Militants in Kashmir embody a proactive segment of political activism against India’s rule. Often very little is discussed, documented, or disclosed about the lived experiences of these active participants of Kashmiri political resistance. Local rebels are repeatedly depicted as a mendacious and erratic fringe of the Valley’s socio-political landscape, erasing their revolutionary activism, as well as the political ideology they symbolize, from public consciousness and memory. The statist narratives of the conflict, especially the portrayal of insurgents, is not only weaponized to undermine the political activism in the contested territory but to further validate state repression against dissenting voices. The chapter attempts to reconstruct Kashmiri rebels through their “silenced” histories contained within the intimate memories of their family members. Through in-depth interviews, I explore how the close kin of Kashmiri militants recall, comprehend, and rationalize their rebellious family members’ motives, values, and actions. It features memoirs of three recently active and prominent Kashmiri militants, which provide intimate acuities about their lives, beliefs, and experiences before joining the armed movement. By unveiling the personal histories of these militants from the standpoints of their families, the chapter seeks to broaden the understanding of militancy and militants in this disputed Himalayan Valley. I further intend to humanize the discourse on Kashmir’s militancy by bringing to the fore the narratives of individuals who are either diminished as obscure statistical figures or predominantly understood as “gullible pawns” of the broader geopolitical schema of the Kashmir conflict.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Critical Kashmir Studies|
|Editors||Mona Bhan, Haley Duschinski, Deepti Misri|
|Publisher||Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Sep 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Mona Bhan, Haley Duschinski and Deepti Misri.