“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything”… George Bernard ShawBy Anwar Nizami
23 Dec 2020
The story of Kashmir has been a focal point of civilizational progress amidst conflict. It is a land seeped in violence, heavily militarized and held in siege by external forces of evil from the west with absolute intent to use this chaos for its own agenda.
In lieu of this premise, immense efforts have been made by the Indian state to reimpose normalcy and put it on the path of growth and progress. However, despite promises, at the face of it, Kashmir is a land stuck in time.
The violence wrecked in Kashmir had been initiated by cohorts of the Pakistani establishment with the single-minded agenda of shattering the peace in the Indian Union. This was propelled by instigation on a socio-political plank on one hand as well as subversive violence on the other.
The masses were promised great dividends as misinformation and misguided ideals laid the foundations of a bloodbath that has seeped this land in death and misery. With fear and paranoia gripping the population, the objectives of these senile elements were carried out with aplomb.
It took decades of continued engagement by security forces to proceed towards normalcy and effectively challenge the false narratives, the mindless insurgency and its fallout.
The Kashmiri society is fossilized, its drivers stuck in moth-eaten ivory towers. With insurgency at a low ebb, its perpetrators having been neutralised and comparative progress in other regions evident, the Kashmiri society has begun its way out of this fear psychosis.
However, with the long ordeal and its psychological toll, there is a dilemma which presents itself to a society looking for the bright end of the tunnel. Having been conditioned to this disturbance, born and bred in it, the Kashmiri psyche is in a limbo. It aspires for better, but finds itself faced with insurmountable odds from its own brethren.
A whole ecosystem feeding off this frenzy and chaos has gathered its loot through the years. It finds its stranglehold on Kashmiri society challenged. And it is desperate to prevent the Kashmiri society from rejecting the status quo for a better tomorrow.
A New Dawn
The complex scenario has stymied effective progress. Governmental programmes and support mechanisms are unable to penetrate deep into Kashmiri society as well its intentions into the Kashmiri psyche.
An effective model for positive change can be the immense outreach programmes for empowering the women of Kashmiri society. The Indian Army has carried out several measures to support women entrepreneurs, sportswomen, promising scholars, etc. And its programmes would accentuate governmental efforts to wean the Kashmiri youth from misguided ventures.
A New Dawn
The psyche of society is marked by the progress of its women. And in an increasingly orthodox environment, the liberating aspirations of the Kashmiri woman would be fundamental to change and therein, progress.
The Kashmiri mind must clear itself of the rut, delve out of the fear and embrace the aspirations that life in all its bloom, offers. And only then shall Kashmir strive away from the gun and towards growth.