Why does Modi market BJP so much

After lifting of autonomy - The situation in Kashmir will not calm down

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Author: An analysis by Thomas Gutersohn

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi redeemed an election promise this week: he has revoked the autonomy rights of the Indian part of Kashmir. Kashmir is an area claimed by India and Pakistan that was separated through the mediation of the UN. But neither Pakistan nor India recognize this separation as a national border.

Today, Jammu Kashmir is the only state in India with a Muslim majority. The BJP, the Hindu Nationalist ruling party, had long been a thorn in the side of the Muslims who had special rights there: For example, only Kashmiris in Kashmir could buy land or hold public offices. This did not go down well with the BJP's Hindu electorate.

But after independence, the special rights were a condition for the then independent Kashmir to join India. These privileges should have been in place until the Kashmiris themselves could vote on staying in India. India never allowed this vote, which repeatedly led to disputes. The Indian Kashmiris' rights of autonomy were able to allay the resentments somewhat. Not more.

Government taboo modes

Pakistan, which likes to call itself the protective power of the Muslim Kashmiris in India, repeatedly poured fuel into the fire through terrorist infiltrations. The more violent the uprisings, the more military India stationed in Kashmir.

So far, no government in India has dared to touch the special rights, the unstable balance should not be overturned. After last May's election victory, Modi's government felt empowered to break this taboo.

A fresh start for cashmere?

In a speech to the nation, Modi spoke of a new beginning. In the future, Indian companies will set up shop in Kashmir, the Indian film industry will be based again in the idyllic mountain landscape and even Ayurvedic herbs from Kashmir will be exported abroad.

But even before this announcement, his government had Kashmir completely cordoned off, knowing that the people there would react anything but euphoric to this message. Modi did not mention that Kashmir is currently under siege, with over 300 people imprisoned and several killed.

The Kashmiris do not trust the government and feel left out. At that time they were not allowed to vote on their whereabouts and they were not asked now either.

Pakistan cannot afford war

Pakistan reacts surprisingly diplomatically to India's decision. It wants to involve the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice. War tirades have not yet been heard from Islamabad. There is a reason for this: Pakistan is dependent on international donors and cannot afford to go to war against India. Certainly not as long as it is not attacked itself.

This will lead to some disillusionment among the Indian Kashmiris. They hoped that one day Pakistan would free them from Indian clutches. Now the shackles are even tighter. In the future, Kashmir will be directly subordinate to the central government. In order to break away from New Delhi's bear hug, even more young Kashmiris will probably choose the path of militant resistance. The situation in Kashmir will not calm down. And as long as there is no peace in Kashmir, the investments that Modi has promised will not materialize either.

Thomas Gutersohn

India and South Asia Correspondent, SRF

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Thomas Gutersohn has lived in Mumbai, India since 2016 and reports for SRF from India and South Asia. Gutersohn studied international relations in Geneva.

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  • Comment from Juha Stump (Juha Stump)
    Mahatma Gandhi put it aptly: Hinduism and Islam are the two eyes of India. Like it or not, Hindus and Muslims just can't get away from each other, so they just have to find some way to live together. We have known since then that the partition of India in 1947, which was not initially planned, did not really make both sides happy. Unfortunately, cashmere is a "good" example of this.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Harald Buchmann (Harald_Buchmann)
    Amazing that even China condemned this act. Otherwise, China is very cautious about the domestic policies of other countries.
    It is also conspicuous how the value vest is silent when it is its own allies who act in this way.
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Hans Haller (panasawan)
      It wasn't always the case that China held back against India. And elsewhere, there is currently not so much reluctance at all. There they appear quite brisk and demanding with claims.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from Rudolf Räber (one)
      @Haller, isn't it the other way around? China is not holding back in this case. it condemns the act.
      But you say it correctly, the (in a different way than China) increasingly autocratic West looks on uncritically. Or have TruPu already twittered something.
      Agree agree to the comment
    3. answer from B. Moser (moser.b)
      So please, China annexed part of Kashmir in 1962 (is not recognized by India)! China is not a neutral actor here!
      Agree agree to the comment
    4. answer from Juha Stump (Juha Stump)
      B. Moser: It wasn't just an annexation. There was even a small border war because of her, which was later portrayed in such a way that it ended in a draw, so that both sides could keep their "face". However, nothing has changed about the annexation by Chinese troops to this day.
      Agree agree to the comment
    5. Show answers
  • Comment from B. Moser (moser.b)
    Of course there is a solution, simply ONE, which we don't like.

    But you have to see, 10 years ago Pakistan and India had the same GNP / per capita, but today India has a 25% higher GNP. And somehow you have to develop Kashmir further, investments from the rest of India are also necessary (Muslims will have to sell their land for this), because with cashmere sweaters alone, it is simply not enough here.
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Rudolf Räber (one)
      Do you have Swiss roots, Ms. or Mr. Moser? Their solution is the same as the oppression of Switzerland by the Habsburgs.
      In Kashmir, the point is that India has broken the law. I hope for the international court of justice and the courage of the sympathetic powers.

      We (the world community) should give the Kashmiri the opportunity to market themselves. It is their country.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from Rolf Künzi (undefined)
      You are absolutely right, in addition, India not only has to distance itself from the Muslim side, but also from China, which by the way has already been practicing this policy for a long time and is very active throughout the country and beyond.
      Agree agree to the comment
    3. Show answers

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