Hate Crime

Hate Crime
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Normally and under usual circumstances, human beings bond rather seamlessly. This might even, from a philosophical point of view, constitute the human condition. However, when variables, which can range from ideology, hatred, polarizing thought and ideological processes that create an “Other” out of human beings , deep hatred inducing violence can kick in. This general observation might hold for the assault on a Kashmiri family in a New Delhi suburb. The attack might actually hold from the cultivated “Othering” of Kashmiris. The larger culprit for this appears to be the generation and creation of both quotidian and meta narratives by certain media houses in India, who have taken a no holds barred approach against Kashmir and Kashmiris. When an “ average” person’s consciousness is bombarded with visuals and narratives that posit and portray Kashmiris in very unflattering terms, the corollary is obvious: that person or persons becomes charged to the possible extent of assaulting or attacking a fellow human being just because he or she happens to be from a certain ethnic group, is different, wears different clothes, speaks in a different accent and so on. This might be the dynamic that could have been in operation on the assault on the hapless Kashmiri family in New Delhi. Here a note of caution and advice becomes important for Kashmiris resident in the valley. No matter what the provocation and no matter what the nature of the challenges, we must not stoop so low as to respond in kind, to outsiders resident here. We must and we should always strive for the highest standards of morality, ethics and propriety and hospitality, especially to the outsider. This is what we are and what we must remain. Now , in terms of the assault in New Delhi, arresting a few assailants or what have you will not really and entirely stem growing hostility against Kashmiris. What will or what could is actually stopping the negative portrayals of Kashmiris and the consistent negative narratives against the people of Kashmir. Yes, there is conflict in and over Kashmir but this cannot and must not mean demonization of an entire peoples. In fact, instead of cultivating and spreading negative stereotypes of Kashmiris, efforts should be made to resolve the conflict in all its dimensions and forms , and in the interests of all stakeholders. This, rather than gratuitous cultivation of hostility and developing hatred , will be something that will redeem all.

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