SRINAGAR: Thirty years after he was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, the JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat will ‘speak’ to the people of Kashmir again—through the maiden documentary on his life made possible by ‘donated efforts’ of two amateur filmmakers from the Valley.
Journalist Afzal Sofi and a film editor Muneeb-ul-Haq have scripted into a documentary the sparsely available audio clippings, eyewitness details, and written material on the life of the “hero of Kashmir’s armed resistance”.
The first ever documentary on Bhat’s life titled ‘Maqbool’ showcases his journey from birth to gallows in context of the political developments that made the young man from Kupwara’s Trehgam village into one of the pioneers of the anti-India insurgency in Kashmir.
“The people may not find the film different from what has been already said about Bhat. But in this first documentary (on Bhat’s life), we have attempted to narrate his life story and political views through the people who knew him, and by reproducing the available audio clippings of his speeches,” Sofi told Kashmir Reader.
Bhat was executed in Tihar Jail on February 11, 1984, and his body was buried inside the jail premises despite roaring demand for return of his mortal remains to the Valley.
The execution—Bhat was the first Kashmiri who was taken to gallows by New Delhi—is believed to have prompted many young Kashmiris to take up arms in 1989.
However, only a limited account of his life and political views has been documented so far in the form of books or films. And it was the urge to introduce Bhat to younger generations of the Valley that encouraged the making of ‘Maqbool’.
“Bhat remains a hero to a generation of Kashmiris, but his story has remained confined to bits and pieces in books or articles, which are not accessible to everyone. We want to provide people an easy medium to know Bhat,” said Sofi.
In absence of a financial resource, ‘Maqbool’ was produced with ‘donations’ from its makers.
“Someone donated the camera, someone wrote the script, and someone edited the film. That is how ‘Maqbool’ was made,” Sofi said.
The film is scheduled to be screened here on Saturday—two days ahead of Bhat’s death anniversary, which will be, as always, marked by a general strike in the Valley.
The film is being appreciated by the JKLF.
“We congratulate the young filmmakers for their effort to produce this documentary. It goes on to show that the younger, learned generation of Kashmir is keen to know about Bhat,” JKLF chairman Yasin Malik told Kashmir Reader.