Home South Asia India Modi Lauds Revocation of Kashmir’s Special Status as Achievement for his Government

Modi Lauds Revocation of Kashmir’s Special Status as Achievement for his Government

Addressing the Indian nation on the Independence Day of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi counted the abolishment of Kashmir’s special constitutional status as an achievement for his Hindu-nationalist government.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, defended the widely opposed decision of abolishing the special constitutional status of occupied Kashmir in his independence day speech, while over seven million innocent Kashmiris enter the 11th day of a total communications blackout and security lockdown.

Modi stated that Kashmir’s previous constitutional privileges that granted the occupied state a certain degree of political autonomy, and the ban on outsiders purchasing land and obtaining public sector jobs had triggered the separatist movement across the Muslim-dominated Himalayan territory.

The Indian Prime Minister noted that the abolishment of Articles 370 and 35A of Kashmir are one of the successes of his government.

He stated that these laws were also unjust towards the Kashmiri women, because they would lose all rights to their inheritance upon marrying someone from outside the occupied valley.

Read more: In plain words: What are Articles 370 and 35-A?

“Achievements” in Occupied Kashmir 

Counting the “achievements” of the Modi administration after a few months of its reelection, the Indian Prime Minister noted that the abolishment of Articles 370 and 35A of Kashmir are one of the successes of his government. Modi said, as cited by The Wire, “The work that wasn’t done in the last 70 years, the new government has done within 70 days.”

He stated that the bills passed to abolish the special status of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcating the state into two federally administered union territories were passed in the Rajya Sabha with a two-thirds majority. Modi stated that this two-thirds majority reflects that “everyone wanted this decision, but the question was who will come forward to do it.”

Modi stated that this two-thirds majority reflects that “everyone wanted this decision, but the question was who will come forward to do it.”

Addressing the Indian nation on 15th August, India’s Independence Day at the Mughal era Red Fort in New Delhi, Modi said, “We want Jammu and Kashmir to move forward.” The Indian Prime Minister said that those who are in support of the Article 370 “are being asked by the rest of the country that if they [the Articles] were so important, why you didn’t make it permanent over the last 70 years? Why did you let it remain temporary?”

Modi stated that the decision to abolish the laws that granted Kashmir its special status were considered wrong but no one had the “courage or resolve to bring reforms.” The Indian Prime Minister further added, “It would have jeopardized your political future, but for me the country’s future is everything.”

Read more: Mockery of Democracy: Indians Criticize Revocation of Article 370

Criticizing the arrangements of Article 370 and 35A, Modi stated that these laws “encouraged corruption and nepotism” across the territories of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, and they did little to protect the “rights of women, children, Dalits and tribal communities.”

Unprecedented Curfew & Lockdown 

Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated, “The Indian PM today speaks about the freedom of people to pursue their own aspirations. And to remove excess influence of the Government on lives of the people.”

The Foreign Minister added, “To that we say, surely freedom from oppression, violence, starvation and genocide is the right of the people of Kashmir? Is their right to self-determination not freedom to which they can dare to aspire?”

Shah Mehmood Qureshi concluded his Twitter tirade, “Lift the curfew in Kashmir, imposed for the 12th consecutive day running. Give Kashmiri’s the right to self-determination to ‘pursue their own aspirations’. Ask IOK how happy they are with this chilling reminder of Nazi Germany and its brutality.”

The Hindu nationalist Indian government led by Narendra Modi had imposed a security lockdown and a communications blackout across the occupied valley of Kashmir on 4th August. Shortly after, a presidential decree was announced to annex the region into federally administered territories of the Indian government by abolishing Article 370 of the Indian constitution and bifurcating the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two federally governed territories.

The Indian Prime Minister further added, “It would have jeopardized your political future, but for me the country’s future is everything.”

The new law allows outsiders to buy land across the occupied Himalayan valley, which has sparked fear across Kashmiri Muslims regarding New Delhi’s intentions to alter the demographics and culture of the region. Analysts and opinion makers are now associating the circumstances to the Israeli settlements erected across Palestinian lands.

Read more: Revocation of Article 370: Violation of UNSC, Indian Constitution & Victory for RSS Ideology?

Officials from the Indian Foreign Ministry has stated that the situation in Kashmir is gradually returning towards normalcy, however, the reports emerging from international news organizations, including BBC and Al Jazeera, have reported a severe security lockdown, unprecedented communications blackout and suspension of internet, while the streets remain blocked with steel and barbed wires.

On India’s Independence Day, celebrated on 15th August, the security restrictions were further intensified and movement was restricted on the streets of Srinagar.

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