India revokes special status for disputed Kashmir.
August 5, 2019 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Citing the need to respond to a long-running insurgency in the disputed region of Indian-controlled Kashmir, India’s Hindu nationalist BJP government has followed through on a campaign promise to eliminate Article 370, the Constitutional provision that allowed for a semi-autonomous special status for the Muslim-majority region. The area is now under lockdown, with additional military troops deployed, curfews imposed, universities shuttered, internet disabled, and prohibition against the assembly of more than four people. Two of the region’s former chief ministers have been placed under house arrest.
posted by darkstar (57 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Other side of India from Kashmir, but there's ugly things happening to Muslims right now in Assam too. India is declaring millions of its citizens to be foreigners.
posted by Nelson at 9:16 AM on August 5, 2019 [10 favorites]

From what I heard today, Jammu and Kashmir will be separated from Ladakh and each set will become union territories not states. The lockdown and weaponry is in case there's a civil backlash. I'll be back with more links than just the BBC which belongs to our former colonial masters.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:19 AM on August 5, 2019 [10 favorites]

I'll be back with links to history later on
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:27 AM on August 5, 2019 [8 favorites]

I've read a bit of the #KashmirBleeds hashtag as India shut down cellular and internet connections. People are terrified for their friends and family who are trapped inside this information blockade. I read about a parent who screencapped their video chat with their son, just before the connection cut out.

Journalists are pushing on world media coverage
@ Foreign media outlets: Get your headline game together.
👎 Don't use: "World's largest democracy"
👍 Do use: "military occupation," "annexation," "violation of constitution," "clamp down of civil rights," "emergency," "open prison" & "elected regime."

Modi's regime is terrifying in its willingness to trample human rights and public laws.

No debate, no discussion, no dissent, and the Constitution is changed.
Do you think the Narendra Modi government could extend Parliament by another few days to make Mumbai a separate state out of Maharashtra? Or carve Darjeeling out of West Bengal? Or suddenly, make Tamil Nadu a Union Territory? Do you think the government could put all politicians in Odisha under house arrest, cut all communication channels, impose a military lockdown, and suddenly declare it’s a Union Territory?

It was a midnight coup at 11 am. The ensuing darkness is ominous. This could just be the beginning of a long night for the democracy in India. The Modi government will just decide to do whatever it likes to the Constitution, to laws and regions and territories, and people’s lives. And, it will get away with it.

Home Minister Amit Shah declared Monday morning that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is dead. Article 35A also goes. Ladakh is now a Union Territory without a legislature. The other two regions of the state, Jammu and Kashmir, will now be a Union Territory with a legislature — a bit like Delhi or Puducherry. The new Jammu and Kashmir government will thus be weaker than, say, the government of Goa. They say it’s national integration.
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:28 AM on August 5, 2019 [16 favorites]

Hafsa Matto @mattohafsa
This is a direct attack on the political status of Kashmir. On the demography of Kashmir. On the last of hope that Kashmiris have had for self-determination. It would give yet another free-hand to the Indian state to do whatever they like with us.

Also, as many would argue, this was the only thing that made India a legitimate power in the state. With it gone, it’s nothing but an occupational force.
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:37 AM on August 5, 2019 [6 favorites]

Part of Kashmir's problems stem from the fact that it was a muslim majority region with a Hindu king. He wanted to be part of India. They wanted to go to Pakistan. He was the king. The wound never healed, nor did the Pakistanis ever allow it to scab over. As always, there's a Brit there who drew a random line on a map and left a festering sore.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:38 AM on August 5, 2019 [14 favorites]

Ethnic nationalism is on the rise worldwide, but it's especially distressing to see it happening in India because of the size of India and the economic trajectory it's on. In India GDP is growing dramatically, but a tiny handful of very rich people are taking all the growth. Despite an expanding GDP the GINI coefficient is going up, not down.

Moves towards ethnic nationalism as a response to growing income inequality historically end in genocides. And given India's population the number of victims could make the Holocaust look small by comparison. There's 172,000,000 Muslims living in India right now, every one of them is at risk from Modi's ethnic nationalism.

Gandhi said that only by secularism could India survive. And his successors seem intent on proving him right by embracing sectarianism to the detriment of the nation.

Mrs Potato Unless Modi is secretly British the decision to declare martial law, impose an information blockade so as to keep everything there secret, and arrest key figures in the local government, is the fault of an Indian Hindu and trying to pretend otherwise is absurd.

Yes, the UK drew maps with malice aforethought and with the specific intent of creating unstable regions. But it's Modi who has chosen to embrace the path of ethnic nationalism and to "solve" this problem via violence, ending civil rights, and steps leading towards genocide.
posted by sotonohito at 9:54 AM on August 5, 2019 [9 favorites]

It's naive to pretend that colonial border drawing plays no role in modern territorial disputes in former colonies. Sure, you can argue convincingly that Modi and BJP are primarily responsible for this escalation in Kashmir and Jammu. But you wouldn't have a conflict to escalate if colonial powers hadn't been involved in border drawing to their own end.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:03 AM on August 5, 2019 [18 favorites]

(There are all SORTS of examples of colonial powers still dabbling in their former colonies' politics and conflicts where you can directly trace its origin back to decisions of imperial administrators. Look at Rwanda-Burundi-DRC. Look at the Gambia. Look at Chad. Look at Kashmir.)
posted by ChuraChura at 10:04 AM on August 5, 2019 [11 favorites]

Infographic on before and after the revocation of Article 370

Can someone explain what that link means when it talks about reservation?
posted by Mitheral at 10:10 AM on August 5, 2019

Can someone explain what that link means when it talks about reservation?

Reservations in India are a huge and complicated subject, but it generally refers to reserving a certain percentage of seats for minorities or disadvantaged castes in universities and government jobs. Wikipedia does a not bad job of giving some background. Religion-based reservation is not that common in India, but does happen in some states (usually for Muslims and Christians who are minorities in those states).
posted by peacheater at 10:17 AM on August 5, 2019 [5 favorites]

ChuraChura Of course. But Modi is escalating the conflict for his own personal political gain. We can't change the past, however awful that past is. All we can do is try to deal with it. And Modi has chosen to deal with it in a manner that will result in genocide if it keeps going the way it is.

I do not at all disagree that the problem was produced wholly by the British. As were many of the problems in the Middle East. The British Empire was expert at drawing maps designed specifically to produce ethnic rivalry and hatred so as to keep the subject peoples attacking each other instead of their British overlords.

But it's Modi, an Indian Hindu, who is choosing to take that bad situation and turn it down the path to genocide. He doesn't have to. No British person is forcing him to do that. The British Empire did make that the easiest path available to him, but he and his voters are the ones who decided to do what was easy rather than what was right.
posted by sotonohito at 10:20 AM on August 5, 2019 [4 favorites]

India Is Creating Its Own West Bank in Kashmir by Mihir Sharma.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in India often claims that its actions are unprecedented -- that no government in India’s history has been bold enough to do what it does. Most of the time this is, to put it mildly, an exaggeration. But on Monday, they certainly went far beyond what any previous Indian government has done about the troubled state of Jammu & Kashmir. And that’s a big, big problem.
posted by great_radio at 10:24 AM on August 5, 2019 [6 favorites]

sotonohito my point was that this complex story cannot be told with a single link FPP that overlooks the Indian press.
posted by Mrs Potato at 10:46 AM on August 5, 2019 [7 favorites]

FWIW, while I thought the BBC article was informative, I’d be happy for the Mods to add a link to the FPP to an Indian article. I’m also grateful for the additional links folks are sharing that provide deeper local context and insight.
posted by darkstar at 10:53 AM on August 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Is anything going well anywhere in the world right now? Fuck. Kashmir sit's as a three-way junction between heavily (and nuclear) armed, rapidly expanding and industrializing/ed nations. This area exploding would make WWII look like a paintball game.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:04 AM on August 5, 2019 [6 favorites]

This isn't directed at anyone in particular, but just wanted to post a gentle reminder that if you are white/American/not generally familiar with the politics of the region, this is a great example of an FPP where it may be best to skip commenting and stick to reading instead. Threads about Modi/Indian politics have not always gone well in the past - largely due to input from white people/Americans/folks with hottakes despite limited prior knowledge of the subject matter - and there is no reason that should have to be the case here.

If you insist on commenting anyway, please keep in mind that pushing back against comments from Mefites who do have more familiar knowledge of this region/political matter may, in fact, be a contributing factor in why some POC/racialized peoples don't feel comfortable posting or feel frustrated when posting. Ask yourself why you may feel the need to express an opinion here and if you could be learning more by listening to others.

Hopefully the mods won't delete this comment, but if they do: oh well, I tried.
posted by nightrecordings at 11:36 AM on August 5, 2019 [62 favorites]

This is barely making the news in the US right now; yes please keep sharing international links if you have 'em.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:37 AM on August 5, 2019 [5 favorites]

[What nightrecordings said. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:37 AM on August 5, 2019 [12 favorites]

From Srinath Raghavan: Until late 1947, Patel was open to Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan if Pakistanis would tell Nizam of Hyderabad to join India.... Sardar Patel was thus the architect of the Article 370. Historical howlers aside, there is a delicious irony in the BJP’s attempt to claim him for itself while simultaneously seeking to overturn his effort to ensure genuine autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir within the Indian constitution.

The Partition is something I need to read more about.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:59 AM on August 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

FWIW, I found The Proudest Day: India's Long Road to Independence to be a good intro. It was written by a white British man, so fair warning, but I don't recall him being particularly sympathetic to Curzon or Mountbatten or the Raj in general.

(it's been 20 years or more, I could be mistaken)
posted by Chrysostom at 12:41 PM on August 5, 2019

Indian government ends Kashmir's special status (Christian Science Monitor)
posted by jquinby at 1:01 PM on August 5, 2019

Previously on The Partition (caveat on old links)
posted by Mrs Potato at 1:10 PM on August 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

darkstar, thank you for making the FPP. I don't think I could have made one. I've lost touch with the sense of what's going in Modi's India, and my parents are on opposite camps (dad once refused to take mom to the voting booth with him) so its not a subject we discuss ;p
posted by Mrs Potato at 1:12 PM on August 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

India's Partition was ghastly. It's astonishing that we don't hear more about it in other English-speaking countries. Latent colonialism, I suppose: brown deaths are less interesting, and inter-ethnic violence was precisely the thing that British thinkers had predicted would happen in the absence of the Raj. The fact that British rule had fostered those ethnic rivalries was neither here nor there.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:01 PM on August 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

The series of articles that Perry Anderson wrote for the LRB are masterful and also take in to account the various Cabinet papers which were released from embargo.

The level of skulduggery involved in the partition and its after effects left me stunned.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 1:13 AM on August 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

From @AnthroHaley Associate Professor of Anthropology / #CriticalKashmirStudies
Kashmir Scholars Consultative Network published letter calling for immediate UN intervention in #Kashmir crisis @antonioguterres @UNHumanRights #StandwithKashmir

As of writing this letter, the Kashmir valley and other parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir have been declared curfew zones undermining fundamental rights to food, movement, and health care. Since last week, a state of fear and terror has been created in Kashmir with the deployment of tens of thousands of extra troops, ordering evacuation of all Indians from out of state—pilgrims, tourists, laborers, and students, from the Valley, while continuing to impose curfew in different areas. All these acts have essentially led to an immediate collapse of the peak tourist season in Kashmir, an action that impacts the livelihood of a large sector of the Kashmiri population. Kashmiris were told not to panic, yet every action of the Indian administration is instilling fear and panic in the populace. Every effort is being made to disconnect the people of Kashmir from the rest of the world. As of Sunday evening (August 4th, 2019) the internet, mobile phones and land lines have all been disconnected.
From Hafsa Kanjwal "India’s settler-colonial project in Kashmir takes a disturbing turn" in the Washington Post
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:30 AM on August 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

A round-up of Indian media coverage by (via editor Rohan Venkat)
‘New political grammar’, ‘Mission Kashmir victory’: What newspaper headlines said on J&K moves
Some English newspapers used neutral headlines, others seemed to oppose the move, while vernacular language newspapers sounded celebratory.
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:35 AM on August 6, 2019

Its interesting to note the difference in headlines from the media funded by the likes of Murdoch and gang, vs the locally owned papers.
posted by Mrs Potato at 2:02 AM on August 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is barely making the news in the US right now

Of the various world events going on, this would appear to my amateur eye to be worth a more attention than it is getting. Maybe that is happening at the government level, but it is definitely not getting much press coverage or popular discussion.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:20 AM on August 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

> Of the various world events going on, this would appear to my amateur eye to be worth a more attention than it is getting.

If you woke me up and told me that nuclear weapons had been used somewhere in the world, my first thought would be for my brother and his family, who would be in the path of the drifting cloud of radioactive fallout from Kashmir if they hadn't already been vaporized by a direct hit on Delhi.

There's no border more volatile, and the close proximity of the Indian and Pakistani capitals means there's no 11 minute ballistic flight time for cooler heads to think twice about what that stray radar trace really means.

So having a "muscular Hindu nationalist" government come to power after explicitly campaigning on "reversing the mistakes of partition" and "making India a land for Hindus" ... I knew this was coming, it had been telegraphed by the troop build up in the last few weeks, my WhatsApp groups are buzzing about it, and I feel sick to my stomach.

But yes, the current omnishambles. Hopefully the mature and seasoned US team of diplomats, led by our thoughtful and statesmanlike US president, will help resolve the tensions.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:02 AM on August 6, 2019 [9 favorites]

BBC Update.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:08 AM on August 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

On the fear and anger, from poet @sannareya
Around 10 pm, a messaged flashed across our phones announcing that, as per the request of the central government, all domestic networks were to be shut down indefinitely. All mosques, any place equipped with a loudspeaker, began announcing total curfew from 5 am tomorrow.

I cannot explain the anger and disgust I felt that night: not only was India going to decide our fate for us, but humiliatingly on top of that they were going to keep us blind, silent, deaf and hidden. This was their “democracy.”

And on the chaos of people trying flee
Easily, a hundred thousand people had flooded that tiny airport and the entire place was in a mess. Intermittently, certain flights would be delayed because of their proximity to the border and the tensions and skirmishes resulting in no fly zones.

Tensions were still growing, even at the airport. Sudden shushes would fall and whispers would break out. Two of my father’s friends work at the airport both appeared, pulling him aside, telling him the news of Article 370 being repealed and then again for 35A and bifurcation.

It was safer not to be caught talking about this (irregardless of political leanings), the military and police ran the airport after all. At one point, someone (probably a BJP/Modi supporter) yelled, “Bharat Mata ki Jay!” (Victory of the Mother Land), trying to incite trouble.

More yelling occurred, with other people with retributively chanting of the famous Kashmiri slogan of “Hum khya chathan? Azadi! Chein kya laingay! Azadi!” (What do we want? Freedom! Even if we must steal it! Freedom!).
As much as Twitter is a cesspool of hate and a Nazi-enabling network, I find it incredible that I can read about her experiences almost immediately.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:13 PM on August 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

A synthesis of what I'm hearing now:

Both borderland issues - J&K with the former West Pakistan, and the North-East with the former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh after a terrible war in 1971) - were hackjobs during The Partition and Independence period. Meaning deals were made, concessions were granted, details were overlooked, whatever it took politically and regulatorily to get everyone on the same page of slicing British India's arms off to separate the majority Muslim Eastern and Western regions from the central Hindu 'heartland'. For the longest time, this duct tape and chewing gum system just chugged along, with bandages and plastering on the problems rather than any systemic approach to fixing it. So, on one hand, the time is past due for a systemic fix of long festering issues with The Partition and all the deals that were cut with princes and regents and colonizers, but on the other hand, Modi sarkar is NOT the right government to do this. That's really what sucks about this dramatic announcement.

At the same time, there's been a generation level shift in consciousness and society, over the past two decades or so, especially given the impact of the rise of tech industry, the increase in global travel, the economic growth, and increase in middle classes and their purchasing power.

So, where before, it was a relatively tiny (and unrepresentative) elite - English speaking, highly educated, respected jobs like doctor, engineer, not lawyer but whitecollar executives and professions, plus the writers, journalists, theatre and creative industries - who were the voices of India, today that has changed completely and they've been subsumed by the rise of middle India, the hindi belt and the Hindus, from the tier 2 cities and smaller towns. And, they, they are Modi's base. They're the ones jubilant on FB while the old guard responds with shock and horror from their ivory towers and foreign university perches.

Not a very different situation from the US tbh.
posted by Mrs Potato at 3:02 AM on August 7, 2019 [11 favorites]

Not a very different situation from the US tbh.

Interesting comparison.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:40 AM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

The American media is warmongering with Pakistan re: Kashmir. But that issue isn't showing up in the Indian press, not even the staunchly independent ones like the 'old' Indian Express (once famously squeezed of newsprint by Indira Gandhi, during the Emergency). Recently it bifurcated into the New Indian Express but that's definitely not independent as it promotes the NYT's editorial recommending interference by the USA to stop Modi's Kashmir option.

Here are some snippets from the last remaining brands I know that are still reasonably likely to have independent journalism. Note that right now a major political figure has suddenly died so the front pages are all full her passing. I recommend all these sources.

The Hindu
Yesterday the Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification titled The Constitution (Application To Jammu And Kashmir) Order, 2019 overriding the Order of 1954, and in effect scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution. Nowhere in the world of constitutional-democracies can one see an executive government passing orders to amend the Constitution. This order lacks legality as well as moral legitimacy. I concur with the President of the Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti’s claim that the government’s decision is illegal, based on insincere politics and constitutional abuse.

Business Standard (not as staunch as The Hindu or the Indian Express but not sold out like The Economic Times, Mint, Print, and whatnot either)

"I say with all respect to our Constitution that it just does not matter what your Constitution says; if the people of Kashmir do not want it, it will not go there. Because what is the alternative? The alternative is compulsion and coercion...We have fought in good fight about Kashmir on the field of battle... (and) many a chancellery of the world and in the United Nations, but, above all, we have fought this fight in the hearts and minds of men and women of that State of Jammu and Kashmir."

- Nehru, speaking in the Lok Sabha in 1952

Outlook India - highly political, very influential writers, many of the old elite guard of journalists around power centre of New Delhi

Kashmir Issue: Don't Brush Off Donald Trump's Desire To Mediate In India-Pakistan Affairs Yet
Pakistan's successful bid to internationalise the Kashmir issue has driven a wedge in India's relationship with the US. Donald Trump's mediatory lunge into Indo-Pak affairs may have a definite motive

India Today - I always liked the magazine but my era of purchasing it was in the 80s and 90s so I don't know if the old guard has been bought or not - its still more Indian than Mint, Print, shint and whatnot that Murdoch/WSJ are pushing
posted by Mrs Potato at 6:25 AM on August 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

While I realize there is an information blackout imposed by the Modi government, does anyone know of any Kashmiri news sources? So far we appear to be hearing exclusively from Indian sources, even the sources opposed to Modi's actions are Indian. Is the information blackout Modi imposed really so tight that no Kashmiri news agency can get a story out?
posted by sotonohito at 7:05 AM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Recently it bifurcated into the New Indian Express but that's definitely not independent as it promotes the NYT's editorial recommending interference by the USA to stop Modi's Kashmir option.

Probably the only thing I can confidently state about this situation, given my relative ignorance of Indian politics and only passing familiarity with the issues of Kashmir post-Partition, is that unilateral US interference could only make things worse. If any kind of international intervention happens, it needs to come from the UN as a whole, and not in some farcical "coalition of the willing" kind of way.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:57 AM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Greater Kashmir
Kashmir Reader

J&K govt has stopped advertisements in two newspapers, alleges Kashmir Editors Guild
The Kashmir Editors Guild on Friday claimed that Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration has suspended advertisements in two major daily newspapers– Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader to “deliberately strangulate and subvert the institution of media” in the state.

* clicking through to Greater Kashmir may give an error message on the certificate but force your way through it
posted by Mrs Potato at 7:59 AM on August 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Correct Outlook India link
posted by Mrs Potato at 8:39 AM on August 7, 2019

> ... the rise of middle India, the hindi belt and the Hindus, from the tier 2 cities and smaller towns. And, they, they are Modi's base. They're the ones jubilant on FB while the old guard responds with shock and horror from their ivory towers and foreign university perches.

This is fair enough. I'd take issue with assigning "the old guard" to "ivory towers" and "foreign university perches" alone - rather, it's the entirety of the tolerant, cosmopolitan-outlook, liberal civil society, who are being overrun by the rise of the religious right.

This is not a recent surprise, of course - we played cricket in the deserted (and bloodstained, though I was too young to know) streets in December 1992 after the rioters had passed through, back when the Babri masjid was demolished - the singular event that represents (to me, at least) the turning away of the country from the liberal, secular, inclusive ideals the Republic was founded on. The Indian constitution was written by an untouchable caste member, and that Republic of India is fading.

> Not a very different situation from the US tbh.

Or elsewhere in the world - e.g., the rise of the far right in Europe, the detention centers of Australia. It's a fully predicted reaction to the brief period of liberalism around the world, as the crowd that got theirs and might now have to share throws some sharp elbows. Climate change is coming, and if it takes building a wall or starting a war to hold the Other at bay, that's what (some fraction of) the people are willing to do.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:40 AM on August 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

yes, you're right. my fingers were looking for closure for the sentence there and went with the most visible tweeters. And I agree with your point on Babri Masjid as the turning point. And the Bombay blasts.
posted by Mrs Potato at 11:01 AM on August 7, 2019

An interesting book, if you can get a hold of it, is called The Spy Chronicles and it is a curated discussion between the ex head of the Pakistani Intelligence and the ex head of the Indian RAW, written by a mutually trusted journalist.

A.S. Dulat and Asad Durrani have previously collaborated, writing a paper together titled "Kashmir: Confrontation to Cooperation" in 2013 published by the University of Ottawa.

Which might be interesting back reading as the drama unfolds, yet again.
posted by Mrs Potato at 11:06 AM on August 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

First an apology to the mods - the Perry Anderson links are in a previous post which I did not check for

Previously August 25, 2012

Secondly, a reminder how useless the "global policeman" ie. the US, has become on issues such as this
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 7:28 PM on August 9, 2019

With no soft-power weapons in its arsenal to counter India, this is making Islamabad jittery

If India is going to get the global thumbs-down for its moves on Kashmir, it doesn’t seem about to happen anytime soon. While Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s been vehemently denouncing revocation of Kashmir’s special status, insisting he’ll take the issue to the UN, reaction in other world capitals seems, at most, to be a yawn.

Kashmir tensions spill over to Britain’s Pakistani and Indian communities
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:21 AM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Worth noting that at the time it was linked the Kashmiri Reader had no updates after India imposed an information blockade on Kashmir.

Currently the Kashmiri Reader is offline.

Greater Kashmir has had no updates since the blackout.

India has succeeded in totally silencing Kashmir news about Kashmir. The only news coming out of Kashmir is from Indian sources aligned with Modi, or foreign sources.
posted by sotonohito at 8:38 AM on August 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Greater Kashmir has had no updates since the blackout.

Just noting that this is not quite the right term as a good chunk of Kashmir (as well as Gilgit Baltistan, a culturally separate region that lay within the princely state of Kashmir at the time of Partition), are held by Pakistan. The UN terms, and I think the most neutral ones, are Pakistan-Administered Kashmir and India-Administered Kashmir. Both of these are, obviously, disliked by both India and Pakistan so seem a good bet.

'Our hearts are on fire': Kashmir spends Eid al-Adha in lockdown. This piece with contributions from someone on the ground hints at some of the dangers for the future:

A Kashmiri police officer:
Another local police constable said he would not act if there were protests in the area where he was deployed in Srinagar. “The future of children is at risk now. They have devastated everything,” he said.
An Indian soldier:
“The situation will now improve in Kashmir,” he said, referring to abrogation of the law. “There will be now more power with police and with us, we can now thrash without any problem.”
posted by tavegyl at 2:16 PM on August 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Greater Kashmir is the name of a Kashmiri news service. Confusing due to the region name.
posted by sotonohito at 5:02 PM on August 13, 2019

Greater Kashmir is the name of a Kashmiri news service. Confusing due to the region name.

Ah, I see. I thought you were referring to J&K + Ladakh. Apologies!
posted by tavegyl at 7:02 PM on August 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Kashmiris are claimed in the name of democracy and further colonized in the name of development.

Nitasha Kaul's excellent article points out the flawed thinking of the international community that see the crisis down from "the vicious cycle of the India-Pakistan rivalry" rather than "thinking up from the issues of the Kashmiris themselves."

Also Kaul calls out India's orientalist fantasy of Kashmir that props up this colonial venture:
Muslim-majority Kashmir has always been India’s Oriental “other,” loaded with fantasies of beauty and cruelty... Indian fantasies are projected onto its exotic otherness of “fair women,” beautiful mountains, walnuts, and apples.

... In all these Indian fantasies, the reality and precarity of Kashmiri lives are completely ignored. Kashmiris live with the reality of heavy militarization; occupation of land; the draconian powers of the security forces that can kill, blind, torture, or disappear individuals with impunity; demonization of Kashmiri students in Indian cities as security threats; and humiliation of Kashmiris in Indian media for being insufficiently grateful to Indian largesse.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:38 AM on August 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

For those interested in the some of the implications of the abrogation, including for Indian democracy, I strongly recommend the two most recent episodes of the Ganatantra podcast:

Ep. 27: Article 370: The constitutionality and politics of repeal

Ep. 28: Article 370: The history and future of Kashmir

Unfortunately they don't seem to do transcripts.
posted by tavegyl at 5:33 PM on August 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

Has India also disabled cell towers? When it said about cutting telephone and Internet I assumed that meant landlines and any cable/fiber lines.

I saw upthread someone was seeing some posts on twitter from someone there.

Also I appreciate the posts and discussion here. I know very little of the politics of this region other than a passing knowledge that Kashmir and India do not have a great history.
posted by sio42 at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2019

Cell towers are a "last mile" technology. The towers connect to the same backbones that the landlines use.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:13 PM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


(Appalled Guardian review of a Bear Grylls special with Modi)
posted by tavegyl at 4:37 PM on August 15, 2019

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