Broken Sequence?

Broken Sequence?

In an unclaimed attack on Amarnath Yatris that claimed seven lives, various theories of attribution and causality are being bandied about. While the circumstances about the attack remain unclear, one theory that the media in India is broaching is that of so called “radicalization” in Kashmir. This theory is as flawed as can be. Kashmir and Kashmiris have been and remain resilient in terms of tolerance and fine traditions of hospitality to the outsider. The causal loop here does not add up. Despite the stresses and strains that the Kashmiri psyche has undergone since the past few decades, the people of Kashmir remain wedded to principles of tolerance and humane forbearance. Proof of this lies in the fact that despite the militarization of the conflict in and over Kashmir, criminality remains at a low point, of course, in relative terms. Furthermore, inter-communal harmony remains. In terms of the yatra, this form of pilgrimage has been going on for more than hundred years; in this period, Kashmiris have conformed to the highest and finest traditions of hospitality and forbearance. The Monday attack on yatris then is an unexplained and mysterious aberration which does not square up with Kashmiri tradition(s). Insofar as the so called “radicalization” of Kashmiris is concerned , it is a canard or a fabrication promoted by self serving detractors of Kashmir who want to impugn and malign Kashmir and tar it with a certain brush. It then is not a factor that can explain the mysterious attack. However, all said and done, things are not well both in Kashmir and beyond. The conflict in and over Kashmir stands exacerbated and has become more intense because of the nature of politics that has been played here since the past years. This politics is and remains detached and disconnected from peoples’ aspirations and goals. It is overlaid by the majoritarian agenda of powers that be that seeks to subsume the politics of Kashmir under its rubric. All this has bred a reaction in Kashmir and perhaps elsewhere where the boundaries between “Us” and “Them” have become sharper. Amidst this sharply demarcated milieu and ambiance, the conflict in and over Kashmir almost becomes sacralized which, in turn, transforms it into a zero sum game- both psychologically and in real , concrete terms. The consequence is a sharply and intensely polarized environment. This can only be ominous. What will prevent this polarization from turning into something insidious is grasping the nettles of conflict resolution-the sooner the better.

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