India’s cancellation of Kashmir’s special status will have consequences – The Guardian UK

— Modi government’s move comes amid already high tensions between India and Pakistan

Narendra Modi

The significance of Kashmir to India is difficult to exaggerate. The decision by Narendra Modi’s recently re-elected government to remove the disputed Himalayan region’s special status under the constitution is no legal technicality, but a statement of intent and ideology.

As the predominantly Hindu India’s only Muslim majority state, adherents of the country’s secular tradition of politics have long seen Kashmir’s continuing inclusion within the vast democracy as evidence that all faiths can thrive together. This contrasts India’s immense religious diversity with neighbouring Pakistan’s strong Muslim identity.

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  • guyaneseonline  On August 8, 2019 at 12:49 am

    India abruptly ends the last special protection enjoyed by Kashmir

    The Hindu-nationalist government unilaterally changes the game in Muslim-majority Jammu & Kashmir, infuriating Pakistan and risking strife

    Aug 6th 2019 – The Economist
    WITH BREATHTAKING speed, Narendra Modi’s government has acted to end the special status enjoyed by Indian-adminstered Kashmir. For 70 years this had given the disputed, Muslim-majority state of Jammu & Kashmir a limited degree of autonomy within India. Overnight on August 4th-5th phone lines and internet access in the valley of Kashmir were cut and the leaders of its political parties were put under house arrest.
    On August 5th a hefty package of proposed legislation was carried onto the floor of the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of parliament. It proposed a radical reorganisation of the country’s most troublesome territory, an age-old bone of contention between India and Pakistan. By afternoon the parliament had agreed to revoke Kashmir’s status as a state and divide it into two bits that will be ruled formally from Delhi, indefinitely. Kashmiris had been warned, as had the rest of India. Still it came as a shock.

    Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has long argued that Kashmir’s special constitutional status is an error, as old as the Indian republic. In one night it pulled together a putsch involving the army, paramilitary forces, the cabinet and parliament, as well as India’s nominally non-partisan president. Mr Modi’s supporters, resentful of Kashmir’s exceptionalism, were jubilant; everyone else, including, importantly, Pakistan, apoplectic. The region is braced for strife.
    A thick sense of dread was already hanging over the green alpine valley. A pilgrimage to a holy cave in the Himalayas had been under way, with Hindus from mainland India trekking under heavy guard to witness an annual appearance of the god Shiva. Two years earlier local jihadists had shot up a pilgrims’ tour bus, killing eight. Nonetheless it seemed eerie when Delhi ordered an additional 10,000 paramilitary troops into the valley in late July, for no particular reason.

    Anxious rumours swirled.
    Mr Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government romped back to power with a towering majority in May. Tensions rose on August 2nd, when the army announced that it had come across a hidden cache of weapons near the pilgrimage route, including Pakistani-made mines and an American sniper rifle. The implication was that a terrorist attack might be imminent. The reaction was even more remarkable. The pilgrimage was for the first time in its history called off by the government, and non-Kashmiri civilians—tourists, aid workers, labourers—were urged to leave the state. Thousands jammed Srinagar’s airport, offering fortunes for seats on departing flights. Another 25,000 Indian troops were ordered in. Ordinary Kashmiris began to panic—not because they believed the warning about terrorism, but because they feared what India’s 600,000 or so soldiers in the territory, whom they regard as an occupying army, and the government in Delhi, might do next.
    The former princely state of Kashmir has always been an uneasy bit of India. Jammu & Kashmir is composed of three main parts: Hindu-majority Jammu, in the foothills; the arid highlands of Ladakh, which has a Buddhist majority; and the sprawling basin with Srinagar at its centre that is home to the ethnic Kashmiris. The Muslims of the densely populated Kashmir valley are the most numerous. In 1947, when Britain ended its colonial rule of the subcontinent, the territory of Jammu & Kashmir, like that of Punjab and Bengal, was divided. The new republics, Pakistan and India, each took a part. Very quickly, the two countries went to war, each claiming all of Jammu & Kashmir for its own. The conflict ended in a stalemate that left two-thirds of the state, including the valley, under Indian administration, with Pakistan controlling the rest. India and Pakistan fought two subsequent wars over the region, in 1965 and 1999.

    To absorb Kashmir into India, the architects of the federal constitution and local Kashmiri leaders spent years working out an unwieldy joint legal system. Only in matters of defence, foreign affairs and communications would India enjoy primacy. Everything else would go through Jammu & Kashmir’s own assembly, with a prime minister of its own. It is this clause of the Indian constitution, Article 370, defining this limited form of autonomy, that was gutted on August 5th.
    In theory, changing the constitution requires a two-thirds parliamentary majority. With a bit of legal juggling the BJP contrived an easier way: the president they had appointed simply issued an order annulling Kashmir’s special status.
    The constitution might seem to allow this, if the state government were to agree. And since June 2018, when the BJP withdrew from a coalition government there, the state had been under what is called “governor’s rule”—ie, direct rule from Delhi. With Article 370 out of the way, a resolution was put before parliament to revoke Jammu & Kashmir’s status as a state and to carve out Ladakh as a separate entity. The manoeuvres are contentious and a legal challenge will surely end up in the Supreme Court. But there is considerable support for the move in India. The national opposition, such as it is, was caught off guard; even some parties fiercely opposed to the BJP supported the resolution.

    Since 1989 insurgents, some of them backed by Pakistan, and campaigns against them have killed at least 45,000 people in Kashmir. By 1990 nearly all of the valley’s ethnic Kashmiri Hindus had been driven into exile. By the time Mr Modi became India’s prime minister in 2014, the conflict had become less intense. Since then it has steadily escalated. This has been Mr Modi’s main justification for abrogating Article 370.

    Why now? A simple answer is that the BJP now feels it can. On the campaign trail in the past year, Amit Shah, the home secretary and Mr Modi’s right-hand man, had promised to do something about Article 370. Speaking at the scene of a horrific incident of anti-Muslim violence in Jammu, Mr Modi had sworn that he would not “allow Muftis and Abdullahs to divide India”. He was referring to the two most famous political families of the state. Few people deny that administration in Jammu & Kashmir has been squalid for a long time, even by Indian standards. One of the many reasons offered for revoking Article 370 is that it will allow national governments in Delhi to sidestep the obstreperous dynasties that Kashmiris have kept electing.

    In recent years Mr Modi has won much approval around India for military operations undertaken in and around Kashmir. In September 2016, a day of “surgical strikes” against Pakistani positions across the Line of Control achieved little of strategic value but was played up by the prime minister in election campaigns. It resulted in a patriotic Bollywood movie which was still humming at the box office when the general election campaign began in spring last year. In crass political terms, angry Kashmiris may be worth more as enemies than as voters.

    Even before Mr Modi came to power, other governments had been hollowing out the provisions of Article 370. But among the few legal differences that still existed between Jammu & Kashmir and the rest of India was one that mattered: a provision clarified in Article 35A of the constitution, which provides the state government with the authority to prevent outsiders from buying and selling land. Along with Article 370, Article 35A has also been set aside. With fewer than 13m residents, living in some of the most beautiful lands on earth, Kashmiris have long been wary of immigration from the rest of 1.4bn-strong India. With their territory’s special legal status breached, Kashmiris worry that a demographic reorganisation may be next.

  • Trevor  On August 8, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Are Modi and his goons genociding Muslims there now?

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On August 8, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Yesterday, a Canadian white retired high school principal at the gym, with whom I have regular talks, asked me about Kashmir, which he is concerned about. I told him I know the bare facts, among which there was Muslim genocide and expulsion of over 300,000 Hindus from their native Kashmir. (You will see Tarek uses the 500,000 figure). And that the Pakistan supported part of Kashmir gave a huge portion of free territory to China, where China has 100,000 troops and jails for free labour. (see map in video). China is coddled by Pakistan as ally against India. China will build a roadway to the Arabian gulf through Pakistan to get to oil and trade ( and to surround India).

    Well, why this backstory? Because again, if you want to know about India-Muslim listen/read Tarek Fatah and Koenraad Elst. The Western media, as Elst tells it gets their news fro the anti-Hindu cocktail circuit in Delhi. They don’t do the ground work.

    Here is Tarek Fatah again on Kashmir:

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Youtube%3a+How+to+solve+the+Kashir+Conflict+-+Tarek+Fatah&view=detail&mid=E1461C5DDC4555AFF879E1461C5DDC4555AFF879&FORM=VIRE

    And, here he is in his yesterday’s column supportive of PM Modi’s bold action by India.

    https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/fatah-india-wins-freedom-2-0

    INDIA WINS FREEDOM 2.0

    Tarek Fatah, Updated: August 6, 2019 6:50 PM EDT

    A major shift took place in the Indian subcontinent on Monday when the government of India revoked the special status it had conferred on its only Muslim-majority state – the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
    In doing so, India demonstrated a spinal cord of steel, this coming after 1,000 years of Arab, Turkic, Persian and Afghan Islamic invasions, followed by Portuguese, French and British colonization, had reduced it to mere spaghetti.
    India today stands as tall as the Himalayas and walks as gracefully as the Bengal tiger.

    As expected, Pakistan invoked its self-styled role as the godfather of India’s Islamists. The country’s military-backed Prime Minister Imran Khan made a barely concealed threat of a nuclear attack unless India revoked its actions taken on its own sovereign territory.
    Khan told a joint session of the Pakistan parliament, “if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world,” he thundered. Then, as if to mollify his threat of a worldwide nuclear catastrophe, Khan fooled no one by insisting: “This is not nuclear blackmail.”
    Khan then played the race card: “What they (Indian government) did in Kashmir is in accordance with their ideology. They have a racist ideology … ingrained in their ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that represses all other religious groups.”

    India’s actions were taken through a change in two articles of its constitution that won approval in both houses of the country’s parliament. The fact this led Pakistan to threaten nuclear war tells us why so many of us consider the country not just a state sponsor of terrorism, but a threat to world peace under a military that is carrying out a genocide on its own people in the occupied once independent country of Balochistan.

    India has a peculiarity to its history. Unlike the Persian and Egyptian civilizations that crumbled in the face of Islamic expansionism of the 7th and 8th centuries, India’s Hindu society was able to survive despite the total erasure of Hinduism from the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilization by the Arab marauder Muhammad Bin Qasim and later murderous plunderers such as Tamerlane and the Moguls ending with the looting of its riches and resources by the British.
    When they finally left in 1947, Britain amputated India’s limbs to partition the ancient land into three, with the Islamic State of Pakistan flanking India on both its eastern and western borders.

    On paper India had won its freedom in August 15, 1947, but on the ground the ancient plundered land was not free until Monday.
    Acting in good faith and making India secular to accommodate its Muslim minority, for decades its Hindu leaders distanced themselves from their heritage. India’s first education minister came from a family in Mecca that claimed to be a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad.

    IN FACT, INDIA IS THE ONLY MAJOR CIVILIZATIONAL COUNTRY WHERE YOU ARE SYSTEMATICALLY TAUGHT TO HATE YOUR HERITAGE AND GLORIFY THE INVADERS WHO CAME TO DESTROY IT. AND THIS ABSURDITY IS CALLED “SECULARISM.”

    Anyone standing up for the rights of India’s Hindu heritage of its indigenous and aboriginal population, who took pride in their ancient Vedic-Hindu texts was labelled by the slur of being an “ultra-right Hindu nationalist,” while those who propagated the total Islamization of India under the Arab doctrine of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” and the eradication of every Hindu Temple were free to claim such hate as being their “right” to practice their faith.

    My clarification of the term from Wiki: “GHAZWA-E-HIND” OR THE FINAL BATTLE OF INDIA IS AN ISLAMIC TERM MENTIONED IN SOME HADITHS IN PARTICULAR[184] PREDICTING A FINAL AND LAST BATTLE IN INDIA AND AS A RESULT, A CONQUEST OF THE WHOLE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT BY MUSLIM WARRIORS. THE TERM HAS RECENTLY BECOME A SUBJECT OF VAST CRITICISM IN MEDIA FOR BEING USED BY MILITANT GROUPS TO JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIVITIES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

    But in the words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a changing.” India has finally won its freedom from the clutches of those who mock its heritage and wish it harm.
    Under this new freedom, India’s Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians will be equals before the law and not hide behind “special status.”
    …………………..
    Keep in mind that Tarek Fatah is Pakistani Muslim who rues the day that India was partitioned to create an ‘Islamic Republic because the Indian Muslims deemed Hindus as impure’. Pakistan means “Land of the Pure”.

    See who is racist? But why ask, the anti-Hindi/India cabal here will continue to cheer Pakistan and Chickerie and other anti-Hindu forces.

    For others, the tirade you read from Chickerie about India is an Islamist version of truth, which his anti-Hindu followers on this site are intoxicated with.

    VedaNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On August 8, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Yesterday, a Canadian white retired high school principal at the gym, with home I have regular talks, asked me about Kashmir, which he is concerned about. I told him I know the bare facts, among which there was Muslim genocide and expulsion of over 300,000 Hindus from their native Kashmir. (You will see Tarek uses the 500,000 figure). And that the Pakistan supported part of Kashmir gave a huge portion of free territory to China, where China has 100,000 troops and jails for free labour. (see map in video). China is coddled by Pakistan as ally against India. China will build a roadway to the Arabian gulf through Pakistan to get to oil and trade ( and to surround India).

    Well, why this backstory? Because again, if you want to know about India-Muslim listen/read Tarek Fatah and Koenraad Elst. As Elst reveals, Western journalist get their stories from the Delhi cocktail circuit where the anti Hindu Indian “Secularists” rule, and don’t do the ground work.

    Here is Tarek Fatah again on Kashmir:
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Youtube%3a+How+to+solve+the+Kashir+Conflict+-+Tarek+Fatah&view=detail&mid=E1461C5DDC4555AFF879E1461C5DDC4555AFF879&FORM=VIRE

    And, here he is on his yesterday’s column on the bold action by India.
    https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/fatah-india-wins-freedom-2-0

    FATAH: INDIA WINS FREEDOM 2.0
    Tarek Fatah, Updated: August 6, 2019 6:50 PM EDT

    A major shift took place in the Indian subcontinent on Monday when the government of India revoked the special status it had conferred on its only Muslim-majority state – the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
    In doing so, India demonstrated a spinal cord of steel, this coming after 1,000 years of Arab, Turkic, Persian and Afghan Islamic invasions, followed by Portuguese, French and British colonization, had reduced it to mere spaghetti.
    India today stands as tall as the Himalayas and walks as gracefully as the Bengal tiger.
    As expected, Pakistan invoked its self-styled role as the godfather of India’s Islamists. The country’s military-backed Prime Minister Imran Khan made a barely concealed threat of a nuclear attack unless India revoked its actions taken on its own sovereign territory.
    Khan told a joint session of the Pakistan parliament, “if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world,” he thundered. Then, as if to mollify his threat of a worldwide nuclear catastrophe, Khan fooled no one by insisting: “This is not nuclear blackmail.”
    Khan then played the race card: “What they (Indian government) did in Kashmir is in accordance with their ideology. They have a racist ideology … ingrained in their ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that represses all other religious groups.”

    India’s actions were taken through a change in two articles of its constitution that won approval in both houses of the country’s parliament. The fact this led Pakistan to threaten nuclear war tells us why so many of us consider the country not just a state sponsor of terrorism, but a threat to world peace under a military that is carrying out a genocide on its own people in the occupied once independent country of Balochistan.

    India has a peculiarity to its history. Unlike the Persian and Egyptian civilizations that crumbled in the face of Islamic expansionism of the 7th and 8th centuries, India’s Hindu society was able to survive despite the total erasure of Hinduism from the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilization by the Arab marauder Muhammad Bin Qasim and later murderous plunderers such as Tamerlane and the Moguls ending with the looting of its riches and resources by the British.
    When they finally left in 1947, Britain amputated India’s limbs to partition the ancient land into three, with the Islamic State of Pakistan flanking India on both its eastern and western borders.

    On paper India had won its freedom in August 15, 1947, but on the ground the ancient plundered land was not free until Monday.
    Acting in good faith and making India secular to accommodate its Muslim minority, for decades its Hindu leaders distanced themselves from their heritage. India’s first education minister came from a family in Mecca that claimed to be a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad.

    IN FACT, INDIA IS THE ONLY MAJOR CIVILIZATIONAL COUNTRY WHERE YOU ARE SYSTEMATICALLY TAUGHT TO HATE YOUR HERITAGE AND GLORIFY THE INVADERS WHO CAME TO DESTROY IT. AND THIS ABSURDITY IS CALLED “SECULARISM.”

    Anyone standing up for the rights of India’s Hindu heritage of its indigenous and aboriginal population, who took pride in their ancient Vedic texts was labelled by the slur of being an “ultra-right Hindu nationalist,” while those who propagated the total Islamization of India under the Arab doctrine of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” and the eradication of every Hindu Temple were free to claim such hate as being their “right” to practice their faith.

    My clarification of the term: GHAZWA-E-HIND OR THE FINAL BATTLE OF INDIA IS AN ISLAMIC TERM MENTIONED IN SOME HADITHS IN PARTICULAR[184] PREDICTING A FINAL AND LAST BATTLE IN INDIA AND AS A RESULT, A CONQUEST OF THE WHOLE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT BY MUSLIM WARRIORS. THE TERM HAS RECENTLY BECOME A SUBJECT OF VAST CRITICISM IN MEDIA FOR BEING USED BY MILITANT GROUPS TO JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIVITIES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

    But in the words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a changing.” India has finally won its freedom from the clutches of those who mock its heritage and wish it harm.
    Under this new freedom, India’s Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians will be equals before the law and not hide behind “special status.”
    …………………..
    Keep in mind that Tarek Fatah is Pakistani Muslim who rues the day that India was partitioned to create an ‘Islamic Republic because the Indian Muslims deemed Hindus as impure’. Pakistan means “Land of the Pure”.

    See who is racist? But why ask, the Black anti-Hindi/India cabal here will continue to cheer Pakistan and Chickerie and other anti-Hindu forces.

    VedaNM

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