In the context of ‘Peace Week 2010’ we present a number of posts on such subjects as war, conflict and oppression. Today, on the International Day of Peace, Thomas van der Molen discusses the conflict in Kashmir. The photos are by Dilnaz Boga.
‘We hate peace!’, a young Kashmiri dissident exclaimed during my fieldwork in the summer of 2008. He was referring to what anthropologist Cynthia Mahmood observes to be a tendency for repressive authorities in Kashmir and elsewhere to practice ‘pacification’ as part of their state security agenda. In line with both the informants in my fieldwork, and Mahmood, I favor the language of rights and justice, rather than that of peace and security. The UN General Assembly, on the other hand, presents today’s ‘International Day of Peace’, or ‘Peace Day’, as an opportunity to mark ‘our personal and planetary progress toward peace’. Yet, the relevance of ‘Peace Day’ – and indeed the concept of ‘peace’ itself – to the inhabitants of the Valley of Kashmir is doubtful, as the Government of India perpetuates its policy of ‘pacification’. Lees verder