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Approaching Kashmir through Theoretical Lenses

The National Democratic Alliance government’s Kashmir policy can be analysed through the lenses of security studies and peace studies. Insights from these disciplinary fields could help gauge the implications of recent actions and suggest a possible different course.

By its early August actions that rendered Article 370 vacuous, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has thrown down the gauntlet in Kashmir to Pakistan. The adoption of this hard-line position by India flies in the face of the theory in both the contextual fields, security studies and peace studies. This article examines India’s newly adopted position on Kashmir in light of the two theoretical lenses to conclude that India’s action lacks a strategic rationale.

While the security studies framework informs of the dangers stemming from India’s action, the peace studies lens offers a lifeline to help India walk back. It is hardly likely that the government will turn any time soon to peacemaking, prescribed in both disciplines for conflict resolution. Disregard for the political prong of strategy implies that the antecedents of India’s Kashmir decision are located instead in the ideology of cultural nationalism. The corollary is that the problem in Kashmir—and with Pakistan—cannot be addressed without first politically and democratically addres­sing the problems arising due to majoritarianism.

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Updated On : 2nd Dec, 2019

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