Kashmir at an Inflection Point

Kashmir at an Inflection Point

Kashmir is at an inflection point. In the parlance and terminology of business, an “inflection point” means or roughly denotes a “time of significant change”.  The way that this inflection point in Kashmir is grasped will determine the trajectory and direction. By their very nature, inflection points might be difficult to discern and make out. It requires subtlety of thought and a fine grasp of detail to understand and pin point an inflection point. So what is the nature of inflection point in Kashmir? The first indicator of this is that  a new and younger cohort of Kashmiris has incubated and this cohort is replacing the older one. Second, in terms of the conflict in and over Kashmir, this generational cohort has grown under the shadow of the conflict , so to speak. Conflict then structures the consciousness of this cohort. Third, the new generational cohort of Kashmiris is connected and wired to the world; while it is not yet ensconced in global flows and connections thereof, the younger cohort is more aware and educated. This general awareness percolates into self realization and discovery amidst a cacophony of structural change(s). The self adjustments that being connected, wired, educated and aware all overlain and structured by conflict means wrenching self adjustments. In this milieu or even context, rationality jostles and jockeys with emotion and sentiment with sentiment emerging as the clear cut winner. These structural, ideations and emotional contexts determine the overall world view and aspirations of young Kashmiris. But these are met with stonewalling and obstructionism by powers that be. The result is a stalemate- more of a psychological nature. This stalemate runs into the forces of far right nationalist forces in India which lends the conflict within and without a more sharper and poignant edge. As a result , an “inflection point” ensues. How it will pan out and denoue remains an “unknown unknown” at this point in time. A cursory reading of history and historical conflicts suggests that the directionality of inflection points matters and it is in the domain and remit of human agency that these points can be guided towards. But guiding the inflection point that defines Kashmir would require prudent, far sighted and even self less leadership and statecraft. Both are missing sorely in the contemporary political dynamic in Kashmir-within and without- the former in the vortex of petty political gain and politicking thereof and the latter in the deep uncertainty that flows from the conflict in and over Kashmir.

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