Translations| Perils of Translation in a Conflict Situation: Lessons from Kashmir
The continuing tension between the necessity and impossibility of translation is explored within the context of the Kashmiri movement for self-determination. In this situation of conflict, the central term azadi is intensely contested, with different parties to the conflict inflecting the term with their own politically motivated interpretations. In addition, the act of translation itself becomes politicized, with the Indian government, the Indian mainstream press, and minorities within Kashmir insisting that Kashmiris reveal the “real” meaning of azadi and Kashmiri protestors refusing to pin down its meaning, using its polyvalence as part of the movement repertoire. In this fraught situation, engaged translation by progressive intellectuals is necessary to move beyond mutually exclusive interpretations of azadi so that new futures for Kashmir can be imagined.