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Delhi’s Hindutva agenda in Kashmir must be stopped

Islamabad has rightly rejected the new domicile law introduced by the Indian government in Occupied Kashmir. The law grants Indian citizens who have resided in the Occupied Valley for fifteen years the right to call it their place of domicile. This is clearly yet another move on the part of India’s extremist government to illegally fiddle with the demographic structure of the valley, which is already severely unsettled and under the harshest curfew since its special status was revoked on Aug5 last year. Kashmiris have also rejected the move, calling it an attack on their distinct identity as well.
Yet perhaps even more surprising than the Indian government’ actions has been the lacklustre nature of the international response. Everybody expected the BJP government to press ahead with its distinctly Hindutva agenda. But the world’s influential, and always so responsible, capitals should also have lived up to their own claims and raised a united voice against all the oppression in Kashmir. Despite Pakistan’s efforts, going all the way up to the UN, there has been barely a whimper of protest about the issue. Even among our dearest friends only China, Iran and Turkey stood with us. Some remained silent and a few even upgraded their business relations with the Modi government.
India’s civil society, too, only came out after the Citizen Amendment Act not when the heat was turned on in Kashmir. Yet their defiance was instructive and inspiring. If only some of it had rubbed off onto their political spectrum. Interestingly some opposition benches did make some noise about Kashmir and much about CAA. Of course a lot of that would have been routine politics. But there did seem, especially on the part of the Congress, a desire to put up a fight against this hostile Hindutva takeover of their constitution. Once again, it’s no surprise that Modi is pressing ahead with this agenda. The economy fell off a cliff long before the coronavirus disruption. In fact there have been reports, never denied by Delhi, that a good $40 billion bet on Modi’s India Inc, on part of Big Money – the world’s largest investment banks and hedge funds – is currently unravelling. The only gallery the government can still play to is the fanatic religious lobby. And for that he’ll have to keep taking steps that please them. That makes it even harder to understand the paralysis gripping the opposition. When they knew this would happen, why did they not prepare a response? The same can be asked of the international community on the matter of Kashmir.



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