ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Thinking Kashmir

Waiting is so much a part of everydayness, including waiting for peace, waiting for your loved ones to come home, waiting for curfew to end, waiting for the army to go home. Between silence and waiting one can create a narrative of the Kashmir conflict. Unlike the Holocaust or partition, which have the gigantism of epic memories, the sadness of Kashmir is forged, crafted out of thousands of little memories, unwritten diaries merging quietly together. It is this alchemy of memories that is struggling against government policy, which sanitises violence and erases memory to create this strange machine that moves from violence to violence in facile amnesia.

This project is an act of listening, of recording conversations of a worried academic with a small group of students from Kashmir. It seeks through their suggestions an alternative set of perspectives and categories that breaks the current impasse where Kashmir has almost given up on Indian democracy. Here, a scholar listened and learned from his students. This is a small harvest of his understanding of Kashmir. Thanks to Poonam Zutshi, Peerzada Raouf, Mohammed Tabish, Peerzada Muqeem and Misria Ali for their insights.

At a seminar on Violence and Forgiveness, psychologist Ashis Nandy was chairing and listening to presentations on Afghanistan, South Africa, the United States (US) and other communities. After listening carefully, he commented on the hollowness of international relations as a discipline, claiming that it was one of the emptiest efforts at thinking. He emphasised the gap between peace as a responsibility and the clichéd predictability of concepts like security. Peace, Nandy hinted, needed a different language, a different ethic of self-reflectiveness, maybe even a different idea of the social.

Nandy’s almost casually profound comments sound almost lethally accurate when we look at the discourse on security studies in Kashmir. The redundancy and repetitivity of concepts haunts these discussions in a way such that the discourse on security perpetuates the violence in Kashmir.

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Updated On : 28th Feb, 2020
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