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When I started conducting my ethnographic research in Kanhal village, I was enthused by the idea of recording Dalit voices. My enthusiasm rested on the presupposition that Dalit experiential reality would offer a subversive discourse to the mainstream political voices of Jammu, especially on the issue of the ‘Kashmir conflict’. Focussing specifically on the Scheduled Caste (SC) community, it took me some time to realise that while the views of this community as well as other lower castes offered an alternative vocabulary of conflict, their voices were not completely autonomous of the ‘normative’ or ‘conventional’ socio-political practices. Rather than a one-way process of providing an alternative perspective on conflict, these castes were deeply engaged with and influenced by the dominant conflict-based politics of Jammu. Their association with this politics led them to manifest a diversified and ambivalent response rather than simply prioritising their caste-based concerns.
As this chapter will go on to argue, SC engagement with this hegemonic politics – despite its exclusion of caste and class issues – helps one appreciate the problematic nature of the very category of ‘marginal’ often used to frame the SC position. The ‘marginal’ become less of something isolated from dominant socio-political structures and more of that which simultaneously associates with, appropriates, as well as subtly resists the very socio-political structures that define and reinforce its marginality. Rather than placing the marginalised in opposition to the dominant structures, one can use Bakhtin's dialogism to appreciate the complex interaction between them. As Bakhtin explains, ‘meaning-making’ always takes place in a dialogic manner, whereby the listener or addressee, despite her subordinate situation, is not passive. Even through conformation or agreement, she reformulates her response to add meaning to the dominant discourse. He states, ‘Agreement is very rich in varieties and shadings’ (Bakhtin 1986: 126). Hence, SCs’ association with the dominant socio-political discourse should not be reduced to simply imply submission but may be analysed to understand their varying priorities, concerns, as well as dilemmas. This chapter foregrounds the lived realities of this marginalised community that is marked not by radical forms of self-assertion but by many ambiguous and subtle forms of resistance. It provides an overview of caste dynamics in Jammu with reference to the positioning of SCs in the caste structure.
This chapter intends to reframe the narrative of the Jammu and Kashmir conflict by foregrounding the lived experiences of people residing in the border belt of Jammu. These experiences are in many ways integrally entwined to the wider conflict situation, but have not found any significant place in the accounts or political dialogues related to the dispute. This chapter will lay out the sociocultural and security settings of the border zone of Jammu, particularly the Rajouri region that adjoins the Line of Control (LOC). It will then illustrate how the conflict has influenced the border formation processes, starting from the partition of the state to the numerous wars that were fought between India and Pakistan. These incidents have divided families and shaped the memories as well as political responses of border residents in complex ways. Focussing on this LOC, the chapter will explore the border not just as a territorial reality but also as a living and changing one that unsettles the static ways in which the conflict chronicle is often defined and negotiated.
The Line of Control and Its Dilemmas
I have an emotional attachment to the areas across the border [Khuiratta village in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir] in Pakistan as during the 1947 chaos I had to migrate and take refuge there. I stayed there for 10 years. Some of my relatives are still there. I keep track of happenings in Pakistan through news, and I pray for people there – people who helped me, who took care of me, and my relatives whom I miss. But Rajouri is my birth place; my village in Rajouri is my ‘mulk’ (country), my ‘watan’ (country), my love. I could not settle in Pakistan and came back as I was born in India, in Rajouri and that is where I want to die.
Wasim is an aged Muslim resident of the border district of Rajouri and his reflections provide perspective on the real-life complexities of people living in regions adjoining the LOC. Wasim's emotional affection towards his village in Rajouri co-exists with his attachment to Khuiratta village and other areas that lie in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir (PAJK). Despite his awareness of a concrete and almost impermeable border between India and Pakistan, his mind visualises no closure but in fact a continuity and interrelatedness between the two sides of the LOC.
This chapter offers a brief overview of the Jammu and Kashmir conflict and the divergent nationalist politics prevalent in the Kashmir and the Jammu regions in relation to it. It introduces the Jammu region and its politics and places them both in the wider conflict debate. The historical origins of the conservative and upper-caste-based mainstream politics of Jammu and its antagonistic stand towards Kashmir's political discourse are laid out in this chapter. What is the position of marginal castes of Jammu vis-à-vis this dominant conflict-based discourse? What are their dilemmas? What are their strategies of resistance? This chapter sets the stage for probing these questions in the later chapters.
The Jammu and Kashmir State and the Conflict Narrative
Broadly, the Jammu and Kashmir region (Figure 2.1) includes the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir (IAJK) and Pakistan-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan or Northern Areas. In this study, any references to Jammu and Kashmir are only to the Indian administered part, unless the term Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir (PAJK) is used. Jammu and Kashmir is divided into three main regions: Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Figure 2.2). Each of these regions is geographically, culturally and politically distinct from the others. Of the 22 districts in the state, there are 10 districts each in the Jammu and Kashmir regions and two in the Ladakh region. The linguistic, cultural and political plurality among districts provides for internal differentiation within each of these regions (Bose 1997). The cultural diversity of the state does not imply tight compartmentalisation, but overlapping multiple senses of belonging. There exist extensive relations within and between the three main regions, facilitated by economic exchange and socio-political interactions. Although Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state, it has varied religion-based demographic patterns. The residents of the Kashmir Valley are overwhelmingly Kashmiri-speaking Muslims (mainly Sunni with a sizeable Shia minority). Jammu, a socio-culturally more complex region, has a Hindu majority but Muslims comprise around 33 per cent of the population (Census of India 2011 [GOI 2011]) and are in the majority in many areas. Ladakh has 46.40 per cent Muslim, 39.65 per cent Buddhist and 12.11 per cent Hindu populations (Census of India 2011 [GOI 2011]).
The research underlying this book was spurred by a gap in the existing scholarship on the ‘Kashmir conflict’ – a Kashmir Valley–centric view of the conflict. Conflict, here, is mainly understood as the resistance movement by Kashmiri Muslims against the Indian state. This scholarship, thus, obscures the stakes of diverse communities in other parts of the state such as Jammu and Ladakh that are also involved in the conflict in distinct ways. This book addresses this gap by centring the Jammu region and uncovering the socio-political perceptions of marginalised sections among Hindus on the ‘Kashmir conflict’. A dearth of academic study on these sections living in Jammu, either in relation to or independently of the conflict, thus, prompted this research. While explaining that the conflict extends to Jammu and shapes its politics, it has explored in detail what ‘conflict’ or conflict-based politics signifies to subordinate Hindu sections, mainly Scheduled Castes (SCs) and residents of border areas. It has also delved into their everyday lives and social spaces of resistance that may not be particularly related to the politics of conflict. This work, thus, constantly keeps moving in and out of the conflict debate to present a holistic and complex picture of the marginalised groups among Hindus of the state, their mundane struggles and their intricate involvement with the conflict-based politics. More broadly, this book has also looked at the cultural, religious and sub-regional diversity of Jammu, thus questioning the facile and simplistic notion of Jammu as a ‘Hindu’ region.
Why it is important to include Jammu into the academic purview? What significance does it have for understanding the conflict or perceptions of marginal Hindu communities or their quotidian social lives? This book has addressed these questions to argue that it is pertinent to analyse Jammu, which represents an important third dimension of the conflict, the other two being the international (India–Pakistan) and the domestic (Delhi–Kashmir) dimensions. One cannot comprehend the conflict in its entirety or the way it engages marginal Hindu sections without grasping the politics of Jammu.
Making a Case for Incorporating the Third Dimension
The logic of shifting Jammu from its position of marginality to the centre stage emanates from an understanding of the multi-layered nature of the conflict that extends from external (India–Pakistan) to internal (Delhi–Kashmir) to ‘intra-state’ levels.
Religion is so vast that in it all races can co-exist without polluting the air. Religion is like the endless sky; it can stay clean even with millions and millions of human beings, animals and birds, insects and worms breathing into it.
I had felt that I had found my religion at last, the Religion of Man, in which infinite became defined in humanity and came close to me so as to need my love and cooperation
— Rabindranath Tagore
from acquiring primacy in some situations to losing its significance in other contexts. It seeks to explore the extent to which political discourse influences and shapes the social responses of people and the ways in which people, situated within a complex social interactional network, override or endorse political assumptions that are based on the primacy of religion.Previous chapters have demonstrated the various ways in which marginalised groups among Hindus locate themselves within and negotiate with the normative social structure as well as the dominant political discourse. Through an analysis of caste and border dynamics, an attempt has been made to highlight the differences, contradictions and contestations within the Hindu identity and problematise the notion of its cohesive existence. The dominant political discourse that confers Jammu a ‘Hindu’ identity is based on the idea of a ‘Hindu’ monolith. Although the ‘Hindu’ identity is articulated in opposition to ‘Muslim Kashmir’, its assertion in politically heightened situations alienates Muslims of Jammu as well. The pro-Hindu basis of Jammu's politics presumes that religion has a primary role in society and that there is an essential demarcation between ‘Hindus’ and ‘Muslims’. This chapter aims to question this basic premise by looking at the role of religion in Jammu's society and inter-community relations in everyday life. It does not accept or deny the role of religion in crystallisation of identities in social and political spheres, but in fact offers a broad spectrum in which religion as one of the identities engages with other sets of identities –
This chapter is divided into two sections and makes two broad points:
I. The social heterogeneity and cultural plurality of Jammu's society allow space for individuals and groups to have multiple and changing social affiliations. Not only is religion one among those affiliations but it is also internally fractured in terms of factors such as caste, class and tribe, thus refuting the political claim of a homogeneous Hindu identity.
I grew up in Jammu – one of the three main parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (India) – the other two being Kashmir and Ladakh. Dogri is the main language spoken in the city of Jammu, but I used Hindi and English in everyday interactions at school and with my family. I have made a few trips to Kashmir with my parents, and the anticipation of every approaching trip to Kashmir fuelled a lot of excitement in me. Trips to Kashmir felt like visiting a different world altogether in so many ways. The Valley's cold weather and its enormously scenic spaces offered a delightful respite from the scorching heat of the plains of Jammu. Although Kashmir has a different culture and language (Kashmiri), Kashmiris go out of their way to offer hospitality to their guests, including conversing in Hindi with the people of Jammu. Despite much close interaction between the people of the two regions, Jammu-ites often have an exotic and romanticised view of a ‘distinctly’ Kashmiri culture. Up until I started reading and researching on Kashmir, it was this romanticised vision that framed my understanding of the Valley.
When I moved to Delhi to pursue MPhil at Jawaharlal Nehru University, I was surprised to learn that a majority of people from across India shared not just a similar ‘exotic unfamiliarity’ with regards to Kashmir, but were also oblivious to the fact that Jammu and Kashmir comprised different parts of the state. Most students and researchers at the university coming from different parts of India equated the state of Jammu and Kashmir with just ‘Kashmir’. ‘Are you a Kashmiri Pandit (Hindu)?’ or ‘Do you speak Kashmiri?’ were the common questions I frequently encountered. Although I felt proud to be called a ‘Kashmiri’ (because Kashmir is more beautiful and scenic than many parts of Jammu, especially Jammu city), it troubled me that people outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir had only a partial understanding of it. I never missed an opportunity to educate my friends and acquaintances about the extremely diverse make-up of the state. I decided to focus my inquiry on the largely unnoticed Jammu region and foreground the plural character of the state as part of my research.
Suraj's face lit up as he showed me photographs of his siblings. I had already met him a few times at a grocery shop in Danidhar: one of the villages in a remote border district of Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir state, India) where I was doing my fieldwork. It was during our conversation, with others gathered around in the shop, about families separated by borders, that Suraj invited me to visit his home and family: ‘You can come to my house. I will show you pictures of my elder brothers and younger sister who live in the other Jammu and Kashmir, on the Pakistan side. They are now Muslims.’ ‘They were left behind in Pakistan in 1947–48 partition times and taken care of by my father's Muslim friend. He had suggested that they convert to Islam so that they can live fearlessly in Pakistan…. Our religion is different but we share the same blood,’ he informed me. Suraj was born in India but had managed to get a visa to visit his siblings. ‘I don't have words to describe to you how I felt when I first saw my family … my sister and brothers. I get goosebumps when I recall those moments…. We were meeting for the first time, yet we did not feel like strangers. We hugged, talked and talked tirelessly.’ A middle-caste Hindu, Suraj had spent most of his life in Danidhar village. His two sons looked after his retail business as well as agricultural work under his supervision. ‘I am well settled here with my family. But there is always something missing, I feel. I sometimes feel empty and anxious…. I miss my brothers. I miss my younger sister from whom I was separated due to India–Pakistan border.’ Suraj was ecstatic as he described who was who and provided context about the background in the photographs that have been posted to him by his relations; yet he looked tearful as he glanced through each of these. ‘I want to meet my brothers and sister once more so that I can die peacefully’, he said.
This book departs from the conventional academic narration of the conflict situation in Jammu and Kashmir and expands the debate by shifting the focus from Kashmir to Jammu region. Generally, it is the response of Muslim-majority Kashmir region - particularly its contestation of the hegemonic and assimilative temperament of the Indian state - that captures the attention of researchers. The Hindu-majority Jammu region which is affected by the conflict in many ways remains in the shadows. This book seeks to address this crucial academic gap by locating the conflict in Jammu region. Besides explaining the 'Hindu reactionary' and 'ultra-nationalist' responses of some sections of Jammu's society, the book also foregrounds the genuine grievances of its people and their concerns within the dominant 'Kashmir-centric' discourse.
Depression is a global public health problem with highest rates in women in low income countries including Pakistan. Paediatricians may be a resource to help with maternal depression. Little is known in low income countries about the prevalence of depression and its social correlates in mothers of children attending paediatric clinics.
Using cross-sectional design consecutive women attending the paediatric clinic were screened using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (n=185). Women scoring 12 or more (n=70) and a random sample of low scorers (n=16) were interviewed using the Clinical Interview Schedule Revised (CIS-R) to confirm the diagnosis of depression, the Oslo scale was used to measure social stress and EQ-5D for health related quality of life.
The prevalence of maternal depression was 51%. The mean age of the sample was 26 years. Depressed mothers were more likely to be living in a joint family household, they were less educated and they and their husbands were less likely to be employed. The depressed mothers had more financial difficulties and they were more likely to sleep hungry during the last month due to financial problems. The depressed mothers had less social support and poorer quality of life compared to non depressed mothers.
Maternal depression in this health care setting is high and it is associated with social stress and poor social support. Paediatric appointments may be an opportunity for care and care delivery for maternal depression.
To assess psychiatric comorbidity in patients of alcohol dependence.
All the patients of alcohol dependence attending alcohol and drug de-addiction OPD and adult psychiatry OPD on specific days were screened. Those fulfilling the selection criteria were included in the study. A detailed evaluation was done for socio-demographic variables and history of drug using semi-structured proforma especially prepared for the study. Diagnosis of alcohol dependence was made according to DSM-IV-TR criteria. The patients were seen for co-morbid psychiatric illness by applying Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR I & II (SCID I & II).
Out of 37 patients 24 (64.8%) were found to have comorbid psychiatric illness. Axis I and Axis II comorbidity was found in 64.8% and 5.4% of the samples, respectively. Patients of cluster A & B personality were equally distributed in the sample. Patients with more than one comorbidity accounted for 37.8% of the sample.
Psychiatric comorbidity in alcohol dependence is very high, other substance in particular. Number of comorbid diagnoses in a person may as high as three.
There are major health care implications of quality of life (QOL) in longstanding disorders such as Bipolar affective disorder (BD) for the patients and their caregivers.
The aim of the present study is to compare quality of life among bipolar disorder patients, their caregivers and to assess whether the level of depression correlates with the scores of quality of life in Bipolar Disorder patients.
We compared bipolar disorder (N = 40), their caregivers (N = 40) and no psychiatric illnesses (N = 150) on health related quality of life (HRQOL) which was assessed using the 26-item World Health Organization QOL instrument (WHOQOL-BREF Hindi version). All patients were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV. Within the group with bipolar disorder, we examined the relationship between HRQOL using WHOQOL BREF Hindi version and depression assessed using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS).
Patients in bipolar disorder group had lower QOL on all the four domains compared to healthy controls, caregivers. The four domains of the WHOQOL scale correlated negatively with the HDRS.
Our findings suggest that bipolar depression and residual symptoms of depression are negatively correlated with QOL in BD patients.