last year. 

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