Srinagar: Amid communication blockade and internet gag, a new video featuring Burhan Wani has gone viral in Kashmir. This video does not feature iconic Wani in army fatigue or brandishing a Kalansihkov rifle in combat style in deep forests, but introduces him as a singer and lover of Kashmiri music.
Burhan and his associates grip rifles in their lap the way traditional musicians hold rabab or sarangi and play it while lip-synching a pre-recorded song addressed to a mother.
“Alvida mouji, yitchi aesim zindagi/ yenai myon faeree yeli meh metchi manz travnai”
(Farewell, mother. I had only this much of life. Don’t miss me when I will be interned into the grave)
The video has been shot last fall inside a hideout in south Kashmir. It appears to be a late evening musical party the militants have arranged. A harmonium is played among the chorus.
This is a completely new facet of the commander and Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, which has never shown inclination towards music in the past.
“Burhan defies categorization and that is one of the main reasons for his phenomenal popularity. We have never seen or heard of a militant arranging a musical mehfil and trying to sing songs on the tunes of harmonium,” said a senior journalist who has covered Kashmir militancy since early 1990s.
Burhan is clad in a woolen pheran with a red cloth tied around his head. His associate, sporting a well-trimmed beard, is clad in a salwar-kameez and provides full company to his commander in imitating the singer.
“Chui qasm myonui beyi maini maenzi hyund/Su sakoon thaizi yeli meh andh mazaar travnai
(Be calm when they lower me down in the grave, I and my henna implore you)
Sabrik jamai che walinai Rasool-e-Khuda (SAW)
Yemai jama walthie yeli lahadi manz meh travnai
(May the God’s Prophet (PBUH) drape you in the cloth of patience at a time when I will be lowered into the grave wrapped in the same cloth)
Chani athi treshi daam aasi menis naseebas
janatich hurai aab e zamzam me chawnai
(I don’t know whether I can drink the last swig of water from your hand but the hoors of paradise would be there to serve me the water of zam zam well)
The militants insist on repeating the penultimate stanza of the poem, penned down by Shair Lateef, probably a militant himself.
Waqt-e-sraan chum dost mein sambravzekh
Chokh lad panas aab naarev mei chavnam
(Gather all my friends when my body would be given the last ablution. They will spray pots of water on my wounded body)