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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Demographic and Political Engineering of Kashmir

In his latest twitter thread, Fidato explains the Indian efforts of Palestinising Kashmir through demographic and political engineering that will increase the complexities of the conflict manifold. The thread gives an insight into Modi’s plans for IIOJK.

On August 5, 2019, the BJP government in India ripped Kashmir of its status of a special entity by abolishing article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution. This was one of the most significant developments in the history of Kashmir conflict as it completely altered the dynamics of the issue.

Since then the BJP government has executed several policies and strategies aimed at altering the demography of the disputed valley. These include changes in laws regarding land ownership and residency status to encourage Hindus to settle in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Indian government also made changes to domicile law to facilitate new settlements in the occupied territory. Kashmiris fear that India seems is following the model of Israeli occupation of Palestine. As per this model Modi regime seeks to establish settler colonies that will help it control the territory.

Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has played a key role since 1991 in keeping the occupied territory under the control of Indian government. With the presence of 900000 Indian troops the soldier-civilian ratio in IIOJK is 1:8, making it one of the most militarized regions of the world.

Read More: August 5 – A black day for IO Kashmir

Moving on with the plans of establishing settler colonies in the occupied territory, BJP, in its election manifesto for Kashmir state assembly has pledged to provide land at cheap rates for establishment of colonies for retired soldiers. Moreover, fake domiciles are also being issued to fast-track the demographic changes in occupied Kashmir. According to credible reports 4.2 million illegal domicile certificates have been issued to non-Kashmiri settlers, posing a serious threat to the Kashmiri identity.

An attack on Kashmir’s demography was also witnessed in 2008 when 40 hectares of Kashmir’s land was transferred to Amarnath shrine; a Hindu pilgrimage site in the Himalayas. The proposal included establishment of housing facilities for pilgrims. Today, with the proposed establishment of colonies for retired soldiers, history is repeating itself.

Adding fuel to the fire, the RSS-backed BJP government is delimiting the constituencies on the basis of geography instead of population in order to allocate more seats to Hindu areas of Jammu, further oppressing Muslims by minimizing their political representation. Accordingly, there would be 43 seats for Jammu and 47 for Kashmir, whereas, population-wise there should be 51 constituencies for Kashmir (6.8 million population) and 39 for Jammu (5.3 million population). This delimitation will pave the way for a Hindu CM of a Muslim-majority region.

Moreover, Fidato pointed out that this move is not only against the universally accepted standard that population should be the measure of delimitation but it also violates article 82 of the Indian constitution.

Fidato concludes that “this is how Modi is engineering a Hindu majority in Kashmir. India is closely following Israeli playbook and specifically the Ben Gurion ‘Plan Dalet’ in implementing its egregious designs in IIOJK”.

Read More: The threat to freedom in Kashmir Valley