Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh: Building Peace and Countering Radicalization
Despite the recent elections and continuing cross-LOC interactions, the state of J&K has been witnessing an increasing radicalization of three distinct kinds – religious, regional, and tribal. While there has been much focus on military and human rights issues in the state, the growing divide between religious communities, regional antagonisms, and souring relations between various local tribal communities, are trends that have crept into the state almost unnoticed.
It is with a view to study these developments more closely and more importantly, devise measures to counter the growing radicalizing tendencies within J&K and build peace among the various regions and communities that the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies has undertaken the first part of the project titled Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh: Building Peace and Countering Radicalization
in 2009-2010. The second part is likely to take place during 2011.
The primary focus of the project is to understand the nature of the change that has been taking place at various levels and work towards building peace. The key aim of the project is to bring the younger generation in the different regions together to discuss the emerging issues and reach an understanding on how to prevent further radicalization and build peace among the various communities.
The project aims to provide a forum to communities and regions in J&K to come together and discuss the extent of radicalization and its nature and other related issues in a cordial atmosphere. The project will conclude by making specific policy recommendations to the governments and civil societies, based on these interactions.
A select research team of the IPCS undertook field research across the three regions – Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh, specifically in ten towns – Jammu, Rajouri, Doda, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Srinagar, Baramulla, Sopore, Kargil and Leh, during October-December 2009. The survey was conducted primarily among the youth to understand their perceptions of religious, regional and tribal differences, and the measures they deem necessary for the state and civil society to adopt to prevent an escalation of conflict and violence.
The questions were open-ended and sought to elicit the opinions of the respondents on what they considered the causes for radicalization in J&K. The survey also asked for their recommendations on how to address the growing divide between the communities.
The Institute organized a three-day workshop in Jammu during the first week of December 2009 which brought together students, scholars, and media persons, representing various communities of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to discuss the growing religious, regional and ethnic divide in J&K and make specific recommendations on how to prevent further radicalization.
Based on the deliberations of the workshop, the IPCS prepared a report which was released in New Delhi on 9 March 2010. The report has received wide coverage and attention in the media in J&K and will be submitted to the central and state governments.
The workshop report can be accessed at:
Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh: Building Peace & Countering Radicalization
C. DISCUSSION PAPERS
The Institute has commissioned discussion papers, to be written by young scholars, conflict resolution/transformation experts, academics, and media persons on the above issues. Paper presentations on these issues were made and used as discussion material during the Workshop in December in Jammu.
These discussion papers have been published as Issue Briefs on the IPCS website.
Understanding the Transformation: Issues, Threats and Early Warnings in Ladakh
Understanding Religious Radicalization: Issues, Threats and Early Warnings in Kashmir Valley
Arjimand Hussain Talib
Rajouri and Poonch: Identifying Early Warning Signals and Addressing New Challenges
Tourism as a CBM in J&K: Renewing Old Routes and Exploring New Areas in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh
Pir Panjal Regional Festival: Integrating the Isolated Border Districts in J&K & Building Peace from Below
D Suba Chandran