It’s been two months now since the ruling Indian government (BJP) stunned many around the world when it revoked Article 370, which granted Jammu & Kashmir special status. This was followed with a complete lockdown and deployment of thousands of additional soldiers to the state; Kashmiri’s were cut-off from the rest of the world. Article 370 was important for Jammu and Kashmir because it granted a measure of autonomy to the state; this included its own constitution and freedom to make its own laws. But Prime Minister Narender Modi has long been opposed to it.
The people of Kashmir have lived through various and multiple lockdowns and curfews during the competing claims between India and Pakistan. Experts see this Indian government move as an attempt to change the demographics of Indian Muslim majority state. Opposition parties have called this as one of the darkest days of democracy because the current government revoked the article 370 with no discussion in the parliament.
Article 370 of the constitution was a promise made by India to Kashmir at the time of partition because, Kashmir was a princely state, and both India and Pakistan wanted it. India negotiated with Kashmir and promised the state would have a special status, which was Article 370, but now the present government revoked that special status.
The government has also put major politicians of the region under house arrest and section 144 has been imposed, which means that more than 5 people cannot gather at a place at one time, and protests, public rallies, or meetings cannot be held. In addition to this action by the government, telephones and other communications have been shut down and the media has been blocked. We all understand, anywhere in the world, if the communication is being blocked, and if the media is not allowed to report about the region, then there are human rights violations happening.
I further wish to say to the people of Kashmir, that I stand with you being a JNUSU(Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union) representative and member of Student Federation of India (SFI); I stand in complete solidarity with the people of Kashmir and stand against the injustices.