Dr Muhammad Khan
On August 16, 2019, Kapil Komireddi wrote a very insightful article about the real motives behind abrogation of Article 370 by Indian Government. Entitled as, “The Kashmir crisis isn’t about territory. It’s about a Hindu victory over Islam”. With the slogan of democracy dies in the darkness, the prestigious American daily, ‘The Washington Post’ published this article with many insightful revelations. However, the reality is that, Kashmir crisis has been created both for the territory of the state as well as for the Hindu domination over Muslims. Despite Indian occupation since 1947, the state was maintaining its Muslim character. Though the State of Jammu and Kashmir is not a legal part of India, yet Indian Government forcefully declared it as union territories in violation of its own constitution, the constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir state and above all the UN resolutions.
Indeed, today’s India has been converted into a Hindu State, contrary to the so-called Secular state mantra, the successive rulers of this South Asian giant have been projecting since last seven decades. The idea of converting India into a Hindu state is not only the idea of Modi and his team, led by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other Hindu extremist organizations, but indeed, in the guise of secularism, Hindutva was the agenda of founding fathers of India.
The Hindutva movement, started in 1923 is indeed, “fascist in the classical sense”. It is all about Hindu nationalism, rather the Indian nationalism; a concept of Hindu homogenised society with specific Hindu culture, an extreme form of ‘ethnic absolutism’. The prominent Indian leader, Mr Rajeshwar Singh has clearly announced that, by December 2021, we “will finish Christianity and Islam” from India, since this state is for Hindus only. This movement started towards beginning of 21st century and later on December 18, 2014, Rajeshwar Singh, declared on national television news channels that his organization had set a 2021 deadline to cleanse India of “alien Islam and Christianity”. Rajeshwar Singh is being backed by BJP and all other Hindu religious organizations and even proponents of secularism did not stop him from doing all this. The BJP has otherwise devised a strategy of ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme, aims at, conversion (reconversion) of all Muslims and Christians in to Hinduism. This activity is facilitated by Vishva Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, making use of all means which include use of brutal force like killing and other means of frightening.
In fact, India is truly following the philosophy of its classical realist forefather, Chanakya (Kautilya). It is worth mentioning that, Kautilya was the ideal of first Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who used to call him as Indian Machiavelli’. Nehru used to study his famous book; Arthashastra, which deals with power politics; as a dedicated routine. Nehru equated Arthashastra with ‘The Prince’ of Machiavelli, rather found the former more comprehensive. Today, the Indian hegemonic design in South Asia and surroundings is part of the same strategy. Within India, the Hindutva has become a major attraction for converting non Hindu into Hinduism. Despite not being part of India, successive Indian governments have been involved in converting the Muslim majority into minority, using various merciless strategies. In Jammu province, the forceful migration of Muslims from 1947 till date has been the main strategy of inhabiting Hindus in the Province, converting Muslim majority areas into Hindu majority. The people of Kashmir Valley were not allowing this conversion; therefore, the decision was taken by Indian Government on August 5, 2019 to change the special status of state, a violation of its own constitution and the constitution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir besides the UN resolutions for making demographic changes.
It is worth mentioning that, state of Jammu and Kashmir has been maintaining its separate status which allowed it to ‘have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.’ The most important aspect, which must be considered to evaluate the legality of Indian decision to revoke the Article 370 and its forceful annexation of the state thereafter, is the role of Constitutional Assembly of the State. It is to be noted that, after its establishment, the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir provisionally accepted Article 370 of Indian Constitution as a temporary measure, until the final decision is made as per UN resolutions. Constitutional Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was empowered to recommend the articles of the Indian constitution that should be applied to the state and similarly to abrogate it. It was in consultation with the Constituent Assembly of the state that, in 1954, an Indian Presidential Order was issued which specified the articles of the Indian constitution that applied to the state. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir which recommended Article 370 for a linkage between the state and Indian union was dissolved in 1956, thus India losses any legal linkage with state after abrogating this article. This act of India has legally made the state as an independent entity on August 5, 2019. The forceful Indian annexation of state as union territories is practically another invasion, after it first invaded the state on October 27, 1947.
The prestigious Washington Post has truly analysed that, Indian decision of sudden takeover; indeed, a reoccupation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, aimed at ‘fulfilment of a long ideological yearning of Indian leaders to make a predominantly occupied Muslim population surrender to Hindu population and Hindu rule. “Kashmir is both a warning and a template for even the integral Indian state” where there are insurgencies for separation from Indian union. They can be brought under Delhi’s thumb in the name of “unity.” This Indian fascism is also a warning for the regional states and the world as a whole, as it was done by Nazis under Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Modi is behaving as Hitler and his BJP (RSS) as Nazi Party of Hitler.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and International Relations at International Islamic University, Islamabad.