Thousands of Lives Uprooted in Kashmir After India Revokes Special Status

Left party supporters and students shout slogans during a protest against Indian government revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status in New Delhi, India, Aug. 5, 2019. (Manish Swarup/AP)

In early August, India revoked article 370, which gave a special status to India occupied Kashmir. As the only Muslim region in India, this special status gave Kashmir autonomy. However, FMI’s Bruce Allen says after the revocation, phone and internet services were cut and public assemblies are now prohibited. Plus, India’s move in Kashmir has critics questioning the country’s already uncertain religious freedoms.

“Under Article 370, it specified that no Indians from outside the IOK (so, from another part of India), they would not be allowed to buy land inside the region. They could not permanently settle there. They couldn’t run for political office there. Well, now that they’ve revoked article 370, critics are thinking you’re going to allow a whole flood of Hindu residents to come in or Hindu immigrants to come into this area. So, that is one of the concerns,” Allen explains.

Problems in Kashmir

In recent years, a sentiment has gained traction in India—to be Indian is to be Hindu. This concept isolates religious minorities and begs the question; is the current situation in Kashmir an attempt to further the Hindu supremacy agenda in India?

Allen reports a curfew is in place in Kashmir and the region’s chief minister is under house arrest. People have also been arrested with the possibility of being held for up to two years without charges or a trial under India’s Public Safety Act.

“Thousands of lives are being upended by that,” Allen says. “They can’t communicate with the rest of the world. They can’t even assemble together in their own region.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News