Indian Adoption of Israel’s Model to suppress freedom movement in Kashmir

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Background

It’s no secret that India and Israel have started to develop multi-venture ties, more for the reason that both the states perceive a threat from fanatic Muslim elements in close proximity to their borders.

At a private event on Saturday in New York City, Sandeep Chakravorty, India’s consul-general to the city, told Kashmiri Hindus and Indian nationals that India will build settlements modeled after Israel for the return of the Hindu population to Kashmir.

 It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it

-Sandeep Chakravorty, Indian counsel-general [2]

This news came after the Indian Government placed more than seven million people in Kashmir under a communication blackout, proceeding to illegally abrogate Article 370 which ended the status of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous rule. The decision came under skepticism by International lawmakers to which the counsel-general replied “A delegation wants to go. But go to other places. Go to Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. No one is talking about taking photos there. So why do they want to come to our place? They don’t like it now that we are now asserting ourselves,”[3].

The government of India claims the fleeing of Hindu Pandit’s from the region an “Indian Holocaust”, in which the Pandit’s fear of losing their culture over time. Mona Bhan, an associate professor of South Asian Studies at Syracuse University in New York said in an interview “I think the return of Kashmiri Pandits is being instrumentalised to justify a settler-colonial project in Kashmir,Such allegations that Pandits cannot return to their motherland and all their properties were taken over by Muslims have also been discredited. Up till now Pandit houses and lands remain untouched[4] .

There is an uncanny resemblance between the actions taken by Indian Government and Israeli Policy- the abrogation of article 35-A allows non-Kashmiris to buy land in the territory, which is a similar policy to that of Israeli settlements inside Palestine. 

Growing Acceptance in India for Israel’s Designs

By revoking autonomy from Kashmir, PM Narendera Modi is taking a page straight out of the Israeli Playbook. This decision did not come out of a vacuum; over the years growing links between India and Israel have created a situation in which the oppression of Kashmiris is very similar to the treatment of Palestinians by Israel.

Historically, the occupation of Kashmir by India in 1948 and creation of Israel in 1948 was barely months apart. Where India was not occupying the territory by expelling the population and resettling of a new population like Israel, a heavy presence of military in the area has acted as a police state.  It’s no secret that the both University of Tel Aviv and University of Haifa in Israel have helped the Indian government through their strategic study cooperation to form policy towards Kashmir. Israel has decades of Palestinian experience. Which better nation to assist India occupying Kashmir than Israel[5].

Israel has all the tactics to teach to India, with its years of time tested mechanisms, time tested tactics and all the diplomatic tricks Benjamin Netanyahu publicly praises and calls Narendera Modi his greatest ally in Asia.

The late stages of Cold war in 1990 saw both states grow close to each other as India become the biggest importer of Israeli arms, in 1992 India opened its embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over the years, Indian Government has worked to instill in the minds of its people that Israel is a valuable ally, given the rule of Modi; this sense of alliance has grown more fruitful as India goes through a Hindu nationalist transformation and the people of India embrace Israel as a valuable ally. The designs of Modi for India-administered Kashmir are in many ways similar with the annexation of West Bank by Israel which is led by far-right extreme nationalist government of Netanyahu’s. 

Hindutva and Zionist members, in their ideological framework, speak clearly of ethnic cleansing and expelling the minorities from their territories. The vision of both these extremist cults is firmly rooted in fascism and white supremacy. Many inspirations of today’s BJP are reflections of Zionist practices in Palestine which include the foremost important Israeli-Style Hindu-only settlements in Kashmir as a way of instigating demographic change. 

Also, both Zionists and Hindu Nationalists argue the fact that because of many Muslim states in the world, there is a need for a Jew and Hindu only state and that the Muslims in these areas have the choice to live elsewhere but stay to cause a security risk to our religion.

After August 5th, this alliance of Hindutva and Zionist forces became more visible when at an event held at Mumbai University hosted by Indo-Israel Friendship Association, the speakers from both sides encouraged the ethno-nationalist ideology that has been so successful in establishing Israeli domination over Palestinians[6].  What Israel does in Palestine, is somehow bound to be adopted by India in Kashmir, the profile of RSS ideology shows that the leaders of the party drew their inspirations from far right wing- fascist European groups and the leaders like Hitler and Mussolini[7].

An ‘internal conflict’

Both, India and Israel have also managed, with overall success, to escape the meaningful attention by International Organizations and powerful inter-governmental actors. With the abrogation of Article 370 in August, India clearly transformed the conflict from an International dispute between two states-to an ‘internal issue’ which disqualified all external parties to become concerned about the issue of Kashmir. Israel has also done something similar in the past, when they declared themselves as the true democracy in Middle East that is surrounded by angry Arabs.

What Israel taught India

 While both states develop close ties to oppress the minorities in their respective states, India has been implying a lot of tactics that have been used by Israeli forces in their occupation of West Bank.

  1. Psychological Warfare

Israeli forces have been implying the art of psychological warfare on the people of Palestine, which includes illegal arrests, targeting youth and especially teenagers, harassing the women and raids late in the night. Indian forces have applied these tactics same as their allies did in Palestine.

These tactics are mostly applied, to psychologically damage the notion of freedom in the minds of Kashmiri people. The feeling of fear about the safety of their children, daughters and their privacy suppresses the need for independence when the priority becomes survival.

  • Use of Violence

Both Israel and India have resorted to immense use of force to suppress the freedom movements against a large proportion of unarmed civilians, all in an effort to stop the freedom movements. This violence is targeted at all age groups, including children below the age of 10 and elders above 70. By estimates, Indian forces have been involved in the killings of at least 894 children since their occupation[8]. The same trend was seen in Israel where Netanyahu’s regime over saw killing of 2,100 Palestinian Civilians in the Gaza bombing of 2014[9].

  • Disappearances

Raiding a house in the middle of night, threatening the family and then taking young sons and fathers never to be heard from again is a common tactic that flowed from Israel’s forces to the Indian forces in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. These incidents have grown particularly in IOK over the years since Narendera Modi came to power. Over 8,000 Kashmiris have disappeared in the custody of Indian troops over the years[10], thousands of unnamed graves have been discovered and there is a very fair chance that the fateful disappeared Kashmiris lay in these grounds[11].

  • Concentration Camps

India, recently, showed that it will form concentration camps, to keep the illegal immigrants from a period of 3 month up to 1 year before they are deported to the states they came from. Currently, the Indian government has started to build concentration camps in Assam, where some 2 lakh people have been stripped of their citizenship, many of them Muslims and some Hindus from Bengal[12]. There are talks of applying National Register of Citizens (NRC) nationwide, which will be followed by a chain of concentration camps.

Conclusion

It is clear, that an occupation is not an occupation when it is executed by one of the largest markets in the region. A butcher is not a butcher when he is the Prime Minister of a state; or when he is an ally of Israel.

Modi has been termed as the ‘butcher of Gujarat’ over the mass riots that led to thousands of Muslims being massacred in 2002. Now with implying the Israeli model to Kashmir, he can also hold the title of ‘butcher of Kashmir’. Unfortunately, we live in a time where nation-states commit war crimes and are cheered on by bloodthirsty citizens and states alike. The word ‘democracy’ has been blatantly thrown out by the leaders of the powerful states; human rights seem incapable of bringing any change to the existing dilemma of the people of Kashmir. As long as, India and Israel find their common enemy in Muslims this behavior of suppressing masses using unparalleled violence will continue to increase. As India braces to apply the model of Israel in Kashmir, things have started taking a toll inside India also where riots have increased in continuation of CAA and NRC being implied. Fighting the people of their state, India is tightening the noose around its own neck and showing the true colors of its artificially maintained democracy.     


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