Inshah Malik on the logjam

From Kashmir Dispatch: “Interpreting ‘Normalcy’ in Kashmir

“Forcing the ideas of educational and economic deprivation, the government has been able to even mould the political stands of the separatists groups. In Kashmir’s case the myth of ‘normalcy’ can be reiterated or revisited at any time in its history. In 1990’s ‘normalcy’ was the favorite word of the governance in Kashmir and also for New Delhi at the international front.”

“Interestingly ‘normalcy’ is referred to a phase when everything is seems to have settled and moves the way it used to before. So what is actually normal in Kashmir?”

“Normal is to accept the status quo, the militarization, disappearances and killings, rapes and torture. Normal according to state standards is also desisting from protests and accepting the economic packages as a long-term solution and if it is enjoyed only by the elitist sections of the society, it is incontestable. The state cannot run the myth of ‘normalcy’ and the statuesque oppression at the same time. The people’s movement in Kashmir is at a very different stage at the moment, the ‘sense of accomplishment’ is not reached yet.”

“The right to education is important but it isn’t as important as a right to a dignified life. The role that the government is playing is again very insensitive and inhumane. Teachers are forced to attend schools and government officials are warned to report office when it is aware of the stringent curfew imposed in order to quell the protests against the killings of children.”

“On the other side, the people’s movement in Kashmir is taking its own course; people desist from listening to hegemony from any quarters. The effigies of Salah-ud-din (who’s ‘United Jihad Front’ is of the opinion that protests should continue in a ‘phased manner’) are burnt down. This time people of Kashmir are together they want to decide their own fate. They don’t mind ignoring anyone whose idea of normalcy is flawed. Normalcy cannot be described as ‘assistance to’ or ‘reassurance of’ political economy but by insisting right to life and respect for every Kashmiri man, woman or a child. Normalcy for Kashmiri people is to regain their right to self-determination and control of their economy.”

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