Nation-building is constructing or structuring a national identity using the power of the state. Nation-building aims at the unification of the people within the state so that it remains politically stable and viable in the long run. Some of the theories of nation building have been dedicated to the study of link between nation and nationalism; others are attributed to explore nation building, state building, social integration, national integration and even conflict transformation during various historical periods.
Nation-building in Indian concept is the process whereby a society of people with diverse origins, histories, languages, cultures and religions come together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation, a national public education system, an integrated national economy, shared symbols and values, as equals, to work towards eradicating the divisions and injustices of the past; to foster unity; and promote a countrywide conscious sense of being proudly Indian, committed to the country and open to the continent and the world. The same applies to the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
Abrogation of Article 370 in J&K has paved a way to mixed feelings in the locals, given an opportunity to miscreants to spread propaganda in the society and even our adversaries have taken the chance to further use the moment to create unrest in the society in the name of autocratic ways of the Central government to divide and rule, change the demography of the region and further suppress the locals in the name of religion. However, perceptions of many differ – it has also been seen as a ray of hope for those who have suffered since the ages due to state-sponsored terrorism, longing peace, prosperity and growth for their future generations since decades.
As per general perception, three factors would determine the success of nation-building over the long-run: development of a responsible society, effective governance by the local administration and the emergence of a shared thought process. Guns and wars have never been the solution to an issue and so is the case with Kashmir. People may say that the governance in Kashmir has been effective or may be enforced due to the military might of the nation but the ultimate cause of failure as a state has been the above mentioned issues.
The largest democracy of the world where the preamble of the constitution contains words such as – sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic; common people of J&K have been affected by selfish politics, hatred mongerers in the name of religion and majorly by own foolishness. No one is to be blamed for the failed society at a lower level where a man is unable to decide what is good or bad for him and leave that decision to someone else. “Family is the cradle of virtues”, known to everyone, yet the problems start and continue to be there because it has never been addressed. An ideal man/ woman would respect humanity over religion, virtues like lying, cheating or stealing would be condemned in any good society, evils as drug/ alcohol addiction is forbidden in every holy book, yet we fail. If we fail as an individual entity, we fail as a family and further the dreams of a responsible society shatter affecting the long goal of Nation building. If a common man decides to have peace, he shall reap so, provided he plays his part. No one can force that, yet the mirror needs to be shown to everyone – the elders, women, and the teachers.
Local Civil Administration has been in shambles, either due to non-cognizance by the higher political will or there lie some other inherent issues like corruption. If it has been the former, it indicates poor social responsibility of electing the wrong representatives as in a democracy it is the “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”. As the previous elections data suggests, most of the locals don’t even vote, yet blame; those who do, are generally paid to cast. If it has been the later, it still points to poor family value system. Yet, the Civil administration must understand the grave underlying role in upliftment of the society by paying heed to the education system, generation of employment opportunities, addressing issues of public infrastructure and development of lines of communication, Provision of basic safety and security to everyone in the society and by the rule of law, unhindered by any other means of influence or personal gratification.
Emergence of a shared and common thought process with the inherent aim of peace, prosperity and harmony in the region needs to be pushed forward by all to counter any propaganda being circulated by the adversaries, anti-national elements or other non-state actors. Putting forth the reality, the true picture needs to be portrayed to the youth and the upcoming generations – the hatred at once has to end and end for good; the only way is to transform the inner self. The selfless ongoing efforts of the dedicated locals, NGOs, government as well as thought programmes by the deployed security forces to bring a change in the environment to maintain normalcy must continue.
J&K has seen unrest since decades – reasons have been numerous, however we must understand that “haste makes waste” and a well-planned and thoughtful strategy can only pave a way to the normalcy and peace in the region. The inclusion of the state in the nation building would only be possible if all actors at hand play their part as a common individual as well as a responsible citizen of the society.