On 5 August, 2019, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of India deployed 10,000 extra military personnel to Kashmir, already one of the most volatile and militarised zones in the world. The government, led by India’s incumbent prime minister Narendra Modi, had, without warning, abrogated the state’s special status and split Kashmir into two union territories.
“The atmosphere was hostile,” recalls Zeeshan Nabi, bandleader of rock group Ramooz. “My bandmates had just arrived from New Delhi to record our album and we were in the studio, just waiting. It was a ticking time bomb. Then, silence.”