Daniel Halliday
Aug 11 · Last update 7 mo. ago.

What’s behind the latest security crackdown in Kashmir?

The Kashmir Valley is one of the most militarised areas in the world, has been the location of more than one war between Pakistan and India, and now pilgrims and tourists have been warned to leave the region by the Indian government citing a terror threat and imminent militant attacks. This has come in combination with an imposed curfew, media and telecom blackout, and various Kashmiri politicians have been placed under house arrest as the Indian central government move forward with the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, passed in early August 2019. The controversial bill revokes Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status, dividing the Ladakh region from the rest of Jammu and Kashmir while removing the region's constitutional privileges secured in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. So with this in mind what is behind the massive security crackdown following the announcement of the Reorganisation Act? Is this security response justified? And is the Indian government justified in carrying out the Reorganisation Act in Jammu and Kashmir?
Stats of Viewpoints
A ramping up of “security” by the backdoor
1 agrees
0 disagrees
Murdering democracy
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Hindu protectionism from a strong Hindu government
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Terrible reckless timing for a political distraction
0 agrees
0 disagrees
The Trump Effect
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Viewpoints
Add New Viewpoint

A ramping up of “security” by the backdoor

The latest development in Kashmir seem to leave no end in sight for suffering in the region, with an Indian central government acting with impunity and the Indian military continuing to terrorise Kashmiris, carrying out war crimes that no one has currently been prosecuted for. This has followed just months after intense military posturing by India and Pakistan, and now Narendra Modi's government is executing their plan for Kashmir despite widespread criticism. During Kashmir's "reorganisation" Modi has moved 35,000 more paramilitary troops into the region to join the already half a million, imposing curfews and generating a situation that has been likened to a siege. It is widely thought that the escalating Indian military presence, although justified as a security measure to oversee the Reorganisation Act, will become a permanent fixture of life in Kashmir, with Kashmiris doubting the extra troops will ever leave.

Many within the Indian government have even criticised these actions, as this increasingly seems a dangerous move on the Indian government’s part, considering India's military history in Kashmir and the history of confrontation over Kashmir between India and their nuclear neighbour. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has been incredibly critical of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, describing Modi as having a “Nazi ideology” [1]. While the BJP's heavy handed approach in Kashmir may be a ruse to ramp up security permanently in the troubled region, history teaches us that such measures have been exactly what continues the insurgency and perpetuates violence in the state.

kashmirwatch.com/tag/indian-war-crimes-in-kashmir bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49294301 aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/india-revokes-kashmir-special-status-latest-updates-190806134011673.html [1] sputniknews.com/asia/201908301076686800-imran-khan-accuses-modi-of-nazi-like-ideology-offers-recipe-for-peace-in-kashmir

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
May 11
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Many within the Indian government have even criticised these actions, as this increasingly seems a dangerous move on the Indian government’s part, considering India's military history in Kashmir and the history of confrontation over Kashmir between India and their nuclear neighbour. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has been incredibly critical of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, describing Modi as having a “Nazi ideology” [1]. While the BJP's heavy handed approach in Kashmir may be a ruse to ramp up security permanently in the troubled region, history teaches us that such measures have been exactly what continues the insurgency and perpetuates violence in the state.

Murdering democracy

Many have accused the Indian government of carrying out a constitutional coup here, yet another direct violation of democracy in Kashmir. India’s BJP are in direct violation of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, even though they were elected to protect it, forcing an end to the Kashmiri right of self determination. Clear political polarisation is what is behind this decision, with the ruling party pandering to far-right Hindu voters, while destroying the rights of the Muslim citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, risking war with Pakistan, and dismantling federalism in India in the name of centralising government power.

Furthermore, a provision outside of India's main constitution, Article 35a, which has been in play since 1954 has been revoked, removing powers from Jammu & Kashmir's legislature to define the state’s permanent residents. Critics have condemned this as it will allow nonresidents to move to Kashmir and buy land, possibly allowing outsiders to move into the region in a effort to change the demographics of the Kashmir Valley. This shines yet more light on the reason why Modi made this brash decision to pass the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, as it seems likely that Modi's long term strategy is to subdue Kashmir by slowly making it a Hindu dominated region. In this way the revocation of Jammu & Kashmir's right to self determination, and its right to define its own rules of residency, has been compared to Israeli settlers in the West Bank and the migration of Han Chinese into Tibet and Xinjiang.

thewire.in/government/kashmir-article-370-constitutional-coup-aftereffects washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/08/modis-kashmir-move-proves-his-fiercest-critics-right indianexpress.com/article/explained/understanding-articles-370-35a-jammu-kashmir-indian-constitution-5610996

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
May 11
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Furthermore, a provision outside of India's main constitution, Article 35a, which has been in play since 1954 has been revoked, removing powers from Jammu & Kashmir's legislature to define the state’s permanent residents. Critics have condemned this as it will allow nonresidents to move to Kashmir and buy land, possibly allowing outsiders to move into the region in a effort to change the demographics of the Kashmir Valley. This shines yet more light on the reason why Modi made this brash decision to pass the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, as it seems likely that Modi's long term strategy is to subdue Kashmir by slowly making it a Hindu dominated region. In this way the revocation of Jammu & Kashmir's right to self determination, and its right to define its own rules of residency, has been compared to Israeli settlers in the West Bank and the migration of Han Chinese into Tibet and Xinjiang.

Hindu protectionism from a strong Hindu government

The revocation of article 370 of India’s constitution and the stripping of Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomous status was a relief from some in the Hindu community. Kashmiri Pandits, a Hindu group native to Kashmir, were displaced throughout the 1990s due to the growth of Islamic militancy. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is on record as saying, “India would never forget the atrocities done to Kashmiri Pandits” [1], making clear the government's intention behind the crackdowns. This is no surprise when you consider Modi’s history as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation that was inspired by 20th century European fascist groups.

The BJP was always going to take a hardliner stance on the Kashmir issue. Some Hindus therefore feel that the government has kept an electoral promise in this sharp reform of the Kashmir valley, and that the ramped up security is a reasonable safeguard considering the risk and history of terrorism in the region. In this way the security crackdown in Kashmir is less about terrorism, Pakistan, or independence, and more a flexing of muscles of a powerful Hindu majority government in a majority Hindu state, and an example of John Stuart Mill's tyranny of the masses.

indiandefencereview.com/news/kashmiri-pandits-offered-three-choices-by-radical-islamists [1] religionunplugged.com/news/2019/7/23/indias-plan-to-resettle-hindus-in-muslim-majority-kashmir malaysia-today.net/2019/08/17/the-kashmir-crisis-isnt-about-territory-its-about-a-hindu-victory-over-islam nytimes.com/1990/11/10/opinion/l-in-india-the-tyranny-of-the-majority-rules-105490.html straight.com/news/877876/gurpreet-singh-racism-rss-and-narendra-modis-efforts-turn-india-hindu-nation

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
May 9
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/kashmiri-pandits-offered-three-choices-by-radical-islamists/ [1] https://religionunplugged.com/news/2019/7/23/indias-plan-to-resettle-hindus-in-muslim-majority-kashmir https://www.malaysia-today.net/2019/08/17/the-kashmir-crisis-isnt-about-territory-its-about-a-hindu-victory-over-islam/ https://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/10/opinion/l-in-india-the-tyranny-of-the-majority-rules-105490.html https://www.straight.com/news/877876/gurpreet-singh-racism-rss-and-narendra-modis-efforts-turn-india-hindu-nation

Terrible reckless timing for a political distraction

The unexpected push to remove Kashmir’s special status is effectively a siege, economically pushing Kashmiris to the brink; phone lines are down, train lines are not working, and the Internet has been shut off. But it is the timing that seems most economically damaging, in the middle of a tourist season, and the clamp down is so severe it has left many without work and no access to ATMs, as Kashmir is put in a dangerous position until the end of October. This is a clear effort to punish all in Kashmir for the sake of trying to aggressively quash nationalism and Islamic militancy, while distracting from an impending state wide economic downturn.

Recent statistics show that India’s GDP growth is down to 5% from the previous quarter, with the economy’s key industries of manufacturing and agriculture being hit hardest. Kashmir nationalists view the crackdown as a clear move to use Kashmir to distract Indians from this economic failing, ironically causing Kashmir’s economy to nose dive in the process. Commentators have also paralleled the reopening of the nuclear debate as another clear indicator of distraction, with Modi flexing his muscular foreign policy the run up to the general elections in May 2019. Since revocating Kashmir's autonomy, the entire Kashmir Valley has experienced crisis volatility, with the instability causing businesses to suffer in the name of distracting from India’s very real economic slowdown.

aljazeera.com/news/southasia/2019/08/life-kashmir-grinding-halt-india-clampdown-190807132320258.html foryoursociety.com/what-is-article-370-the-kashmir-crisis-explained risingkashmir.com/news/recession-in-kashmir-356267.html lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/pressure-upon-pressure-builds-around-kashmir

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
May 9
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Recent statistics show that India’s GDP growth is down to 5% from the previous quarter, with the economy’s key industries of manufacturing and agriculture being hit hardest. Kashmir nationalists view the crackdown as a clear move to use Kashmir to distract Indians from this economic failing, ironically causing Kashmir’s economy to nose dive in the process. Commentators have also paralleled the reopening of the nuclear debate as another clear indicator of distraction, with Modi flexing his muscular foreign policy the run up to the general elections in May 2019. Since revocating Kashmir's autonomy, the entire Kashmir Valley has experienced crisis volatility, with the instability causing businesses to suffer in the name of distracting from India’s very real economic slowdown.

The Trump Effect

The situation in Kashmir is complex, historical and different according to each side involved, some framing it as a religious terrorist security issue, some as an issue of independence, and some as a corruptive and oppressive bullying by India, or as blustering between India and Pakistan. However the situation has arguably taken a recent turn as Donald Trump forcibly involved himself in the situation, using a similar heavy handed diplomacy that we have seen with China, Europe and more recently with Turkey. However with his offer to interfere in what India has long seen as a bilateral issue between themselves and Pakistan, Trump's intentions, whether good, bad or just misinformed, may have just stoked tensions further.

While Trump’s offer was welcomed by Pakistan is it also thought to have given extra urgency to India’s plans to revoke article 370 and remove Jammu and Kashmir’s special autonomous status, leading to the reckless timing of the situation. This may be chalked down to Trump's usual uninformed nature and tendency to speak out preemptively, however when you consider the US' relations in the wider region, the Trump effect may not seem so innocent. With China being deeply involved in the Kashmir conflict, both territorially and in its support for Pakistan, and the US being involved in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban, a group that the Pakistan government hold considerable influence over, many have speculated that this may actually be just a push to mediate in an effort to drive a wedge between Pakistan and China. Either way Trump's mediation has had a clearly negative effect on the situation on the ground in Kashmir.

asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Comment/How-Trump-triggered-the-Kashmir-turmoil theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/23/india-denies-asking-for-donald-trumps-mediation-in-kashmir timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/us-in-damage-control-mode-after-trump-flub-on-kashmir/articleshow/70339898.cms

Agree
Disagree
Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
May 9
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The situation in Kashmir is complex, historical and different according to each side involved, some framing it as a religious terrorist security issue, some as an issue of independence, and some as a corruptive and oppressive bullying by India, or as blustering between India and Pakistan. However the situation has arguably taken a recent turn as Donald Trump forcibly involved himself in the situation, using a similar heavy handed diplomacy that we have seen with China, Europe and more recently with Turkey. However with his offer to interfere in what India has long seen as a bilateral issue between themselves and Pakistan, Trump's intentions, whether good, bad or just misinformed, may have just stoked tensions further.
Translate