FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Preventing fragmentation of social fabric
Posted:Jul 14, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
By Nyla Ali Khan
 
Tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been shattered by the heavy hand of military totalitarianism and militancy in the past, and is now a victim of the fragmentation that is ripping our social fabric to pieces. More than mobocracy, kangaroo courts, lynchings, and panaceas - we need a return to the rule of law and to a process of internal political dialogue.
 
It is all very well to raise slogans of self-determination, autonomy, and self-rule, but it is time to think beyond sloganeering and about the kind of social and political fabric we want to create for younger generations. Sloganeering that is devoid of a clear blueprint for nation-building remains hollow, and, eventually, becomes defunct.
 
In order to prevent further fragmentation of our social fabric, regional political parties must create the pathway to repair the tapestry that Kashmir once was and give the younger generation hope for the future.
 
I wonder if those political players who choose to keep quiet about the fragmentation in our society realise that they are playing into the hands of right-wing elements in mainland India, who look for excuses to label Kashmir a “jihadist” problem?
 
When military, religious or political excesses are not curbed, they can have terrible long term damaging effects. And when religion and politics are conflated, especially when it comes to self-determination that is a problem.
 
If religion and politics are not separated in a movement for self-determination, the world community becomes suspicious. We need to make sure that the political dimension of the movement for self-determination is highlighted. And yes, peace activists can do a lot by highlighting human right violations that occur.
 
As responsible citizens, we need to hold up a mirror to the state government as well as to the federal government. We can do this more easily because they are accountable to us in a democratic setup in a way militant organisations are not. Still, human right violations on both sides need to be highlighted.
 
Cultural nationalism generally challenges and overthrows the hierarchy of ruling ideologies by enhancing unity among all socioeconomic classes in an occupied area, but it has failed to do so in the Kashmir context. This revolutionary stance could eliminate the petty feuds that exist in an area and can replace them with a sanctifed notion of nation.
 
A plethora of opinions on the political future of the conglomerate of Jammu and Kashmir is available. Is Jammu and Kashmir a principality? An autonomous unit within the Indian Union? An integral part of India? A subversive unit within the Indian Union? A bilateral issue between the nation-states of India and Pakistan? Is the mainstream Indian understanding and interpretation of the Kashmir confict the only credible one? Is the mainstream Pakistani under- standing and interpretation of the Kashmir issue the only credible one?
 
Do the people of Kashmir have a voice in the matter? Is there a space within Kashmiri society in which the democratic aspirations of the populace of Kashmir can be nurtured? Is there a critical discourse on Kashmir that foregrounds the views of scholars and lay people from the state, even if that discourse is in opposition to the mainstream one?
 
These questions have caused me irrepressible angst for a while now. Can we break the silence? Can we bring the instability to an end, for our generation and the generations yet to be born?
 
A large majority of the populace of Jammu and Kashmir is troubled, dispossessed and mocked by the processes of democracy, by United Nations resolutions, by armed insurgency, by counter-insurgency, by militarisation, and by revisionist histories.
 
The people of the state are yearning for dignity; for the right to live decent lives that are devoid of bestial militarism; the right to work and enable their families to enjoy the basic necessities of life; the right to hold opinions of which others take cognisance; and the right to an existence in which brutalisation, demoralisation, trauma, and rage are a thing of the past.
 
In addition to the denizens of Jammu and Kashmir, diasporic Kashmiris also suffer from the indelible scars of having lost their homeland.
 
The cultural identity of the Kashmiri people is damaged by the erosion of their autonomous institutions, by traumas and terrors generated by insurgency and counter insurgency.
 
The tradition of Rishiism must not be allowed to die in the Valley: it continues to bolster a cultural and religious identity that the militarisation of Kashmir has not been able to do away with. To that end, the vaakhs of Lal-Ded and the shrukhs of Nur-ud-din Wali form a very important part of the vernacular of semi-literate and illiterate people in Kashmir.
 
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I emphasise that any unitary discourse that claims to encompass the reality of Kashmir would be lop-sided and suspect.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, is a former top diplomat who retired as India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations. In his new political avatar, as an important minister in the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri told INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS that
 
read-more
Aimed at consolidating cooperation between the armed forces of India and Saudi Arabia and explore new avenues of defence cooperation, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, visited Saudi Arabia on from 4-8 February 2018, writes Anil Bhut
 
read-more
Campus placement season is here and the news is that graduates from the top campuses in India, especially the IITs, have received six figure pay packets and job offers in the US. However, looking beyond the top 200 engineering schools in India, pay packets are not looking too promising. The reason is the emergence of new engineering sc
 
read-more
Since the NDA government converted the ‘Look East’ Policy to the ‘Act East’ policy, there has been a greater sense of strategic engagement with the ASEAN, writes Gurjit Singh
 
read-more
The UN will be making contacts with Maldives leaders in response to the request by the opposition leaders for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to oversee the all-party talks proposed by that nation's President Abdulla Yameen, Guterres's Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Friday.
 
read-more
Srinivasan leaves his office in Bengaluru where the lights and air-conditioners are switched off when sensors planted inside notice that he is leaving. He is prompted on his e-watch as to how much time it would take for the elevator to arrive on his floor, based on movement-recognition, writes Rajendra Shende
 
read-more

The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
read-more

Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “2022: The India We Seek”

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.

 
Column-image

'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...

 
Column-image

Book: A Time of Madness; Author: Salman Rashid; Publisher: Aleph; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 127

 
Column-image

Book: Why I Am A Hindu; Author: Shashi Tharoor; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 302; Price: Rs 699