India’s ‘West Bank styled’ occupation over Kashmir will meet the same fate as Israel

BJP has also shown clear intention to settle Kashmiri Pundits and other Hindus in Kashmir.

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Having more than 700,000 Indian troops, police and paramilitary in the region, making it the most militarized place on the globe, scholars argued that Kashmiris were living under the authority leaders which held control due to the Indian military establishment. However, the situation has a painful resemblance with Israel and its forced occupation over Palestine.

‘’To many Indians, the project to abrogate Kashmir’s ‘special status’ within the Indian constitution has finally reached fruition”

Since the revolt that started in the late 1980s, about more than 70,000 people have been murdered in Kashmir. Not only that but an additional 7,000 enforced disappearances and thousands of people have blinded and injured brutally by pellets and ammunition.

Although the argument wasn’t a hard one to make, the cover of India’s ‘democracy’, in a blunt neighbourhood made it very hard to sell. Until Monday morning, that is when the cover or veneer dissolved.

Israel

Amit Shah, India’s home minister, while speaking in the parliament showed a stamped and signed letter from the president of India, stating that the country would be abolishing a special clause in the constitution relating Kashmir. Article 370, the clause present in India’s constitution, represented the semi-autonomous status that Kashmir held within the Indian Union.

It also included Kashmir’s right to handle its own affairs (other than defence, foreign affairs, communication and finance), right to its personal constitution, its own flag and its ability to make laws would be scraped scrapped immediately.

The Indian government also announced that it will change the constitution, despite numerous court rulings, including High Court in Jammu and Kashmir and the Supreme Court in Delhi, which ruled that the clause relating Kashmir could not be changed.

Although, for many Indians, the project to abolish Kashmir’s special status in the Indian constitution was initiated by RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the right-wing Hindu nationalist group. However, it because of an issue for BJP with time and now, it seems as if it has finally bore fruit.

The uncanny resemblance with Israeli oppressive game-plan:

Israel

PLO compromised in Palestinian cause in 1998 they started negotiation via Oslo Agreement with Israel, they had hoped that Israel would let them live in Peace on 22 per cent of the land Palestinians were left with. This backfired and the same situation happened in Kashmir between Sheikh Abdullah and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Kashmiri armed resistance ended mostly, since then India under BJP continued to pass many Presidential orders and misuse them to contain Kashmiri rights movement with force.

Just like in Israel’s violation of Article 49 (6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention where they have taken away lands and building Jewish settlements under military presence, removal of 370 and 35A to allow people from other states of India settle in Kashmir.

BJP has also shown clear intention to settle Kashmiri Pundits and other Hindus in Kashmir. Just like Palestine where Article 31 of the Oslo Agreement considers West Bank and Gaza. Single Entity, India has also divided the State of JK into two entities, separating Laddak.

Removal of these articles (370 and 35A) will give total control to New Dehli, and suppress local political voice.

Israel

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 is already applicable in Kashmir which enables brutal persecution of Kashmiris. Once 370 and 35 A is removed, Kashmiris have no control of their land and they face the harsh situation in India outside Kashmir such as lynching. Kashmiri would be contained to their own lands plus their land would be used to settle down people from other states.

For years, the RSS party has been protesting to dismantle Article 370 in its aim to revive a Hindu India. The BJP in the 1980s began campaigning with the promise of a majoritarian rule.

‘Revoking article 370 paves the way for a full settler-colonial project in Kashmir, much like Jewish settlements in the West Bank’.

This involved ending all luxuries that Muslims enjoyed, even if it meant that they were to remain the poorest and underdeveloped community in India. Framing Kashmir as one filled with shrines, temples and a big part of Hinduism’s history in the Himalayas was also included.

A big part of this attempt has been hyping up the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage in the south of Kashmir. A professor at Syracuse University named Mona Bhan writes in Resisting Occupation in Kashmir, the government rebuilt and restored its temples in the past 10 years to tie Kashmir and India through spiritual and religions links or connection.

Abrogating Article 370 is a fulfilment of the promise of bringing back Hindu India, in such a way that may be supremacist and democratic, even if it is primarily flawed.

“The type of “democratic” state exemplified by Israel – and not Pakistan – is the model the Hindu nationalist movement, led by its core RSS organisation, aspires to establish in an Indian variant” –  Sumantra Bose, professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, writes.

Abrogating Article 370 also makes way for a full settler-colonial project in Kashmir. The next step will most probably include only Hindu enclaves, resembling the settlement of Jews in West Bank.


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