SRINAGAR: Author and academician Mridu Rai will speak on ‘Languages of Violence, Languages of Justice: the State and Insurgent Kashmir’ in an event that is likely to be held in Kashmir every year.
Pandit Rughonath Vaishnavi Annual Talk 2014 on ‘Languages of Violence, Languages of Justice: the State and Insurgent Kashmir’ will be held at a hotel here at 2 pm on July 9, according to a statement.
The annual talk will feature one keynote event in which the speaker will “illuminate a significant aspect” of Kashmir’s long and complex history.
“The scholars invested in the disciplinary fields of history, literature, arts, sociology, anthropology, urban studies, social geography, political philosophy and other related fields, and writers, journalists, and filmmakers who have worked tirelessly to highlight the everyday struggles of living in a militarised occupation will be invited to deliver a keynote talk on any aspect of Kashmir’s historic or contemporary social and political culture,” the statement said.
The keynote talk will be held in Kashmir every year and will be open to the wider public. The primary objective, it said, is to “emphasise the importance of careful and critical historic, ethnographic, or journalistic work on Kashmir that is based on sustained scholarship in the region.”
The event has been instituted to commemorate Vaishnavi’s “extensive contributions” to Kashmiri society, history, and politics, and also “to begin a dialogue about the time in Kashmir of which little is known or heard in public or official narratives”.
“We believe that Vaishnavi’s life and persistent struggle to free Kashmir from the tyranny of a militarised occupation is a step in this critical direction,” it said.
Vaishnavi graduated from Lahore with degrees in Psychology and Political Science and from Allahabad with a degree in Law. He returned to Kashmir in 1938, and was nominated as a member of the National Conference’s Working Committee in 1941. Dissatisfied with NC’s slogan “long live responsible government,” he drafted a resolution with a 14-point agenda to foreground, in his words, NC’s “revolutionary profile” as a political party.
He was also jailed for being a fierce and outspoken critic of local governments in J&K that repeatedly joined hands with the Indian state to suppress Kashmiri rights and claims for an alternative political future, the statement said.