Professor Nyla Khan’s newest book is a call to action: action formulated in a deep consciousness of understanding and caring. Composed out of her own experience and care for the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir and their trauma of insurgency and of the new, native nationalism of India rule there, Khan asks of her readers to develop a deeper consciousness of the suffering and alienation of the young people there and beyond. Simply put, as readers, we are asked to care.
I read Khan’s work from that heavily screened perception of a westerner. Screened by privilege, distanced from the fray of most violent incursions, and seeing the South Asian and Mid-Eastern troubles through the coloured hues of the nightly national news. Saying that, I do know first-hand gun violence, institutional racism, misogyny, and through the students whom I teach, who come with traumas mirrored from a larger world we all share. For this reason, I refer Nyla Khan’s work, first and foremost, to the western reader though her inclusive research and analysis of trauma take us around the historically traumatized globe.