India has lost plot on Kashmir

November 18, 2019

Almost all the world media, during the 100-day drastic Indian clampdown on held Kashmir, has come up with shocking details and reports about the human rights violations in the held Valley.Many...

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Almost all the world media, during the 100-day drastic Indian clampdown on held Kashmir, has come up with shocking details and reports about the human rights violations in the held Valley.

Many reports have also talked about illegal Indian occupation of the Valley and ignoring the UN resolutions.

To counter such reports, the Modi Sarkar has relied upon pro-government media and social media supporters who defend the massive

crackdown and denounce Pakistan and Indian human rights activists who raise their voice in this regard.

Even sedition allegations have been leveled on those who have questioned the revocation of Article 370 or criticised the BJP government.

The Kashmir issue is constantly being raised by the world media. A senior South African journalist Shanon Ebrahim recently wrote that “Kashmir has become the new settler colonial project.”

She said that “India’s great son of the soil Mahatma Gandhi had issued a prescient warning to his compatriots to guard against the rise of a ‘regime of brute power’ in India that would mirror English rule without the Englishmen.”

She added: “Today many are remembering that warning with the brute force that is being exacted on the people of Kashmir, whose fate

and United Nations-protected right to self-determination is largely being ignored by the rest of the world… in recent years, numerous reports from human rights organisations have documented protesters having been blinded by the pellet guns used by the security forces, which have also caused serious injuries, many to children."

Talking about the Indian brutalities, she said: “It has been reported that over 10,000 civilians have been forcibly disappeared, and in places of incarceration there has been widespread rape, torture, and extra-judicial killings.

Last year the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a damning report on human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indian security forces, and the High Commissioner demanded access to Kashmir in order for an independent inquiry to be conducted, but the demands were ignored.”

After the long queue of truthful ‘anti-India’ reports, it was no wonder that one Indian journalist wrote that “India has compelling reasons for the abrogation of Article 370. But, so far, they have been put before the world so badly that it is Pakistan that has taken control of the narrative.

Every time a new story appears in some important western newspaper about torture and repression in the Kashmir Valley, spokesmen of the Indian Government dismiss it as prejudice and Pakistani propaganda. Perhaps. But, when are we going to start telling our side of the story better?”

In another piece, Angshuman Choudhury and Prannv Dhawan held that “New Delhi is already facing escalating international rhetoric on pushbacks to its liberal democratic order by the ruling right-wing, Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The noise has only grown with the clampdown on Kashmir, which also entails an across-the-board communication blackout.

The latest rebuke came from a recent United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on Human Rights in South Asia, where India’s actions in Kashmir took center stage.

The most important concern in this regard has been the opaque and restrictive approach of the Indian government toward the presence of international media and concerned lawmakers in Kashmir.

Add to this the lackadaisical attitude of the Supreme Court toward these excesses, which has also come under the radar internationally, most recently from the United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“By providing exclusive access to only one group of European political figures over others, that too while bypassing formal diplomatic channels with major Western blocs like the European Union, New Delhi might unintentionally give more credence to Pakistan’s persistent attempts at internationalising the issue.”

Sreeram Chaulia, a professor and dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs in Sonipat, India, admitted: “This August, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked special status in Muslim-majority Jammu & Kashmir, Western news outlets pounced on the measure as proof of their preconceived assumption that India was becoming a religiously intolerant Hindu nation in which Muslims were believed to be persecuted.

A slew of op-eds and news commentaries followed, mostly hewing to the apocryphal position that India was committing terrible human rights abuses in Kashmir and that Modi’s actions were unconstitutional.”

He further conceded: “By constantly misrepresenting the reality of India and the intent of Modi’s policies, Western media-mavens have attempted to create an illusion to influence Western governments.

The damage caused by this motivated campaign was acknowledged by Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who remarked that the ideological and strong preset views of the Western media made his task harder when he met American policymakers to explain India’s full integration of Jammu & Kashmir and its commitment to counter jihadist terrorism.”

Even the Indians are now realising that New Delhi has squarely failed to sell its case on Article 370 to the world media and its so-called line of more investment and jihadi terrorism in the Valley.

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