On Trauma

On Trauma
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Kashmir is not a “normal” place. While the definition and even description of normal is subjective, but there are certain parameters which can be employed to assess the “normality” of a given society. The non normality of Kashmir accrues and emanates largely from the nature of conflictual conditions that obtain here. One consequence of these conditions is collective and individual trauma of a psychological nature. This kind of trauma occurs when an event or stream of events of a negative nature happen to an individual or a collective. But, one hallmark of trauma, oftentimes, is that it is not readily indentifiable; it takes time for its effects to pan out and denoue. However, there are certain signs that can alert us to trauma in an individual or society like being withdrawn, angry, angry, hopeless and so on. All these, in varying degrees, and in different permutations and combinations can be found in us, at both individual and collective levels. Be it road rage accruing from slights or minor infringements, aspects of our public life and behavior thereby and so on, and instances of our individual lives, suggest there is trauma in Kashmir. But, unfortunately, there is little, if any, remedy available for people suffering from trauma. First, to repeat, there is very little recognition of the problem. Second, if and when people develop and then recognize signs of trauma, it is a bit too late. Third, there is hardly any recourse to deal with it. This accrues from the poor and decrepit state of infrastructure, hard and soft, in Kashmir. Cumulatively, the consequence(s) of the factors leads to cascading issues for the people. The question is: what can be done to deal with this major issue that many suffer from and anybody can be a victim of? The first and foremost measure must be education of the masses about the nature, signs and symptoms of trauma on a mass scale. Second, the taboos accruing from the signs of trauma must be given short shrift. Third, there should and must be facilities available for victims of trauma at or on a scale that must correspond to needs of the people. Last but not the least, the remedy also lies in politics. It is almost a truism to state that there is no escape from the political. This holds a resonance in Kashmir. To actually obviate trauma in Kashmir, a fresh political paradigm, smelling of roses, must be instituted. In sum, and especially, a new politics and its institutionalization can make Kashmir “normal” again.