Over the last seven decades of the conflict in Kashmir, the Indian state has retained control of the region through multiple modalities – deep militarization, human rights violations, economic dispossession, and promise of development among others. In the last few years, there has been increased investment by the Indian state in development programs on the pretext of showcasing normalcy and promoting peace amid ongoing state-sponsored violence. One of the dominant modes of this has been the emergence of military-organized sports activities and the building of sports infrastructures across all districts in Kashmir. These sports infrastructures have become the primary spaces of ‘development’ and ‘nation-building’ in Kashmir. Through these sports infrastructures, which give an outward impression of normalcy, Waleed examines these spaces as the state’s (unarmed) infrastructure of control and analyze how they shape and reshape resistance politics in Kashmir. Under programs such as Khelo India (India Plays), Ab Khelega Kashmir (Kashmir will Play Now), and Positive Kashmir Tournaments, a large section of Kashmiri youth have been mobilized and their political inclinations controlled. The state enables and allows certain gatherings such as spectators inside a stadium while criminalizing other assemblies such as street protests. In this context, Waleed is interested in examining sports as a mode of state-craft, biopolitics, and identity formation. Against the backdrop of militarized humanitarianism, Waleed studies the effects of sports programs on people's experiences of and interpretations of state-sponsored violence in the context of India's military occupation of Kashmir.

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