ABSTRACT

The early 1990s uprising against the Indian state in Jammu and Kashmir had a deep impact on every aspect of Kashmiri society. Massive militarization, clampdowns on protesting population followed by long curfews and violence influenced the everyday life in Kashmir. Enhanced presence of Indian Armed forces and vulnerability of male members to detention and disappearance undermined and stretched the traditional roles occupied by women in the Kashmiri society. Consequently, the stretched roles of women had a deep impact on the social relations and familial obligations. In this chapter, I argue that in contested spaces violence often influences the family organization and such influences are a part of the larger patterns of change witnessed in the socio-political order. As political contestations increase the conventional lines of difference between the domestic realm of the family, and the public domain of politics vanishes. Keeping this in view, I attempt to capture the tensions between the domestic realm of the family and the public realm of politics and how political contestations enter the domestic domain of the family and produce new contexts for social relations. This chapter is based on my field experience of working with the families of the victims of enforced disappearances and other forms of state violence in Kashmir.