In a polarized environment and a charged milieu as that of Kashmir, where restraints to force and the coercive approach of the state do not operate as they should be and society is getting brutalized by the day, a man was lynched to death in down town area of Srinagar on the Shab e Qadr. An enraged mob hit upon the deceased and in a melee of confusion and attendant chaos, hit him till he died. Yes, there is tremendous anger against the state and the “mainstream” political class in Kashmir for obvious reasons but it cannot and should not mean that the focus of this anger should be an individual- regardless or whatever his professional association be, to repeat and belabor the point. There is always a minimum amount or residue of violence in any given society but it takes exceptional circumstance to bring it from latency to the fore. Kashmir is no exception to this general trend. And Kashmir has witnessed a crescendo of violence since the past few decades. But , beneath this violence did not lurk the monsters of unrestrained violence. We, as a society and even individuals, maintained the highest standards of civic and public decency. This showed in very low incidences and statistics of crime and what have you in Kashmir but alas, the Nowhatta lynching, throws a question mark on this moral and civic bargain and consensus. There has been gratuitous loss of life because of this incident- a life which cannot be brought back from the dead and there is grief for the family of the victim of this violence. The question is how can we redeem ourselves as a society and rise above the persistent tugs of violence? The morality of the struggle in Kashmir has to be maintained at any cost and so have our moral values , social and civic consensus that underpins these to be upheld. This means having an honest conversation with ourselves. Last but not the least, the victim of the lynching lost his life , from a larger and general perspective , to the conflict in and over Kashmir. His death should be a sober reminder or even wake up call to powers that be on the perils of denial and truculence. The best tribute that can be paid to the deceased then is resolving the conflict in all its dimensions. Let the deceased’s death be a catalyst for this.