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Entertainment behind the scenes

Little action, but Kashmir film packs punch

September 8, 2008

kashmir.jpgWatching “Zero Bridge”, a film set in Indian-administered Kashmir, I have to say I was constantly braced for something nasty — a bomb from nowhere, a gun attack, blood on the streets. Like many Westerners I associate Kashmir with conflict. Unlike many Westerners I have actually been there, but to Muzaffarabad and along the valleys beneath towering mountains on the Pakistani side of the divided region.

The film, presented at the Venice film festival, is not directly related to the conflict — tens of thousands of people have been killed since 1989 when Muslim rebels launched a violent campaign opposing Indian rule in the Muslim-majority region. Yet it still carried a powerful message.

“Zero Bridge”‘s strength is to portray how the fighting, mistrust and political stalemate in Kashmir affect everyday citizens there. The young people at the centre of the narrative are poor, have few employment prospects and little to do in the way of entertainment. They come up against crippling bureaucracy and a zealous police force and are torn between wanting to stay in their homeland with their families, and finding a way to escape to a place where they are free to do what they like and say what they want. The film also examines family traditions in the region — a woman in her 20s is effectively forced into an arranged marriage because her family refuse to support her application for a passport, leaving her with no other option but to stay.

Kashmir has many tragic stories. The characters portrayed in “Zero Bridge” may not be the victims of violence or physical abuse, but they win our sympathy nonetheless.


The state of Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory between in Pakistan and India. A large chunk of Kashmir is controlled by Pakistan, another part under India\’s illegal occupation and one part in China\’s control. There have been recent uprising in Kashmnir and tensions remain high in the Indian occupied Kashmir. The status of Kashmir is equivalent to the status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. The language of all Kashmiris is Urdu and overwhelming majority is inclined towards a muslim Pakistan. These are facts, no one can deny them and Independence of Kashmir from India is only a matter of time.

Posted by Pakistani | Report as abusive

With all due respects – Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always be. India is a diverse / secular nation with millions of muslims and urdu speaking population. That alone does not determine where Kashmir falls in the world map.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

That’s true . . . almost. Our homeland, Jammu & Kashmir, is occupied by our three neigbors. While we Kashmiris do speak Urdu as a second language we are taught in the Indian government educational curriculum – our mother tongue is KASHMIRI. And we are overwhlemingly committed, dedicated and dreaming for the independence of our motherland from India AND Pakistan. Yes, we are Muslim but our struggle is a political one and we are as connected to the muslims of Pakistan as we are to the 200 million Muslims of India. We want to be re-united and free from these two countries – India and Pakistan – that have occupied us and care only about exploiting our natural resources and care nothing for and who know absolutely nothing about our culture and true aspirations as a KASHMIRI nation.

Posted by Kashmiri | Report as abusive

“Zero Bridge” it a good film. It narrates the Kashmir problems, and political stalemate in Kashmir affects everyday citizens there. All young people want to know the privacy of our nation. This film also examines family traditions in the region. Nowadays a large Kashmir controlled by Pakistani terrorism. The full majority of the entire Muslims want to get a good freedom from the Pakistan. It is a major national problem. So please follow the peace mind and get the good solution.

Posted by shiva | Report as abusive

Language of all Kashmiris is not Urdu, all people living in Jammu and Kashmir are not Kashmiris. It is very convenient to forget about Jammu and Ladakh and some kind of appendages. Pakistanis are so ignorant about this state and they still want to talk about the state. Independence of Kashmir was a matter of time in 1990 and still in 2008 it is only a matter of time (Pun Intendend). Try, Try and Try, all the times you would fail

Posted by Alok Shukla | Report as abusive

There are three majority regeions in Kashmir on Indain side, one is Kashmir which is predominantly muslim, jammu which is predominantly Hindu with sikhs christians and the ladakh which has Budhist majority, and the side on Pakistan occupation side is uni-religoious where only muslims live, so there are a vast majority of people who have more to be fully Indain,like the non-muslims, there are peopel of diffrenet faiths in Indian J&K, where thre are temples, mosques, chirch gurudwaras Budist Temples or monastries etc. The regeion that is depicted in film is only Kashmir and not all J&K , so do not confuse with Kashmir with J&K. This Kashmir regeion is in conflict zone after the the terrorism was started from Pakistani Side of kashmir and it continues to suffer, as has been given in the Film.

Posted by Sandeep | Report as abusive


Dream on!! Dream on!!

After all Pakistan’s favorite sons, Iqbal and Jinnah were big dreamers themselves.

Pakistan should be more concerned about FATA and NWFP.

Urdu is an Indian language. The Mohajirs forced it on the Punjabis and Sindhis.

Posted by Sumanth | Report as abusive

More than 1 million joined the rally called by Hurriyat in Srinagar on Aug 22. What were they demanding? How long will world turn a blind eye and mortgage its consience to petty economic interests. Tiny nations East Timor, Kosovo and now South Osetia. Who can stop the march of Kashmir?

Posted by Rima | Report as abusive

Time has come for Kashmir, this decade belong to the Kashmiris. The sun of Indian oppression will set in Kashmir for ever. Lok Sabha is already trembling with fear and shouts of ‘azaadi’. Lets see how far India will last, in the end victory and independence will be for Kashmir.

Posted by Free Kashmir | Report as abusive

I am a Kashmiri and I am proud to be one. Nodoubt, India is forcibly occupying this land of ours , this has been well demonstrated to the outside world by the “Millions” marching to Eidgah, Pampore & TRC.You people talk of kashmir belonging to only Muslims, it belongs to Sikhs as well. They have also participated in these freedom marches, if u wish to open ur eyes go tru these links on you tube- 8s , 8&feature=related

Posted by Kashmiri-Tabzeer | Report as abusive

Stop making kashmiri’s a political football. India should get out. Pakistan should chill out. Kashmiri Pandits should come back. And Kashmiris should live a life without fear.
Kashmiris who could afford to leave Kashmir have left and declared their freedom from this fear.
Those who can’t afford to leave should never accept brutality. It is hard, but you have to stay free at heart.

Posted by neutral | Report as abusive

i am from azad kashmir,as you all know that 70% of population of kashmir are muslim they all want freedom from india,lacs of kasmiris daily protests against illelagel occupation of india and indian army tries to stop them by force and numbers of deaths daily reported from kashmir by indian army and all of them were muslims,and inshallah very soon kashmiris will reach thier destination.

Posted by idrees | Report as abusive

i really think the kashmiris should be free to decide their own future, and both india and pakistan leave these people to determine their own future.

Posted by schayann | Report as abusive

Idrees,What logic are u using to say that kashmir is a muslim majority state and so should be broken from India?Do u know that there are more muslims in india than in pakistan ?What will happen to them?Stop being silly and leave the peace loving muslims out of your silly calculation.Pakistan was created by the illogic people greedy of power and you can see the consequences now!


Long Live my MOTHERLAND KASHMIR…I cry like a bethorn baby…

Posted by Akki | Report as abusive

I am a Kashmiri, and i would anyday prefer to be with a secular, democratic India rather a insecured, terrorism driven Pakistan. I think we need to understand what is good for the future of our kids in the long term.

Posted by kashmiri | Report as abusive

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