The Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi took Monday the controversial decision to rid the state of Kashmir after seventy years of its autonomy. What exactly is going on there?

The goal of India is to definitely attract the region. For this it was necessary to repeal article 370 of the constitution.

Kashmir also has a Pakistani part, and that country will not just accept the action of its neighbor. It is possible that India has blown the gun in an area that experts consider to be one of the potentially dangerous fires in the world.

The Kashmiris themselves have been in the dark since the weekend. India closed off all means of communication and local politicians were given house arrest. Since then, little information has come from Kashmir.

What happens to Kashmir now that Article 370 of the Constitution has been repealed?

In Article 370 the special status of Kashmir was established in 1947. It states that the region is partly autonomous, but also that Kashmir, for example, may not have an own armed forces.

It has also been stipulated that the original population of Kashmir has the right to own land and identity. By revoking the article, the last right to any autonomy has now been taken away from the Kashmiris. The region is now under the full control of New Delhi.

It is a horrific prospect that India now also gains full political power over Kashmir. In the military sense, the country already had this through the tens of thousands of Indian forces that have been stationed in Kashmir for decades. The Kashmirians have always spoken of an occupation.

What is the reason India has withdrawn Article 370?

The Hindu nationalist government of India probably wants to make a Hindu state of Kashmir. However, there is a large Muslim majority in that region, who is more attracted to Pakistan than to India.

Modi’s BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) belongs to the right-wing conservative and militant nationalist organization RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) of Hindu state.

What is the situation now in Kashmir?

Kashmir has been in lockdown for 48 hours, which is a gross violation of human rights. People are not allowed on the streets and residents are completely blocked from internet and telephone traffic. Politicians are under house arrest, even those who are pro-India.

Scrupulous messages come through social media, so there will be some people who can bypass the internet blockade. In some of those messages you read that for example people cannot call a doctor, which causes people to die. I also hear horrifying reports that public buildings are used as prisons.

About 40,000 additional Indian troops have been deployed in the region in recent days, but that is nothing compared to the half-million soldiers who were stationed in the area for the last thirty years.

Moreover, people in Kashmir are no longer afraid of bloody past conflicts. Actually, they had expected this. Modi already promised it during the elections.

Is what India doing illegal?

Maybe so. According to some constitutional experts, a president (Ram Nath Kovind, ed.) Is not at all in her power to amend article 370. However, the government has devised a different way. By first changing another article of law, this is possible.

Last year the BJP withdrew from the coalition with the Democratic People’s Party of Kashmir. Some see this retroactively as a preconceived plan from India.

However, there has never been political independence in Kashmir. There was a puppet government and a lot of corruption. It was a facade. The last election two years ago was massively boycotted by Kashmiri’s, about 6 percent of the people going to vote.

What is going to happen now?

It is unclear how long the lockdown will last. More violence is likely to occur. Even a war is possible.

It is possible that the Indian Supreme Court will be considering the issue. Pakistan is also taking steps and has raised the situation with the UN Security Council. However, it is time for the world to get involved.

In the meantime, the US has announced that it is “closely following” the situation in Kashmir. China also owns a small portion of Kashmir and stated earlier this week that India has undermined Chinese territorial sovereignty.

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