Student Protests and Kashmiris’ Collective (Un)conscious

Student Protests and Kashmiris’ Collective (Un)conscious

As student protests continue in one form and avatar or the other and as members of the administration issue unreal statements about these, it is time to review the nature of these protests. The student protests go beyond form and manifestation- that is, the trigger points or catalysts of the protests in contention. Pared to the bone, the student protests essentially emanate from the conflict in and over Kashmir. These two dimensions of the conflict interact with each other and structure the consciousness of Kashmiris- young and old alike. This condition, in some senses, creates  a split Kashmiri personality with the collective (un) consciousness of Kashmiris being over-determined by the conflict. Under conditions of severity of the conflict, this collective Kashmiri (un)conscious gets activated and comes to the forefront- that is, the collective conscious. This then grips the collective imagination of Kashmiris. The result is protest(s). Admittedly, these are psycho-analytic observations but given the absence of a counter-factual , may hold. If then, the Kashmiri collective (un) conscious is activated , structured and determined by the conflict in and over Kashmir, it is self evident that all sections of society would be under its hold. This includes students- the baton holders of our future generations. The inference that can be drawn here is that the conflict has been passed on over to next generation(s) of Kashmir.  The reasons accrue from truculent denials of powers that be to not to resolve the conflict. In combination, this means that the conflict in and over Kashmir gets merely prolonged. If prolongation through containment of the conflict is the goal of powers that be, then the corollaries of this approach are all too obvious. No amount of spin or wrong diagnosis can obscure this. The question that should be exercising all and sundry should then be a focus on resolving the conflict in and over Kashmir. The difference “ in” and “over” is not merely semantic; it is substantive. These are in the nature of dimensions of the conflict. And neither operates in isolation. Key is understanding, grasping and then resolving these dimensions of the conflict. If and when this is done, Kashmir can be at peace- in the real sense of the term. If, however, not then,  Kashmir, in all likelihood, will be defined by periods of illusory and surface calm interspersed by periods of absence of peace. This condition, will be the structuring context for Kashmiris across generations- a condition that would be pregnant with omens of more intense conflict. Prudence then demands grasping the nettle sooner than later and striving to resolve all dimensions of the conflict.

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