Given the highly volatile situation in Kashmir, millenials in the state are unable to employ effective strategies to successfully resolve issues that they are invested in. They lack access to their representatives, legislators and decision-makers. As a result, there is nobody to implement their recommendations. They also lack the space to reflect on their strategies, challenges, the processes of negotiation, dialogue, and accommodation required to reach some kind of fruition. In the current situation, the local community is unable to exercise any clout and is unable to think constructively about structural change. Politics is an abstract notion for the young people in our state, and not a concrete method to bring about long-term reforms, which younger generations could build on. Unfortunately, once the government of a federal country and its appendages become centrist and integrationist, they insidiously insert themselves into political structures and organisations in states, which is the reason that the new breed of politicians in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) no longer feel the need to establish their credibility through ideology, conviction, perseverance, and working for the well-being of their electorate. Instead, they become complacent, which is why electoral politics has been stigmatised. In politics, the only viable way is forward. Constantly looking back never gets anyone anywhere. Policies and methods must be revisited, revised, and readjusted — not just by mainstream politicians, but by separatist politicians as well in order to meet today’s needs. Do we require the resuscitation of a concrete political ideology, which bridges divides, as opposed to the deification of martyrdom in the murky conflictual world of politics in J&K? Has the Government of India been assiduously working to engage young people in J&K in the processes of democracy, to acquire skills and knowledge that would enable them to effectively participate in decision-making and political processes, to recognise the importance of standing up and being counted as well as the value of the vote? Is there recognition of action civics in the higher echelons of power at the federal and state levels when it comes to facilitating the growth of the political processes in Kashmir? Several attempts to deconstruct the political fabric of Kashmir have been made by academics, scholars, and ideologues of various hues, but, it is high time we move beyond social commentary, demythologising, and decanonising to the revival of transformative progressive politics. I consider it a lot more significant to facilitate bringing about much needed systemic and structural changes in conflict ridden, politically and socio-economically decrepit polities in South Asia, like J&K. It is important for the civilian population of the region to engage with the various political organisations, mainstream and separatist, in the State in order to come up with a solution that would facilitate nation-building. We must return to the rule of law and the process of internal political dialogue. It is all very well to raise slogans of self-determination, autonomy, and self-rule, but it is time to think beyond sloganeering More than mobocracy, kangaroo courts, lynching, and panaceas, we need a return to the rule of law and the process of internal political dialogue. It is all very well to raise slogans of self-determination, autonomy, and self-rule, but it is time to think beyond sloganeering about the kind of social and political fabric we want to create for the younger generations. Sloganeering that is devoid of a clear blueprint for nation-building remains hollow, and, eventually, becomes defunct. In order to prevent further fragmentation of our social fabric, regional political parties, mainstream as well as separatist, of diverse religious and ideological leanings, must create the pathway to repair the tapestry that Kashmir once was and give the younger generation hope for the future. There is a large section of the populace of J&K that is still ecumenical; a large section of the populace that would still veer away from the forces of radicalisation or any kind of monocultural identity. When excesses — whether military, religious or political are not curbed, they have terrible long term damaging effects. And when religion and politics are conflated, especially politics of self-determination, that is a problem. Of course as responsible citizens, we need to hold up a mirror to the state government as well as to the federal government and we can do this more easily because they are accountable to us in a democratic setup, more accountable than militant organisations are — but human right violations on both sides need to be highlighted and showcased. The writer is the author of Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism, Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir, The Life of a Kashmiri Woman, and the editor of The Parchment of Kashmir. Nyla Ali Khan has also served as guest editor working on articles from the Jammu and Kashmir region for Oxford University Press (New York), helping to identify, commission, and review articles. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, March 8th 2018.