Clashes in Kashmir: Delhi distracts with images of violence

Clashes in Kashmir

The Indian part of Kashmir will not rest after the end of the special status. The government in Delhi currently has little interest in this.

Armed soldiers walk along a fence

Indian soldiers patrol in Kashmir on the border with Pakistan Photo: Channi Anand / AP / dpa

DELHI taz | The titles of Indian newspapers showed at the beginning of the week, debris and smoke. Because at the ceasefire line in Kashmir it came again to collisions and fatalities. The timing could hardly be better for India's Hindu nationalist government. Because on Monday were elections in the state of Maharashtra with the economic metropolis Mumbai (Bombay).

India's military crackdown on suspected Pakistani terrorists began a day before the election and displaced unpleasant topics such as the ailing economy from the media.

In 2019, the ceasefire line in Kashmir has already been violated by Pakistan 650 times, writes the Times of India citing India's military, mostly in the last two months. Since a suicide attack on Indian aid police in February, relations between arch rivals have deteriorated dramatically. Images of soldiers fighting for the motherland ("Mata India") are better for the government than reports of Indian military who violate human rights in Kashmir.

On 5 August, Delhi had withdrawn special status from the state of Jammu and Kashmir and placed it under direct administration. Telephone networks and the Internet were blocked, politicians interned in Kashmir. Since then, barely any news from Kashmir has been made public in the spirit of the Delhi government.

Very limited communication

"Communication is still very limited," says Kashmir-based filmmaker Tassaduq Hussain. So he had not heard of the recent violence. It seems that people outside of Kashmir know better than the people there.

The Delhi-based Kashmiri politician Shehla Rashid draws attention online to the situation of the Kashmiri. Against the 31-year-old is already running a case of uproar. "The UN should have invited activists from Kashmir to the plenary meeting in New York in September," she says.

Finally, Sweden's climate activist Greta Thunberg had been invited as a non-expert. Only when the world was informed of Kashmir's loss of autonomy did Delhi react to criticism.

Rashid also complains before the Supreme Court. Was not yet negotiated. Instead, the government acts against critics. In Srinagar protesting women were arrested, including members of opposition politicians. "Despite the precarious situation shopkeepers in Kashmir are closing their shops in protest. Kashmiri apple farmers refuse to harvest, "says Rashid.

Meetings of more than five people are prohibited

There is no room for protest. Meetings of more than five people are prohibited. "Kashmir's population feels treated unfairly," says human rights activist Sanam Wazir. He is provided with precarious health care. "Kashmir is in a medical emergency. There is no public transport to reach hospitals, nor is there any medication for serious illnesses. "

Officially, that's not an issue. The Twitter channel of the Kashmiri government prefers to show pictures of a lit bridge in Srinagar. For India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the convention party that used to rule in Delhi is to blame for Kashmir's misery. Modi does not seem to pay much attention to the military exchange itself. He prefers to showcase selfies with Bollywood greats.

On 31 October Jammu and Kashmir are to be divided into two directly subordinate Union areas of Delhi. The ruling Hindu nationalists want to fulfill a promise to India's Hindu majority. Her vision of a united India would only be possible if the state of Jammu and Kashmir lost their special rights.

So far, it was the only state with a Muslim majority population. From its division, Delhi hopes for more influence. The special status was the condition that joined the division of British India in 1947, the then Principality of India.

. (tagsToTranslate) India (t) Kashmir (t) Pakistan (t) Narendra Modi (t) Asia (t) Politics (t) taz (t) daily newspaper

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