An outstanding innovative play in Urdu language titled “Main bhi hoon Kashmiri” (I am also Kashmiri) was staged in Sydney on Friday evening 15 November at the The Bryan Brown Theatre attended by a house full of hundreds of patrons.

The play was created within a couple of months after the lockdown of Kashmir valley by the Indian military since 5 August 2019 as a tribute to the victims in Kashmir, and inspired by the current situations the Kashmiris are facing.

The story was based on Kashif, a leader of the resistance movement, who has a blazing passion for the freedom of Kashmiris. Based on this, it triggers the military forces, who have occupied the region of Jammu & Kashmir, to investigate Kashif (played by Nabeel Khan) and his movement leading to his arrest and severe torture.

The climax of the play is when an honest patriotic Indian military officer (Mahaveer played by Farjad Mahmood) who thinks that he is fighting terrorists in Kashmir listens to his conscience realising that the Indian military is in fact oppressing ordinary Kashmiris and and finds it justified to quit the army saying that, I am also Kashmiri.

The play was a Kalakar Theatre production organised by the Pakistan Youth Council of Australia, written by Rakia Raza, directed by Mussawar Chughtai, produced by Afaq Rahat and sponsored by a large number of community businesses in Sydney.

With a token ticket price of $15, the patrons were warmly treated with plenty of cakes, snacks and  drinks in a festive atmosphere before the play and were handed packed biryani dinner at the end of the play.

There were a number of guests including former Senator Lee Rhiannon, a passionate voice against oppression in Kashmir and Senator Mehreen Faruqi  who presented the artists with awards.

“Had the privilege of meeting with the cast and crew of this incredible play. ‘I am also Kashmiri’ showed the stark reality of the plight of Kashmiris but also their courage and resistance to fight for self determination,” Senator Faruqi commented.