In this acquaintance piece, Aamir Aijaz presents the problem of patriarchy as it relates to theological (mis)interpretations by those who preach about social life and cohabitation between men and women in Kashmiri society and the subsequent affair that such men are entangled in within their own mode of (un)thinking (or blind acceptance). In doing so, the writer falls short in imagining a socio-cultural reform of sorts to alleviate the hegemonic weight of a patriarchal worldview, which is far from being subverted.
The writer fails in providing the theoretical formulations required to instantiate thinking towards a sociological paradigm shift that would offset and defeat the patriarchal hold that maintains its hegemonic structural control in Kashmiri society and in several other places around the world. The writer also fails in realizing that identifying the problem is the first step of the process and that a grassroots conceptual and ideological framework is required to drive actual change initially by means of shifts in perspective, ideally leading to a reformation of sorts.
All such failures by the writer, Aamir Aijaz, point to the void left by the need for the progressive thinking that molds this short piece into being and gives it traction for some much-needed incisive thinking past the defensive and apologetic rhetoric of those who would potentially disagree with the writer’s ‘observations as denunciations.’ As such, the piece published here in the Acquaintance section dedicated to personal accounts, commentaries, testimonies and opinions, succeeds in fueling a conversation already in progress offline, such that any failures noted in this editorial introduction are merely byproducts of unforgivable flaws (within Kashmiri society) that the writer specifically points out and denounces. In that context, the piece is quite the success when it comes to inspiring criticality towards its subject.
Of course continued repression, mass polarization, alienation and subjugation under a militarized state has not helped, instead doing the contrary by exacerbating a toxic environment for regressive thinking that then becomes the stick with which Kashmiris are struck, on a definitive basis by certain state-endorsed media outlets south of the border. Regardless, many such internally critical and collectively introspective conversations have been developing offline, with their manifestations emerging on the online platform from time to time, with this one being one of them. Any attempt by men to understand or address the complexities of systems that privilege their position and mere existence is perhaps in some minor way a small step forward towards questioning fundamental fallacies that we tend to take for granted as permanent fixtures that endow us with such privilege and position in the first place. In this, Aamir Aijaz’s opinion piece succeeds entirely to the point where his so-called failure to provide a solution to the colossal problem he presents is actually success inverted, or waiting to happen when more men who have witnessed what he relates herein take a stand.