Fear of defeat


Indian Occupied Kashmir has a chance to record its political say in the ongoing Indian elections. Not a single candidate contesting from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) speaks a lot about the mood of Kashmir and the will of the Kashmiri people. The fear of a shameful defeat already deterred Modi’s party from the dark trail it has left behind in Kashmir, after revoking its special status in 2019 and acting like a brutal oppressor. 1.7 million voters from IOK will vote for 24 candidates from May 13 to May 25.
The National Conference (NC) has drawn maximum support from local Kashmiris and even the Indian National Congress (INC) has placed all its bets behind the NC. But what is it that has led people to support the NC? Among other things, the promise of the restoration of Article 370 and Kashmir’s special status tops the list. While the BJP completely disregarded the UN-mandated plebiscite, the Kashmiris remember and hold onto their inherent right.
All of Modi’s efforts to alter demographics and portray an image of normalcy in IOK could not suppress the spirit of ‘azadi’, of self-determination. After all that transpired following the 2019 abrogation of Article 370, these elections are historic for IOK. It is their first chance to let out their voice politically and democratically. Kashmir and Kashmiris have screamed all these years, only to fall on the deaf ears of an oppressor state. Some might have this concern that the status quo will still prevail but if anything, an anti-Modi verdict is a pro-independence verdict.
The political process in IOK in the past has been marked by political affiliates of the government in the center. However, in parallel, political figures who seek freedom have also asserted their influence. One reason why the movement never died down. So while the votes are cast, half of the defeat of the perpetrators of repealing Article 370 is already written. The other half will materialise if the NC religiously takes up the task of restoration of Article 370.