Seminar on the struggle for Azadi in Kashmir

Assistant Professor Farrukh Faheem from the South Asia Centre for Studies in Conflict Peace and Human Security, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India, held an interesting SASNET lecture at Lund University on Tuesday 22 April 2014, 15.15–17.00. He spoke about ”Understanding Struggle for Azadi in Kashmir: Interrogating the Ordinary”, based on his own research and fieldwork in Kashmir. The seminar was co-organised by the South Asian Students Association and the School of Social Work, Lund University. Venue: Room 12, School of Social Work, 1st floor, Bredgatan 26, Lund. See the poster.

Dr. Faheem’s research mainly focuses on Identity politics, Political Mobilization, Religious Nationalism, and Community Development, with a focus on Jammu and Kashmir. In his presentation, he discussed the fact that Kashmir as a disputed territory presents itself as a space and the site of contestations between India, Pakistan and its inhabitants.
While India and Pakistan respectively claim Kashmir to be their Atoot Ange (Inseparable part) and Shahrage (Jugular Vein), the people of Kashmir have resisted such claims. By attaching meanings to the historical events people of Kashmir have continuously shaped the political discourse and resisted interpretations by others. This ‘meaning making’ as a part of Kashmiri struggle for Azadi can be located in the everyday life of Kashmiris.
Dr. Farrukh argues that the process of ‘meaning making’ can be traced to the two decades of massive mobilizations that preceded the 1990s Azadi uprising in Kashmir. New generation of Kashmiris continuously developed interpretive sketches explaining the range of problems encountered by Kashmiri society. It was this generation which ultimately challenged and replaced Sheikh Abdullah’s brand of politics in Kashmir. This chapter will trace how different actors in Azadi mobilizations have influenced the interpretive processes by which Kashmiris negotiated the meaning of key political events subsequently informing the 1990s Azadi mobilizations.

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