Kashmir has been writhing in the vicissitudes of fate despite being eulogized as proverbial ‘paradise’ as the region has been wrestling with the disasters since long. The tales of harmony, brotherhood and syncretic whole of the Kashmir represents as the ‘territory of resilience’ never cease to awe the world. Taking into account the September 2014 floods, 2005 earthquake and seasonal vagaries of weather and their impact on the lives of people, there has always been the new day which has rekindled our faith in starting it from scratch again. The extraordinary endeavours and coalescing of people in times of crisis has been the hallmark of ‘Kashmiri Identity’. Across the historical and situational instances of recounting the events we have been through there has always been the spirit of ‘unity’ which has had sway over other markers of social cohesion and solidarity
We had not yet recovered from these losses entered the COVID-19 pandemic thus testing our spirits again. Every section of society frayed and what we saw was the absolute manifestation of civil society, religious organisations and other non-governmental actors chipping for helping the people in need . This deadly disease has not only disrupted our social functioning but has been adding the burden of working class stress in terms of their daily living in Kashmir. Already been plagued by the miseries of lockdown COVID-19 has further brought miseries to the livings of the masses.
As Kashmir is grappling with second wave of ‘infections’ the graph of this coronavirus has started to peak somewhat and simultaneously the people have been displaying the suffering from ‘lockdown distress’ owing to their work and normal life getting affected. The adaptability that Kashmir has been impregnated with has its roots and origins in the realities that has shaped and made the collective consciousness of the region as it is now. Both individually and as a composite whole Kashmir has always weathered the trials both forced and natural with the most comprehensive and matured symbolism.
Coming to the livingness in Kashmir people, there are widespread shades of opinion being evinced about the probable damages being accrued. There is a common point in believing the fact that everyone has suffered in this cycle of ‘sufferings’ we have been experiencing around. As we all have been confined to our homes, the famous Kashmiri Islamic scholar, philosopher and poet Sheikh ul Alam on home. “Ghar wandhai ghar saasa Barr nerei ne zanh” Home I will sacrifice thousand houses for you”. But the metaphorical houses are being seen as ‘waning that spirit’ with the given socio-psychological conditions we are cornered in. Though we have scrutinised the ashes of the house’s, which taken away the treasures of treasure, the distress of elders are in search of their treasure; the treasure of their peace but peace too is contentious as is the couplet of Kashmir being ‘paradise’.
In the era of globalization, today’s societies are confronted with diverse challenges. They progressively need to cope with intrinsic uncertainties. Although the term “vulnerability” – which means ‘exposed of being harmed’, as well as the inability to cope with or survive the impact of a harmful environment both in social and political science discourse .There should be awareness regarding the possible risks and push towards more sustainable and inclusive social formations. Thus, in today’s advanced phase of globalization there is the need of a affirmative socialising, as much as possible all-encompassing hierarchical strategy to convert crises into opportunities, or even temporary failure into long-term empowerment. Could the term “resilience” – which in its basic sense suggests resistance, obduracy or even resoluteness – used mainly in psychology and educational strategies since the 1980s make an important addition to social environments in this respect? If so, what would be sustainable approaches toward a resilient culture?. The answers to these questions lie in the social and cultural expressions Kashmir has been living in thus making it a part of our socio-political vocabulary and progressive debate.
Kashmir has shown the Durkheim ‘inorganic solidarity’ since ages and this spirit has been continuously exhibited whenever anything befalls on the society involving a community or people. This tradition of ‘resilience culture’ is what we have to express everywhere so that the harms, tribulations and injustices we have been through would be reduced and thus a peaceful and vibrant society. Just like anything gets rebuild after a storm, Kashmir has always been rebuilding the scratches and watching the sun dawning high from the golden lit beams from Himalayas.
Author is a scholar from Kashmir.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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