Camouflaging the vileness

By: Saima Afzal

Imagine a state in the comity of nations that takes immense pride in being the largest democracy but when it comes to the rights of minorities the whole notion shatters. India is a classical model of a state that is utilizing its whole strength to generate a false narrative of being relevant and commendable. From defeats on the battlefield to human rights abuses, in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), or elsewhere, India is trying to hide its real face through systematic disinformation campaigns. However, the strategy of camouflaging vileness and weakness cannot continue forever. The world has recognized that India is a sham democracy, mired in internal instability and an unreliable partner on the geopolitical landscape. 

On 5 August 2019, India through its illegal and unilateral act not just violated the international law and made the life of Kashmiris miserable but also pushed the region into destabilization. Contrary to Modi’s claims that the situation in IIOJK is returning to normalcy remains deceptive for the international world. In reality, the actual situation is completely diverse after the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A. The killing spree and the pervasive fear among civilians, minorities and other soft targets gives false claim to the Indian government that they are successful in IIOJK. India is relying increasingly on its army and illegal laws to suppress the voice of Kashmiris. Currently, India keeps almost one million troops in Kashmir, making it the most militarized zone in the world. These heftily deployed Indian troops have been involved in crimes against humanity.

Next came the even more controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, a law that revokes the citizenship of Muslim immigrants to India. As millions gathered on the streets to protest this move across India, Modi doubled down on his bet. He allowed his right-wing party goons to terrorize, torture and lynch Muslims. People, across the world, started to recognize that Modi is racist, anti-Muslim, and anti-minorities. The resulting clashes, especially in and around Delhi, displaced hundreds of thousands of minority individuals particularly Muslims from their homes, which had been burnt to the ground by Hindutva goons. Overnight, the minorities became the largest group of internally displaced people in Asia. India’s sham secularism stands exposed in all its shame.

Moreover, redrawing electoral constituencies is a tool to serve Hindu political interests in IIOJK. Delimitation exercise is just a formality giving more seats to the Hindu-majority Jammu was preplanned. India has snatched away every right of Kashmiri Muslims, using electoral redistricting to make their majority ineffective. Pakistan parliament has also passed resolution to denounce the delimitation exercise. This brazen effort is a direct attack on the democratic rights of Kashmiris particularly Muslims; it exposes India’s true face to the regional and international power corridor. The delimitation exercise is clearly in contravention of UN resolutions that’s only purpose is to disempower Muslims. Modi must remember that no amount of gerrymandering will change the ground reality.

Therefore, erasing Kashmiris’ political identity, disempowering the Muslim majority community to reduce them to second-class citizens, turning them into a political minority, and minimizing their role in the political decision-making process are the most vivid signs and processes of genocide that should serve as an eye-opener for the world community. After unleashing a reign of terror in IIOJK, the fascist Indian regime was now shamelessly playing the religious card to get its communal agenda implemented in the occupied territory. A certain section of the Kashmiri Pundit community under a nefarious agenda was ready to become pawns in the BJP’s chessboard of power and politics. However, a silent majority of Pundits within and outside the Kashmir Valley knew fully well how the right-wing forces were using them as pawns.

The Indian government has held Kashmiris hostage by the dint of force and using colonial-era tactics to suppress the Kashmiris’ legitimate struggle. The recent Indian court’s verdict against JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik is also a politically-motivated agenda to silence the dissenting voices in the occupied territory. India should understand no amount of oppression and use of force can break the will of the valiant Kashmiri people who are resolutely standing up against India’s state terrorism and struggling for their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Therefore, it will remain India’s distinct dream to suppress the Kashmiri voices as much they will suppress Kashmiri voices would arise more and more.


The writer is MPhil in Peace and Conflict Studies. She can be reached at [email protected]