This paper examines the social and political context of aggrieved mothers in Kashmir through personal narratives collected by the author. The theme of motherhood as a counter-piece of feminist analyses has re-emerged in recent years for example in the works of Ellen Ross (1995), Elleke Boehmor (2005) etc. Studies on motherhood, as Ellen Ross (1995) contends, are in the process of moving from the margins to the centre of feminist discussion, the mother increasingly a subject rather than a distant, looming object2. The context for this analysis is contemporary Kashmir positioned precariously in geo-politics. The paper attempts to reconstitute the meaning of motherhood within the context of the ethnic culture of Kashmiri Muslim society. At the same time, it seeks to explore how mothers deal with the political situation that is responsible for the early and violent deaths of their children and offers a discursive theoretical framework to demonstrate how mothers find the meaning in their own motherhood. The paper explores, through two case studies, the degree of choice mothers may have in either restraining their sons from joining the current violent political situation through militancy, or in their active resistance to these engagements. The article concludes with reflections on how mothers make sense of their sons’ militancy by uniting the political with the emotional intimacy of mothering following the death of their sons.
Violence and Motherhood in Kashmir: Loss, Suffering, and Resistance in the Lives of Women.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 21(6), 309-320.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol21/iss6/19