Imagining Kashmir: Emplotment and Colonialism

By Patrick Colm Hogan | Go to book overview

Afterword
Ending the Trauma: What Can Be Done?

The Kashmiri stories considered in chapter 6 are disfigured for two reasons. One concerns the past; the other concerns the future. First and fundamentally, the authors’ distortion of narrative prototypes results from their sense that the events of recent Kashmiri history are incomprehensible. Narrative structures that we would ordinarily use to make sense of those events simply do not apply. At the same time, part of the reason such structures do not apply is that they extend from the past into the future. They imply resolution, even if it is a tragic resolution. However, these authors for the most part cannot envision anything other than an unprogressing repetition of past traumas.

The first purpose of the chapters in this book was to make some sense of the crisis in Kashmir and particularly of the various imaginations linked with that crisis, either as ideological sources or—as in the case of secondary ideology and disfigured narratives—as outcomes. This has involved reference to identity categorization and its variables, along with group dynamics; the central emotions evoked by colonial relations (such as humiliation and rage), as well as such associated occurrences as trauma; the nature of ideology and problematics; and above all, the forms of emplotment that both manifest and organize the conditions of the crisis and their imaginations.

Initially, I intended to stop there, treating the past, not the future. But, of course, in considering a current conflict such as that in Kashmir, one would also like to be able to contribute in some degree to resolving the problems or at least reducing the terrible human suffering. Indeed, I suspect that few readers would be satisfied with a book on Kashmir that had nothing to say on that topic—especially one that stopped so abruptly with unresolved traumas found in Kashmiri-language short

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