How Did Pragaash, Kashmir's First All-Girl Rock Band, Ignite the Kashmiri Muslim Establishment?
Earlier this week an all-girl Kashmiri band called Pragaash, who happen to be the first all-female rock band in the country, broke up. Bands break up all the time, no big deal, right? Well, no. But usually bands aren't forced to break up after death threats, cease orders, and actual fatwas are levied against them by state-sponsored Muslim clerics.
The threats are coming in because Pragaash happen to play Western-style rock music, and because they happen to be women. After winning a battle of the bands in Srinagar this year, the band started to receive staggering amounts of public online hate. It started with a Facebook page, which questioned if Pragaash’s performances were “appropriate in the Muslim-dominated society in Kashmir." Others raised broader questions on the Islamic approach to music and role of women in the society. Some commenters were supportive of the teenage band, while others called them “sluts” and “prostitutes.” I guess “sluts” in Kashimir are 16-year-old girls who wear jeans and play guitar.
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