Guest Post: “A Troubled Paradise”


Thank you, Schroedinger’s Cat:

It has been over a week since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right hand man from Gujarat, Amit Shah who is now the home minister changed the constitution of India with little debate in the parliament. Modi government has abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian constitution. The state has been under curfew and a strict communication blockade for the last eleven days. Former Kashmiri chief ministers are under arrest.

Article 370 concerns the accession of Kashmir to India, while 35A granted the state of Jammu and Kashmir a degree of autonomy to make laws governing the citizenry of the state. They have been revoked by the government in New Delhi with no input from the citizens of Kashmir. Constitutional scholars can argue about the legalistic validity of these moves, but these actions are undemocratic and unworthy of a constitutional democracy. They blatantly disregard the will of the people of Kashmir. The central government is acting as a colonial power within its own boundaries. Muslim majority Kashmir has been reduced to little more than a colony of Hindu majority India. You can see the population breakup from the 2011 census in the table that I have included. These were the fears that lead to the partition of India. This move reopens the wounds of partition which in Kashmir’s case were never healed.

What this does in practical terms is it strips of Jammu and Kashmir of its statehood and partitions it into two administrative regions. Jammu and Kashmir being the first region and the Buddhist majority Ladakh being the other.

It also means the death of the Indian Republic as it was conceived by the generation that fought for Indian independence. The ideological ancestors of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were nowhere to be found in the freedom struggle. Instead, they were busy criticizing the Indian National Congress and collaborating with the British.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir, independent India’s only Muslim majority state, was guaranteed limited autonomy when they agreed to become a part of India instead of Pakistan after the partition of India. This has been an anathema to the Hindu right since India’s inception. A thorn in the side of their dream of a muscular Hindu state where other religions are not equal but merely tolerated.

Modi and Shah’s actions betray India’s founding principles, and undermine both federalism, religious freedom. The intellectual heirs of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassins are enacting their vision of India. That the BJP did this after getting a brute majority in the elections held earlier this year is not surprising. The Rashtriya Swayam Sevaksangh (RSS)’s agenda on this issue has been clear since India’s independence when their political arm was called the Jan Sangh.

What has been rather disappointing and sad is the feeble to non-existent opposition response and sycophancy of India’s prestige media like the Times of India, the Hindu and India Today. Most of the Indian media is either not covering this major story or giving cover to the government in New Delhi.

One has to go the web-only outlet, The Wire to find Kashmir covered in detail. This story is still developing and I will post updates.

Table I : Population Breakup of the Jammu and Kashmir from the 2011 census


Source: Wikipedia






77 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    I saw some of this earlier and thanks to Schroedinger’s Cat for giving us additional information. We are fortunate to have her.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    zhena gogolia says:

    Thank you — it’s very sad and upsetting.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3

    @JPL: You are so nice. Thanks I don’t know if I deserve that praise but I will take it.
    If you have questions comment here or on my blog and I will try to answer.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right hand man from Gujarat, Amit Shah who is now the home minister changed the constitution of India with little debate in the parliament.

    Would bet that Trump’s traitorous crew is taking notes.

    What has been rather disappointing and sad is the feeble to non-existent opposition response and sycophancy of India’s prestige media like the Times of India, the Hindu and India Today. Most of the Indian media is either not covering this major story or giving cover to the government in New Delhi.

    Who owns those news organizations? Are they beholden to big money or powerful people in government? Sure seems like toady media is a problem worldwide.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    JPL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The area has been volatile since I can remember and your voice adds to what is going on now. I appreciate that.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6

    @JPL: It has been contested by both India and Pakistan since 1947.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7

    @Yarrow: I don’t know the answer to that. I do know that BJP is the biggest source for ad revenue for TV.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I remember reading about it in “My Weekly Reader” when I was in 2nd or third grade — a long time ago.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yup older than I can remember.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10

    Am I right in reading that table to say that the majority of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir are in the Pakistani administered part?

    ReplyReply
  11. 11

    @Roger Moore: No the table is for the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the census data of 2011.

    * Jammu has Hindu majority
    * The Kashmir valley is Muslim majority
    *Ladakh is Buddhist majority

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    Do you have any sense that Putin or China is behind this, SC? It seems like too much of a coincidence that so many countries around the world have made the hard right turn in the past couple of years. I assume that Pakistan will be furious; should we worry about a shooting war? Greatly increased terrorism? Thanks for providing this explanation.

    It’s also puzzling how ineffective the opposition has been both in Britain and India. At least we are fighting back here.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    kindness says:

    Modi is India’s Trump. The citizens around the planet are all suffering from a disease. It must be contagious.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    debbie says:

    What has been rather disappointing and sad is the feeble to non-existent opposition response and sycophancy of India’s prestige media like the Times of India, the Hindu and India Today. Most of the Indian media is either not covering this major story or giving cover to the government in New Delhi.

    NPR just interviewed a freelance journalist who had snuck out of Kashmir. I believe he’s India-based but he was very clear about what was going on.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    Bill Arnold says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I do know that BJP is the biggest source for ad revenue for TV.

    Where does BJP get its money? Is it public or secret information?

    (Thanks for the post BTW.)

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    First, let me add my thanks and appreciation for your insights on this sad situation. I hope you’ll keep commenting on Kashmir whenever circumstances change.

    It has been contested by both India and Pakistan since 1947.

    Not strictly about Kashmir, this, but when I was around eight years old — 1950 or so — I had a colouring book about Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. There were outline maps, national flags, a paragraph or two of potted history, and drawings of the official Scout/Guide uniform in each country. At the time, Pakistan was “West Pakistan” and Bangladesh was “East Pakistan.” I remember being excessively confused by the maps, and a bit pissed off that the countries had been all carved up like that (I didn’t know the word “partition” then, of course, let alone the bloody and imperious history behind it). But I did admire the attractive uniforms worn by Girl Guides of both India and Pakistan.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    patrick II says:

    @Yarrow:

    They are already sneaking changes to the constitution at White House.gov. They have replaced “people” with “citizen” in their description of the Bill of Rights. That is pretty much in concert with how they act.

    The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.

    The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. The government may not conduct any searches without a warrant, and such warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable cause.

    The Fifth Amendment provides that citizens not be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment without due process. Citizens may not be tried on the same set of facts twice, and are protected from self-incrimination (the right to remain silent). The amendment also establishes the power of eminent domain, ensuring that private property is not seized for public use without just compensation.

    And so on.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    @kindness:

    Modi is India’s Trump. The citizens around the planet are all suffering from a disease. It must be contagious.

    The last generation to squash fascism is mostly dead now.

    Not a coincidence that it’s slithering out from the sewer again.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
  21. 21
    Mary G says:

    O/T, but this is a wonderful thread about kindness and gratitude:

    WE FOUND HIM!! A thread 👇👇After 3000 RTs, 3 news articles, 1 video and thousands of wonderful messages from around the world, @Arjen78 made contact with the family!Guys, I knew the internet was great but this is something else. https://t.co/H4qmL1uVqQ— Mevan | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 13, 2019

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Thank you for this, S_C. As someone who also occasionally posts on contested areas that are foreign to most of the B-J readership, I am very glad to see this.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    Thanks!

    I couldn’t read this [The intellectual heirs of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassins are enacting their vision of India.] without borrowing it and adapting thus:

    The intellectual heirs of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassins are enacting their vision of Israel.

    Plus nukes. What a mess!

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Bill Arnold says:

    @patrick II:

    They have replaced “people” with “citizen” in their description of the Bill of Rights

    They use “citizens” in the the wayback machine’s first copy of that page (Dec 16, 2017)
    https://web.archive.org/web/20171216032911/https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/the-constitution/
    Relevant bits:
    The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.
    The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.
    The Fifth Amendment provides that citizens not be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment without due process.
    Any lawyers care to inform us on the current state? I’m pretty sure documented immigrants have some of these rights.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    Raven says:

    This is so helpful, thanks.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26

    @trollhattan: The intellectual heirs of Lincoln’s assassin are enacting their vision of the United States.

    Plus nukes!

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    tokyokie says:

    @trollhattan: And when you get right down to it, the intellectual heirs of John Wilkes Booth control the GOP.

    Never mind. Bill in Glendale beat me to the point.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    Matt says:

    The ideological ancestors of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were nowhere to be found in the freedom struggle. Instead, they were busy criticizing the Indian National Congress and collaborating with the British.

    So basically just like our neoconfederates.

    Said it before and I’ll say it again: as a species, we’re either going to destroy religion or it’s going to destroy us. It’s winning so far.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    patrick II says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Just to be clear, the original “Bill of Rights” says “people” or “persons” not citizens, and that Dec 2017 was during the first year of the Trump administration, so they are the ones who wrote this.
    I think the Trump administration is actually fairly sophisticated about gaslighting. People who visit the White House site will just breathe in the word citizen and are less likely to think of immigrants with any rights under the constitution. I don’t know what lawyers have to say, but the first step is just to spread the meme. Not all memes are obvious.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    Peale says:

    I’m not certain where this ends. My guess is that either the Muslim Kashmiris are driven out like the Rohingya in Myanmar, or India follows the model of China in Tibet and the Uighurs and everyone is incarcerated. India I think wants the land, not necessarily the people on the land. There isn’t much that is going to be done diplomatically to save them if it comes to that. I think there’s a lot of backscratching on the UN human rights commission.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Cermet says:

    @schrodingers_cat: And China as well – yet I never understood why China decided to invade and seize control as it did. Historically, was China ever in control of those areas? And from a military standpoint does it make sense?

    As for why the world is turning towards fascism one need look no further than peak liquid oil (and the only reason it isn’t obvious is that both tar sand and ‘tight’ oil has enable use to continue production); and AGW with its stress upon food production. These two factors have put great pressure on driving food prices up. As tight oil is used up and AGW gets worse, look towards far more conflicts and more fascism developing. The world is both figuratively and literally burning.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Bill Arnold says:

    @patrick II:

    but the first step is just to spread the meme. Not all memes are obvious.

    Oh yeah agreed. Was just briefly dissecting it. The intent is clear and nasty.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33

    @Bill Arnold: (Checks to see if it’s still live on the White House site) Yup.

    OK, went back and checked the wayback machine for the Obama website, it says ‘citizens’ too. This is not new.

    ETA: Wrong, but not new.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    patrick II says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Thank you BillinGlendaleCA. I’ll have to learn to use the wayback machine.

    Guess I’m just paranoid.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35

    @patrick II: Basically, I went to the main White House site on the Wayback Machine and then went back to the Obama White House pages and just followed the links to “Our Constitution”. The text and even the formatting is exactly the same, the Trump folk haven’t changed it at all. Though as I noted in my ETA, it’s still wrong.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Bill Arnold says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    OK, went back and checked the wayback machine for the Obama website, it says ‘citizens’ too. This is not new.

    That’s surprising. Link? Wonder how that happened.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Bill Arnold says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    Ah, thanks.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter. Now that you have so clearly explained it, I understand why you are so upset. This is not a good thing, and only adds to more turbulence in the world. Folks are too blind or ignorant to see the hornets nest that has been started here.😪😪😠😠

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    TS (the original) says:

    Thank you Schroedinger’s Cat – much appreciate the explanations/understanding

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    chopper says:

    to seattle area jackals: can’t make the meetup tonight, wifey has to work late and i’ll have the kiddos. hoist one for me.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41

    @Bill Arnold: The formatting is different but here’s the link to the site from Obama’s first term(March 2012): https://web.archive.org/web/20120301111514/http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/the-constitution

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wanna bet it started from the Bush Error?

    ReplyReply
  43. 43

    Looks like it’s an addition when Obama came into office(I can’t find it on the Bush White House website). Here’s May 2009: https://web.archive.org/web/20090501220106/http://www.whitehouse.gov/our_government/the_constitution/.

    The Obama folk dropped the ball on this one.

    @TenguPhule: Sure I’ll take that bet.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    CaseyL says:

    @chopper:Well, damn. I’m sorry you won’t be joining us.

    We will hoist one for you. Try to, anyway: between all the memoria and drinking to absent friends, we may be under the table before dessert!

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Baud says:

    Thanks, SC.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    oatler. says:

    @kindness: Yes, the human race is crushing itself to death. Call it planned obsolescence. Those damn dinosaurs…

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Slightly off topic. For an excellent history of the internal Pakistani conflict, as well as India’s and the US’s roles in it, I highly recommend The Blood Telegram.
    https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Telegram-Kissinger-Forgotten-Genocide/dp/0307744620/ref=sr_1_1?crid=179JH79GVSCOX&keywords=the+blood+telegram+nixon%2C+kissinger%2C+and+a+forgotten+genocide&qid=1565827758&s=gateway&sprefix=the+blood+telegram%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-1

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @patrick II: That’s got to be a Stephen Miller special.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49

    @Adam L Silverman: Nope, one of Obama’s folk. As I noted above, it’s unchanged from the Obama White House website.

    (Though I’d image that Stephen Miller approves.)

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: Not even the heirs. Bibi actually set the conditions for Rabin’s assassination. He produced and prominently displayed at his rallies imagery of Rabin’s face superimposed on Arafat’s. I think at one point they did the same thing with Hitler’s, but quickly stopped because of intense pushback. He also ran ads and made speeches that accused Rabin of trying to kill Israelis and Jews by seeking peace.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It worked for him.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: They do. Non citizens are allowed to buy, keep, and use guns in the US. Similarly fourth and fifth amendment protections are supposed to apply to citizen and non-citizen alike. Basically, anyone in the US is supposed to be protected by the Bill of Rights and, where appropriate/necessary, the rest of the Constitution. There are some exceptions. Most notably for undocumented immigrants. For instance, they do not have the right to an attorney, which is now considered a constitutional right.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thanks, Adam. I’ll put it on the list. Sounds fascinating — disturbing, but fascinating.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Very much so.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    TenguPhule says:

    Another shooting in Philly.

    Six cops wounded.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Need guidance here: is it appropriate or inappropriate that I had Tandoori chicken for dinner tonight?

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Mary G says:

    @TenguPhule: Philadelphia resident:

    6 officers were shot. 3 sustained other injuries.All are hospitalized. All are alive. There are two officers being held hostageNo one knows how they are.Suspect still shooting. #PhillyShooting https://t.co/yaXLNv87bF— Victoria Brownworth 🏳️‍🌈 (@VABVOX) August 15, 2019

    Somebody else said that this disproves “the good guy with a gun” theory.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Another Scott says:

    OT – Barricaded shooter situation in Philadelphia near Temple University medical campus.

    :-(

    [ See Adam’s new thread upstairs. ]

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Was just getting the post up.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    patrick II says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    If you are a less ambitious reader (like me) there is also this New Yorker article:
    Unholy Alliances
    Nixon, Kissinger, and the Bangladesh genocide.
    By Pankaj Mishra
    September 16, 2013

    And thank you, Adam, for pointing this out. I had no idea, but with Nixon/Kissinger I am never surprised.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    In my experience, tandoori chicken is never inappropriate. But was it made in a proper tandoor, and what else did you have with it?

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    waratah says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think you might be interested on Beto’s plans for the Ukraine. I tried to post a link but could not get one.
    The Council on Foreign Relations invited him and the other candidates to give their positions on twelve critical foreign policy issues.
    I hope you can look it up I was wondering when I read it what your thoughts would be.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    chris says:

    Thanks for this, SC. This is an ugly situation and, from my reading, Pakistan is probably not going to make it better.

    On another note, the boys taking a breather on our postprandial stroll earlier. We could all use a breather.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    waratah says:

    Thank You SC for writing this.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @patrick II: That’s a good article.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    bluefoot says:

    @patrick II: Whoa, the f*ck? I was always taught that the Constitution applied to everyone in the US. If I recall correctly, there has been recent jurisprudence that has called some of this into question, but still….

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @waratah: Found it. Pretty much boilerplate.

    p.s. “Ukraine”, not “the Ukraine.” Please.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    waratah says:

    @Gin & Tonic: sorry I was going to try not to do that.
    Thank you for answering.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    FelonyGovt says:

    Thanks for this, SC. Now I understand what a huge and unlawful change this is and why you were so upset. Like here, more laws and norms that are being shredded.

    I’ve been interested in Kashmir since I read a Salman Rushdie novel about it (can’t remember which one). And when I was a little girl ( a LONG time ago) I remember on my maps that “Jammu/Kashmir” was always striped, to indicate disputed control.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    MomSense says:

    This is excellent, SC! Thank you for writing this for us.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    AThornton says:

    Whoever controls the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir controls the headwaters of the Indus River.

    The Indus River is Pakistan’s primary source of fresh water which is the basis for 90% of the country’s food supply.

    Further:

    Nearly 30 percent of the world’s cotton supply comes from India and Pakistan, much of that from the Indus River Valley. On average, about 737 billion gallons are withdrawn from the Indus River annually to grow cotton—enough to provide Delhi residents with household water for more than two years.

    “Pakistan’s entire economy is driven by the textile industry,” said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “The problem with Pakistan’s economy is that most of the major industries use a ton of water—textiles, sugar, wheat—and there’s a tremendous amount of water that’s not only used, but wasted,” he added.

    The river is just as important to India.

    The Problem: the amount of water flowing in the Indus has been decreasing due to the affects of Global Warming which is a big source of the increase in tensions between India and Pakistan.

    So by grabbing control of the Indus river system Modi and His Merry Band have put Pakistan under a state of siege.

    Prognosis: 5th India/Pakistan War is very, very, likely unless China can talk down the Pakistanis and Russia the Indians. With Donald in charge I doubt the US has much leverage over either country

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @patrick II: @bluefoot: The actual Amendments say “people” or “persons” not citizens. The actual Amendments are the documents that have the force of law. Changing words on a website doesn’t change the law. That being said, whoever changed it was being a fucking idiot. Pretty much the only people who are within the US who are not covered by the Bill of Rights are foreign diplomats who are not considered to be under the jurisdiction of the US until/unless diplomatic immunity is waived.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73

    @AThornton: Ladakh has always been under Indian control since independence and has never been a bone of contention unlike the valley of Kashmir.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74

    @zhena gogolia: It is indeed
    @TS (the original): Thanks.
    @Cermet: It is more a strategic acquisition, it is unpopulated/sparsely populated high altitude area.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75

    @Bill Arnold: The information is not public AFAIK.@SiubhanDuinne: Thanks. The bleeding wounding of partition has never completely healed. These actions by Modi is just going to make things worse.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76

    @Peale: I am afraid you may be right. What you outline is not the worst case scenario. India has the second largest Muslim population in the world.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77

    @Mary G: This has been on the Hindu Right wishlist since India’s conception. And yes Putin’s propaganda shops are active in India too. Husband kitteh’s aunt just sent him a slickly produced video yesterday.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *