It is, indeed, writings of leaders, like Nehru, who established the first rarified prisms through which to look at, and desire Kashmir. The Indian mainstream cinema then popularised this prism and produced Kashmir as a “territory of desire” – an image coined by author Ananya Jahanara Kabir of territory bereft of its people, and their deep cultural traditions and political struggles. Huma Dar, whose scholarly work traverses the cinematic strategies deployed in the Indian nationalist “fetishisation” of Kashmir, argues in “Cinematic Strategies for a Porno-tropic Kashmir and Some Counter Archives” that there is:
A complete and excessive focus on the “natural” parts of the valley that show no or minimum signs of indigenous human habitation… (a) resolute centering of Hindu temples and Hindu ruins in Kashmir…foregrounding anything but Kashmiri Islam and Muslims.
Apart from these deeper ideological efforts that turn Kashmir from a territorial borderland into a nationalist heartland, the Indian nationalist discourse about Kashmir is translated into catchy signs and images, which become part of everyday education in nationalism.