A New Aggressiveness and Bellicosity?

A New Aggressiveness and Bellicosity?

A survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre- a think tank based in the United States- has revealed that Indians favor a more aggressive stance towards Kashmir. According to the survey, “When it comes to dealing with the disputed border regions of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian public favors an aggressive stance. A 63% majority believes the government should be using more military force. Few say India should use less force or even the same amount as it is using now”.   This aggressive stance held by people in India is rather intriguing primarily because ever since the inception of insurgency in Kashmir, the state has employed a counter insurgency(COIN) paradigm, where the use of force is  central to it. But, it would appear that the public in India is unaware of it or , if it is aware, then the Kashmiris are viewed as the “ rebellious Other”, who need to be shown their place by virtue of application of hard power. This, however, begs the question, why and how have attitudes in India hardened and morphed into aggressive stances? There are two prongs for this answer. One is the corporate Indian media, which in its quest for ratings and a supine groveling towards power, has left no stone unturned to demonize Kashmiris. The other is the aggressive nationalism that has supplanted the erstwhile elitist Idea of India. This hyper-nationalism, now wedded to the state, seeks a “new” Idea of India, that elevates political Hinduism to a pedestal and seeks to a create a new, aggressive Hindu Identity. When both media jingoism and aggressive hyper-nationalism meld together,  and where Kashmir is central to either, an aggressive stance towards Kashmiris is perhaps the natural and inevitable concomitant. This is both alarming and ominous. If the Indian public’s imagination and imaginary has been manufactured to loath  Kashmiris by constant and consistent demonization, then there is likely to be bottoms up pressure in India for a more aggressive posture towards Kashmir and Kashmiris on India’s political class. In an attempt to ingratiate this aggressive political opinion, the political class in India might even yield to it in a vote gathering exercise. If this scenario actually pans out, then, instead of conflict resolution, what may accrue is conflict intensification. This scenario would be “good” for no one. Instead of bellicosity, aggressive stances and  flamboyant posturing, prudence warrants that a sense of proportion be arrived at regarding the conflict in and over Kashmir.  The Indian media and its political class would do well to remember that “ all war is bad politics” and militarism, if and when it creeps into a polity and society eats its vitals. Let then, instead of aggressive bellicosity, the path towards Kashmir be strewn with a conflict resolution paradigm that redounds to the benefit of all stakeholders – especially the people of Kashmir.

2 Responses to "A New Aggressiveness and Bellicosity?"

  1. Anon   November 22, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Indian public is allergic to Pakistan. Watching Pakistani flags during funerals, aggressive sloganeering and stone pelting are not helping the Kashmiri cause with Indian public.

  2. SKChadha   November 20, 2017 at 10:00 am

    There should be all out war against Jokers who are trying to create mayhem in valley including overground political jokers … 😀