When Kashmir laughed again
With reports of terror outfits Lashkar threatening elected sarpanches, protests over child deaths and a recent quake, there is also news of possible opening of telephone links on either side of Kashmir for LOC trade.There are also many small signs of a sea change.TO HELL AND BACK is a Yahoo Original series that tracks these more gentle goalposts in a field of vast, serious issues.Today, when the guffaw replaces the gun, it can be a special moment. Especially for a people whose lives have been more singed by the latter. For over two decades. In the summer of 2012 a street theatre art form native to Kashmir returns. After a long angry silence.So long that there was nothing left to laugh about “Bhand Pather is the real face of Kashmir“, says Balwant Thakur, a man whose passion for theatre and peace saw him take to the remote villages of Kashmir to revive the traditional folk theatre art form in 2011. Here is a visual journey of the performers touring villages and bringing Bhand Pather back to those who will hopefully have the last laugh. Text: Pip McGrouther & Tisha Srivastav. Photos: Peace Direct & Balwant Thakur.
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