The voice is clear. "My belief is that Kashmir will get liberated, inshallah (God willing), only by the armed struggle." Her words are concise, but she betrays a hint of nervousness. Asiya Andrabi is not accustomed to giving interviews - least of all to foreign, male journalists."The way these political leaders are working, Kashmir will never get free from India. The freedom struggle is much more important to us than the peace moves they are talking about."
As she speaks, only her hazel eyes are visible through a peephole in her burqa, the Islamic veil. Her one-year-old son is playing on her lap, sometimes pulling at the burqa, causing it to ride up and catch repeatedly on her lower eyelids.
Does she support the killing of Indian police and soldiers? "Not only the police, but all the Indian politicians, too. We support that." Does she back a call made by a Kashmiri militant group for the assassination of India's prime minister? "We'd be very happy, inshallah .."
Asiya Andrabi is the head of Dukhtran-e-Millat, Daughters of the Faith, a women's Islamic group in Indian-administered Kashmir. It claims no more than a few hundred members. But her views have importance. While her organisation has no direct links with the Pakistan-based armed separatist groups, it shares with them the concept of jihad, of an Islamic holy war, to rid Kashmir of what she describes as Hindu-majority India's "Brahmin imperialism". She's one of the rare voices in Srinagar who speaks what the new, hardline militants think.
Although not herself a fighter, Andrabi has spent time in jail. Her husband has been an armed militant - she prefers the term mujahid - and served a seven-year prison term. They keep on the move, to try to avoid the Indian security forces.
My rendezvous had been arranged through an intermediary. One of Andrabi's associates, a 20-year-old, met me, took the back seat of the car while insisting that I sit in the front, and guided the driver a short distance across Srinagar.
"This is not my home," Asiya Andrabi explained, as she welcomed me into a comfortable middle-class house, and offered a cup of kehwa, the fragrant, spiced Kashmiri tea. "I won't stay here more than an hour. I'm not scared. It's just that if I'm arrested, I can't do my work."
Her work is to Islamise the Kashmiri movement. While many separatist leaders proclaim that their cause is political - to achieve the right of self-determination for the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir lost when India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947 - Andrabi insists the issue is religious.
"This struggle is purely an Islamic struggle," she argues. "We have sacrificed 80,000 martyrs [the more accepted figure is 30,000 dead in 12 years of insurgency] and we are ready to sacrifice more."
In the Indian-ruled Kashmir valley, which is now 98% Muslim, that message gets a mixed response. Kashmir has a long history of a composite culture, much diminished by the recent flight of the Kashmiri-speaking Hindu minority.
Kashmiriat, the local word for the relaxed Kashmiri outlook on life, encompasses a rather mystical, Sufi-influenced type of Islam. Chants are intoned in the mosques, and there are Islamic shrines, even relics, housed in buildings with an architectural style more akin to central Asia than to the Punjab plains.
All this earns the disapproval of Asiya Andrabi. "I oppose traditional Kashmiri culture," she declares. "We want to return our women to Islamic culture."
Most Kashmiris are ambivalent about the new breed of militant. While Asiya Andrabi is a Kashmiri, many of the like-minded fighters are seen as outsiders, from Pakistan or further afield. Two British Muslims have been among the "guest militants" killed in Kashmir, according to the Indian army.
But the new militants are better equipped and trained, and altogether bolder, as the Indian authorities acknowledge. The armed separatist movement, once close to being humbled by the military, is again showing its mettle.
As a consequence, Srinagar is a violent city. The weekend before last, 10 people were killed in two separate clashes and 10 more died elsewhere in the Kashmir valley. The two ceasefires being observed by Indian security forces have engendered little optimism, because while one is holding, the other is not. For the past five months, the Indian and Pakistani artillery guns facing each other across the line of control have been quiet. But the more crucial ceasefire, with the militants inside Indian-administered Kashmir, has had little effect. The armed separatists have not responded to New Delhi's unilateral initiative.
The Indian government has offered unconditional talks with Kashmiri groups. The main separatist alliance in Srinagar, the All Parties Hurriyat [Freedom] Conference, has responded cautiously. It wants Pakistan involved, and does not trust Delhi to consider any option which might loosen India's sovereignty over the 5m people of the Kashmir valley.
The mainstream separatists are divided - some want accession to Pakistan, others an independent Kashmir, a prospect widely supported by Kashmiris, however impractical it might be for a remote mountain valley.
Asiya Andrabi has no time for the moderates of the Hurriyat Conference. "We want Pakistan," she says. "Then it will be our first and foremost duty to Islamise Pakistan."
She escorts us to the door. She asks about my children, and I enquire after hers. Her elder son, now eight, was confined with her in jail and she's still angry about that. "When he grows up, I would like him to be a jihadi, and fight for Islam anywhere in the world." Unless the deadlock in Kashmir is broken, Asiya Andrabi's son will not have to search far for his battleground.
Andrew Whitehead presents The World Today on the BBC World Service.
'When conflict came to Kashmir [Baramulla]' - BBC History, 4/8, August 2003
You can hear the radio programme this article refers to here.
Obituary of Fermin Rocker - Guardian, October 2004
The artist Fermin Rocker, who has died aged 96, was one of the last links with the heroic era of European and American anarchism, which faded beyond hope of revival with the Spanish civil war. The younger son of the anarchist thinker and writer Rudolf Rocker, one of the last anarchists of international renown, Fermin was certainly the last person alive who remembered the brief but remarkable flowering of anarchism as a mass movement among the Yiddish-speaking migrants of London's East End, a movement all but snuffed out by the turbulence of the first world war and the countervailing attractions of the Russian revolution.
Fermin was greatly in awe of his father, whose tousled hair, goatee beard and corpulent frame featured in many of his early drawings and paintings. "I looked upon him as a god," he wrote years later. So did many others. Rudolf Rocker was a German gentile who came to live among migrant Jews, learned Yiddish, and became an inspirational teacher and leader to a marginalised community deeply suspicious of authority, and yearning for a voice, a means of securing self-respect, and a path to education and advancement.
The craft trade unions which Rudolf Rocker nurtured and encouraged, and the lively anarchist journals he and his colleagues published, notably the Arbaiter Fraind (The Workers' Friend), won a large following among the victims of pogroms and oppression who crowded into Stepney and Whitechapel in the years before 1914. Fermin's Russian-born mother, Milly Witcop, was also a revolutionary, one of four Jewish sisters, three of whom were prominent either as anarchists or militant feminists.
Fermin was born in London and named after a prominent Spanish anarchist. He grew up in a tenement block in Stepney in an intensely political environment, captured with delightful irreverence in his memoir, The East End Years: A Stepney Childhood, published by the long-established anarchist imprint, Freedom Press, in 1998. As a small boy, he got to know and admire such leftwing luminaries as Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta ("a loveable little fellow"), sat up through long meetings in the hope that his father would tell him a bedtime story and was taken to the Jubilee Street Club, the epicentre of East End Jewish radicalism, where he used to filch paper on which to draw.
"There was hope in the air, an anticipation of better things to come," Fermin recalled. "In later years my father would look back at it with profound nostalgia and regret. It was a time, he insisted, that still had aspirations and ideals, that still had visions of a better future, of a world more just and humane. No one dreamt what horrors the century had in store for us, what despair and disillusionment it would bring."
With the first world war came repression. Rudolf Rocker was interned in Alexandra Palace, north London. Fermin remembered visiting him there. His mother was also arrested. The family was reunited in Amsterdam in 1918, moving on to Germany, where Fermin first mixed with artists and began to draw and paint.
Then, in 1929 - with the decline of the Weimar Republic - he moved to New York. A few years later his parents followed, settling in a rural commune in New York state.
Fermin's art was influenced by the realist school, though he was always too much of an individualist to be saddled with an easy label. He worked in New York as a draughtsman, a cartoon animator, a commercial artist, and then for many years as a book illustrator. Times were often tough. From the 1950s, he turned increasingly to oil painting, developing a hallmark style - precise, in a minor key and with a limited palette, portraying human activity (a meeting, or musical performance, or busy city street) but with each individual cocooned, isolated, even while in a common endeavour.
His first one-man exhibition was in New York in 1944, but it was only after returning to London in 1972, with his American wife, Ruth Robins, that he began to make a living from painting. From the mid-1980s, he had a succession of successful shows, notably at the Stephen Bartley Gallery in Chelsea. He became, to some degree, and late in his life, fashionable (Mick Jagger once called round to select a canvas) - though that never influenced his art, which, in style and tone, felt as if it belonged to an earlier era.
Few of his themes were directly political. The painting bought by Jagger, depicting a mass of Basque refugees heading away from the devastation wrought by Franco's allies towards the French border, is something of an exception.
While standing broadly within the anarchist tradition, Fermin was impatient of its feuds, and critical of the left's reluctance to engage with the modern world and to accept that capitalism has improved lives and living standards. But some anarchists regarded Fermin almost as a crown prince. His son, Philip - who cared for him in his closing years - was always amused that the anarchist paper Freedom arrived unbidden in the mailbox.
Fermin continued to paint in his top-floor flat in London's Tufnell Park until his last few weeks. He died peacefully in his own bed. Just 24 hours later, more than 100 admirers and well-wishers gathered at the Chambers Gallery in London's Smithfield for the private view of his first retrospective (which continues there until November 14). His wife died in 1989; he is survived by Philip.
· Fermin Rocker, artist, born December 22 1907; died October 18 2004
Letter from Burma: Myanmar's Last Synagogue' - Jewish Chronicle, 26 September 2014