NCW backs J-K's all-girls rock band

Bhopal, Feb. 4 (ANI): Asserting that there should be no difference on the basis of gender, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma on Monday said there is no need to impose a ban on the all-girls rock band of Kashmir.

"This is absolutely wrong. Every individual has his own mindset, traditions and customs, but I believe that if we stop these girls from doing something so many years after independence then it reflects our dual attitude," said Sharma.

"On one hand we say that there should be no difference on the basis of sex and on the other hand we impose restrictions on the girls. So, I believe that this absolutely incorrect," she added.

The support has poured in for the Kashmir Valley's first all-girl rock band Pragaash', who have now stopped live shows following threats and criticism on social networking sites, from all sections of the society.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has also backed this band, and said it is a 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.

"I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them. The police will examine the threats issued and whether any provision of the law can be used to book those making the threats. 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," he tweeted.

The members of the all-girl band have been receiving warnings, even rape threats, on the social media ever since they first performed in Srinagar two months ago. This band has received abusive and hate messages on their Facebook page for defying convention by choosing the field of music.

Farah Deeba, Aneka Khalid and Noma Nazir started receiving the threats soon after Pragaash's first live performance, at Srinagar's Battle of the Bands, an annual music festival, in December last year.

The criticisms have hit the morale of these young girls, but they have remained defiant and are fighting on. 16-year-old Nazir is the vocalist and guitarist, while Khalid is the bass guitarist and Deeba is the drummer. Both Khalid and Deeba are 15 years old.

The focus of this band, which is decided against public performances for now, is on producing an album.

The band Pragaash, which means from darkness to light, was formed last year. (ANI)

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