What is on display in Kashmir today is a near total rural uprising, and denial of the same in equal measure by the state authority. The statist arguments painting the reality on the ground in miserably failed obfuscation had become a full arsenal that perpetuated denial and constantly inflicted political injury on the Kashmiri aspiration of winning basic rights. Political rights and human dignity should have accompanied the default state of common existence in Kashmir. But the state’s constant effort in Kashmir has been to annihilate the human instinct of dignity. The statist arsenal of spurious arguments has clearly emptied out and that has been replaced by the glaring defiance of state authority, again, for more than two months now by the average Kashmiri.
The situation has not just finished off the space in which denial would be affected and institutionalized by the militarized administration that manages Kashmir during ‘peace time’, but the ground reality today has also dismantled carefully constructed and sharpened fault-lines that came handy for purposes of control. The state administration authorities have recognised this fact. That is why it is back to the deployment of military force, like is happening in southern Kashmir valley, as if it were a war between equals. A war it is, but between the might of a state’s armed forces on the one side and the common people, the peasants if you will, on the other, armed with nothing but a power cultivated through decades of facing brutality and denial and a clarity of what is at stake and and ideas of how the future should be.
The least that can be said about the dispensation that administers Kashmir is its unwillingness to acknowledge what the people populating it know to be true. If the ongoing phase of the public uprising needed a qualifier that would be the people’s acute ability of seeing through the state’s smokescreen. What that has done is just as the gloves from earlier militarism are off the masks having also fallen off its political face. The current state of the rural uprising will give way to state control again in absence of any basic acknowledgement of the reality, but there should be no doubt that it will lead to another phase of the people’s struggle for securing their human and political dignity. The last three decades are ample evidence that Kashmir’s restiveness will not end, and it will keep evolving into newer forms of protestation and resistance to denial until a genuine process begins.