Friday, 10 September 2021
Daily Diary (DD) - Day 253 of 2021
Keeping one's composure after having spent 36 hours awake; of which about 30 have involved constant communication with different co-citizens of the State - local and abroad - plus a couple of hours of travel, can be an invaluable temperament to master.
I would like to announce - if it isn't clear already - that I'm straining for humanity and civilisation by reactivating shared heritage space across religious affinities in Jammu Kashmir & Allied, in a wider region deeply ruptured by religious difference, especially since 1947.
There is the political narrative and then there's the cultural narrative. The latter can provide much needed oxygen to our conflict ridden territory and in turn generate socio-economic dividends desperately needed by all communities, irrespective of religion. The political arena and the cultural arena can be different activities and demand separate space. The political has proved to be a lock for decades but the cultural can be a key for centuries.
How does religious/inter-faith harmony trump religious seclusion?
In other words, how can 'lose lose' convert to 'win win'?
These are the questions that will test our society over the next few days.
If India and Pakistan can stay away from politics in this period so can we, the inhabitants of this territory.
Before we exit the political landscape, I'm of the opinion that Britain has a shared responsibility in this regard too. Not least because of its colonial legacy but it is perfectly positioned to help us 'right' a 'wrong'. Despite its persistent insistence that matters in this region are for India and Pakistan to resolve (while depriving local agency) it can come out from behind the curtain and champion cultural diversity and religious harmony, just as it does in its own country. In this respect, Britain qualifies to lead from the front.
1830hrs: Relative calm after what was essentially a stormy visit to the Neelam Valley and other areas South enroute and on return. From Sehn...
2359hrs: In the nick of time....as the cliche goes....maintaining a 99% daily diary output ratio for the year remains an achievable targe...
1315hrs: Almost 70 hours later, we are still at a standstill in reference to the Pakistani flags hoisted at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square...