Srinagar, Nov 25: In Indian-admin Kashmir academic activity has come to a grinding halt at the Kashmir University campus at Hazratbal as over a thousand students on Monday staged demonstrations against the authorities’ permission to filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj to shoot some scenes of his upcoming Hindi film Haider — a Hindustani adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet.
Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor are playing the stellar roles while Tabu reportedly has a
supporting role in the film.
Apparently emboldened by the film unit’s surrender and withdrawal on Sunday, students of Law, English and other departments gathered to stage demonstrations.
Their anti-India and pro-Azadi slogans, heard on the campus after a long pause, disrupted the academics, including the examination processes in almost all the departments.
Leaders of the proscribed Kashmir University Students Union [KUSU], who are known for their separatist activism but had been put under a tab by the incumbent Vice Chancellor Prof. Talat Ahmad for the last two years, were reportedly in the forefront of the demonstrations.
The demonstrators, while shouting slogans and making unsuccessful attempts to gatecrash into the VC’s office block, made rounds on the pathways and yelled against the authorities’ permission granted to Mr. Bhardwaj to shoot some sequences, including that of a fidayeen attack that was disrupted on Sunday by a thinner group at Naseem Bagh, on the campus.
While the demonstrations, according to the informed official sources, were continuing, Mr. Talat and Registrar Zaffar Ahmad Rishi were refusing to entertain a complaint from the group not permitted to carry on its activities.
Mr. Bhardwaj has started an extensive shooting schedule here earlier this month with positive response from the common spectators. Shooting has been going on around the famed Dal and Nageen lakes, close to the University campuses. He was in town for over a week in September to make an inspection of the locales and interact with some cultural experts and research scholars.
Mr. Bhardwaj has previously produced Hindustani adaptations of Shakespeare’s Macbeth [Maqbool] and Othello [Omkara]. The revenge drama Hamlet [Haider] is the first he is shooting in Kashmir.