NEW YORK, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – August 12, 2021): Under the smokescreen of electoral redistribution in illegally occupied Indian Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), India is manipulating to politically neutralize the Muslim majority in the disputed region, according to an article in Foreign Policy, a prestigious American magazine.
Kaisar Andrabi and Zubair Amin, two independent journalists based in Srinagar, the authors of the article, said the Indian government had started preparations to redraw the electoral boundaries in Kashmir two years after New Delhi revoked semi-autonomous status state and introduced a stricter federal government. controls.
“In 2019, New Delhi hoped that the strengthening of federal control would facilitate the subjugation of the people of Kashmir and calls from many groups for self-determination,” they wrote, adding that it has since targeted local politicians, traders, publishers and even government officials who have been or could become sources of dissent.
“The crackdown has also targeted protesters, members of civil society and journalists, who are charged under draconian counterterrorism laws that guarantee lengthy pre-trial detention and make an exception to bail,” the two journalists said. Kashmiris in their article.
“Now the demarcation program envisages dividing the constituencies of the former semi-autonomous state into several new voter units in a way that could give numerical weight to the southern region of Jammu, where there is a greater concentration of Hindu voters, “according to the article.
“Altered demographics and a reconfiguration of constituencies would enable Hindu nationalist politicians to achieve their long-held goal of installing a Hindu chief minister in Kashmir.
“The Hindu nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also started to enforce hundreds of Indian federal laws and policies in Kashmir, he said,” New Delhi has dismantled the self-government structures in Kashmir at a rapid pace remarkable. The Indian government opened up ownership of land in Indian-administered Kashmir to foreigners, facilitated the acquisition of domicile rights and reversed historic land reforms, ”the two Kashmiri journalists said, adding that these measures had been followed by a measure that reduced the share of Kashmiri candidates entering the Indian civil service fell from 50 to 33 percent, which will increase the number of non-local officers in the administration of Kashmir in the future.
“The federal government has also authorized the Indian armed forces to declare any area of the disputed region as ‘strategic’ and has ended the 131-year reign of Urdu as the region’s only official language, according to the article.
Unlike other Indian states, these laws and policies were only applicable in the region in August 2019, as Kashmir had its own constitution and its legislature had the exclusive power to legislate, it was pointed out.
The article pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir is India’s only predominantly Muslim region. Prior to 2019, Hindu nationalist groups had long campaigned for the annulment of Kashmir’s special status enshrined in (now repealed) Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Another feature of this extinct legislation was Section 35A, which limited the purchase of land to local residents only.
Modi rejected both laws to a very controversial extent that has since deteriorated India’s relations with Pakistan and China, he said.