On 5th of August 2019, Indian Government of Narender Modi abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A of their constitution that gave special status to the J & K and allowed it to preserve its identity by not letting the outsiders to contest for jobs or to buy property in the state.
A presidential order bifurcated the state, as it once was, into two – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh; these were then deprived of the status of statehood and transformed into Union territories, with little or no powers to legislate for themselves.
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution, drafted by the Constituent Assembly, and adopted in November 1949, says:
“We, the people of India, have solemnly resolved to constitute into a Sovereign Democratic Republic, and to secure for all citizens, Justice, social, economic and political, Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, Equality, of status and of opportunity, and to promote among all Fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual and the Unity of the nation, hereby adopt, enact and give ourselves this Constitution”.
Yet, outdated and dogmatic mind-set continued to work to upset the ideals described in the Preamble of Indian Constitution to assert Hindu supremacy. V. D. Savarkar (d. 1966) developed and popularised the doctrine called Hindutva. According to this doctrine, “Hindu” means a person who regards this land of Bharatversha, from the Indus to the seas, as his fatherland as well as his Holy Land, that is, the cradle land of his religion. It is, thus, very clear that in order to promote religious politics and to create an atmosphere of intolerance and narrow-mindedness in the Indian society, the proponent of “Hindutva Doctrine” spares no efforts even to dispute what is written in his sacred books.
The incumbent PM of India, Mr Narendra Modi, is not only an accomplished practitioner of Hindutva but throughout his political career he spared to efforts to carry out massacres of Muslims. The massacre of Muslims of Ahmedabad, orchestrated by him as Chief Minister of Gujrat is just one example. As a result, the US government banned Modi’s entry into that country. Similar sanctions were imposed on him by the UK and EU countries.
Today, the India of Modi and his party in power, that is, BJP, is vehemently practising the Nazism. Hitler, the genocidal maniac who murdered more than 6 million Jews, is worshiped by the Hindus that are followers of Modi. Here, Hitler’s brand of fascism has taken on a distinctly Indian flavour. It’s authenticated with a combination of ethnic hatred and Hindu nationalism, in stark contrast to the principles of “Ahimsa” (non-violence) that once were the ideals during Indians’ struggle for freedom.
Bal Thackeray, leader of the Hindu extremist outfit Shiv Sena, said in 1967: “It is Hitler that is needed in India today”.
This is the background that prompted the BJP government to balkanize the State that once was there. Indian-Held Kashmir has been under unprecedented lockdown since 5th of August. BBC’s Geeta Pandey travelled for two days around the region, where a bitter sense of betrayal threatens to feel fresh conflict. Khanyar, the heart of Srinagar city, became the centre of anti-India protests. People were kept locked in their home even on the occasion of Eid-Uzzah, and people were barred from going to offer Eid prayers. Same is the case with Friday congregations. There is a complete lockdown, neither landline phones nor mobiles and internet are allowed. Even the government of India manipulated Twitter and WhatsApp whose operations in the valley has been stopped.
There were already more than 600,000 Indian troops deployed in the Valley; yet more than 15,000 troops were air-lifted before the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35 A were announced. Another 28,000 troops invaded the Valley in trucks and tanks.
A soldier is deployed outside every single home in the Valley. India has taken those war measures in the Valley that are reminiscent of colonial era. The troops are given free legal cover by the promulgation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act and martial laws. United Nations Human Rights Commission have published two reports, one in 2018 and the other in July this year, which have highlighted gang rapes by the military personnel, mass disappearances of approximately 8,000 to 10,000 people.
To this day, as many as 100,000 persons have been killed, several thousand injured, blinded, and maimed by the use of pallet guns, and by torture in the custody.
An atmosphere of terror was created on August 4 by the Union government when they ordered all tourists and outside students to leave Kashmir immediately. Eviction of tourists and Amarnath Yatris too was made certain and with immediate effect.
These were the typical colonial measures that were taken to eliminate Kashmir’s special status. The Indians applied these tactics to assimilate the people of Kashmir with the mainland. How much mistaken are they? They know not.
Tensions are on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu Kashmir, with their special status, enjoyed autonomy to the extent that they had their own constitution, flag and powers to legislate. All these have been taken away by just one stroke of the Indian Presidential order. But they are facing strong resistance from the people. Most of the mainstream leadership as well as that of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference is either incarcerated or put under house arrest. In spite of all that, people are least scared. They violate the curfew and flock out as and when possible. They are shot at, killed or injured, yet their courage is indomitable.
The Indian government, following its election promises, claims that removing the special status will provide better economic and political opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. But the reality is different. Modi, the most Hitlerite Hindu, has targeted Kashmir to change its demography. He is acutely Nazi in his political approach; he cannot tolerate the Muslims’ majority in Kashmir. In his own way, he has targeted Kashmir to obliterate its identity.
Article 35 A of Indian constitution ensures the protection of Kashmir’s demography, their jobs and their landed properties from the outsiders. Article 370 was the foundation of Kashmir’s accession to India by means of which Kashmiris had empowered the Indian government in three subjects, such as defence, foreign affairs and communications. In all the rest of the matters the state had powers to take care of itself.
According to Indian Constitution, Article 370 could only be modified or revoked at the recommendation of Jammu and Kashmir’s constituent assembly. This constituent assembly, however, dissolved itself in 1950s, arguably entrenching Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy in the Indian constitution permanently. This means that abolishing Article 370 through Presidential order of 5th August is unconstitutional. In such a case, India is now ruling Jammu Kashmir by force. India of today, has proved beyond an iota of doubt, that India of yesterday was a usurper of Jammu and Kashmir and thus today, it is exposed before the whole world that it is usurper indeed.
I would like to conclude this write up by quoting a statement of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaher Lal Nehru that was published in the Amrit Bazar Patrika, Calcutta (Kolkata) on January 2, 1952:
“Kashmir is not the property of India or Pakistan. It belongs to the Kashmiri people. When Kashmir acceded to India, we made it clear to the leaders of the Kashmiri people that we would ultimately abide by the verdict of their plebiscite. If they tell us to walk out, I would have no hesitation in quitting Kashmir. We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation, we cannot go back on it. We have left the question of final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision”.