“Events that are recorded, add to the bigger picture that ultimately emerge out of it.” These were the words of Dr. Nitasha Kaul, when she was addressing a small audience of youngsters at a talk titled: ‘Life Writings.’
Organized by the Department of English, University of Kashmir, the talk was held at Gandhi Bhavan auditorium of the varsity.
The motive of the talk, as per the organizers “was to motivate and prompt the younger generation to write, write regularly and record the events that occur around, day in and day out.”
Nitasha, a Kashmir born writer has lived in the UK for a decade now. She is currently teaching at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster, London.
By referring Nitasha as ‘daughter of the soil,’ Prof. Hameeda Nayeem, kick started the event.
Stating what actually the narratives do that are produced in any society, Nitasha said that “it tells the audience about the place of an individual in the society they are living in, and even tells about the treatment they are given.”
Admitting that Kashmir is a land full of stories that are ‘elevating’ and at times ‘full of sorrows’, she said that “as a Kashmiri I will say that the people living here are surrounded with stories that are full of life. Such stories are to be told, and should come from a native Kashmiri.”
Impressing upon the power of stories she said that “stories can make people think differently.” And if Kashmiris want that the world outside should see them differently, “Kashmiris have to produce narratives, “she added.
Stressing on the importance of writing and how, by producing a pure and genuine narrative, the population can make their voices fall on living ears, she said that “While writing, a person can give life to words that will be narrating a particular problem. While doing that, a person can give life to those words that will be detailing the emotional aspects of the problem narrated.”
Adding that: “such writings do possess a wider appeal because it appeals to the mind, by stating the analytics of the problem, and to the heart, by imaging and sketching the emotional dimensions of the same.”
While referring to the present chaos all over the world, including Kashmir as ‘the failure of basic imaginations,’ she said that “what you see happening all around the world, is nothing but the failure of basic imaginations, where people lack empathy. They can’t imagine themselves at the victim’s side, if they could, they would have refrained from the modes of violence, and may be, would have resolved all the issues by non-violent methods.”
When someone from the audience posed a question regarding the recent ban on social networking sites, she took a queue from it and tried to explain the power of words. “The power of words can be understood from recent ban imposed on social networking sites in Kashmir. Words there must have been doing something, something, “she said.
Others present on the occasion were Prof. Tejnath Dhar, Z G Muhammad, Dr. Javid Iqbal, Abdul Majeed Zargar, Zareef Ahmad Zareef and Shakeel Qalandar.