The idea of Kashmiriyat is dead. So is India's secular consensus - By Chitralekha Zutshi - IAMC
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The idea of Kashmiriyat is dead. So is India’s secular consensus – By Chitralekha Zutshi

Kashmiriyat is dead, this much is certain. And everything associated with it – religious harmony, secularism, the distinct relationship between Kashmir and India – is gone as well. Kashmiriyat has been in the throes of death for some decades now, but the latest moves by the Indian government to abrogate Article 370 and 35A, and demote the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to a union territory, have put the final nail in its coffin.…

The new generation of Kashmiri Muslims, who have grown up amidst violence and repression of the Indian security forces, do not know or care about Kashmiriyat, in part because it is no longer relevant. Those who come across the idea in Kashmir’s intellectual circles, where it can sometimes be found, vehemently reject it for its connections to India.

But the demise of Kashmiriyat has to be placed in the context of the concomitant demise of the secular consensus in India as a whole. The trajectory of the rise of the BJP, and along with it Hindu majoritarianism, can be traced to the same moment as the beginning of the Kashmir insurgency, which in many ways embodies its own majoritarianism. Both signalled the failure of the Indian state to live up to the secular ideals on which it was founded.…