Trotting Out Clichés

Trotting Out Clichés
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The Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, among other things, has said that “radicalization of the populace, particularly youths, is one of the most challenging problems the world is facing currently”. Singh’s statement is a broad brush, generalized and generic assertion. The reason(s) pertain to the fact that “radicalization” does not happen in a vacuum. There is almost invariably a context to it. Often times, this context shapes and structures the imagination and consciousness of youth. A case in point here may be the conflict in and over Kashmir. The conflict’s ubiquity and pervasiveness is the reality that structures the consciousness of youth here. The rest is mere corollary. This is an example that is closer home. Similarly, there are instances galore that accord substance to the assessment that contexts shape imaginations. At times, these are the foreign policies of major states, like the United States of America, that breed and foster resentment. Consider an example. The United States invaded Iraq in 2001/2 over false and meretricious reasons. The invasion and its aftermath created a context for deep resentment against the very premises of the policy and the chaos and anarchy that followed. The political vacuum that was created left the field open for anything, so to speak. Spillover effects and ripples were felt across border and are even felt today. It is then conflicts and conflictual conditions thereof that actually create the conditions for people, especially young men, to take recourse to drastic measures. The rest is mere detail and corollary. In a perfect and ideal world, young men would be drawn towards and gyrating to improving their and others’ lives. But, ours is a far from perfect world where states jostle and jockey for power and interest. In the interstices of this jockey, conflict happen or are made to happen. Young men, in this schema, pay the ultimate prices, at times. Ideally, this should not happen. To prevent young men from taking recourse to drastic measures, one step is the resolution of various conflicts across the world. (Concomitantly, sobriety, a sense of proportion and ethics must be incorporated into the foreign policies of states and nations). Two conflicts which have almost become perennial and truculent – the conflict in Palestine and the conflict in and over Kashmir- are conflicts that strike the mind to be ones that must be addressed and resolved. In terms of the Kashmir conflict, perhaps, Rajnath Singh, would be better off devoting his energies and that of the machinery that he is part of to resolve this particular conflict than making hackneyed and clichéd statements.

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