Course correction needed

The need is to decolonise our minds from prejudice and narrowness by being open to conflicting political mores within Kashmir.
Course correction needed

As against the fanciful conjectures of cultural romantics and religious chauvinists who always want to whitewash the whole world with a uniform ideology and belief system, the history has always had something else in its kitty for the humanity. It is the dialectics—the coexistence of opposites and a source of sustenance. This applies to all aspects of life, let alone nationalist movements. For if uniformity were a criterion then Ambedkar would have never featured on the even side of the Indian nationalistic discourse.

It is an uncontested reality that some issues (especially ideological) are very difficult to resolve as contradictions are self-evolving or even situational (e.g. in Kashmir due to a circumstantial duality of loyalty). But a contradiction is not an obstacle, it is a refining tool. If an 'antithesis' cannot counter the 'thesis' it vanishes of its own. So why dread a contradiction? A society cannot subscribe to a single, homogeneous thought. Variation is existential. It signals possibility which in turn leads to longevity and stability. This is exactly what we as Kashmiris need to understand. The mirthlessly despicable lynching of a police officer, the latest in the killing spree of the 'seemingly other', is a manifestation of a constricted political space that we have boxed-up ourselves in. The fear of contradiction thus has come to epitomise the tragedy of Kashmir. 

  Here goes the story: two lives lost, both Kashmiri, one accorded a canonical status and other damned to viciousness. Blue blood, red blood, pure blood, impure blood, brave blood, coward blood….what is wrong with us? When are we going to stop throwing tantrums at the ideological-other? Our struggle has become so consuming that its mileage has plummeted to abysmal levels. This is partly because we have started cannibalising our own people and partly because we go on feeding lives to this apocalyptic vortex in vain and in disdain. And then there is a big daddy at Delhi sitting comfortably in viewer's gallery cheering this macabre dance of death and savagery in the Valley. (It is believed, as Atul Kohli writes, that to handle resentments democratically one of the main prerequisites is a well institutionalised, secure and strong central leadership, conditions that are effectively met by the current dispensation at Delhi. But what we have witnessed vis-à-vis Kashmir so far is apathy of sorts!)

So it's high time that Kashmiris started introspecting. The need is to decolonise our minds of prejudice and parochialism by being open to conflicting political mores within Kashmir. The narrow and policed narratives regarding what constitutes 'moral' and 'heroism' have to be arrested. We need to be wary lest our genuine initiatives get entangled with cogs and levers of shallow identity based political process (we should remember that the broad base of our struggle is eroding fast). Contestingly though, it can be argued that we are yet again witnessing the old-shop workout 'Ikwanization Principle'—the diamond cuts diamond strategy—slowly being reintroduced as a counter-insurgency tool in Kashmir. But the irony is that we are too forgetful to learn lessons from history. 

Thus Kashmir's nationalistic discourse needs a course correction here and now or else we would be readying a sumptuous feast for the vultures hovering around us.  

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