Innocence Lost

Innocence Lost

One feature of contemporary Kashmir is the plethora of cases against many young people of Kashmir- some of whom are juveniles. Some are incarcerated and many have cases pending against them. The set of reasons provided by the police is that these youngsters have been involved in cases of stone pelting. Hypothetically speaking, even if the youngsters against whom cases are pending have been involved in stone pelting, putting these young buds in the crosshairs of the state and registering cases against them is plain wrong. This is a micro-control and pacification technique which can either traumatize juveniles or give short shrift to their education trajectories and thereby careers. These young people or even juveniles form the Gen Next of Kashmir. Incarceration or negative proximity with the police can lead to psychological and psychical scars for the rest of their lives. The question that should exercise the minds of powers that be regarding the activism of these juveniles is why do they take recourse to what they allegedly resort to? Shorn of accretions and “chaff”, Kashmiri youngsters’ consciousness and “field” of psychology and even activity is structured by the conflict in and over Kashmir. This structuring context coupled and complemented by conflict triggers and the overall dynamics of the conflict overwhelms other fields of action and activity. In this respect then, it is context , the super and sub structure of conflict that makes them do what they do. Of course, there might be other factors at play, but by elimination, we are left with contextual and structural factors. Penalizing juveniles then amounts to doing the wrong thing. What then can and should be done? The answer yet again takes us back into the domain of context and structure. That is, the conflict in and over Kashmir. Policing , which amounts to micro management of the manifestations of the conflict , cannot and should not be a surrogate of what is an exigent need: resolution of the conflict in and over Kashmir. All efforts and attempts should be made at resolving the conflict. Admittedly, this is a hackneyed assertion and statement , but there really is no other way. A Kashmir at peace with itself and the world at large can only be reified by resolving all dimensions of the conflict. It is then Kashmir’s young men and women can aspire to live expansive and un-cosseted lives. Dignified, expansive and unencumbered lives are owed to Kashmir’s young. Micro-management can obversely mean and entail loss of innocence.

 

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