ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Remembering a Kashmiri Night

In the winter of 1990, Razdan was holed up inside his house, playing, while Kashmir started its rapid descend into hell. Over the years, on marked anniversaries, he and others who “lost” have been asked to tell the old tales again and again. The author writes about violence and memory, of stories from the night of 19 January being untwined and simplified, even as the future gets more twisted.

Targeting Institutions of Higher Education

The ideology central to the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has no space or use for liberal thought and values. Education for such organisations means only what can be called a kind of catechism. This is a memorisation of a narrow set of questions rooted in faith and belief and an equally narrow set of answers that prohibit any doubt or deviation. Therefore, educational centres that allow questioning and discussion are anathema and have to be dismantled.

University and the Nation

If nationalist sentiments are the only and final prerogative to belong to an academic community, then it must also be reiterated, a university has no business to share these sentiments. The founding figures of JNU knew it and it is upon the entire community of students, teachers and concerned citizens to safeguard the university against such jingoistic versions of nationalism.

Children's Illnesses

Acute respiratory illness and diarrhoea cause high levels of child morbidity and mortality in Jammu and Kashmir, and high levels of insurgency and an unstable political environment have usually been identified as the two main causes for the poor health conditions in the state. This article is based on a study which compares J&K with Himachal Pradesh and finds that some of the causes for poor health oucomes in the former may be unrelated to insurgency or related issues.

What Will They Do to Kashmir Now?

The several 'formulas' for peace doing the rounds all require only the satisfaction of India and Pakistan and the approval of the US. The Kashmiris themselves have no formula to offer. It may be because of political fatigue, or perhaps there is a deeper reason, for, to Kashmiris self-determination is in terms of the whole of the old state of Jammu and Kashmir. But this old idea of collective self-determination has not been kept alive by the social and political leaderships of the ethnic/linguistic sub-regions. The voice of 'azaadi' inevitably sounds like Kashmiri particularism easily conflated by interested parties with Muslim communalism.

Collusion of Security Forces with Renegade Militants

The recent report of John Stevens, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in UK, has exposed the security forces' collusion with renegade militant bodies in Northern Ireland. The report is of extreme relevance to us in India where the security forces have made regular and systematic use of renegade militants in Kashmir and earlier in Punjab.

National Security: Prisoners of Rhetoric

A close look at the Indian government's defence budget and related reports on military matters shows that while external security preparedness has slipped over the years, the Indian army has become one of the busiest peace time forces fighting its own people. This also impacts on the morale of the armed forces and creates opportunity for the emergence of particularist biases and prejudices within the forces. The changing geopolitical context of India's neighbourhood determines security perceptions and is a factor in deciding defence spending.

Witness to History

Trumpets and Tumults: The Memoirs of a Peacekeeper by Major General Inderjit Rikhye; Manohar, Delhi, 2002; pp 266, Rs 500.

India-Pakistan:The Enduring Stalemate

In the final analysis we need a political culture in both India and Pakistan that understands that sometimes nationalism is the enemy of the national interest; we need a political culture that is prepared to pay a short-run price for imagining a new architecture for the subcontinent; and we need a political culture that will allow both countries to transcend the sediments of history that are weighing them down. Unless all this changes we will remain trapped in current paradigms and assumptions which are such that only one side can claim victory, even as both have the power to destroy each other.

Modernity, Terrorism and the Masquerade of Conflict

America's wars on Afghanistan and Iraq have raised many questions on terrorism, modern war, the role of Islamic fundamentalism in opposition to the west's appropriation of modernity and the continuing relevance of imperialist military and economic aggression in contemporary north-south debates. Terrorism is a form of identitarian conflict which has a history rooted in the colonial past of many third world countries. Afghanistan is a good example illustrating the consolidation of so-called modern and traditional identities in modern history. Time and again western imperialist powers have portrayed Afghanistan as the battle frontier of western civilisation. This essay offers a deconstruction of this western mythology and points out that a holistic critique of the western appropriation of real and symbolic modernity is necessary to comprehend the problem of religious terrorism and thereby wrest the anti-American initiative from the terrorist.

Geopolitics and Regional Identity: South Asia's North-West Frontiers

Kashmir and Sindh – NationBuilding, Ethnicity and Regional Politics in South Asia by Suranjan Das; Department of History Monograph, University of Calcutta and K P Bagchi and Co, Kolkata, 2001; Rs 380. War and Diplomacy in Kashmir, 1947-48 by C Dasgupta; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2002; paperback, Rs 250.

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