Story

Kashmiri teenagers in the early 90's did not imitate Che Guevara and Malcolm X; militants walking the ramp of war determined the fashion trends. - Basharat Peer, author of 'Curfew Nights'

Flicking his cigarette, Bashir gazes into the camera with eyes that have seen worlds shattered: “I was petrified that he would lose sanity, follow my footsteps and become a militant”. Bashir Baba, a leader of the armed group Hizbul Mujahideen has given-up the gun.

When he left his home in Kashmir to join the training camps in Pakistan in the early 90’s, his son Basharat was two months old.

Basharat Baba belongs to a new generation of Kashmiris. He has grown up under the shadow of a silent war. Yet, within it, football is his passion and fuel.

For the past three years, another man has made his presence felt in Basharat’s life. Marcos, an Argentinean football coach, has bridged great cultural distance by founding Kashmir’s ISAT football academy, which runs an exchange program to Brazil for talented players.

Basharat is selected by Marcos to go to Brazil; to play in the land of Pele has fairy tale qualities but Basharat has been denied a passport by the Government of India.

His crime? That he was born the son of a militant.

A deeply personal narrative about father and son, the devastating conflict of Kashmir and the state of Indian democracy.