Creating new perspectives since 2009

My heart aches for Myanmar and Kashmir; for Idlib and Aden - part 2

August 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm

Kashmiri villagers walk past the debris of a house which was damaged by Indian forces in Kashmir on 5 March 2019 [Faisal Khan/Anadolu Agency]

Read part 1 here

Populism and chauvinism have overtaken countries around the world which have elected leaders based on racist perspectives. Ever since Donald Trump’s election victory in the US, the West has started to lean to the extreme right. This extremism has reached all the way to India, where the Prime Minister is a man steeped in Hindu nationalism who dreams of restoring the entire subcontinent to what it was before what he calls the “Islamic conquest”.

For the key to Narendra Modi’s personality, we must look at his intellectual background and upbringing. What qualified him for this position and allowed him to make his move on Muslim Kashmir?

As a young man, Modi trained at a camp run by Rashtiya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with a far-right military group, which encouraged the youth to uphold Hinduism and revive Hindu nationalism. The RSS spread hatred and hostility towards Muslims in the minds and hearts of the youth. They urged them to fight what they considered to be “evil”, starting with “Muslim invaders” and then the disillusioned who gave up Hindu nationalism, such as Gandhi and his party, the Indian National Conference. The next targets were Muslim nationalists who broke up India to establish Pakistan and those who seek to separate Kashmir from its Indian surroundings.

Kapil Komireddi wrote in the Washington Post, “The effect on Modi’s young mind was so powerful that he came to regard the RSS as his family, abandoned his wife and mother, and wandered through India as a catechist of the Hindu nationalist cause.”

READ: India annexes Kashmir under the dark shadow of Netanyahu and Modi’s far-right embrace  

One can only imagine what a man who was raised in the arms of such an abhorrent racist group would do when he reached power. In fact, Modi has a long record of crimes against helpless Muslims. When he was a minister in the Indian State of Gujarat, it witnessed in 2002 the largest massacre in India’s modern history. More than 1,000 Muslims were killed by Hindus, who walked the streets wielding their swords to scare the Muslims and cause them to panic. For many weeks, Modi was accused of being the sole instigator of the massacre. The US refused to grant him an entry visa and he was boycotted by the EU states.

Since his election as Prime Minister of India in 2014, Hindu racism and radicalism has increased across the Indian population, who elected him on this basis. He encourages this spirit of racism and reinforces it, as he sees it as a reflection or proof of pride in the Hindu identity and allows ordinary people to kill Muslims. They have committed the most heinous of crimes against Muslim women and then distributed photographs and videos, proud of what they had done.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi [File photo]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi [File photo]

According to Komireddi, Modi “used three powerful tools to propel his ascent. The first was sadism, the hint that, under him, Hindu radicals could indulge a dormant bloodlust: After the killing of a Muslim man in police custody, for instance, Modi mused at a 2007 rally, ‘If AK-57 [sic] rifles are found at the residence of a person… should I not kill them?’ (The crowd roared back: ‘Kill them! Kill them!’). “

Since the start of Modi’s premiership, not one execution or imprisonment of a Hindu who killed a Muslim has been recorded. Instead, one of his ministers honoured eight men convicted of the extrajudicial execution of a Muslim citizen. According to human rights organisations, the Indian forces committed several rights violations and terrorist acts against Kashmiri civilians, including extrajudicial killings, rape and torture. These organisations recorded hundreds of forced disappearances, but because Indian soldiers are above the law and accountability, none were put on trial.

READ: UAE to award India’s Modi highest honour amidst growing concern over fate of Kashmir

Modi’s sudden decision to seize control of Kashmir and subdue the Muslim majority was one of his greatest aspirations for realising his vision of a homogeneous Indian nation. He had the opportunity to achieve it after he rose to power, but was unable to annex Kashmir during his first term in office. Perhaps this was due to the violence around the world at the time, preventing him from taking such a daring move. Maybe he was preparing for it during the time that the country was witnessing turbulence, violence and oppression at the hands of his government, causing him to put even political figures cooperating with him under house arrest. Regardless of the reason for delaying his decision, he made it during his second term; he was re-elected this year with appropriate demands from his Hindu nationalist supporters. He responded to their demands and cancelled Kashmir’s autonomous status, along with all of the laws associated with the area, and divided it into two states governed federally, making him the leader of “New India”.

Pakistani people rally to mark Kashmir Solidarity against Indian forces in Karachi, Pakistan on 5 August, 2019 [Sabir Mazhar/Anadolu Agency]

Kashmir was put under strict security and communication restrictions, and the internet was cut off. This has isolated it from the outside world and we do not know what this fascist is doing to the Muslims there. We receive very little news, especially regarding the protests and the arrest of thousands of protestors, including activists calling for separation. If there are calls for help from the region, is anyone responding?

There is no relief or help in this hypocritical world, especially if those asking for help are Muslims. The UN is monitoring the events, the US is calling for calm and the avoidance of a war, the OIC is condemning events, and Pakistan has recalled its ambassador from New Delhi. China will not recognise what has gone on, but none of this has any value or meaning. It is all a matter of throwing dust in our eyes, while patting India on the back, as economic interests are too valuable for anyone to take a firm decision against it.

READ: This triumvirate of evil has turned its sights on Kashmir

What is truly shameful and disgraceful is the Arab position. The first country to support and bless India’s decision was the UAE, land of the Zionist conspiracies, as stated by its ambassador to New Delhi. They even hosted Modi at the height of the crisis with Kashmir and honoured him with the highest civilian award. This is not strange behaviour by the UAE, where all of the conspiracies and plots against the Muslim Ummah are hatched with the help of the Israeli Mossad. Bahrain followed in the UAE’s footsteps and the King also awarded him with a medal in appreciation for his efforts.

As for Saudi Arabia, it said that the matter was an internal affair, although in reality it is a regional conflict witnessed by the UN for fifty years. The UN had approved autonomy for Kashmir, making India’s decision a violation of a UN Resolution. To further provoke the Muslims, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco signed an agreement with India’s Reliance to sell 20 per cent of petrol and chemical activity only a few days after India took over Kashmir. Reliance, which is closely associated with Modi, announced that the deal is valued at $15 billion and is considered the largest foreign investment in India’s history.

These positions are the same shameful positions that the Arab leaders have adopted regarding the Uyghur Muslims in eastern Kurdistan, in support of the Chinese occupation.

India would not have dared seize control over Kashmir, nor would China, Burma and the Central African Republic have dared oppress Muslims and kill them before the eyes of the world unless they had the green light and blessing from the Arab regimes.

To be continued…

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.