The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Patterns of violence and disinformation in Kashmir: A philosophical reflection

By Zaboor Ahmad           

The underpinnings of the state in all conflict-prone regions are inherently based on violence, even if there is democracy linked to regular elections. ‘State sponsored terminations’ are not only unjustifiable crimes but morally repugnant and reprehensible. But the camouflage to such terminations is provided by what is termed as siege mentality, of being surrounded by enemies on all sides.

The assassinations, by definition, exclude procedure established by law in proving the innocence or otherwise of the accused, as well in applying an appropriate sentence if the guilt is established. The assassin in effect acts as prosecution, judge, jury – a cocktail in a nut-shell that is required to make the process complete. To say that a decision or action is morally right does not necessarily entail that the fallout will be automatically good. Assassination does not signify only death followed by wailing but it entails the cataclysmic doing away of hopes and dreams. That is how colonial immoral powers have ruled throughout world. It results in forfeiting of right to live but also making people politically sterile to challenge the construction of a state-calibrated narrative.

Murder occurs when one human being unlawfully kills another. But it can be a “depraved-heart murder”, killing someone in a way that demonstrates a callous disregard for the value of human life. For example, the intentional fixing of gun into crowded place like Jallianwala Bagh and Machil, Pathribal fake massacres. Murders are often mediated by intent of malice, with no legal excuse as they might enjoy immunity. A peculiar pattern is visible in all the murders which in itself involve killing, since enemies are scattered all around: pick up people from different places, say A, B, C, D, bundle them in a distant place, say E as topography, rugged terrain and other wherewithal is at disposal and will lend succor to this enterprise. Use most reprehensible immoral methods of torture that will not only be blood-curdling but also break the will to continue. Pour and insert fuel in private parts; if at all set free, they would be unqualified for intercourse. But if he gives up, mutilate the bodies beyond recognition, thanks to DNA technology, take them to distant places and bury.

Filter the news; go on lying till it becomes a well-accepted narrative among people. Disinformation is modern weapon of slaughter. Cook up different stories to divide the people on basis of information available. People in colonies are often imbued with frozen rage which needs a spark, which sometimes will explode spontaneously while at other times it will need command. People will be out on streets, leaders will be in, and the fallout that follows is uproar followed by violence, radicalizing more and more people, providing necessary impetus for the need for retaliation. Government will be under considerable strain to order inquiries, but justice will elude for decades. That is how the system works.

If the government suffers or else is put on back pedal by violence, TV news network, owned by capitalist elite class being bankrolled by the advertisement industry, will be quick to beam breaking news, followed by interviews of outraged class and sections of society, followed by government statements promising retaliation. It sends chill in one camp and produces anxiety in the other. It forces one to search for enemies while nudges the other not to be named and framed. Media barons having vertical and horizontal links with elite class will present the reports of the strong party, while putting the news of the weak in cold storage, or else report distorted version of story only to support the narrative of the strong, make them appear as if they were invisible killings and murders.

By overemphasising the suffering of the strong and downplaying the killing of the weak, the impression that is manufactured is that the weak is engendering violence and causing conflict. While ruling over India, Britain crossed all its historical and civilization traits of decency, by unleashing violence of gigantic proportions only to maximize the control on resources and minimize the population, making the hold easy. For powerful and status-quoist states, population has never been an issue. They matter only for the beleaguered and the weak ones. The public, being fed on false, biased and disinformation, are not remotely concerned by death and destruction of the war machinery.

Photo-credit: Here

Zaboor A
hmad is lecturer in political science in Kashmir.  E-mail:

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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘JNU and Its Tradition(s) of Dissent’, edited by Malavika Binny, JNU, Delhi, India.

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