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The Fence

I painted "Fence" in the aftermath of India's last "official" war over Kashmir. I do not seriously wish that anyone should view this in the light of patriotism, for who am I, or anybody far removed from the sphere of war is, to strut around as a patriot?

I did not pay with blood - neither mine nor that of my loved ones' - to keep India's fence intact. It would be ludicrous to imagine that I can understand this pain.

The long tortured soul of kashmir continues to claim such young lives. Bravehearts from distant Indian hamlets, and of all community continue to pay for this historical hotch-potch.

An insignificant voice, I am not here to point fingers. But as an artist is expected to do, at least I can imagine. And I dream of a calmer, saner human community where nobody would need to put their patriotism to the test. Geography would mean less and less in defining our identity. "Patriot" - otherwise such a noble word, would be lost forever in a worldwide celebration of diversity.

But that was a dream, while "Fence" is the reality.


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