The Newsletter 52 Winter 2009

Eroding Kashmiriyat

Sanjeeb Kumar Mohanty

Kashmir has become both a symbol and battleground of competing ideologies. Pakistan’s desperate bid to destroy Kashmiriyat (‘Kashmiri-ness’) was a way of imposing Islamic fundamentalism on a community known for its communal harmony, secularism and liberal ethos. Fundamentalist Islam from across the border tried to distort India’s secular image by blurring the eclectic and syncretic aspects of Kashmiriyat. Sanjeeb Mohanty examines how Pakistan’s attempts to erode Kashmiriyat were designed to shorten the ideological and emotional distance between Kashmiri Muslims and their Pakistani brethren.

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