The use of pellet guns by Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir has recently left scores of people blind besides killing and injuring many others.
This led a Kashmiri artist to highlight the issue by recreating an iconic poster of a 1960s mesmerising romantic Indian film, Kashmir ki Kali.
Cartoonist Mir Suhail has visualised the darkness of eyes blinded by pellet guns through Sharmila Tagore and Shammi Kapoor’s musical romance film. In the recreated poster, Sharmila gazes down, one eye hit by pellets.
“My attempt to recreate the poster, where Sharmila Tagore is hit in one eye by pellets, and Shammi Kapoor has an expression of disgust, is to highlight the pain inflicted on this kali (girl),” Suhail said. “There is no romance left about the place or the people.”
The Indian daily claims the number of young pellet victims blinded during the recent violence in the held valley has shot up to more than 300.
Several other artists in the disputed valley are protesting against the Indian oppression, using creative expression to try and end the civilian casualties in the demonstrations, which followed the killing of a separatist leader Burhan Wani last month.
Masood Hussain has come up with a series of greyscale posters of boys with shrunken pupils, drawing attention to destroyed eyes.
“It pains to see kids being blinded by pellets. All that an artist can do is stroke the canvas with that pain,” says Hussain, who has documented the daily life of ordinary Kashmiris for two decades now.
Most victims of the pellet guns are young Kashmiris in the age group of 15 to 25.
Asif Amin Tibet Baqual, founder and chief creative officer of BlackSheep, a communication agency, sparked off a Twitter storm when his anti-pellet campaign generated 20 million impressions on the platform.
“The anti-pellet campaign ‘kashmirblindspot’ is for the world community. Kashmir, unfortunately, has turned into a blind spot. Braille style is used as Kashmir is talking to ‘blind’ people,” Baqual said.
This article originally appeared on The Hindu