Kashmir, North East And Sports




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Sports

At a time when Kashmir is burning, a view is gaining ground that if the special rights that have been accorded to army in Kashmir they need to be withdrawn from North East as well! At the political level it could be an argument for the politicians and thinkers to ponder over, but let’s do a comparative analysis of these two strife torn regions of the country, to understand how North East in one way or the other has tried to integrate with the country while Kashmir during last decade at least has not been that accommodative, though both have same porous borders.

North East always had poster boys who could inspire the youth to carve the space for themselves in the process of development for the country, but unfortunately Kashmir lost out on this count, so there indeed is a wave of despondency.

The poster boy who gave many a youth the passport to success was Bhaichung Bhutia, who has acquired a cult status, and now Somdev Devvaraman is following in his footsteps, and is emerging as a player who can carry on to shoulder the responsibilities in tennis.

Another factor is that the youth from North East have traveled across to different parts of the country to earn their livelihood while the average Kashmiri youth is still hesitant to go out of Kashmir to have an exposure to the process of development.

Kashmir is also a state that has rich cultural traditions but in the wave of militancy those cultural traditions have been given a silent burial. Kashmir was the land from where Sufism spread across to the world, and till the time when Hindi films where being shot in Kashmir, memories of it being a part of the national landscape were captured in vivid colors. But as films stopped being shot in Kashmir also started losing its place from the national landscape.
For a youth there are two kinds of role models, one is in the realm of sports, while other is in the cultural space. In both these spaces, there is a big void in Kashmir and the absence of role models has pushed the youth to the brink.

While Kashmir still is connected to the mainstream, most parts of North East are linked to the country only through Guwahati, but that has not stopped people from this region to carve out a place for them under the sun.

What is therefore needed as a part of process of dialogue to also revive cultural traditions of the state and also do something to give sports in the state a fillip, if the youth has to be weaned away from the stone throwing activities?

By: Suman Rai

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