Music is a part of Kashmiri culture: Omar Abdullah
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In the backdrop of opposition to orchestra conductor Zubin Mehta's concert in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said music is a part of Kashmiri culture and to present it as outside Kashmiriyat is not right.
"Everyone has political views but music is in our culture. To present it (music) as outside Kashmiriyat is not right," Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
The Chief Minister was responding to questions about opposition from separatists and civil society groups in Kashmir against holding the concert 'Ehsaas-e-Kashmir' (the feel of Kashmir), organised by the German Embassy in Delhi on September 7.
Omar said those claiming that holding a music concert would affect the status of Kashmir issue were themselves weak.
"Either their leadership is weak or the issue is weak that a music concert will affect the status," he said.
Omar said the German Embassy was trying to give people exposure to the Bavarian Orchestra. "I think it is a good thing."
Asked if the government will allow a parallel show being organised by a civil society group, Omar said he was not opposed to holding any event as long as it is peaceful.
A civil society group has decided to hold a programme titled 'Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir' (Truth of Kashmir) at the same time as Mehta's performance on September 7.
The civil society programme is open to all artists, including musicians, cartoonists, photojournalists and calligraphists to showcase their works about Kashmir. The entry is free.
Several separatist leaders, including Moderate Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had objected to the cultural show.