The Muslim Identity and the Politics of Fundamentalism in Kashmir

Date: Oct, 1998
ODID Working Paper No. 19
Author(s): Rekha Chowdhary (University of Jammu, India)

This paper examines the role of religion in the formation and assertion of political identity in Kashmir. The issue has been highlighted by the rise of Islamic militancy in the 1990s. Four aspects are examined: the meaning of Islam for the people of Kashmir; the role of Islam in the formation of Kashmiri political identity; the secularization of this political identity; and the implications for the politics of fundamentalism. The paper concludes that despite the sharpening of their Muslim identity, the logic of Kashmiri politics continues to be governed by the demand for autonomy - a question which remains largely non-communal. The basic issue for the people still remains the right of the political community to determine its own political future.

ODID Author(s)