Hindutva – Indian Policy Towards Jammu & Kashmir

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In many parts of India, the ideology of Hindutva was considered as a religion. In 1995, the Supreme Court of India endorsed the plea of the Hindutva ideology as a way of life and not as religion. Hindutva, the concept pertaining to Hindu dominancy all over India has been the core reason for the Indian atrocities in Kashmir. The act to promote the ideology of Hindutva has negative implications on the lives of the Kashmiris. Policies adopted by the Indian government in terms of the illegal annexation of Kashmir and revocation of Article 370 with the current inclusion of the controversial citizenship bill, indicates Hindu extremism present in the core of the Indian state. India portrays itself as the largest democracy as well as a secular state, however, Indian actions/policies are in contrast to its proclaimed stance. The gradual spread of Hindu extremism is altering the demography of Kashmir. The extremist acts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his discriminatory policies have also deteriorated Indo-Pakistan relations. The freedom struggle in Kashmir is labelled as terrorism in order to impose Indian policies within occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

United Nations Security Resolution Council (UNSRC) called for a ceasefire in 1948 after the conventional conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. United Nations (UN) could not enforce India to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir, as per the resolution passed in 1949. Since then, Kashmir is in a continuous phase of turmoil. During the partition of 1947, the former Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten and Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the British Commissioner, divided the areas on the proportions of population majority. Seventy percent of Kashmiris were Muslim, due to which Pakistan demanded the annexation of Kashmir as a legitimate right.  
 
Since then, ties between these two states (India and Pakistan) have gotten worse, leading to three major conventional conflicts. India also adopted assertive policies against the demand of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris. For several years, the Kashmiri nation has been deprived of their right to self-determination, which has caused a prolonged travail for the Kashmiris in their own homeland. The people of Kashmir are still asking for their rights as promised by UNRSC. The Kashmiri freedom struggle was at its peak during 1980s, however, its pace slowed down in early 21st century. An effort was made by President Musharraf to resolve the Kashmir issue with India and connections were made at several forums, but the proposals of the matter could not materialize. Both India and Pakistan were once again on the verge of confrontation after the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

Resurgence of the freedom fight in Kashmir was observed after the death of Burhan Wani, in the year of 2016, the young commander of Hizbul Mujahidden group in Kashmir for the attainment of the right to self-determination and sovereignty. Being a part of Kashmiri youth, he was considered as an icon of freedom struggle through active social media campaigns.

The Indian state started its aggressive policies towards Kashmir based on their extreme Hindutva ideology, after Narendra Modi gained power in India. To spread the ideology of ‘Hindutva’ all over India and its peripheries has remained his top priority. Modi’s wish of Indian dominancy in the region has not only disregarded the rights of Kashmiris but also of other minorities in India, especially Muslims. The Indian constitution clearly states that India is a secular state, however, the current political ventures have questioned the clauses of it’s own constitution.

The citizenship amendment bill passed by the Indian government in December 2019 has further deepened the crisis and has increased the sufferings of the Muslim minority. For long, the Muslims, whether residing in India, Palestine or in Kashmir, are in troublesome situations. As per Human Rights Commission, every nation and all humans have the right to self-determination, but this is not the case with Muslims either residing in India or in Kashmir. Indian brutality is increasing, and the international audiences have kept silent on the matter. United Nations has failed in persuading India to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir. The establishment of the Human Rights Commission in 1945 was objective-orientated but eventually failed to provide relief to oppressed Muslims across the world.

Due to the manifestation of the narrative of Hindutva ideology, the Indian government and its security forces propagate violence and chaos in Jammu and Kashmir. India is carrying out the genocide of Muslims in Kashmir in order to turn Muslims into a minority in the region. Cross ethno-cultural marriages are highly supported and demanded in order to increase Hindu influence in the region. Pakistan has raised the issue at the forum of United Nations General Assembly, warning the international arena that their silence on this crucial matter will eventually break out a war between India and Pakistan, moreover the brutalities and Indian state terrorism in Kashmir is raising questions on India’s own constitution, which claims to be a secular state. Regional and global stakeholders must engage with India to put a halt to its aggressive Hindutva approach before the region faces the consequences of Hindu extremism.

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Dr Rahat Iqbal
About Dr Rahat Iqbal 5 Articles
Dr Rahat Iqbal is a PhD in International Relations, currently working as Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations, Muslim Youth University.

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