There’s no doubt many conclude that the braid-chopping incidents in Kashmir are just an episode of mass hysteria. That’s what reports say about similar incidents in India. This has led to discussions about mental health issues among Kashmiris as a result of the occupation. Derangement is what you call mental health issues in the oppressor engaged in executions, forcible disappearances, mass rapes, torture, the use of pellet guns, grenades, tear gas, live ammo, fear-mongering to cause dissension. Now we’re talking psycho.
Mental health issues among the oppressed are another matter altogether. Those involve loss, grief, terror, fear for your children. There should be no stigma attached to these mental health issues since they are human responses to extreme duress. Many of us know something, maybe even a lot, about that & can approximate it from our own experiences. Though war, occupation, genocide are not episodes in life but unrelenting barbarisms.
Kashmiris will get to the bottom of what is real & what is fear in these braid-chopping incidents. We can be sure it isn’t ghosts or evil spirits behind it or fevered imaginations but the Indian army whipping up distrust. The wonder isn’t that Kashmiris suffer trauma from occupation but that they continue to resist despite it.