As election euphoria took over the mainland India, the election activity barely exists across the Indian heldKashmir. The Hindustan Times reported about the electionsituations on ground saying, “Kashmir sees least participative polls, voter turnout lowest in two decades”.An almost all-out boycott to the election discourse in the valley however has yet been given a cue to the world to listen to the indigenous movement that has been keeping the pace in full zeal with each passing day against theexercise of Indian massive force of power and state-sponsored barbarism in Kashmir.
Lately, what worries most to the people of Kashmir, the release of controversial manifesto document of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, one of the major political parties in India. In addition to the controversial promise of building Ram Temple at the site of the now-demolished Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, the document alsopromises to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir region if given the mandate back to power gainedtraction at home as well as worldwide.
On 24th April 2019, in response to the BJP’s political stratagem threatening to abrogate the articles 35A and 370 enshrined in the Indian constitution, Nazir Ahmed Shawl, Head of UK-based South Asia Centre for Peace and Human Rights (SACFPHR), held a press conferencein Islamabad. He briefly sheds the light on the alarmingly increased human rights violations and the unprecedented state of oppression by the Indian government against unarmed and innocent civilians, turning a heaven on earth into the valley of death and destruction.
He warned Bharatiya Janata Party or anyone for that matter has the wishful thinking to change the character of the constitution that pertains the article 35A and article 370and tends to turn country into the Hindu Rashtra to stop jeopardizing the peace, prosperity and development of already least integrated region of the world. The political gamble, Modi tend to play merely for the politics of vote would likely to escalate the situations to point of no return and have the serious consequences for the poverty-stricken region whose peace prospects already in jeopardy.
The Shawl raises the serious concerns over the unchecked and draconian Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Power Act and urging that Indian government must repeal the barbarous laws. The similar demand was also expressed by the All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir in October last year, urging “Indian government must repeal the Armed Forces Special Power Act and enable prosecution of its armed forces and security personnel in the civilian judicial system.”
The misconceived “Modi’s Masculine Mantra” peddles propaganda tricks to divert the international attention from the recent surge of independence remained counterproductive rather have adverse effect, the harder he tried to suppress the independent movement, the more difficult it has become to control the voices of Kashmiri people, eventually ends up helping internationalizing the otherwise forgotten Kashmir cause.
The Modi Mantra not just threatens the hard-earned secular credentials of India but challenges the Indian constitution that has provided the basis for country to grow political stability, individual freedom, economic growth, social progress and most importantly, maintains the special-status of Jammu and Kashmir region.
The Kashmiris are united than ever forming the formidable front against the Modi’s ominous machinations to change the socio-political character and to alter the demographics of Kashmir valley. The all mainstream political forces of Kashmir are on the same wave length and share the view over the protection of the special status of Kashmir.
The former BJP ally and the president of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, Mehbooba Muftiwhoserved as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said, “Article 370 binds J&K with India and acts as a bridge. When this bridge is demolished then India’s control over Kashmir becomes illegal and it becomes an occupational force.”
Another veteran politician and chairman of Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, Farooq Abdullah, who also remained served as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for couple of times made it loud and clear to the Prime Minister of India that “You may think by removing Article 370 and Article 35 A our rights could be usurped. We will fight against it, and if you remove 370 it will end our accession with India and we will get freedom.’’
The India today, represents the most polarised nation in the world, communal tensions are on the rise and despite being the fastest economy, India’s GDP growth slows down to 6.6% in December quarter. forceful assertion of Hidutva ideologies.
There is a return of the militant Hindu in India. The Modi Mantra and his ultra-leadership give rise to the populist pulses in the country at the cost of India’s liberalism and pluralistic tendencies.Past fiive years of Modi’s rule prove to be quite a mess in terms of exposing the weak scaffolding of Indian democracy that seems to be at the brink of collapse. It requires one more tenure of Modi to reach the finish line and get the job done.
As in the words of PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, “BJP was playing with fire which will turn entire region into ashes.”
Written by: Sarfraz Ahmed Rana