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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Kashmir on Lockdown: India revealed as a Barbaric Oppressor

10 days before abolishing Kashmir’s special constitutional status, the Modi-led government prepared ground by deploying Indian troops and imposing a brutal crackdown on the valley. Analysts believe that the situation is likely to deteriorate further now that Kashmir has been formally annexed as an occupied territory.

News Desk |

For decades, the Himalayan valley of Jammu & Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, has been regarded as the flashpoint of a nuclear confrontation in South Asia. After 70-long years of Indian draconian laws and barbarism, the valley continues to bleed and suffer the brunt of the free-hand given to the Indian security forces.

The advent of the BJP-RSS government and its Saffron agenda further intensified the political situation and human rights violations across the valley, while the Congress has always supported a moderate grip on the disputed territory, all the while maintaining the existing structure, as mandated by the UNSC resolution.

However, on Monday, 5th August 2019, the Modi-led government violated not only the UNSC resolutions but also, besmirched the sanctity of the Indian constitution by ushering a presidential decree to abolish the Articles 370 and 35-A from the Indian constitution. In a hastily conducted proceeding that denied any debate or argumentation to the opposition, lasting over one hour, the Rajya Sabha, or Upper House of the Indian Parliament, approved this constitutional amendment despite the hue and cry emanating from the Congress.

This forceful abolition of Kashmir’s constitutional status did not consult any Kashmiri leader or politician, and stands as a vivid reminder that India is but an occupation force, clamping down on the rights of the Kashmiri people.

The abolished Article 35-A allowed special constitutional rights to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and prevented Indian citizens from acquiring property rights if they are not a permanent citizen of the state. The Article 370 had even greater significance as provided the valley a special constitutional status beyond the legislative powers of New Delhi.

Division of Kashmir

Siddharth Varadarajan, renowned Indian newsman and political commentator, noted that Union home Minister and RSS-BJP tout, Amit Shah, not only stripped away the Article 370, but also created a separate Union Territory for Jammu & Kashmir, citing internal security situation and cross-border terrorism as the reasons behind Ladakh’s demand for separation from J&K.

Varadarajan writes for The Wire, “Not only has Union home minister Amit Shah stripped Article 370 of its essence, he has gone one step further and abolished the entire state as well, replacing it with two ‘Bantustans’ – grandly called ‘union territories’ – in which key decisions on a range of issues like law and order and land will be taken not by the people and their elected representatives, but by bureaucrats from New Delhi.”

Lamenting the prevalence of human rights violations in Kashmir with or without its “special status”, Siddharth Varadarajan writes, “So after being pampered and appeased, the poor Kashmiris – whose ‘special status’ brought them benefits such as ‘human shields’, ‘half-widows’, pellet blindings, fake encounters like Pathribal and Machhil, torture and disappearances – need to brace themselves for a bout of tough love.”

Read more: What happens now for Jammu & Kashmir refugees in Pakistan?

This forceful abolition of Kashmir’s constitutional status did not consult any Kashmiri leader or politician, and stands as a vivid reminder that India is but an occupation force, clamping down on the rights of the Kashmiri people.


Modi’s Dream of Hindutva

Analysts underscore that the Narendra Modi-led government seeks to undermine the regional dynamics and the ongoing Afghan peace process, which has titled international support in favor of Pakistan. In light of the two successive statements made by the US President Donald Trump with regards to playing the role of a “mediator or an arbitrator” on the Kashmir dispute triggered a panic in the BJP-RSS camp, urging Modi to act swiftly and solidify his position amidst the downpour of criticism from the opposition leaders.


Before revoking the special constitutional status of Indian-occupied Kashmir, the Modi-Doval strategy operated to intensify security crackdown with heightened military deployment, and the arrests of all mainstream political leaders. 10 days earlier, the entire valley was put under a brutal lockdown, suspending all internet, communication and television services.


India also began its aggressive posturing along the Line of Control, claiming innocent civilian lives with cluster bombs and firing targeted at infrastructure and civilian dwellings across Azad Jammu & Kashmir Neelum Valley.


The Hindu nationalist government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a political off-shoot of the Hindu extremist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) came into power with a mandate of religious support, and the dream of carving out Mother India into a Hindu majority state. Given the powerful influence of the RSS, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhibited an irrational and unconstitutional agenda towards religious minorities and Pakistan.


Consumed by the spirit of RSS’s Saffron agendas and jingoism, Modi has inherited the Hindutva ideology of the RSS and the abolishment of the Articles 35A and 370 are a major milestone in the long-anticipated dream of Hindutva victory. It is important to note that the BJP has finally actualized the dream laid by its founder, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

A harsh critic of Congress and its leniency towards Kashmir, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had raised an infamous slogan, which continues to inspire BJP leaders till date. Mukherjee had said, “Ek desh mein do Vidhan, do Pradhan aur do Nishan nahi challenge”, which loosely translates into, ‘There cannot be two Constitutions, two Prime Ministers and two flags in one nation.’

Read more: Pakistan Army firmly stands by Kashmiris: COAS

Pakistan has reiterated its support to stand by the suppressed people of Kashmir in their mandated and justified struggle for freedom. Pakistan has assured its diplomatic, political and moral support, and the civil and military leadership of the country have also vowed to stand by the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

Analysts predict that given the ongoing developments and sinister crackdown in Kashmir, the valley is very likely to witness an unprecedented wave of bloodshed and barbarism.