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Gulmarg, GoT and Kashmiri Rabab: Young filmmakers raise bar in video made for JK Tourism






By Zishan Amiri

Srinagar, Mar 25: Signifying how Kashmir is can be any film-maker’s go-to destination, a few young Kashmiri filmmakers have raised the bar after shooting an instrumental video on the popular web show Games of Thrones (GOT) entirely in Gulmarg.

Titled ‘The Cure: An instrumental tribute to Game of Thrones’, the video uploaded by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism on its Facebook and YouTube handles on Saturday, has taken the social media by storm with above 1000 reactions, around 500 shares and over 23,000 views, already.


The 6:21-minute video, as per the Director Ruman Hamdani, was shot in a span of three months with basic production equipment, “thus showing the possibilities of filmmaking in Kashmir”.

With a view to display the scenic beauty of the valley and blow the minds of the viewers, Hamdani said, “We shot this completely on a shoe-string budget and with really very basic cameras and production equipment. Trust me; if you’re a filmmaker, Kashmir has everything to offer you.”

Hamdani said that the young team purposely tried to shoot the video in exactly the same way GOT has been originally shot in order to make the filmmakers realise the valley’s potential for filmmaking.

Asked why specifically GOT was chosen as a theme, he said: “We knew that this theme will attract a lot of viewers keeping in mind its popularity. And initially, we were just going to play music on the snow, the idea of storytelling came later.”

While the video has already attracted plenty of film lovers in Kashmir, former chief minister Omar Abdullah, too, took to Twitter to appreciate the team.

“This tribute to #GameOfThrones comes all the way from Kashmir. It’s a visual delight & hearing the theme music played on the traditional rubab is amazing. Well done,” he tweeted.

The music composer, Sufiyan Malik, who is also seen playing the traditional Rabab in the video, as well believes that Kashmir, other than tourists, is also a paradise for filmmakers.

“The best part about shooting here is its affordability. Shooting in Gulmarg for three months was one amazing experience,” he said, crediting the J&K Tourism for sponsoring the entire shoot.

Director Tourism, Mehmood Shah, whose main aim in 2018 is to eradicate the valley’s negative perception, said that videos like these will make tourists know the “other side of Kashmir”.

“A highly complicated theme like GOT was easily depicted by them. This shows how talented the youngsters in J&K are,” lauded Mehmood.

Those who acted in it included Muazzam Bhat, Yousuf Gul Dev, Sheikh Neelofar, Tariq Ahmed Mir, Imbesat Ahmad, Mosin Sheikh and Faheem Yousuf.

Here is the video 



Loss making SRTC awarded…for what?

Bisma Bhat



MD JKSRTC Bilal Ahmad Bhat receiving award in Delhi on Tuesday

New Delhi, Mar 26: Nearly defunct due to poor administration and allegations of corruption, the J&K State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) Tuesday received an award in Delhi for its “achievements”.

The Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU) New Delhi Tuesday adjudged JKSRTC for the special award for “operating public transport in severe operational conditions”, said an official handout from the J&K government.

Out of the nine State Road Transport Corporations, the award was conferred on JKSRTC at the 63rd annual conference of ASRTU held at New Delhi.
“ASRTU congratulated JKSRTC for the distinguished achievement,” the handout read.


While receiving the award, Managing Director JKSRTC, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, highlighted the “achievements” of JKSRTC.

He, the handout added, said that the Department is going to introduce Heat Ventilated Air Conditioned (HVAC) fleet in the near future. He also said that they are introducing electric vehicles sanctioned under FAME INDIA scheme on different routes in the state.

Interestingly, earlier this month, the J&K government constituted a committee to suggest measures to revive the loss-making SRTC.

The four-member committee, as per an official order, has to “examine and suggest alternate models/options for the revival of JKSRTC to make it economically viable and self-reliant” within a period of three months.

The committee is to be chaired by Administrative Secretary, Finance Department, Arun Kumar Mehta with administrative secretaries, Transport and Planning departments, along with Managing Director SRTC, as its members.

SRTC, which employs over 2000 people, has been running in heavy losses for years now and all the attempts to bring it back on track have, so far, failed.

Noticing its poor performance year-on-year, the erstwhile governments even decided to outsource SRTC on ‘public-private partnership’ mode, a move that never materialised.
Most of the vehicles of the SRTC are lying defunct as authorities over the years have failed to repair them so that they could have been made available for the operations.

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Says Ram Madhav in Srinagar: BJP will make gains in Kashmir




Srinagar, Mar 26: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Ram Madhav Tuesday said that the party is fielding candidates for all the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir and that those “contesting for the development will win and those who have double-standards should be taste defeat”.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a review meeting in Srinagar, Madhav said that people are wise-enough to understand the divisive politics being played by some people.

“A tamasha is going on and let them do it, we are hopeful that we will win from Jammu, Ladakh and also from Srinagar,” he said.


On Kartarpur corridor, he said Narendra Modi will take a decision, but the major issue is that “militancy should be eliminated first only then other issues can be resolved.”

“Let Pakistan first take steps to eliminate militancy only then other things can get better,” he said.

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ECI announces scheme for Kashmiri migrant voters




Jammu, Mar 26: In order to make the voting right of the Kashmiri migrants more effective and meaningful and also to address the numerous complaints of the migrant voters settled in various parts of the country, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has extended the existing scheme for the migrant voters with online facilities to make the system easy for voting from any part of the country.
The scheme devised for the purpose worked very well during the elections to the Legislative Assembly held in September-October, 2002 and the similar arrangements were made during General Elections to Lok-Sabha held in 2004, 2009 & 2014.
Though the Rules do not expressly provide setting up of polling stations outside the territorial jurisdiction of the constituency, whereas, section 36-A of the Jammu & Kashmir Representation of People Act, 1957 makes provision of setting up of polling stations outside territorial jurisdiction of the constituency.
The Commission, after taking into consideration the success of this scheme has decided to extend the said scheme for the general election to the House of the People from Jammu and Kashmir scheduled to be held in April-May, 2019.
In terms of Section 25 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Kashmiri migrants whose names are registered in any of the three Parliamentary Constituencies in Kashmir province, as a group of voters are notified as ‘specified ‘voters for whom the polling stations may be provided outside the territorial limits of those constituencies, i.e., special polling stations at Delhi, Jammu and Udhampur.
Simultaneously, those of the, Kashmiri migrants who are living far away from the camps, etc., and wish to vote by post, have been separately notified as ‘notified voters’ in terms of Section 60(c) of the said Act read with rule 27A(b) of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961.
For the General Elections to Lok Sabha-2019, the Election Commission has advised the migrant voters to send their Form-M for voting in person at any of ‘Special Polling Stations’ or Form-12-C for using postal ballot to the concerned Assistant Returning Officers so as to reach them on or 10 days before the date of poll separately for each phase of the polling.
To operationalise this scheme, Assistant Commissioner, Revenue in the Office of Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, Jammu is designated as Assistant Returning Officer for the three Parliamentary Constituencies in the Kashmir Valley. He is made responsible for the receipt of applications from the electors who wish to vote at the special polling stations and also from those who wish to vote by post. He is also made responsible for preparation of marked copies of electoral rolls for those polling stations, etc., and all other arrangements for the conduct of polls at these polling stations.
Likewise, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning & Marketing, Delhi is appointed as the ARO for the receipt of applications, conduct of poll, etc., at the special polling station(s) to be provided in Delhi. Collector, Northern Railways, Udhampur is appointed as ARO in respect of the special polling station(s) at Udhampur.
For the convenience of voters living in various camps in Jammu Division and Delhi, the Commission has approved the special polling stations for them in Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi.
In Delhi, J&K House, 5, Prithiviraj Road, office of the Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, SDM office, Najafgarh and Arwachin International School, F-Block, Dilshad Garden, Delhi.
In so far as the Kashmiri Migrants living in other parts of the country are concerned, it may not be feasible to provide polling stations for them and they will have the option to exercise their franchise through the postal ballot system, as was done at the time of general elections in 1996, 1998 and 1999, 2002, 2008 and 2009 and 2014 and the arrangements made in this behalf, will have to be repeated.

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