UNO lip-tightened -Indian troops martyr more five people in occupied Kashmir

Indian troops in their ongoing act of state-sanctioned brutality martyred five youth in the Pulwama and Baramulla districts of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), Radio Pakistan reported on Thursday.
Occupying forces martyred three youth in the area. Indian troops also launched a ‘cordon and search’ operation in Pulwama in the wee hours of Thursday.
Another youth identified as Rayees Ahmed Dar was martyred.
Earlier on Thursday, 23-year-old Arshad Ahmed Dar, who was injured in the Indian forces’ violent action on May 13 in the Pattan area of the Baramulla district, succumbed to his injuries.
Pro-India Peoples Democratic Party activist, Irfan Lone, who was shot by unidentified gunmen last week, also succumbed to his injuries in a Srinagar hospital on Thursday morning.
On February 14, a deadly suicide attack in IoK’s Pulwama district killed at least 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers. The suicide bombing took place when a car rammed a bus carrying troops belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Kashmir as India’s disputed ‘integral'

IOK (‘India occupied Kashmir’, called ‘Jammu and Kashmir’, including ‘Ladakh’, in India) has never been an indisputable part of India. Paradoxically, presenting this historical fact invariably causes most Indians to assert even more vigorously that Kashmir is an ‘integral’ part of India. Why? Why is Kashmir so fundamental to the Indian psyche? The average Indian insists that Kashmir is an indisputable part of India to be held by force when necessary in the same way that the Indian state insists that Kashmir is an ‘integral’ part of India while occupying it by military means. Indians and the Indian state find it necessary to repeatedly state this because they know that Kashmir is not actually an indisputable part of India and this galls them.
It is no coincidence that Kashmir and the North-East were two of the least involved regions during the nationalist freedom struggle which led to India’s independence, and it is these regions which have remained least understood in the mainstream nationalist imagination. In Kashmir, for example, in the 1930s and 1940s, it was the Kashmiri Nationalists (led by Sheikh Abdullah) and the Kashmiri Communists (both Hindu and Muslim) who shaped the pre-1947 political landscape by their opposition to princely rule (of the unrepresentative Dogra monarch); integration with India was an ‘unintended consequence’ of their progressivist leanings. With time, their faith in India was rudely jolted – independent India came to fear two things most – Muslims and communists (Kashmir had both). 
This way Kashmir is viewed in the mainstream Indian imagination is linked to the wider evolution of Indian self-perception in the decades after independence and more specifically to the quantum shift in the political and economic structure of Indian society in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 
The Indian nation that had been born (from a partition) with idealistic anti-colonial promises saw its first national event in the assassination of its biggest moral voice – Mahatma Gandhi – at the hands of a Hindu fanatical extremist. The successive decades saw an undoing of the social, political, economic, and moral ideals which had motivated the people in their anti-colonial independence struggle. The two biggest, and significantly reactionary, transformations that India has seen since its independence became most visible in the late 1980s and early 1990s – the rise of economic and religious fundamentalism – neo-liberalism and Hindutva. From the late 1940s to late 1980s (with the exception of the rather telling ‘Emergency period’ and its aftermath), electoral politics in India was dominated by the traditional elites. Within such a system, there was a continued ‘capture’ of the Indian state by the privileged, the only route into the political imagination left for others was through asserting ‘identity politics’ (especially caste-based identities, as in the case of the BSP or Bahujan Samaj party, and the Mayawati – their leader – phenomenon).
The founding myth of the post-colonial Indian state was that of a ‘sovereign democratic republic’ (original preamble to the Indian constitution) and it was later amended to become, ‘sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’. The same amendment  (the 42nd amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1976) that added the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’, also inserted the word ‘integrity’ in addition to the ‘unity’ originally mentioned; the changed preamble went from ‘unity of the nation’ to ‘unity and integrity of the nation’. It is of crucial importance that the labels confirming India as ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’, and the pledge for ‘integrity’ came about in 1976 during the Emergency era (1975-1977) which witnessed a general curtailment of the freedoms of most ordinary Indians, especially those such as religious minorities and the economically deprived. In other words, by the 1970s, India’s founding myths were already severely challenged, and therefore needed to be proclaimed as an exercise in self-justification. There was discrimination against religious minorities (for example, as an unstated rule, Muslims were never placed in ‘sensitive’ government positions – not that this has gone away – click here for a recent report that state-run banks in India routinely turn away Muslims), hence India needed to call itself ‘secular’. There was growing inequality and continued widespread poverty, hence India needed to call itself ‘socialist’. There was justified alienation in various parts of the country due to ignorance and corrupt misgovernance enabled by the Mandarin-Machiavelli relations (and the ‘integrity’ of India’s neighbour Pakistan had been challenged with the creation of Bangladesh in 1971), hence India’s ‘integrity’ needed to be affirmed.
From 1947 onwards, post-colonial India saw itself as an inheritor of the British imperial mantle in the region. Indian leadership, while aware of the negative legacies of the empire, also inherited its realpolitik attitudes, which were made worse by a euphoria of emergent nationalism and self-righteousness. The regime had changed but the processes had simply replaced foreign elites with a home-grown indigenous elite (for example, a significant number of rulers from the erstwhile princely states were appointed as bureaucrats, ambassadors, policy-makers). Add to which there was the personality cult of Nehru whose personal friendships, affiliations, and dispositions could brook little opposition and loomed large on the decision-making processes in a democratic state. In the subsequent decades, notwithstanding the official non-aligned third-worldist stance, India’s political priorities – national and international – were shaped by its close relations with the old and new imperial powers. An entrenched (often English-speaking, Brahminical, Hindu) elite thrived domestically, India began to be seen as a regional hegemon, relations with neighbours (China, Pakistan) rapidly deteriorated, and electoral politics became a game of patronage.
In the years following independence, India refused to negotiate with China on the boundary issue (while simultaneously following a less-than-pragmatic policy on Tibet), pursued an ill-advised ‘forward policy’ in NEFA (North East Frontier Areas), and Nehru – a Kashmiri himself and fond of Kashmir; Kashmir was special – promised Kashmiris a plebiscite to determine their future. 
In the middle of the twentieth century, my grandfather, then a young man, stood among the crowd at Lal Chowk in the centre of Srinagar (capital of IOK) listening to the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru make a rousing speech to the people of Kashmir - ‘Kashmir ke log koi bhhed-bakri nahin hain ki hamne kaha yahaan chalo ya wahaan chalo’ (the people of Kashmir can’t be led like goat or sheep in one direction or the other) – in which he promised them a choice to determine their identity, specifically a plebiscite to determine their own future. In later years, my grandfather would often recall those words of Nehru apologetically (recently he passed away and I went again to Srinagar to mourn for him in his birthplace, the land of my lost memories). This Nehruvian promise came to naught as India’s stance on Kashmir became ever more legalistic.
As for India’s claim that Kashmir is ‘integral’ to India to confirm its secular credentials (being the only Muslim majority state in a Hindu majority India): what an irony, since India’s secular credentials (being an afterthought as the ‘Emergency’ time amendment shows) were not ‘integral’ to the Indian state at its founding!
Internationally, the Indian state has thrived by trading on its publicised self-image as democratic, secular, and peaceful. The comparison has always been with neighbours like China and Pakistan - one communist, the other theocratic (to the wider western world, nothing could be worse than someone who is a ‘Commie’ or ‘Islamic’). The world at large has been fooled for too long by the articulate, if not argumentative, Indian upper-class governmental and corporate elite and their publicity machines. So successful is this illusion about India, that the world media consistently under-reports the Indian state’s brutality when it comes to Naxalites, the ‘North East’ (the only part of the country which is referred to by geographical co-ordinates; a telling synecdochic use of the generic term ‘north east’ to refer to one or all of the seven different states together), and always, Kashmir.
India is demographically a Hindu majority state, and for all its talk of ‘unity in diversity’, it is intolerant towards its minorities. That discrimination and intolerance flourishes in Pakistan or China or the West is no justification for ignoring this fact in India. For instance, there is a violent ongoing repression of the tribals, there is recurrent and extreme state brutality in Kashmir, there have been orchestrated pogroms against the Muslims (Gujarat 2002), violence against the Sikhs (Delhi 1984), the Christians (Orissa 2007-08), add to which, there is a constant ongoing broad-ranging discrimination against people in terms of their religion, caste, class, gender, sexuality. Of course, India is democratic, secular, and peaceful, except when it needs to suppress those that don’t look like mainstream Indians (the Hindus) - these ‘others’ include its tribal and indigenous people, ‘lower’ castes, its minorities, its ‘north eastern’ peoples (ethnically different, they are derisively referred to as ‘Chinks’, often confused for Chinese in the main metropolises, and seen as different and separate), and Muslims. The people who fit India’s self-narrative best are affluent Hindus.
Today, India wishes to be recognised as a ‘superpower-in-waiting’, yet like other superpowers (to wit, the USA) it is rotting from within. After the end of the Cold War, both the blatant privatisation (euphemistically called ‘liberalisation’) of the Indian economy, and the overt  ‘Hinduisation’ of Indian polity (rise of right-wing parties like the BJP) came to full flowering in the 1990s; together this created an intolerant and unholy consensus in the arenas of politics and economics. Today, both the main national parties – Congress and BJP – converge on the ‘free-market’ economic fundamentals and the political space is given over to divisive ‘vote-bank’ driven identity politics. Over time, this has resulted in greater inequality, more deprivation, and a disenfranchisement of large sections of the country, but it has been politically profitable for those who instigated these changes. The Hinduising, reactionary BJP came to power spreading its message of bigotry, and the Congress leader with a carefully maintained image who engineered the neoliberal restructuring of the country (as the finance minister) in the early 1990s, is the prime minister of the country today. In his recent remarks, he (bizarrely) used the public reaction to his budget in 1991 as a counter to the criticism of his Nuclear Bill in 2010.
In so many regions and in so many ways, the project and vision of postcolonial India is coming apart at the seams. The same-old routine use of the narrative of ‘national integration’ and ‘outside infiltration’ (Pakistani trained terrorists in Kashmir, China-trained Maoists in Eastern India) cannot inoculate a country that is failing its people economically, politically and socially.
The Indian political class is superbly corrupt. Entry into politics is seen as a route for upward class mobility by enabling wealth accumulation; generally only the sons and scions of those with pre-existing political connexions rise through the ranks, unless one is a goon with a criminal record! Indian bureaucracy has a reputation for being tremendously arrogant. It is a truism that Indian bureaucrats are generally smug and supercilious, unwilling to learn or exchange ideas from any but the most hawkish and pro-establishment intellectuals. The large swathes of Indian middle classes are stuffed with intolerance, unthinking mass entertainment, and over consumption – fed by a corporatised media that ‘manufactures consent’ in a textbook Chomsky way. The mix of ignorance and blustery self-confidence that one encounters in middle-class Indians rivals Americans (they share this ‘superpower’ trait!). All of the above – a corrupt political class, a smug bureaucracy, an unthinking and avidly consuming middle class – makes India a wonderful ‘market’ globally. This is the reason why the world keeps silent when the Indian state commits or abets violent atrocities, both inside its boundaries and outside. 
In such an environment, proper political consciousness is rare. Indian people are fed the ‘national integration’ mantra and they lap it up, unable to perceive the way in which people such as the Kashmiris are being dehumanised. The average middle-class Indian (who grows up learning in history and geography books at school about everywhere in the world except for the countries that are India’s neighbours) is intolerant of Pakistan, suspicious of China, unwilling to commingle with Muslims or ‘lower castes’, and willfully blind to the poverty that surrounds them – s/he is focused on making money, spending money, and occasionally, redemption through self-help. Kashmir is a distant nightmare for them.
Indian politicians ultimately don’t care for Kashmir. When the situation looks extremely grim, as now, they make a few statements, a few changes happen at the state level, a few lies are spun, and some schemes are floated to keep public opinion on board. The leadership is, by turns and at different levels, dull, corrupt, and lacking in morals. 
Most importantly, the compulsions of India’s domestic politics ensure that there is no real potential for dialogue and understanding on Kashmir. The entrenched national narrative is so strong that any move forward is seized by the opposition as ‘compromise’ and ‘betrayal’. Given the circumstances, even the most measly statement made by government representatives that recognises any problem in Kashmir or questions the Hindu right-wing is challenged by the xenophobic intolerant right-wing politicians (BJP and their ilk) and exploited for political gain ( e.g. the BJP asking the Home Minister to apologise for commenting on ‘saffron terror’/Hindu right-wing extremism, and the BJP challenging the PM for his statement on autonomy for Kashmir).
What is more, India’s political, military and bureaucratic interests in Kashmir are not coherently aligned, and are subject to the varying intensity and profitability of India’s strategic international alliances. The strength and honesty of political will of the Indian government on Kashmir then becomes a pawn in line with India’s interests in Afghanistan, and in turn hostage to US policy on ‘AfPak’. 
Finally, India’s defence sector is rapidly modernising and therefore internationally very lucrative at the moment. At the same time, there is an excessive use of force in the occupation of Kashmir. Such conflict then unleashes its own perverse incentives such as the increased expenditure on arms and debilitates the initiatives for peace. In any case, the militarisation of security in India is a dangerous development for the dehumanising violence it enables (some Indian military tactics in Kashmir are excessive even for the Israeli IDF!).
Kashmir is not an ‘integral’ part of India. It is a disputed integral, in fact, as I have argued, the Indian attitude to Kashmir can only be understood in the wider context of the failed political, economic, and social promises of post-colonial India. In the name of ‘national integration’, India is occupying a region against the will of the people who live there. Kashmir is ‘integral’ only to the life of Kashmiris.



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South Punjab News : UNO lip-tightened -Indian troops martyr more five people in occupied Kashmir
UNO lip-tightened -Indian troops martyr more five people in occupied Kashmir
Earlier on Thursday, 23-year-old Arshad Ahmed Dar, who was injured in the Indian forces’ violent action on May 13 in the Pattan area of the Baramulla district, succumbed to his injuries.
South Punjab News
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