On August 5, the state of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) would have been under lockdown for three years. Due to the Hindutva ideology’s belief that Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka must be swallowed in order to fulfill the “Akhandta prophecy,” it only partially achieved the RSS aim of “Akhand Bharat”. In terms of Indian atrocities committed against helpless Kashmiris over the previous 75 years, the last three years could be considered the worst; by revoking Articles 370 and 35-A, the Kashmiri identity recognized by the Indian constitution and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been permanently denied. The whole state of Jammu and Kashmir has been divided into the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh union territories. However, the actions of the Modi administration have only heightened animosity among Kashmiris, giving the occupiers little to cheer about.
Even Kashmiri leaders who supported India were excluded from the implementation of Articles 370, which granted the Jammu and Kashmir State special status, and 35-A, which prohibited Indians from purchasing property in the State. The leading Kashmiri politicians were placed under house arrest for nearly a year and had their voices muzzled; those who dared to speak were taken advantage of for months, adding insult to injury. These Kashmiri politicians who supported India now acknowledge that they were duped by every Indian administration, from Nehru to Modi.
The actual spokesmen of the Kashmiri people have spent the previous many years behind bars. Particularly after the August 5, 2019, crackdown in the seized state, over a thousand political leaders and well-known political activists have been incarcerated in different Indian jails. While under house imprisonment for the previous eleven years, Syed Ali Gilani passed away in September of last year. Yasin Mallick, a renowned Kashmiri politician, has been held in solitary confinement since 2019 after being found guilty of two life sentences in May of this year. Another renowned leader in jail on false allegations is Shabir Shah, the Kashmiri version of Nelson Mandela.
Ironically, among the 13,000 Kashmiri teenagers detained in prisons outside the occupied state are kids as young as thirteen. Access is prohibited to the parents of these teenagers unless they present a certificate of good behavior and a promise that their kids won’t engage in anti-Indian activities in the future. More than ten thousand so-called “half-widows” are awaiting word about their spouses. Nobody is certain if those husbands are still alive or not, but their wives have been anticipating either good or terrible news for a long time. In IIOJK, Indian occupation troops continue to carry out extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, staged cordon and search operations, and custodial torture without being held accountable. Since August 5 of this year, 640 Kashmiris have died as martyrs. This year alone, there have been around 119 Kashmiri martyrdoms.
The Modi administration has also been considering a cruel plan to force the Kashmiris into surrender by altering the population of the occupied territory. As “permanent residents” of occupied Kashmir, over four million Kashmiri residence certificates have been given to Indian nationals. Similar action to what the Americans did to the Red Indians or what Israel is doing to the Palestinians by splitting the Palestinian area will permanently alter the demographics of the occupied state.
The Modi administration is also making moves to alter the demographics of seats with a Muslim majority. In this context, the so-called “Delimitation Commission” report has been rigged to increase the number of seats allocated to areas with a preponderance of Hindus, thereby reducing the Kashmiri Muslim majority population to a minority in their own country. According to the report’s recommendations, there is an unbalanced distribution of seats, with six for Jammu (totaling 43 seats) and just one for the Kashmir Valley (47 seats). Due to its 44 percent population, Jammu will have 48 percent of the seats, while Kashmir, with 56 percent of the population, will only have 52 percent of the seats.
Ironically, India is acting in flagrant contravention of the UN Security Council decisions regarding the Kashmir conflict by implementing these harsh measures. As an illustration, UNSC Resolution 91 (1951), dated March 30, 1951, states unequivocally that “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.” In addition, the same resolution stated that “convening a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the ‘All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference’ and any action that Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle.” Therefore, in light of the Security Council’s resolution stated above, anything done to legitimize Indian occupation would be prohibited and rejected by Pakistan and Kashmiris, except for a vote overseen by the UN.
The actions were taken by the Modi administration on August 5, 2019, not only violated UNSC resolutions but also cynically ignored the opinions of even the most docile Kashmiris regarding the drastic measure that would permanently strip Kashmiris of their identity and their right to their lands.
Indian actions in the seized state were the product of deliberate strategies New Delhi used to legitimize its occupation. To India’s shame, no Indian administration has, however, been able to establish its authority in the seized state. Indian Independence Day has traditionally been regarded as a “Black Day” by the Kashmiri people. Pakistan’s Independence Day is observed as Kashmir’s National Day. Pakistani flags are flown across the occupied state to provide a constant reminder to the occupying troops that the independence fight is insurmountable, not even with their firearms. In addition, for obvious reasons, the Indian administrators dread is the Pakistani cricket team’s match against India. No Indian leader worth his salt would venture alone into the occupied territory.
Sadly, the Indian policymakers’ narrative has been characterized by egoism and stubbornness, covered in falsehoods and deception, in order to deny the Kashmiris their legitimate demand for the right to self-determination. The Indian state apparatus has been holding the defenseless Kashmiri populace to ransom while the international community has stood by and done nothing.
Ironically, the US has no reluctance to draw attention to the suffering of Uyghur Muslims in China. Nevertheless, it continues to turn a blind eye to the Auschwitz-like circumstances in the occupied region of Jammu and Kashmir, where one Indian army is placed in charge of eight unarmed Kashmiris, the greatest civilian-to-military ratio ever recorded.
Despite the Hindutva brigade’s coercive tactics, Kashmiris’ tenacity has proven to be a tough nut for India to crack over the last 75 years, and nothing is expected to change. India doesn’t have many options given the current situation, other than to find a political solution that could be acceptable to all parties involved. Otherwise, the conflict will go on. Kashmiris will endure Indian state terrorism; on India’s Republic Day, black flags will continue to flutter, and Kashmiris will proudly display Pakistani flags from their homes.