Jaded and Illusory Optimism

Jaded and Illusory Optimism

Mehbooba Mufti has stated that “this was not the first that Kashmir was facing “tough times” but has witnessed worse situations since 1947”. Mehbooba added that “the situation has been “serious” in Kashmir, “but not so bad that it can’t be brought to normalcy. I don’t believe that it can’t be resolved. It is the responsibility of everyone, including the media, to help the government in restoring peace in the Valley”. A discursive assessment or analysis of Mehbooba’s assertions suggests that she is being optimistic regarding both the tenor and tone of conditions that obtain in Kashmir and their potential denouement. In ways more than one, the extant conditions in Kashmir are unprecedented.  The emotional matrices and structuring context of a  cross section of society- including students-  in Kashmir is defined by intense sentiment that bears the ingress of conflict in and over Kashmir. This sentiment melds into the aspirations of the people. But the response to this has been stonewalling and even obstructionism. In this sense, the admixture of sentiment and aspiration(s) hits a wall. From, both the perspective of logic and psycho-analysis, this condition is a combustible mix. Is there an antidote? If yes, what is the nature of this antidote? The logic of containment, pacification and management of the conflict can – as the contemporary conditions in Kashmir suggest- has only deepened and widened the conflict. The antidote or more prosaically, the remedy is to resolve the underlying issues that beget the conflict. Admittedly, this is a hackneyed statement which has been iterated and repeated an n number of times. But, history- of both conflicts and their resolution- suggest that it is in the obvious and the axiomatic that solutions to even intractable solutions and disputes lie. The same holds true for Kashmir- a conflict which has effectively been attempted to be frozen. But, the pattern and the trajectory of the conflict, especially in its inner dimension(s), has defied these attempts. The result has been a condition wherein spasms of violence(cyclical) coexist with interludes of “peace”. This condition has now become structural. The question or the issue is: can this structure yield itself to peace? The answer is a clear cut  YES. In the final analysis, bringing about a condition of vigorous and sustainable peace in Kashmir calls for paradigm shattering , in the Kuhnian sense, institutionalization of measures that lead to peace –within and within. In plain words, this means resolution of the conflict in and over Kashmir in all its dimensions- especially the aspirations of the people.  The rest is an exercise in jaded vanity.

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