• Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Foreign Policy Magazine: Kashmir Is a Dress Rehearsal for Hindu Nationalist Fantasies

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by AUz, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. AUz

    AUz ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    8,028
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Ratings:
    +29 / 12,429 / -44
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United States
    Kashmir Is a Dress Rehearsal for Hindu Nationalist Fantasies

    By DIBYESH ANAND

    Activists chanted in the center of Ranchi, the capital of the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand and my parental city: “Kashmir azaad ho gaya aaj” (“Kashmir has been freed today”). The activists were celebrating the deathblow to Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy struck by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Aug. 5. They were not the only ones; much of the Indian public shared their vulgar joy.

    It’s not the assimilation of Kashmir—whose autonomy in practice has long disappeared, diluted over the decades by military and bureaucratic means from the center—that brings this excitement. It’s not even the thought of giving the finger to India’s old archenemy, Pakistan, for daring to court U.S. President Donald Trump over Kashmir. The joy stems from the humiliation of Kashmir’s Muslims for daring to be different and the thought that this is a warning signal to all of India’s Muslims that the Hindu body politic is resurgent and unstoppable.

    This is about empowering activists who now exclaim proudly, “Aab Hindu Rashtra banega” (“We will now build a Hindu nation”), or the ordinary vegetable vendor in Ranchi saying to me with sadistic glee: “Now the Muslims will become Hindu out of fear or they will go to Pakistan or they will face…” He let the sentence trail off, an unspoken threat.

    The BJP, under strongman leader Narendra Modi, is driven by a far-right Hindu chauvinist ideology. Its solid reelection victory this spring gave it the power to bring about controversial and fundamental changes in Indian politics and justify them as a matter of national security and as a rectification of the “past mistakes” of the secularist Indian National Congress. The BJP has justified abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which guaranteed autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, and of Article 35A, which protected indigenous society from possible demographic transformation in the name of development, equality, and national unity.

    While analysts may try to connect Modi’s decision to geopolitical imbroglios, it is most appropriate to see it as a dress rehearsal for the BJP’s main agenda—the conversion of India from a secular pluralist democracy to a Hindu Rashtra. From political sloganeering “Hindustan mein rehna hai to hindu ban kar rehna hoga” (If you want to live in India, you have to be a Hindu) to the crackdown on religious conversions into Islam and Christianity to inclusion of various anti-Muslim agendas in party manifesto to celebrating anti-secular supremacists as national heroes, the BJP is remaining true to the explicit agenda of Sangh Parivar, a family of organizations linked to the far-right paramilitary Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

    The Hindu nationalism that fuels the BJP portrays Hindus—who make up 80 percent of the population—as involved in a long-term battle against numerous enemies: Muslims, Christians, communists, and secularists. Modi is imagined as a conquering leader who will overcome these foes, avenge humiliations suffered by the supposed Hindu nation over centuries, and rebuild a strong Hindu India where the threat of communism is extinguished; religious minorities are domesticated, expelled, or exterminated; and pluralist secularism is rejected as “minority-appeasing pseudo-secularism” while the acceptance of Hindu supremacy in India is seen as real secularism.

    Kashmir has long played a critical part in this mythology. More than a decade ago, while doing research for my book Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear, I met several leaders and activists from the Sangh Parivar, the umbrella of paramilitary groups around the BJP, who argued that Kashmir had to be the next battleground against Muslims. Just as the BJP’s cause had received a boost from the destruction of the historic Babri Mosque in 1992 in Ayodhya, they saw Kashmir as the next holy cause that would empower the nation. Today, they have Modi as prime minister and a strong majority for the BJP in India’s central government as well as several states. Experiments during the previous administration—including demonetization, lynching in the name of cow protection, and new exclusionary citizenships—showed the Indian public’s sadomasochistic fascination for drastic action and even violence so long as the primary victims were minorities; the time was ripe for the implementation of a Hinduization plan for Jammu and Kashmir.

    Of course, this isn’t the reason the BJP gives. Home Minister Amit Shah insists that the corruption and economic backwardness of Jammu and Kashmir were a result of autonomous statehood rather than due to heavy militarization, state violence, and insurgency. That’s a specious argument, given the long-term economic damage done to the region by the cutoff of historical ties to its neighbors, including Pakistan and Tibet. India has deliberately kept Kashmir dependent on New Delhi. The easy way to help the region develop would be to ease restrictions on cross-border trade and loosen security—but New Delhi does the exact opposite, imposing a colonial model of development in which outside capital will join the military and bureaucracy in imposing control. And as much as Shah and Modi speak the language of development, the reality is nationalist oppression.

    The brutal swiftness of the move has shown that through the use of a narrative of national security, the BJP can break opposition parties and secure overwhelming parliamentary support, spur its grassroots workers, and keep the jingoist media on board.

    The brutal swiftness of the move has shown that through the use of a narrative of national security, the BJP can break opposition parties and secure overwhelming parliamentary support, spur its grassroots workers, and keep the jingoist media on board. The widespread support for this act of constitutional vandalism shows that there is little hope of checking the BJP on other divisive domestic issues, such as the building of a grand temple to the Hindu god Ram on the site of the former Babri Mosque and taking away the existing rights of religious minorities to be governed by distinct personal laws on family matters including marriage and inheritance.


    The biggest losers in this move are the pro-India Kashmiris who were denounced as collaborators for trusting India by their fellow Kashmiris, most of whom seek independence or to join with Pakistan. Their trust in India’s secular democracy that provided special status and autonomy has been betrayed not only by the nationalist ruling party but by several opposition parties that are supposedly more progressive. The move has converted Kashmir into a battlefield with no middle ground of autonomy. Freedom within India is no longer an option, thanks to the Modi government. The Kashmir Valley will now face demographic transformation and settler colonialism. If Kashmiri Muslims resist, they will be the targets of yet more brutal state violence and be represented as Islamist terrorists; if they do not resist, their silence will be interpreted as support for India.

    If Pakistan decides to once again train and arm Kashmiri militants and allow foreign militants into Kashmir, it may face isolation on the international stage. If it keeps quiet, it loses credibility among Kashmiris. Yet Pakistan has one option that will provide it with the moral and political high ground. Currently, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Kashmiri nationalists are not allowed to contest elections, and politicians have to resolve to support accession of the entire region to Pakistan. If Prime Minister Imran Khan encourages a change in this stance and allows the people of Pakistan-administered Kashmir the freedom to choose either Pakistan or independence from both India and Pakistan, it will energize the Kashmiri movement and leave India on the back foot. This may do little to alleviate the damage done in India-administered Kashmir. But it will provide hope to the valley that would otherwise be smothered under the Hindu nationalist fantasies of today’s India.

    Source: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/08/kashmir-is-a-dress-rehearsal-for-hindu-nationalist-fantasies/

    =====================================

    It is not just us. Even Indian scholars who have studied RSS and Hindutva recognizing the deep sense of humiliation, resentment, and defeat driving the modern day indians into fascistic waters----where they want to 'avenge' centuries long humiliation at the hands of Muslims, see Muslims as the enemy, and want to take back their "lost lands" to Muslims (Kashmir, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc), and eventually cleanse india of the impurity that has been spreading for too long (Muslim population/Islam). Imagine---even a normal, poor vegetable seller is talking about how Muslims would be forced to leave india, or be converted, or killed---and how Kashmir is a holy war front since its a Muslim-majority state of india.

    Modern day india is Nazi Germany of 1930's on slow burner----lacking Germany's technology, military might, organization, and planning. However, the intent is not lacking. We would be damned if we did not prepare ourselves to the teeth for this backward barbarian inferiority-complex stricken piglets yearning for blood to our East!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 11
  2. Psychic

    Psychic SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Ratings:
    +28 / 4,010 / -1
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Indian public is complicit in crimes against Kashmiris. The majority voting for characters like Modi, Amit, Sadhvi, Yogi et al proves that India is a nation of sadistic people with genocidal urges for minorities in general and Kashmiris in particular. They voted extremists and brought the "humble chai wala" into power. Now even the House Negroes are admitting that Jinnah was right.
    Indians (pdf think tanks included) are too blind to see the obvious and continue to peddle horse manure and tell us how pro-India they are. Yet the same lot is afraid of referendum. Those who do admit that Kashmiris are pro-freedom, openly call for killings, rapes and demography changes in Kashmir.
    Muslims even when they fight for freedom and for a just cause will always be labeled as terrorists by the modern world.
    Pakistan can declare uni-lateral referendum which was already proposed during Zia's time.
    We have nothing to fear.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 10
  3. Hakikat ve Hikmet

    Hakikat ve Hikmet ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    8,154
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    Ratings:
    +11 / 14,954 / -1
    Country:
    Turkey
    Location:
    United States
    Hindutuva leaders will only exponentially raise the bar to keep their zombified base even more energized!!! Like drug addicts they'll need constantly increasing doses with a more devastating power!!! It's a Satanic game in the most raw form!!! However, the self-destruction lies within this evil.....

    It's the time to panic for the rest of the world.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    • Thanks Thanks x 7
  4. Ghareeb_Da_Baal

    Ghareeb_Da_Baal SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Ratings:
    +6 / 4,763 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United States
    Their mission is to make everyone a hindu. Look up a post of mine from over a year ago where I had mentioned this quoting a upper cast hindu friend's prediction that things will become very intolerant & minorities will be in trouble if Modi gets reelected. BTW this pal of mine used to be pro modi initially.