All that matters is which way you are punching

I have little value to add on the many comments around “Modi is bad to the bone” piece in The New Yorker, except that this passage jumped out at me:

Other coverage on Republic TV showed people dancing ecstatically, along with the words “Jubilant Indians celebrate Modi’s Kashmir masterstroke.” A week earlier, Modi’s government had announced that it was suspending Article 370 of the constitution, which grants autonomy to Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state. The provision, written to help preserve the state’s religious and ethnic identity, largely prohibits members of India’s Hindu majority from settling there. Modi, who rose to power trailed by allegations of encouraging anti-Muslim bigotry, said that the decision would help Kashmiris, by spurring development and discouraging a long-standing guerrilla insurgency. To insure a smooth reception, Modi had flooded Kashmir with troops and detained hundreds of prominent Muslims—a move that Republic TV described by saying that “the leaders who would have created trouble” had been placed in “government guesthouses.”

From the broadly Left/liberal internationalist perspective, Hindu nationalists express a majoritarian and ethnoreligious self-consciousness. They don’t want what in India is termed “secularism” to be ascendant. I believe that some Hindu nationalists do want for India what was the original vision of Pakistan, a nation-state that has at its core a particular ethnoreligious identity (I believe this is distinct from a “Islamic fundamentalist” vision properly understood in the modern context).

And yet this passage simply glosses over the fact that legal fiat was preserving a particular sub-national identity, that of Kashmiris, the vast majority of whom are Muslims.

64 thoughts on “All that matters is which way you are punching”

  1. Article 370 was not intended to prevent Hindus as such from settling in Kashmir but to prevent non-Kashmiris from settling there. The state subject laws were established by the Dogra dynasty. There are quite a few states in India proper (such as Himachal Pradesh) which restrict property ownership etc to local residents. If people are not up in arms about property restrictions in other states, then the issue in Kashmir was not Article 370 but the religious character of the state.

    Getting rid of Article 370 has not “discouraged” the insurgency (freedom movement). It has actually united all Kashmiris against the Indian state. Even the pro-India politicians are going to find it impossible to sell their vision. Given that there is a fear of demographic change (however genuine this may be) removing these laws may very well turn out to be counterproductive.

  2. There are thousands of ethno-linguistic minorities in india so my question is ” What makes Kashmir so special ? ” Is the ability to diffuse into the society that difficult for them because their islamic heritage is greater than their indian heritage. Seems like they have a superiority complex as most societies have but if you want to live with other people in India then have to let go of special status and live like everybody else.
    Also surprised they didn’t use the word islamophobia , instead they use anti muslim bigotry.
    A question arises from this is that ” Should india be divided in different autonomus regions with prominent language, culture etc on the same basis that kashmir want autonomy? This only means 29 nations states out of india. Is it possible? I dont think so.
    Only think to save kashmir’s culture is by tourism, mainstream kashmiri actors in bollywood , education in kashmiri language,and developement of infrastructure in kashmir.

    1. Kashmir is a Disputed Territory. That is what makes Kashmiris different from other ethno-linguistic minorities.

      “If you want to live with other people in India then you have to let go of special status”– Most Kashmiris do NOT want to live in India. For more than 70 years,they have been demanding a plebiscite which would allow them to determine their own fate. India of course refuses to honor this commitment since it is more interested in the land than the people. I know people will trot out the usual rhetoric about the plebiscite being invalid since Pakistan didn’t demilitarize its portion of Kashmir. However, there was nothing stopping India from conducting a plebiscite in its own portion of Kashmir. Instead, the Valley has been turned into one of the most militarized places on earth.

      1. Kabir, being a technically “disputed territory” doesn’t have any relation to the point Razib was making.

        1. Kabir made the point clumsily but he’s more or less correct.

          It can be argued Kashmir is occupied territory, and India/Pakistan are the occupiers. As occupying countries, India/Pakistan have two duties under international law. The first, is to end the occupation. Barring that come a host of other obligations, a major one being not settling their citizens in these occupied territories.

          So contrary to Razib’s point, Kashmir’s autonomy and India’s Nationalism are not at all the same forms of ethno-expression. The former really isn’t ethno-expression at all to be honest. I actually don’t know why Razib wrote this article.

          1. The predecessor state acceded to the Indian union. Don’t know why this gobbledygook about ‘disputed’ keeps coming up.

          2. \ gobbledygook about ‘disputed’ keeps coming up.\

            This ‘disputed territory’ is the first line in the Hymn sheet of ISI /Pak Army. So, all the Pakistanis have to faithfully sing along with it,otherwise they may disappear

            You throw stone on a house and break it’s glass – then it becomes ‘disputed territory’ according to this logic

          3. The fact is that Kashmir is Disputed Territory whether Indian nationalists want to admit it or not. That is why there is a Line of Control and not an international border. The maharaja’s accession was subject to a plebiscite of the Kashmiri people–a promise made by India’s greatest leader to the international community.
            There is no part of India proper that is the subject of UN resolutions. Kashmir is. The UN refers to the various parts as “Indian administered” and “Pakistani administered”.
            Many Kashmiris would go further and argue that Kashmir is not just disputed but occupied. However international law doesn’t consider the Kashmir situation to be the same as that of Occupied Palestine since Kashmiris are technically citizens of India and have the vote.

          4. \The maharaja’s accession was subject to a plebiscite of the Kashmiri people–a promise made by India’s greatest leader to the international community.\

            Where did you get these myths – that IoA was subject to a pleb and ‘India’s greatest leader’ – that is a subjective assessment – made a promise to the international community?

            J&K acceded on the same conditions as 550 + Principalities . It was a Standard Operating Procedure.

            Jawaharlal Nehru – if that is what you mean by ‘India’s greatest leader’ – made no promises to the ‘international community ‘ – who are they UNO ?- . He certainly made no promises to Pakistan about Kashmir.

          5. Vijayvan,

            Sure, Pandit Nehru–the man who fought to ensure that the new nation-state of India became a secular country– didn’t tell the UN (which IS the International Community) that India would not hold Kashmir by force. That must just be an ISI talking point.

            What alternate reality do you live in?

          6. \Pandit Nehru– didn’t tell the UN \

            PN did not address the UN during 1948 during Resolutions. It was the Govt of India representative. At no point Plebiscite was promised by the Indian rep. It was the UN Resolution which asked Pakistan to vacate illegally occupied J&K , along with it’s citizens laid as a pre-condition for a plebiscite. Pakistan has made mockery of UN resolution by gifting parts of illegally occupied Kashmir to China. Now first get back the Chinese occupied parts, vacate the so called Azad Kashmir and GB, then Pakistan has every moral right to ask for a Plebiscite.

          7. VijayVan,

            Pandit Nehru on Kashmir:

            “In his statement in the Indian Parliament on 7 August 1952, Pandit Nehru said, “Let me say clearly that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure of her people. The goodwill and pleasure of this Parliament is of no importance in this matter, not because this Parliament does not have the strength to decide the question of Kashmir but because any kind of imposition would be against the principles that this Parliament holds. Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts and if by some decree or adverse fortune, ceases to be a part of India, it will be a wrench and a pain and torment for us. If, however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means. We will not keep them against their will, however painful it may be to us. I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir, it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but everywhere. Though these five years have meant a lot of trouble and expense and in spite of all we have done, we would willingly leave if it was made clear to us that the people of Kashmir wanted us to go. However sad we may feel about leaving we are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to impose ourselves on them on the point of the bayonet”.”

            “We are not going to impose ourselves on them on the point of the bayonet” was not a Pakistani promise but the promise of the greatest leader India has ever had. Kashmiris are still waiting for that promise to be honored (though that’s not something a hardcore nationalist like you will understand.

  3. hopefully demographic change comed soon to outnumber the brainwashed militant minded and perhaps convert them to more productive people via interaction with their other countrymen. they should be given a grace period to leave to Pakistan, if they don’t like it.

    Open borders and free markets around the world is what defines globalism

    Open borders and free markets under in a country is what defines a nation

    No state shall have these idiotic laws that stop others from buying property. There is no need. To protect ecologically vital lands, make them national parks. Otherwise, it should be open season with letting whomever to buy land, settle. and trade.

    Jai Shree Ameen. May the river mother bless you. May the sky father smile upon you.

    1. Kashmiris are not going to “leave for Pakistan”. They are the natives of the land–not non-Kashmiri Indians. “Demographic change” or settling your own citizens on conquered territory is unacceptable in the 21st century.

      Several Indian states have laws privileging the natives when it comes to property etc. Somehow people don’t seem to get upset about these as much as they do about Kashmir. Perhaps its because Kashmiri Muslims have been “othered” and deemed the internal enemy.

      1. The property laws for the native isolated poulations (in the mountaineous region ) and states like himachal pradesh , nagaland etc should be removed instead the sacred land and monuments should be preserved with utmost regard. As far as Kashmiris are concerned they themselves are very much mixed with the indian ethos ( I have met Kashmiris in Delhi and Himachal pradesh ) and doing well economically and helping feed their families but its up to them if they don’t want a demographic change to happen until they start mixing with other ethic populations and only mix with the larger kashmiri poulations.
        Lets say that kashmir becomes and independent country/state then what the probability that some militancy will still be there in the region and will try to create havoc in jammu region or even other regions.
        I think kashmir valley could become the region for islamic militancy if it were independent

  4. I don’t have a dog in the fight and am not of South Asian heritage anyway, but on the larger issue you certainly nailed it.

    National/ethnic/religious/communal identity or particularism is a wonderful thing to the dominant mindset as long as it can be used as a stick to beat their enemies with.

    It’s not unlike national sovereignty that way. It’s a core principle when defending Kuwait or Ukraine, but only so far as borders go. Actual sovereign choices, even far less than conflict, nope.

    “Our Democracy”, not to be confused with such archaicisms as liberal, representative, parliamentary, or competitive politics, is even similar. Democracy if necessary but not necessarily democracy.

  5. I don’t have a dog in the fight and am not of South Asian heritage anyway, but on the larger issue you certainly nailed it.

    that’s the point (which i think kabir missed). ppl who are not invested in the india-pakistan conflict used to a liberal frame find a lot of the things ‘taken for granted’ strange.

  6. Many nonmuslims reflexively back very conservative (Islamist being a subset of conservative) muslims against moderate and minority muslims. This explains the coverage of Kashmir.

    Many nonmuslims don’t want Kashmiri muslims to have the following rights:
    —opting out of triple talaq
    —opting out of Nikah halala
    —uniform civil code that treats everyone equally (versus the current Shariah code which greatly favors male rights in inheritance, divorce splitting of assets, custody of children)
    —freedom of art and thought (including the right to state protection when dialoguing with extremists)
    —retaining property rights when marrying a non Kashmiri (until recently any female Kashmiri who married a non Kashmiri male lost their property rights in Kashmir; this also applied to her descendants and heirs)
    —conducting business in Kashmir with non-Kashmiri business partners and stake-holders (which reduces Kashmiri total factor productivity,living standards, and state tax revenue)
    —a free market pro business environment

    In practice this policy by nonmuslims meant that many Kashmiri Shiites, Sufis (mostly from the line of Nund Rishi, but also Chistie, Quadiri etc.), Buddhists (mostly Tibetan), Sikhs, Hindus (mostly Kashmiri pundit, but also others) fled the Kashmir Valley since 1947. Many nonmuslims don’t want these people or their descendants to return to the Kashmir Valley.

    Many journalists avoid interviewing Shiite and Sufi Kashmiris for these stories for this same reason.

    This is also why coverage of Kashmir generally avoids granular details. Such as the Kashmiri All Parties Hurriyat Conference and what they ask for. Among the things they ask for are:
    —autonomy without independence (which from their perspective allows India to cut off aid that Kashmir desperately needs)
    —continued receipt of massive annual grants from India’s federal central government to Kashmir’s state government (as part of India’s broader efforts to socio-economically develop Kashmir)
    —continued indefinite Indian military protection from Daesh, Al Qaeda (including her LeT, LeJ, JeM, Jundullah, Taliban wings)

    Kashmiris see that the ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) have lost about 70 thousand killed in action since 2002, and don’t want to suffer a similar fate. It is almost certain that Daesh and the Taliban would try to conquer an independent Kashmiri state. And they would succeed without massive Indian help to Kashmir.

    Many people have conversations with Kashmiris–whose views are very diverse. Kashmir is complex. I think Brown Pundits should interview some Delhi based think tanks on Kashmir.

    “the warlock”:
    “they should be given a grace period to leave to Pakistan, if they don’t like it.”
    Almost no one would leave. There is no support for Pakistan among Indian Kashmiris. Pakistan is substantially more unpopular than India.

    A better question that many Kashmiris have is why doesn’t India allow Pakistani Kashmiris to move to India. If India allowed this, many Pakistani Kashmiris WOULD move to India. Especially Shiites and Sufis.

    What are your thoughts about this? I have found Indians to be surprisingly resistant to this idea.

    1. they can come over with some vetting. i don’t like modi new citizenship rule. very dumb. But I do agree with abrogation of 370 and making triple talaq illegal. NRC list is okay too, as long it includes all illegals, not just muslims. uniform civil code should be next.

      also, they need to repeal any special land shit that is restrictive everywhere, including himachal and NE. be consistent

    2. No one from Azad Kashmir is going to move to the Occupied territory. Why would anyone want to be surrounded by Indian soldiers and held in a state of siege? The entire political leadership of Indian-held Kashmir is in detention, which is not the case in AJK.

      I love your constant attempts to divide Sunnis from other Muslims (not).

  7. Indian federalism at this stage is just a national identity accommodating a variety of sub-national identities, and Article 370 was an extreme version of this accommodation. There is no real left or right. That is just a projection from western writers onto Indian politics.

  8. razib, you have officially earned the title of “most faithful ally of hindu nationalists” with this post. 🙂

    that aside, states do strive to preserve the ethnic/religious/tribal identity of vulnerable minorities amidst them. nobody can argue that tribes of andaman and nicobar islands do not need stringent state protection to preserve their identity, and their very physical existence. to a lesser extent some tribes of NE states also need this safeguard. do kashmiris deserve this shield? idk. we can argue on.

    btw, historically kashmir valley was much more open and well connected with rest of India than now. kashmiris were well represented in the mughal bureaucracy. west punjab in particular had long established kashmiri communities. (nawaz sharif belongs to one).

    kashmir’s recent isolation from india is a legacy of dogra rule. dogra rulers were very sensitive to outsiders swamping their state and threatening their hold over it. all these laws granting special privileges to kashmir belong to dogra era.

    1. indians can run their own affairs. i think the andaman’s a special case, since the islanders will die wih exposure. in all other cases, i think *within a nation* free movement and equality before the law should apply. but different ‘nations’ run differently.

      1. Well i think the tribal regions in India more or less do have some relaxation from the state. That’s true of tribal regions in mainland India as well, in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand etc. They are on the lines of first nations and native Americans without Constitution explicitly recognizing them as such.

        I think Indians more or less ok with special provisions as long as u dont fight the state too much. This has happened with the naxalites, N-East as well as tamil nationalism/Khalistani etc. Progressively rest of India has grown less and less sympathetic to them and now the state uses it to use “full force” against them. This has happened to Kashmir now.

        1. That’s true of tribal regions in mainland India as well, in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand etc. They are on the lines of first nations and native Americans without Constitution explicitly recognizing them as such.

          native americans are nations-within-nations. so if that’s the analogy with ‘tribal areas’, then i get it.

          my general bias is that if different rules and restrictions on movement apply, just partition. a nation should be a free movement zone by definition.

      2. Very true. India as a single country ensures free movement of capital, goods, labour and people within it’s borders. Pre August Kashmir was an anomaly, that has been fixed up.

    2. The name ‘Mughal’ is a Persian form of the name Mogol for Mongols, which comes from the Aryans – Mongol – evil, misfortune, trouble, but also means a mistake or a violation of principles, from which originates the medical term ‘Mongolism’. Sometimes, the word Mogul is misinterpreted as the Greeks’ ‘mogul’ (the great), which also comes from the Aryans ‘meg’a’ (the great).’

  9. The Kashmiri activists might get more sympathy from Indians if their land was still thought of as “the place where people go on their honeymoons” rather than “byword for jihad and ethnic cleansing.”

    But at this point it’s too late. Indian attitudes (NB: the people whose minds the activists need to change if they want a better deal) are thoroughly hardened over decades of insurgency.

    Waheed and Peer may win in the Op-Eds sections, but as their ilk are finding out, that doesn’t translate to wins on the ground.

  10. fundamentally I am for pan south asianism because I think there is much unity and harmony to be desired as a group with so much shared cultural and ethnic history, despite the presence of so much wonderful diversity. The same racial components in different proportions and the same rich dharmically influenced past.

    I also would appreciate if S Asia abandoned its religious zealotry, ethnic chauvinism, casteism, and general tribalism, yet still preserved its rich diversity. I really wish S Asia was temporarily under a secular authoritarian who forced the region to undergo some sort of deescalation of the importance of religious devotionalism and ethnic tribalism. Of course, in that situation, I would wish for that leader to be eventually deposed and transition to a democracy, yet maintenance of that secularism. I also wish that path would go along the same lines as the Asian Tigers, one of social authoritarianism but economic liberalism.

    1. Nice wishes, but not going to happen. The Indian Parliament is even now passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill which will allow non-Muslims from the region to become Indian citizens while not allowing Muslims to do so. This cements the religious logic of Partition: India as a Hindu country in which Muslims are not entitled to first-class citizenship. Ironically the BJP seems to completely agree with Paknationalists about the validity of the Two-nation Theory.

      1. I am for any laws or changes in it , which make no reference to religion or ethnicity especially in matters of exclusion from the benefits of law. So, I am uneasy about the way details of law are framed.

        Giving Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities from south Asia is a laudable concept. That should include not only Ahmedis , Hindus and Christians from Pakistan, but also LGBT guys and girls or even Atheists from Pakistan or Afghanistan.

        OTOH, after 1947 after the great waves of migration towards both directions, it is undeniable the population of Muslims in India , both as a percentage and absolute numbers has increased , not to speak of number of mosques and madrassas and money from outside India for religious proselytizion for Muslims (and Christians) . No check on that absolutely in India . Probably the Muslim population in India in 1948 – after those who migrated to Pakistan – was about 10% , now in 2019 it is a few points more. It is in millions. If you include Bangladeshi Muslims without papers in WB and Northeast, it may be even more. The Hindu/Sikh population in Pakistan has dropped to minuscule after 1948 , when it was 25% and it looks like many Hindus are going around as Christians – even though that has not stopped persecution. In 1948, the Hindu population in East Pakistan was about 30%. That has dropped to 10% due to Pakistani persecution and post 71 Islamist outrages. All that has been the motivations of Amit Shah in his recent pronouncements.

        However, statesmanship consists of looking at long range view and not just immediate tactical electoral or political advantages. Think in terms of ‘reasons of state ‘ not ‘reasons of (my) party’. OTOH when was India truly secular ? Even now, sharia inspired Muslim Personal Law is in force.

        BJP should have concentrated on UCC than this .

        Actually India should welcome with open arms scientific or technological or cultural talent from south Asia as long as they are not assets and moles of foreign intelligence, whether persecuted or not.

      2. This is by far BJP’s most idiotic move in this regime. That is sad because the top contender prior was universally hated demonitization. What a fail.

  11. People also heavily sideline the intense racial undertones of this whole issue. Kashmiris I think, as a group, genuinely believe they are part of a separate light skinned race of demi gods above the dark inferior less caucasian looking indian masses. Indians view them as one of their own but right at the periphery, so as to be part of them yet simultaneously possess, at least in streotypes, all of the phenotypic features they so crave.

    If Kashmir was some dark skinned tribal AASI heavy area at the border rabdomly, I genuinely believe Pak and India would he more transparent about just desiring the area for geopolitics and even religion would be less of an issue. Pak doesn’t care about Islam emotionally in Kashmir. That is why they tolerate China’s mistreatment of Muslims that is genuinely approaching a mild form of the holocaust with its scale in the millions of people in camps.

    Pak views Kashmiris as ethnic superior kin, above the rest of the Indian masses. They view Punjabis the same way but hate Hinduism so much that they cannot accept all of them, just the Sikh ones.

    Two things seem to emotionally ignite Pak people: feelings of ethnic supremacy and deassociation with India that was as a result and hated of Hinduism. Love of Islam is secondary at best.

    Granted, the main issue is geopolitics. Water and connectivity to central asia. That is what the smart people on top are looming at. The rest is manipulation of the masses.

    Indians are fools too. Their promotion of these phenotypes in bollywood at the expense of the more AASI heavy populace only furthers all this. It is so sadly culturally entrenched. Google searches of how to marry Kashmiri women peaked in Kerela for a reason.

    Jai shree ameen. May the river mother bless you. May the skyfather smile upon you. Or in my case: May the skymother exalt me. May the Jungle Father give me strength.

  12. Technically, the Hindus of Jammu have always been free to settle in the Kashmir Valley. And the Muslims of India proper are prohibited from settling in the Valley the same way their Hindus neighbors are.

    Things are changing at dizzying speed these days, and I think people are having a hard time catching up with the current context when writing news items on these issues.

    In my opinion, we (India) have gone from having the moral high ground on Kashmir (for whatever that was worth) until early August to something resembling a colonial power in the region. (Until that time, I was one of those advocating the “Indian” position in these fora with Kabir. If Filkins had written an article similar to this one in the summer, I’d have been appalled at the double standards too.) But the government’s willingness to do anything and everything in that benighted place has made any past legal restrictions imposed by Article 370 seem trivial in hindsight.

    1. \moral high ground on Kashmir (for whatever that was worth)\

      You know what it was worth – ceaseless Pakistani inspired terrorism , even suicide bombings of Indian army, ethnic cleansing of Hindus, youth chanting anti-India slogans, promotion of a corrupt and dynastic politics.

    2. I am very concerned about the complete news blackout and clamp down on political activity in former J&K over ~ 4 months. It would seem like Modi and the BJP is not able to convince even a minority in Kashmir to find a working arrangement that is based on accepting the demise of Article 370. Pakistan has wisely kept a lid on military initiatives despite all the propaganda and belligerent words. Perhaps Modi miscalculated that military activity from Pakistan would precipitate a crisis that would prove Pakistan’s role in fomenting unrest in J&K. The longer this situation drags on, the more difficult it gets for India. Especially, as the Indian economy is hitting a soft spot.

  13. This comment thread should be called “the trigger and the triggered”.

    On that note can I just say we must have Israeli-style settlements of Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley. A sort of Indic version of Make Kashmir Great Again – or should I say kashmIra-maNDalam punaHpuSTam kariSyAmaH! ?

    1. I hate the idea of comparing Israel and India as if Israel can give ‘solutions’ . Israel does what suits it and it is not applicable anywhere. Perhaps there is a talk of “Israeli-style settlements of Kashmiri Pandits” has been started by Pakistani propagandists to make easy for anti-Israel protests to include India also .

      1. Same here. I fail to understand what makes people compare India – seventh largest country in the world hosting 1/5 th of the humanity – with Israel which is not even visible properly on a laptop screen size world map.

        Israel is country populated by a mixed race people (mix of east european, khazar and semitic blood), who have found a refuge in a corner of the world to escape persecution. India is a civilization unto itself, existing with remarkable continuity since 5 millennia.

        Even Iran and Russia are puny when compared to India in terms of longevity of civilization. The only rightful comparison to India is China.

        1. Israel considers itself the “Jewish homeland” and allows Jews from anywhere in the world to become citizens at the expense of the Palestinians, who are the natives of the land. Similarly India is fast becoming the “Hindu homeland” with its Citizenship Amendment Bill.

          There are also obvious comparisons in the prison camp that is Gaza and the state of siege that has been imposed on Occupied Kashmir. What makes it even worse is that Kashmiris are theoretically Indian citizens. A state that places its own citizens under siege for more than four months is deeply immoral.

          Talk of an “Israel model” in Kashmir is deeply offensive and only reflects India’s colonialist attitude towards Kashmiris. Pandits have every right to return to Kashmir but settlements guarded by the Indian military are not the way to do it. Far more important is a truth and reconciliation process involving all Kashmiri communities.

          1. Kabir,

            Is “truth and reconciliation for all Kashmiris” viable when Pakistan continues an overt and covert support for separatism in Pakistan through its proxies – jihadi and otherwise??

            Lots of Indians have reached the conclusion that there is no point talking to Pakistan because Kashmir is the gift that keeps on giving, allowing it to maintain its hold on power.

          2. The issue is not about Pakistan but about the Kashmiri people. No conflict ends without some kind of truth and reconciliation between the parties. India will eventually have to negotiate with Kashmiri stakeholders. Additionally, some process of reconciliation between the Pandits and the Muslims will have to occur.

            You don’t need to talk to Pakistan or to the Pakistan Army in order for either of these things to happen.

        2. \The only rightful comparison to India is China.\
          Apparently China treats it’s Muslims (and non Han) well according to Pakistan. Still how India treats it’s non-citizens who came to India and wish to become Indian citizens leads to endless cries of ‘Muslim persecution’ from Islamic republic. This is the country which refused to give citizenship to 1 million Biharis who stuck their neck out for a united Pakistan against a hostile environment. If there is a Nobel prize for double talk and treachery , it must goto Pakistan.

  14. on a curious note:
    1. If Nizam of Hyderbad had some how got his state as an issue in UN, even this would have been a Kashmir type issue in South India.

    1. I dont think so, without any outside support no movement can really sustain itself for long. To add to that Nizam population wasn;t muslim majority. So he would have folded if not in 47, then at-least around Goa’s or Sikkim annexation.

  15. Does someone want to write a detailed post on the Indian Citizenship Amendment Bill?

    My view is that this bill should fast track expedited visas for liberal muslims attacked by conservative muslims, with specific mentions of:
    —other persecuted Sufi
    —Irfan sufi twelvers
    —moderate twelvers opposed to Vilayat-e Faqih (twelvers who support Vilayat-e Faqih can move to Iran)
    —liberal fivers
    —ex muslims and atheist muslims
    —lbgtq muslims
    —femnist muslims
    —liberal Sunnis
    —Bahai (if someone considers them muslims)

    Obviously everyone should be deeply vetted to exclude Islamists. Islamists can move to muslim majority countries. Sadly probably most Rohingya fall into this category. {On the more positive side many Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, Uzbekistanis, Turkmenistanis, Tajikistanis, Xinjiang, Tibet muslims would be able to move to India 🙂 }

    One of the reasons this is not being written in is fear that Rohingya Islamists or Rohingya conservative Sunnis or Pakistani/Arab Islamists will claim asylum under these rules. Is there a legal way to write the Indian Citizenship Amendment Bill to exclude Islamists (of all Islamic sects) and very conservative Sunnis?

    Naturally the global media, establishment, academia and human rights community will strongly denounce this as white supremacist, racist, bigoted, Nazi, oppressive, exploitative, imperialistic, hegemonic, Hindutva. I can’t think of any good reason not to ignore them. India is too powerful for them to affect or threaten in any meaningful way.

  16. “a nation should be a free movement zone by definition.”

    my take is that concepts like nations, states and inviolability of sovereignty of states are outdated concepts dating back from the days of westphilia. modern world is a very different place than when these concepts crystallized.

    white people of english speaking countries like USA, australia and UK are much more closer to each other in culture and temperament than they are to the people of different color and religion (for e.g. muslim minorities) living amidst them. so the concept of an american nation or australian nation breaks down right there.

    similarly, sovereignty of states can not be absolute. there are times when states need to interfere in each other’s affairs (for e.g. in case of a rwanda style genocide unfolding).

    and within a nation there will always be people who will need some special protection. one nation, one language, one religion is a very unpleasant 20th century fascist concept.

    so, in short, this is a much more nuanced topic. the world needs a new system altogether.

  17. I think Israel is a fantastic country and India should learn from it on how to forge a strong national contract. Interconnected community settlements of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley on the lines of Israeli kibbutzim are a great idea.

    1. You can’t be serious. Israel is an Occupying power and rightly considered a pariah state by most of the world.

      Israel’s settlements in the West Bank remain illegal according to International Law (despite the US shifting its position recently). Israel rules over Palestinians who don’t have the vote. At least Kashmiri Muslims are technically Indian citizens (much good it is doing them)

      Pandit settlements among a hostile and conquered population which will be guarded by Indian troops are counterproductive and will only make Kashmiri Muslims more alienated from India. Brilliant idea.

      It’s amazing that Hindu fascists are so in love with Zionist fascists only because both groups hate Muslims.

        1. You may be right but enough Hindu Indians seem to aspire to be a settler- colonial occupying power so it is difficult to judge people’s seriousness sometimes.

        2. @Numinous
          Wrong. I don’t – as a matter of policy – feed any troll. That, trolls may be triggered by what I choose to say or the manner I choose to say it in, is the least of my problems 🙂

          Am Yisrael Chai.

          1. And now we’re quoting Zionist slogans. Always interesting to see who chooses to side with the oppressor rather than with the oppressed. Must be some psychological explanation for that.

            Anyone with a speck of humanity would have chosen “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” over that disgusting Zionist slogan any day.

          2. Slapstik +108

            Israelis and Palestinians have one heart and one soul. Israelis benefit more from the success of Palestinians than from the success of Israelis. Palestinians benefit more from the success of Israelis than the success of Palestinians.

            “I think Israel is a fantastic country and India should learn from it on how to forge a strong national contract.”

            “Interconnected community settlements of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley on the lines of Israeli kibbutzim are a great idea.”

            Agreed. Non Kashmiri Pandit hindus, sikhs, buddhists, Nund Rishi//Chistie/Qadiri/Kabir/Shirdi Sai/Baba Farid Sufi, Irfan/Sufi/liberal Shia, ex muslims, atheist muslims, liberal sunnis should be allowed on these interconnected community settlements . . . all of which should receive heavy police and army security.

            Conservative Sunnis can live elsewhere.

            After security improves in the valley, some of these extreme security measures can be lightened up.

      1. Hindu Nationalists have no self-awareness.

        They cheer on nativist movements in Europe and Myanmar because these movements are anti-Muslim, totally oblivious (or not caring) that these same movements describe Hindu Indians as brown vermin that need to be expelled (if not exterminated).

        1. Indthings
          hindu nationalists are not as dumb as they used to be. I think many do realize that they would be considered brown vermin by these other nations if they ever migrated, but it doesn’t matter much because they’re creating their own lebensraum in the subcontinent. So the BS rhetoric can fly with little consequence of a reality check. All great propagandists can speak through both sides of their mouth. Further to your point though, the average american that i know probably respects a “troublemaking” egyptian dude more than a well behaved hindu software engineer. Not on a social policy level perhaps, but on the street level.
          Regarding hindu nationalism, I question whether it is correctly characterized as a nativist. Its largely a vehicle to undermine the primacy of actually native populations in favour of a cluster of caste and ethnic groups that don’t number more than 15% of the subcontinents population. The core being upper caste hindustanis. The whole pretence of indian democracy by these groups is due to the demographic weight they have. Dysfunctional gangetic man’s only recourse to power. Pakistan was created in a similar way, but at least the demographically preponderant punjabis and bengalis usurped the project.

          1. girmit:
            [. Its largely a vehicle to undermine the primacy of actually native populations in favour of a cluster of caste and ethnic groups that don’t number more than 15% of the subcontinents population. The core being upper caste hindustanis]
            So it’s a minority, upper caste movement that is subverting the interests of the majority population..OK

            [. The whole pretence of indian democracy by these groups is due to the demographic weight they have. ]

            But they are able to dictate terms because of their demographic weight?
            So which is it? A minority movement or a north Indian movement that is succeeding because of their demographic weight?
            Can you at least not contradict yourself in back to back sentences?

          2. An elite minority in their own regions. Then the regional bloc leverages its pluraity on the rest of the indian union. Its classic power projection, nothing illegitimate about it, but just seeing it for what it is.
            Every society has coalitions that have surplus social capital. When they are not in elected office, they have superior institutions to propagate their influence. My point was that hindu nationalism is not a nativism or populism, but actually a project of elite urban diasporas (hindustani culture normative among them) within the sub-continent. Below the Vindhyas, hindutva becomes a more brahmin project and progressively resonates less with cultivator communities.
            Hindutva, Islamism, and international socialism are all fairly cosmopolitan ideologies. They ask us to choose an abstract ideal over common traditions. But that is taking them at face value, they have interest groups that can be surprisingly parochial.
            Not sure whom your defending, but I never stated that what they are doing is bad or immoral. I congratulate both them and the pak-nationalists for showing some imperial vigour. I just think its naive to take hindu nationalism at face value. There is an interest group behind everything.

  18. A successful minority coalition in one region then leverages that entire plurality of representation in the indian union.
    Its straightforward power projection, nothing illegitimate about it. Minority groups with surplus social capital run the world. The vehicle is usually a cosmopolitan ideology that is rooted in their own sensibilities. So wababbism is both parochial and cosmopolitan. Capitalism is a proxy for anglo-americanism.

  19. \A successful minority coalition in one region then leverages that entire plurality of representation in the indian union.
    Its straightforward power projection, nothing illegitimate about it. Minority groups with surplus social capital run the worl\

    In Pakistan a successful minority coalition of of top army officers and corp commanders leverage the whole country, without even the pretense of being elected. It is pure power projection since they command the guns, tanks and planes , with a civil govt being the scapegoat of their failures

    1. Vijayvan,
      Thats probably true. I think one of the reasons why that arrangement persists is because the leading Pak-Punjabi landed castes are also well represented in the military. So the electoral mandate and the defence agenda aren’t as divergent as would be in another country.

Comments are closed.

Brown Pundits