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Kashmir prey to Indian nationalism

Editorial of the "World". By revoking the status of Indian Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir statehood, India assumes a major risk. This first act of the second term of the Indian Prime Minister announces the color: Narendra Modi and his Minister of the Interior and right hand, Amit Shah, intend to accelerate the nationalist program of the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP (Indian People's Party), which won handily the elections in May.

By repealing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gave greater power to the government of this Muslim majority state since the partition of India seventy years ago, the Indian government is fulfilling a campaign promise. . Messrs. Shah and Modi intend to correct "A historical blunder", according to which this autonomy should never have been granted. Jammu and Kashmir will become a territory of the Union, under the direct control of New Delhi – as it had been temporarily since June 2018, the first Modi government having broken with its partner local coalition.

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However, at the end of the partition of India, the princely state of Kashmir is invaded by Pakistan. His Maharaja asks for help from India in what will become the first of three wars that India has led with her brother enemy in the name of Kashmir. The UN then imposed a line of control in the middle of the now divided territory. It is to make sure that the Indian part, majority Muslim, remains in India that it will end up granting it autonomy. Since then, the province will remain the symbol of multiculturalism and Indian federalism â € "not without knowing a turbulent history, which will see India crushing by force a separatist insurgency, To which will be added jihadist components.

Ethnic and religious supremacy

The Jammu and Kashmir state, one of the most militarized in the world, is certainly not a model of governance: the abuses of the Indian forces, the insurgent attacks The attacks have left tens of thousands dead over the years, and the line of control with Pakistan is one of the hottest spots on the planet. Yet, the autonomy enjoyed by the federated state has also allowed the channeling of much of the local aspirations.

Under Modi, tensions in Kashmir exacerbated, as did the radicalization of part of the Muslim Kashmiris. In February, an attack on Indian paramilitary troops left 40 dead, leading to Indian air strikes inside Pakistan. With an unwelcome ideology unfavorable to community reconciliation, the BJP governs in the name of Hindu ethnic and religious supremacy. He wants to be the big defender of the unity of Hinduism against an Islam perceived as increasingly threatening.

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Dilute the particularities of Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state in India, and bring it back to the country as a whole. It is in his name that the first term of Mr. Modi, and before that his fourteen years at the head of the State of Gujarat, have had brutal consequences for the minorities. Muslims, but also Christians, resulting from religious, ethnic, and multi-cultural brewing, of which India is the product. The international community would do well to be vigilant vis-à-vis this Indian nationalist right which has nothing to envy to the extreme right Western.

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