Kashmiri Bella Ciao

Kashmiri Bella Ciao

Released on 23 Feb 2020

“The shock and subsequent survival in a post-August 5 world alienated a lot of Kashmiris. We came together as a group like never before- especially Kashmiris outside of Kashmir. Those of us who were already outside and those of us who made it shortly after held each other closely. We felt safest in each other’s company, we expected no one to understand our reality. In one such discussion of India’s brutalities unfolding around us, we were playing music in the background. As the faint sound of Bella Ciao came to the foreground amidst our growing silence, we started talking about the need to have songs of revolution in Kashmiri. We sat through the night talking about our histories, thinking about Azadi and the song wrote itself along the way. This song channelized our emotions- anger, frustration, helplessness, agitation in our own language. The song was inspired by the song, Bella Ciao, which has a history of being sung against oppressive regimes. A lot of countries had their version of Bella Ciao, so we wrote one for Kashmir.”

Read full interview by Zanaan Wanaan for Kashmir Lit.

“We believe that rhymes, songs and poetry are deeply embedded in our culture and hence, comes naturally to us. Baeth, marsia, dhikr form a part of our oral tradition which we have grown up listening to. This oral tradition has also been a response against patriarchal structures and norms as is visible in Lal Ded’s vaakh, in Habba Khatoon’s poetry. Our song becomes a part of that continued resistance against the hyper-masculine Indian occupation. The song also connects with other resistance songs around the world like Thawra in Lebanon and Leve Palestina.

It is a reclamation of our language which has been categorically erased from our discourse. For our generation, this tradition of folk songs was missing for a long time, especially in urban settings. It is only now that you see people singing and writing in Kashmiri. But this space of creative and musical exposition doesn’t see many women as opposed to many young boys. There is a lack of social acceptance with the visibility of women in public/virtual spheres. So, our attempt is to create that space for Kashmiri women.”

Read full interview by Zanaan Wanaan for Inverse Journal


Waliv wathiv
Zaalim chu kadun
Su sahar aaw, sahar aaw, sahar aaw aaw aaw
Gul yeli phoulan
Jabir yeli chalan
Shaheed wechan, karoun kasheer azad

Sopar ti Machil, Kunan te Poshpor
Chi ni mashmith, sanyan zehnan menz che yaad yaad yaad
Yim tohi rawnaewukh,
Wapas ne anuwukh
Subhan shaaman diwan timan aes naad

Saen phoulwin goulaab
Zoon te aftaab
Qabran manz travikh, wounukh yim che namoulum afraad
Aes ne ye maanaan,
Har doh chi wouthan
Alam hyath chi pakaan kaeshir shahsawar

Chashman manz pyellet
Seenan manz bullet
Hatyan manz , tear gasesch keectha krath krath krath
Israeli tarkeeb, chuv tohi aazmaanwaan
Aes ti hyochmuth falestini intifaad

Hari Singh tuhundui, Abdullah taehndi
Tuhnedi aes tim Muftiyan hind khwaab khwaab khwaab
Dunyahas hovu, saersi phaelnevuw
Asi ti dohai preznov tuhund apzyar

Poonchimi Auguste
Phakh dravov nonui
Tuhenzi jamhuriyatuk raaz gov phaash phaash phaash
Amreeki wanaan, Landon ti wanaan
UNas manz wuznae tuhenz Nazi chaal

Paan wani koruv
Sahi accession
Sheetyik election, UN resolution fraud fraud fraud
Tuhindi article
Tuhindi agreement
Na pruchuv tyem wiz
Na pruchuv aesi aaz

Keetyov dohan pyeth chu aesi haeth cheer
Sochuv em sith gasi koshur nakaam kaam kaam
Panyov baechov nich tohi chyanraeyiv
Aes ti lyokh chithyan manz inquilaab

Doh raat gov kunui
Garich ne khabri
Zameeni yaech ne, saen ruh ti tulaan yi azaab
Aashiq te mashooq, karyiv tohi jouda
Phyeraan lari, dilas manz chukh iztiraab

Beyi onuv TADA
PSAyan kethya lokchaar kaer barbaad baad baad
Makaan saen zaeliyv
Ghar wujaraeyiv
Toti baagan hend tchonth karan ehtijaaj

Waqt chu gawah
Tehreek ne nav kanh
Aes dichmaov jadow
Chi muhim ye pakaan, ye rawaan
Teli dichai baang
Zitovuh jaanaan
Aaz Tulaan kanni shuer, mard te zanaan

Yeli yei azaedi
Saeni kasheeri
Yeezov qabran pyeth ti dyeezov asi naad naad naad
Wanizov Shaheedo!
Muhim waech manzil
Tuhenz shahadat waech anjaam…


Come, get up
We have to throw out the tyrant
The long awaited dawn is here, is here, is here
When the flowers will bloom
When the oppressor will be ousted
Our martyrs will witness
As we free Kasheer

Sopre and Machil, Kunan and Poshpora
Haven’t been forgotten
In our consciousness, they are remembered
The ones you forcefully took,disappeared
Never to be returned
From morning till evening
We keep calling their names

Our budding roses
Our moons and our suns
Were put in mass graves as unidentified people
We do not accept this
Everyday, we get up
Holding flags of remembrance, Kashmiris are marching on

Pellet ridden eyes
Bullet pierced chests
Our throats filled with tear gas choke
You adapt Israel’s tactics
But, we have also learnt Palestinian intifada

Hari Singh was yours
Abdullahs are yours
Mufti’s dreams were also yours
Flaunted and propagated
But we have always recognised your lies

On the 5th of August
You revealed your plans
The facade of your democracy was unveiled
Voiced in America, voiced in London
The UN echoed with your Nazi manoeuvres

Amongst yourselves,
You agreed upon the accession,
Elections of 1987,
The UN resolutions were fraudulent
The Articles were yours,
The Agreements were yours,
Neither were we asked then,
Nor are you asking us now

Countless days have passed, we have been throttled
Thinking, now Kashmiris will fail
You separated us from our loved one
But in our letters we penned down revolutions

Our days and nights have become one,
No news of home
Not just our land, our souls bear this anguish too
You separated lovers,
They toss and turn, their hearts are restless

You also introduced TADA
PSA ruined countless childhoods
You burnt down our houses
Tattered our homes
Despite that, even the apples of our orchards protest

Time is witness,
Our movement is not new-born
Passed on to us by our ancestors
This struggle is moving and ongoing
Back then, to call the Azaan
22 people gave up their lives
Today, children, men and women pick up stones

When freedom will come,
To our Kashmir
Visit our graves and call our names
Saying, O Martyrs!
The struggle has attained its course
Your martyrdom has reached its destination.

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