The imagery behind this is constructed through the mythology of two mothers whose fables came to be adopted and championed as the epitome of motherly sacrifice in Kashmir. The story of the mothers of Aka-nandun spins a folktale that idealizes the sacrifice and selflessness of women despite the torment she faces on losing her child. The other tale of Lalded is based on a woman who evoked mysticism in the land of clashing belief systems and spoke the language of the changing Kashmiri ethos. She didn’t give birth to a child, rather, became the symbol of motherhood, guiding the wayward souls by breaking free from the patriarchal bounds and donning the armor of maternal spirit to transform and challenge the notions of the faltering Kashmiri society.
The gendered lens is one that can be employed to understand the conflict in Kashmir and its relationship to national identities. The Indian nationalist imagination views the state as a patriarchal and masculine figure that must exert control over its feminine counterpart, Kashmir, in order to coerce it into submission. Similarly, feminists have understood violence to be perceived as masculine, whereas, peace is viewed as devalued and feminine leading to the use of gender relations as the basis of fueling violence. A key factor in the propagation of gender-based violence lies in the foundations of the nation-state building process.