With his August 5 decision did Modi really think that he had solved the 70-year-old Kashmir dispute unilaterally? The continuing protests, repression, atrocities and media blackout in IOK (Indian Held Kashmir) indicate that far from being resolved the issue has entered a new and more dangerous phase.
Modi has ended the Kashmir regions autonomy and with that he has ended any hope of resolving the issue through bilateral discussions with Pakistan and in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people. By following up with the Ayodhya Mosque issue and the internationally abhorred Citizenship Act Modi has created an explosive cocktail that threatens India internally.
“–realizing that Kashmiris would protest en masse, the authorities blocked roads, detained thousands of political leaders and their supporters, and shut down all telecommunications – mobile phones, landlines, internet, broadband services were all blocked in unison. For the first week after the removal of Kashmir’s autonomy, people also had no access to the television news.” (from and an article by Umar Manzoor Shah). Now more than 120 days later the lockdown continues. Dexter Filkins has also given a graphic picture of the grim situation in his NYT article.
The so-called facilities created for journalists are a farce and a mockery of the international media. The only news is government announcements that are obviously far from the truth and the grim reality that is IOK today. The hundreds of media resources that were the voice of the people of Kashmir remain shut down. People fear that any attempt to tell the world about the atrocities in Kashmir will be countered by staged attacks that will be attributed to ‘militants’ There is every likelihood that such attacks may be manipulated given the rising desperation of the Modi government. This would be followed by the standard Indian ploy of attributing the attacks to Pakistan and therein lies the danger of conflict between two nuclear weapon states.
International media, especially the US media is doing a wonderful job of highlighting the blood curdling violence against the people in IOK. Some brave Indian journalists are risking their lives to help international media uncover the truth. Pakistan is incessantly highlighting the plight of the Kashmiris and drawing attention to the irresponsible and provocative statements of Indian political and military leadership and the attempt by India’s military to distract focus on what is happening inside Kashmir and India today. There are, however, many Indians who fear the consequences for India of Modi’s policies.
(Spearhead Analyses are collaborative efforts and not attributable to an individual)