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Revocation of Kashmir autonomy: "Kashmiris feel humiliated"
Shah Faesal, in Srinagar, March 17. TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFP

Shah Faesal is one of the few politicians in Indian Kashmir to express himself since the Himalayan valley was cut off from the world on Sunday, August 4, by the forces of the order Indians following the abrogation of the autonomy enjoyed by the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday, August 7, his testimony, freezing the situation in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir locked by soldiers, toured the media in New Delhi.

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At 36, Shah Faesal is a man apart in the political landscape of Kashmir, territory claimed by neighboring Pakistan and bruised by a separatist insurgency. Son of a couple of teachers from Kupwara district, he grew up with the conflict that has claimed more than 70,000 lives in three decades, while performing an exemplary journey, producing merit and work.

In 2009, he was the first Kashmiri to lead the competition to enter the Indian administration. For ten years, he led a successful career as an official of the Kashmir regional government. But in January 2019, the cup is full. Shah Faesal resigns by publicly denouncing the "Unceasing murders" perpetrated in the state, one of the most militarized regions in the world. He compares Kashmir to "A cemetery in altitude". Two months later, he decided to go into politics and found an independent party, the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM).

How do you react to the televised speech, on Thursday, August 8th, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who presented the  «historic decision » Article 370 of the Indian Constitution as a means of "Liberating Kashmir from terrorism" and bring him the  "Rita thrived © © » ?

The Prime Minister has talked about some immediate issues related to the August 5, 2019 decision. But there are far more important issues that are not being articulated. And even though it has the potential to re-establish the status of Jammu and Kashmir in the future, it is of low comfort. The real question is the identity of this state. As long as there is no restoration of article 370, article 35 A [accordant le droit exclusif pour les résidents du Cachemire de détenir des terres], State status, and other Kashmiri demands on people's rights, then these words will not make sense.

Do you think that investment and development in Kashmir, as Narendra Modi says, will bring peace there?

No. He already thought that Article 370 had been eroded over the years. If it was nothing but an empty shell, then why was there a need to remove it? How will the integration of Kashmir with the rest of India be more successful without, even though it has not occurred in 70 years?

As for the issue of development, Kashmir has some development indicators (fertility rate, level of education at school, percentage of people below the level of education). poverty, etc.) far superior to other states in India; to speak of Article 370 as a barrier to development is a fallacious argument. This also raises the question of the other states of India, which do not have Article 370 and have remained poor.

The real issue is that the Sangh Parivar [ou RSS, l’organisation des suprémacistes hindous, dont Narendra Modi fut l’un des cadres] aims at a forced assimilation of Kashmir to the rest of India, which could only be done with the abolition of Article 370. All the arguments that have been made in over the last few years against Article 370 are based on this end.

How do you think the Kashmiris will react when the curfew is released and all means of communications are restored?

When communications are restored and people are fully aware of the events, they will be far from convinced by Mr. Modi's arguments. The Kashmiris feel humiliated by the surprise revelation of Article 370. Nothing will be able to compensate for their feelings of hurt and defeat.

Everyone is worried about how people will react when the curfew and restrictions are going to be alleviated. People will want to express themselves and violence is to be feared. There may be no immediate reaction, due to military presence and fear, but in the long run, the response of the population can be dangerous and dangerous. heave a feeling of total alienation against the Indian state.

What do you think of the reaction of Vikram Singh Saini, a Hindu nationalist deputy from Uttar Pradesh, who has enjoyed the idea that Hindu youth could soon t go "Embrace the pretty girls with the white skin of Kashmir" ? The preferential measures enjoyed by Kashmir forbade married Kashmir women with non-state-born men from giving them their land. But they have been repealed.

Many videos and comments of this type on Kashmir are currently circulating in India. It's very insulting to the people of Kashmir. It's as if suddenly, India had conquered a new territory with a sense of triumph! It's very disturbing and ugly because it can contribute to aggravate resentment, with dangerous consequences.

This temporary sense of triumph comes at the cost of the slaughter of democracy and alienation of the entire population of Kashmir. The Indian government must realize that it is not possible to contain people by force for a long time. To win the heart of Kashmir, the strategy should be different than amending the Constitution and betraying people. The story will tell.

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