"I am living in a land that won't accept me and won't let me go either."

I would often repeat this phrase to myself or say it out loud to my significant other. I am the eternal desplazado – the misfit, who will always be compelled to move to different places physically or mentally because she is ideologically on a whole different plane altogether than the rest of her kin. Yet, I am not the only one who got sidelined in the dominant narrative - secularists, rationalists, atheists, moderates and not-so-fundamental believers also found themselves without a home and eternally displaced even when new homes were found and made. And they remained cut off from each other too even though they may have been living in the same city and shared similar narratives. 

Desplazados are people or groups of people who have been forced or obliged to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border. We refer to them as internally displaced people too. 

In India's case though, there is a difference between having an empire carve up a region and order millions to leave their homelands in '47 and an entire community coerced through terror, intimidation, fear, threats and selective assassinations to leave their hearths with just the bare essentials in 1990. Desperadoes are reckless or desperate persons especially those ready to commit any violent illegal act. In their zeal for a misplaced sense of righteousness and nationalism, desperadoes hounded out desplazados and started a never-ending cycle of hate, pain, loss, grief and violence in Kashmir in the early 90s.   

Desplazados will always be the victims of desperadoes and their fascist ideology to create a mono-cultural society. The mixing up of religion with the state has been the reason for so much conflict and violence in the world. Desperadoes always believing that "God" was on their side and what they were doing was holy. Of course, rationalists are always zonked by the logic of desperadoes – how a Supreme Being would want the prosperity of a particular community or tribe at the cost of another. But then religious fundamentalists have often operated on the blind faith that what their texts (propounded by the mullahs every Friday from the pulpits) tell them is infallible be it aggression against women, non-believers or homosexuals.

Then there are desplazados of the mind who do not have the option of moving away from the effects of the conflict because of economic or logistic reasons. They become displaced in a different way either by losing their sanity in which case they are displaced in their minds or by elective mutism in which case they withdraw from the whole shenanigans altogether. This renders the desperadoes victorious believing that the entire population caters to their viewpoint and they spare no opportunity to propagate this illusion. The desplazados of the mind have only now begun to be recognised as victims of conflict and war and their trauma is being recorded too in the Yazidi survivors of the ISIL and the recently retrieved Nigerian girls from the clutches of Boko Haram.  

The thing is 'desplazados', whether of the land or of the mind will always carry the displacement within them for generations depending on how much closure they have or not. The permanent border in '47 right through the west and East of India enabled millions to move beyond the grief and loss of their homes and loved ones. One can hear the testimonies of the survivors of the 1947 Partition Archives to recognize the indefatigable spirit and man's ability to adapt and survive in adverse circumstances.

But the 'unfinished business' of the Partition vis-à-vis Kashmir as recently alluded to by the Pakistan Army Chief with its "disputed" border never ever gives closure to the desplazados still longing for a possibility of return, rehabilitation or resettlement. They will forever be in limbo; neither here nor there in their memories, their plans and their lives. The usual action is always to turn to international agencies like the UN for intervention, etc but considering conflict is an industry and vested interests will always find ways to keep the conflict alive, desplazados of the post-Cold War can learn a lot from the desplazados of the post-World Wars. They, through their industriousness, the sweat of their bones and the blood off their backs overcame the wounds inflicted by the desperadoes.