Kashmir – The Arrival of Hindutva?

Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has given a free hand to Hindu chauvinist groups throughout India and is seemingly unfazed by the brazen acts of violence by these groups

Kashmir – The Arrival of Hindutva?

Tavseef Mairaj - Hamburg

At a time when killings conveniently attributed to 'unidentified gunmen' seem to have made their way back to Kashmir, giving a semblance of those arbitrary killings of the 90s, the people of Kashmir were greeted with some surprises on the eve of Eid. Just a couple of weeks before the Eid, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court invoked a Dogra colonial era ruling effecting a ban on beef consumption in the whole Kashmir region. This is, and was seen by the people as a direct intervention in religious affairs of the people by a state which claims to profess secular credentials, leading to widespread protests. As if this was not enough, Kashmiris were greeted to a 3 day ban on internet starting with the first day of Eid, resulting in a total breakdown of communication between Kashmiris in Kashmir and their loved ones across the globe. Psychological warfare has been a tool often used by India in Kashmir in the past decades and the current happenings are only some latest additions.

Court decisions in the Indian judiciary are rarely uninfluenced by the state. And in this case as well, this court decision was the result of a litigation filed by an affiliate of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP has given a free hand to Hindu chauvinist groups throughout India and is seemingly unfazed by the brazen acts of violence by these groups. The wave of incidents including killings of secular intellectuals, anti-Muslim hate speeches, mob lynching of minorities and Dalits in different parts of India go unattended by the ruling class and it looks like there is an undeclared mutually understood pact between the ruling party and the chauvinist groups with the common aim of making India a Hindu Rashtra (a 'Hindu Israel'?). In this regard, Kashmir poses the single largest hindrance for achieving such a goal. Hence, the frantic attempts by BJP to create inroads in the political and communal space in Kashmir. The party has an unchequered history, since the time it was formed, of winning local and national elections by first initiating communal trouble between communities and then capitalising on the same. The recent killing of a Muslim man in a small town near the Indian capital by a mob is a sad reflection of the state of affairs under the BJP rule in India.

Coming back to Kashmir, the BJP having gained power for the very first time in the history of the state, is leaving no stone unturned to push its Hindu nationalistic agenda. Using a deadly mix of religious identity politics and regional identity politics, it seems right on course to further the existing divisions in the political space in Kashmir. It is pertinent to mention here that, traditionally, it has been the Kashmir based pro-India political parties which have dominated the political scene with respect to government formation. But, now, with BJP in the government in coalition with the People's Democratic Party (PDP), from the latest developments it seems that the relevance of the local pro-India political parties is decreasing even further. The government seems helpless and clueless, and seems to accept every diktat coming from New Delhi making it ever more obvious that the local government is just an extension of the the government in New Delhi. Pertinent to mention here that the stated purpose of PDP's coalition with BJP was to get economic packages for the flood-hit Kashmir valley from the central government but even that promise was never realised. In an occupation, any collaboration with the occupier is betrayal, that is a given. In addition to that, when a collaborator tries to give a humane touch to the collaboration and then fails even to deliver on the humane promises, the betrayal becomes even more vicious and cunning. In any case, the failure of the collaborators to deliver on the promises might signal a temporary loss, financial, for the common people. But, in the long run it will dent the image of the collaborator beyond repair and that is when, hopefully, people will realise that collaborators must never be sided with. Hopefully, then, it would be all in, for resistance and against collaboration.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ekim 2015, 13:18
YORUM EKLE