Modi Moves on Kashmir 🇮

Mukesh Gupta / Reuters

Mukesh Gupta / Reuters

India repeals constitutional amendment granting Kashmir autonomy

On Monday, the BJP- (India’s right-wing party) led Indian government made an unprecedented move affecting the controversial Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) region. President Ram Nath Kovind issued a decree that rescinded Article 370 of the Indian constitution. J&K will lose its ‘special status’ and will be bifurcated into two union territories with legislatures. The move has been led to criticism and protests.Pakistan has rejected the move and has claimed to explore options to counter the move.

What is Article 370 and what is its significance?

Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority region to join India during the 1947 partition, was given a certain degree of autonomy under Article 370. The state had its own constitution, a separate flag, and the freedom to make laws. Furthermore, J&K could create its own rules regarding citizenship, property ownership, and fundamental rights. The state could also prevent Indians from other states from owning property or settling in J&K.


LEANING RIGHT:

Republic World: J&K's Article 370 to go, baffled Pakistan calls 3 key meetings after panicky statement

The Times of India: 'We can feel the Valley air’: Kashmiri Pandits rejoice

The right puts a positive spin on the move, highlighting the fact that displaced Kashmiri Pandits (Kashmiri Hindus who were forced to flee the region in 1990 after being targeted by Islamic insurgents) will be able to return to J&K. They include quotes from Kashmiri Pandits who are excited about the prospect about being able to return to their home state. The right also discusses Pakistan’s response to the move, claiming India’s move left their Pakistani counterparts "baffled."

LEANING LEFT:

HuffPost India: As Kashmir is erased, Indian democracy dies in silence

The Hindu: Jammu and Kashmir: an integration without integrity

 

The left is critical of India’s decision, contending that the resolution, which lacked legality and moral validity, is constitutional abuse. They highlight that the government has deployed thousands of troops in J&K in addition to cutting off all communication. The left also cites a photograph of a checklist for "Kashmir’s erasure," which they claim will result in the installation of a puppet governor. Furthermore, they claim this move undermines India’s democracy and sets a dangerous precedence for the central government’s abuse of power.


Where's the common ground?

The only common ground between both sides is an explanation of Article 370 and the changes that its nullification will bring.

A bridge no more

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