This paper deals exclusively with the transformations and cognitive dissonance of a Kashmiri Muslim, who has escaped various processes that are moulding the contemporary outer world, particularly living in the Vale.
Conflict induces different mechanism in the cognitive development of all species including humans. The life in the conflict zone, where mind is always searching for the alarms in order to reduce the implications of coming threat, becomes like witnessing the series of incidents where one’s role is nothing but to survive. Since safety is preferred over adventure, every savor goes out of life. Among other changes in the process of thinking; distrust, chaos, anger, pretence and judging every second person with suspicion becomes order of the day. In this kind of world, the thoughts are built on other person’s disequilibrium rather than the ostensible equilibriums.
The mystic culture tainted with the body politic, where no role of the people dwelling in the conflict is felt, creates infernal traits of despair and desolation. Religious conservatism and the sense of security go hand in hand. The most pernicious implications of conflict are manifested in a person in the form of impotency and delirium. Always feeling like being sentimental, the one living in conflict area can’t think fast. The mind is full of harsh experiences that add to the inability to think outside the conflict zone. A lone wolf, he is powerless and abandoned.
Since the present epoch is the age of consciousness and rational enquiry, Afzal Guru’s hanging has luminously clarified to the Kashmiri collective conscious that they remain the prototype of ‘other’ in the Indian collective conscious. The questions of existence and identity are revised time and again. The natural attitude of Kashmiris towards India has become one of contempt mingled with fear; where they feel themselves more civilized but politically impotent than the latter.
Subjectivity and oversimplification leaves a person filled with chaos. Chaos raises practical urgent problems which should be dealt with institutions and modes of thought but due to lack of space for cultivation of both, Kashmir is forged into not unlike the seventeenth century Hopital General of Paris, or the great confinement.
After the Haider hit the silver screen, Kashmiri, fortunately, was not lost in the distractions movie managed to carry along with some sentimental events. He knows that he is, time and again, misrepresented and the movie shows little than it conceals.
Shahnaz bashir’s account of the female version is closely restricted to their loss of status which makes them half in every aspect of relationships. Every kashmiri women lives as half since the relations fall apart; she is a half mother, a half girlfriend, a half widow, a half sister but ironically a full victim. She is struggling to live in full instead of the half. Undoubtedly, in the present epoch, she stands with her male counterpart not only psychologically or as a witness of suffering but in the mainstream struggle; in ragda and in stone pelting if not otherwise.
While Rahul Pandita’s novel-cum-memoir’s Kashmiri Muslim was roaming around the premises of aristocratic Hindu families, that of Arif Ayaz Parrey’s short story, Two Faces of Janus, is transformed into a much complex educated being whose strenuousness lies in the gun in nineties and in the stone during the 2010 intifada. He accumulates his dexterity from both natural and social sciences and from the day to day experiences. The other story, Lies at Work, creates a dichotomy; of a civil services aspirant and of the one who is skillful but refuses that choice simply because of the collaboration element in the job. The mainstream Kashmiri-Muslim-youth takes himself out of vicious circles of administration let alone voting, which is perverted as referendum by Indian government and its subterfuge media icons, et al. This makes him voluntary-alienated being whose heroes are the rebels instead of the televised ones.
As his volition is always Azadi, even his minute vocation, as he believes, takes him a step further towards Azadi than he would otherwise be. He has surpassed the world of Fanon’s wretched of the earth and has taken himself to somewhat higher level; that of Guevara’s tactics or Mao’s Fundamentals.
The one created by Mirza Waheed is a melancholy-optimist. Mirza revisits memories and unites him on the principle of common suffering.
At the same time new Kashmiri leaves traditional approach of religious stereotyping that gives him some air in the suffocating world of terrorism. He takes cent percent advantage of breathing that rival-air where he has to compromise partly for choice-less survival. Nothing makes him exclusive in fighting for injustice. He stands with and for everybody under oppression: be it always resisting Palestinian; be it beleaguered Syrians; be it always suffering Pakistani Shia community; be it accusative Indian Muslims, who suffer intermittently via different paradigms of communalism in different areas. The only way to show his support is through protest, which is apart from coming on streets via graffiti, social networking and writing. All these ways of protesting have as much cost, and sometimes more, as the one he is protesting for.
The process of metamorphoses from a illiterate, powerless Kashmiri to the one who is educated to the level that he gives equal competition to the indigenous Bengali or Keralite, who has centuries old systematic education legacy; and from a mute in unwritten, which is otherwise untrue, history to the one who speaks many languages; of tongue, of gun and of the stone apart from the radically strong pen.
The poetry, whether contemporary or that of Azad’s and Mehjoor’s exhorts him to stay put in resisting the day in and day out oppression.
Among the other cards of postmodernism, fragmentation was used to suppress the rebellions or any other voice against injustice. The new Kashmiri has outlived that stage; he tries to build new relations with his Pandit brethren, Ladaki and Jammuite and meanwhile searches, mostly googles, any Kashmiri from across the LoC.
The innumerable events of artifices and deceptions, where Kashmiris were the primary losers, have made them to resort to the new tactics of struggle for freedom.
A new Kashmiri portrays himself within the global pictures of politics, media and economics. He has surpassed the phases of human rights discourses and the movies or dramas aired by non-Kashmiri about Kashmir issue which seems to him unworthy of mentioning beyond the casual discussions.
Lack of research and data about the present moves of a new Kashmiri creates a void in the minds of analyzers. To where he is leading is uncertain, but different threads lead us somewhere near certainty. Although, we can never be justified in feeling certainty, some things are more likely to be true than other things. Most probable of the possible hypothesis show that the chunk comprising new Kashmiris is progressing at an increasing rate. They implicitly carry the brutal past, disorderly present and contrived but hopeful future. If development means progress toward concept of freedom and innovation, then, that is to say, New Kashmiri is treading the right path