Kashmir's all-girl band gets support from chief minister Omar Abdullah: Who said what

Kashmir's all-girl band gets support from chief minister Omar Abdullah: Who said what
New Delhi:  Threatened and pushed into a corner by a fatwa from a cleric and online threats Kashmir's all girl band Pragaash has reportedly decided to quit. However, chief minister Omar Abdullah told NDTV that he supported them and was willing to provide them security if that was the issue.

Here are all the reactions on the fatwa issued against the band:

Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir: I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them. Shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media and then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing.

Adnan Muhammad Mattoo, founder of the Blood Rock band: Since the grand mufti, whom we treat as part of the government, says they must not play music, the three girls have decided to quit. I formed the valley's first rock band, Blood Rock, seven years ago. I now feel seven years of my life have been wasted. I have also decided to quit and give up my pursuit of rock music.

Noma, Lead Vocalist, Pragaash: Frankly we have not encountered major problems. There is some criticism, but that happens for everything. Nobody has opposed us or asked us to stop our band, there is nothing like that.

Jitendra singh, BJP president, Jammu and Kashmir: It is an attempt towards 'Talibanisation' of the society by certain fundamentalist groups who are uncomfortable with the return of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mehbooba Mufti, president of People's Democratic Party (PDP): The government should look into the abuses and threats made by some people to the girls on the Facebook. It is a problem that needs to be sorted out.

Naeem Akhtar, PDP spokesperson: Music is part of our spiritual culture since decades. Kashmir has produced many women singers and Kashmiris are still fond of their songs.

Mustafa Kamal, National Conference leader: The chief minister has said he would provide security to these girls if they want to pursue their passion. He has also said he would not intervene if the girls decided to give up their pursuit of music.

Ayaz Akbar, Hurriyat Conference spokesman: We disassociate ourselves from the 'fatwa' issued by Mufti Bashiruddin (grand mufti of Jammu and Kashmir). People do not recognise him as grand mufti (chief cleric)... Only the government recognises him. There is no threat to the girls. Nobody has issued any threats. It is a mere propaganda by Indian media and they are making a big bomb out of a normal issue to defame Kashmiris.

Mamta Sharma, chairperson of National Commission for Women: This is wrong. Everyone has their own perspective, there are traditions. But I believe that if after so many years of independence, we stop girls from any work, it will be our double standards.

Digvijaya Singh, general secretary, Congress: I have always said that whether it is ideology of the Hindu fundamentalist or Muslim fundamentalist, it will take the country back to 18th century. Congress is a moderate liberal party. We cannot support such things.

Jay Panda, Member of Parliament BJD: I think nobody has the right to stop other people from expressing themselves through their music or other cultural activities.

Najma Heptullah, Member of Parliament BJP: Saying anything in the name of religion does not do any favour to the religion...If you don't like songs, don't listen to them. To stop them (the rock band members) in the name of religion, I don't think it is the right move.

Balbir Punj, Member of Parliament BJP: In this entire issue, we have to remember that there is an attempt for 'Talibanisation' of Kashmir and some other parts of the country. Religious fundamentalists want to run the society according to their will. I would like to appreciate the strong stand taken by chief minister Omar Abdullah in the matter.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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