Why should an Indian, any Indian – student, journalist, activist, lawyer, academician, politician, worker, feminist, communist or an ordinary citizen – care about Kashmir?
First of all, it is untrue that we don't care. There are way too many shades of opinions, suggestions, ideas and even convictions that we Indians have with respect to Kashmir and Kashmiris. And funnily, we are a bit too convinced of our own versions of Kashmir. Very few of us bother to check our facts. Critical thought seems so distant that it hardly appears to be a possibility.
As obsessed as we are with our wishful fantasies of Akhand Bharat and the future of Kashmir and Kashmiris "in India", it will not be an exaggeration to claim that we Indians have little idea about the history, politics, culture, tradition, art or even the geography of Kashmir.
To most Indians, Kashmir, an "integral part of India" is paradise on earth. It is where we go to holiday, relax or to escape. To the political left, right and center it is an indisputable part of India. They do differ, just a little, on how Kashmiris, "our very own citizens", ought to be treated. To a few of us, slightly aware of the cruelties, injustices and the brutalization of the territory and its people, it is an issue too distant and far away. The problem is too huge and we, too small. And sometimes we simply choose to limit our imagination. Because it is comfortable that way, you see.