Shehrag Ka Lahu: Theatre play highlights Kashmiris’ struggle

Playwright portrays dream where people have won voting rights


Our Correspondent November 29, 2016
Artistes perform in a play Shehrag ka Lahu at AlHamra. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: In an attempt to bring forth the plight of Kashmiris’ freedom struggle in context to recent events, the Alfalah Theatre presented a 90-minute play called “Shehrag ka Lahu” at Alhamra on Tuesday.

According to the playwright, the idea is to portray the dream where Kashmiri people have won the right to vote for themselves. “The play concludes with five super powers of the world symbolically voting in favour of Kashmir’s independence,” Sajjad Haider Zaidi said.

“We have constantly seen shows and plays revolving around the same old themes, but this play is an attempt to see the issue in terms of the most recent events and issues, such as India’s use of pellet guns against the protesters,” he added.

According to Sajjad, another major theme that he tried to highlight throughout the play was to give the message that war could never be the solution.

“This region is already mired with multiple issues, foremost of them being poverty,” he said. “If the neighbouring countries continue to remain hostile towards each other, they will never be able to prosper economically.”

Goshi Khan, the play director, said he had done commercial theatre all his life and directing a play on such a serious issue was a challenge for him. He added there had been so many performances on Kashmir issue previously but he wanted to present it differently.

“I wanted to discuss Kashmir issue in the context of current issues such as the murder of Burhan Wani,” Goshi said. “In fact the play in some parts is inspired by him and his father’s character.”

Actor-turned-politician and producer of the play Kunwal Nauman said even though a lot was being done on the government’s behalf on various levels regarding Kashmir, but she felt the issue had taken a back seat in the media.

She added being an artist the play was an effort on her behalf to mainstream the issue through theatre and media. “I also plan to upload the play on the internet to attract a wider audience,” she said.

The play will also be performed today (Wednesday).

Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2016.

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