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Kashmir conflict: the lingering trauma

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By K.N. Pandita – Kashmir militancy has entered its 16th year. The end of the conflict is still elusive though there are claims contrary to it.

No doubt unfair assembly elections of 1986 had created bad political climate in the State but then the eruption of militancy as a consequential phenomenon was rather unexpected. The reason is that Kashmirian psyche was not familiar with an armed conflict with the State. Even during the four decade freedom struggle of the National Conference, violence had never been either advocated or accepted as a means of attaining the goal.

Therefore eruption of armed violence in 1989 was in itself a big shock to the ordinary Kashmiri. He could not believe that an atmosphere of violence claiming human lives and innocent blood would the part of his future history..

It is generally believed that the youth lured to militancy were exhorted to keep the whole thing a closely guarded secret even from their parents and family members. Such was the indoctrination that a prospective militant youth became somewhat alien to his own family. This left a deep scar on the mind of ordinary Kashmiri. No wonder, therefore, that in utter exasperation, innocent parents approached the security forces to help them locate their dear ones. One can understand the deep trauma through which the parents were forced to go. It was tantamount to the disintegration of the family.

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Method in madness

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K.N. Pandita, New Delhi

Dear Sir,

The Editorial ‘Kashmir Spirit’ (May 16, 2006) poses a question but runs away from a debate on the issue. Consequently, the conclusion is flip flop and weightless.

The bane of most of our political commentators is their inadequate and not in – depth study of mediaeval Kashmir history. This often results in rather superficial analysis of historical realities. It is true of most of them. But since mediaeval hitory of Kashmir is deliberately distorted and its facts mutilated, our otherwise inquisitve commentators can be excused.

It will be naïve to look at Kashmir history in isolation. Moreover, detaching Kashmir socio-historical panorama from Pan-Islamic movement beginning in mid-19th century (after the liquidation of the Ottoman Empire and ensuing of the ‘Great Game’ in Central Asia) and its various shades and nuances in different parts of the Muslim and Muslim – dominated world, does not entitle a political analyst to lay any claim to astute and pragmatic scholarship. What has one to say about the role of Muslim Conference before and after the Sheikh proselytized? What has one to say of 1931 communal riots in Srinagar, and its aftermath, particularly the fall out of Glancy Commission report? What has one to say of the 23-page Urdu booklet titled “The conspiracy of converting Muslim majority into a minority in Kashmir” by Abdur Rahim Rather, the Finance Minister in former Farooq Abdullah Ministry and now the leader of opposition in the J&K Assembly?

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