In December 2012, the all-girls Kashmiri band “Pragaash” came into limelight soon after its first public performance was berated and labelled as “inappropriate”. Further, a fatwa was issued in favour of the band being disbanded on the grounds of the girls’ music being hurtful and offensive to the Muslim sentiment.
Pragaash, the three girl Kashmiri band, has now disbanded, realizing its recklessness in light of the revelations made by the Grand Mufti. Who knew band music could be soulless, hence the devil’s abode?! Well, while most so-called educated humans might not have known, many internet trolls seemed to have more than an inkling of what Sir Ahmad was talking about. Sharing a similar sentiment, the trolls along with Mufti sahib have brought to light the current generation’s most heinous sin—beats, notes and rhythm. Yes, the devil hath named it music. Clarifications have been made, however, in case the naïve educated ones decide to misconstrue. “It is only”, emphasizes Bashiruddin, “the aping of Western music that has the potential to bring about the end of this epoch as opposed to Sufi music, which is not only perfectly harmless, but potentially divine.”
The public is in a state of shock at this revelation, not knowing what to make of the multitude of Muslim boy bands that have escaped the much revered fatwa. “These must have personally been screened by the Mufti’s censor board,” suggested one anonymous troll. All the others nodded in agreement. “It is the difference between the pitch of a girl and a boy,” spoke another troll sombrely. “High pitch is the devil’s instrument,” he continued as all the other trolls were seen nodding away once more.
Post the peaceful acceptance of the ban by the girls admitting their ignorance, the divine authority is now also concerned with the digital mass-circulation of the songs of the now-banned band. While the trolls are trying their utmost to bring down the embedded videos, first by sending out hate mails and then by offering prayers to YouTube, a sore lack of much technical knowledge has prevented them from achieving success in this endeavour. A close source has reported Mufti sahib’s dissatisfaction with the troll youth in their dearth of knowledge. He reportedly expressed disappointment at not having yet found an educated demographic that would realize the importance of curbing the freedom of speech of young teenage girls. “The search continues,” he says, and hopes to find many such people soon.
Another crucial but underplayed angle to this case is the issue of plagiarism. While the fatwa’s official weight gives it an upper hand, there are speculations that it was in fact the fatwa that drew elements from the various comments on YouTube. While most trolls are still happily nodding away to yesteryears comments, some have tried to demand royalty based on the fatwa. The associate lawyer for the internet trolls is currently leaving comments all over the online forums hoping to see some action soon.
(edited by Brototi Roy)