After Prime Minister Narendra Modi passed the test in June, he continued to make a big move to “renovate India.” Last Monday (August 5th), India abolished the autonomy of the Jammu-Kashmir state, which is the majority of the Muslim population, and divided it into two. The eastern part of Buddhism and the majority of the Hindu population will be directly under the jurisdiction of New Delhi and will be named the Ladakh Central Territory; the Muslim-majority western region will be renamed the Jammu-Kashmir Central Territory, retaining only local legislative power and no longer enjoying it. Autonomous privilege. At a time when the situation in India and Pakistan is highly tense, strengthening centralization and controlling the frontline areas will certainly help Modi to “strategize.” However, Modi has revised the constitution with “blitzkrieg” without communication consultation, and sent a large number of troops to the front line, tough style or to make it a small loss, to lay a time bomb for future governance.
Soldiers armed with live ammunition, tanks rumbling through, are commonplace for residents of Chad-Kashmir State in northwestern India. In March of this year, an air battle broke out between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir border. An Indian pilot was captured. At the end of July, the two sides exchanged fire frequently. But with the entry of Kashmir (if there is no additional indication, the following refers to the Indian-controlled Kashmir region), there are more and more Indian soldiers, and the local residents smell an abnormal atmosphere. On August 3, the Indian government imposed a “outside blockade” on the grounds of possible terrorist attacks in Kashmir and evacuated local tourists. At the same time, a total of 28,000 soldiers from 280 companies entered Kashmir at night and took control of strategic locations.
Under the “enclosure of the whole territory”, the whole state of Kashmir was suspended from school and stopped working. The foreign communication was interrupted and the army imposed a curfew. In addition, local Muslim political leaders such as Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister of the People’s Democratic Party of Jammu and Kashmir, and former chief minister Omar Abdullah were arrested and placed under house arrest for a time. The wind is strong.
Two days later, on August 5th, the Modi government finally revealed its purpose. On the morning of the same day, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed the “Presidential Order” to suspend the “special status” given to Jammu-Kashmir State in Article 370 of the Constitution, ending “one country, two systems” and ordering hard-line India. Amit Shah, chairman of the People’s Party and Minister of the Interior, informed the Congress. Although the Constitution 370 gives the President the power, the rude process has caused dissatisfaction among local residents and opposition parties.
Unstable constitutional guarantee
The autonomy of Jammu-Kashmir has been constitutionally guaranteed in the past. Article 370 of the Constitution stipulates that other provisions of the Indian Constitution are not implemented in the Kashmir region. The state may have its own constitution and have the power to decide other matters besides national defense, diplomacy, transportation, and communications. At the same time, the Constitution also restricts foreign residents from purchasing land and holding public positions in Jammu-Kashmir.
As the foundation of the state system, the constitution is a big issue, but the abolition of the “one country, two systems” in the Kashmir region was completed by the president’s order. It seems that there are some “indecent”. However, when India enacted the Constitution in the 1940s, it adopted “flexibility” as its principle. Apart from the fact that the selection of the system and the provisions of the government structure require the consent of the state, most of the provisions can be amended only by a simple majority of the Congress. So far, the Constitution has experienced nearly a hundred changes.
Article 370 of the Constitution is located in the Provisional and Transitional Provisions of Chapter 21 of the Indian Constitution; the third paragraph of the provision expressly states that the President has the power to suspend the implementation of autonomy or set a time limit for it, which is lower than the threshold for revision of the general provisions. The Modi government has made a big fuss about the “temporary provisions” in the eyes of New Delhi: the text is for the successful entry of Jammu-Kashmir State into India; in the past 70 years, Jammu-Kashmir has become a part of India. With the established facts, nature should further “deep integration.”
A completely different view of history
But Modi’s “integration into India” logic is ironic in the eyes of the Kashmiri-Muslim group. Today, the state of Jammu-Kashmir originated from the eponymous state of the British colonial support. After the India-Pakistan partition plan was finalized in the 1940s, India and Pakistan immediately competed for the ownership of Kashmir. Despite the large Muslim population in Kashmir, the Kashmiri nationalist movement was closely related to India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the idea was similar, eventually driving the Kashmiri prince to India. In return, India’s Constitution 370 gives Kashmir a lot of privileges, which has been customary for many years and is regarded as a “social contract” between India and Kashmir.
However, the fierce opposition between Pakistan and Pakistan after the founding of the country has made the Kashmiris a heartbreaker. The Hindu forces in the state frequently challenged the Muslim government and the independent voice of Kashmir has grown. In the 1940s, Nehru intervened in the party ruling of the Kashmiri ruling National Assembly and ousted the party that promoted the independent referendum. The Kashmiri government without the help of New Delhi can stabilize the political situation with the help of New Delhi, but the balance between the two sides has not been repeated.
The “independence” in Kashmir is intended to be a Muslim “brother” in Pakistan, but India’s victory in the war with Pakistan in the 1970s caused Kashmir to lose the final bargaining chip and be forced to surrender most of the state’s autonomy. The provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution restricting the entry of foreign Gentiles and taking up public office as a facade. This has also given Pakistani radical groups the opportunity to cooperate with some Kashmiri Muslims who are dissatisfied with Indian practices, which has gradually worsened the local security situation since the late 1980s.
What does Modi want to do?
As a representative of Hindu fundamentalism, the integration of Kashmir into India not only reflects the political philosophy of Modi and its affiliated Bharatiya Janata Party, but also is supported by supporters. In fact, when Modi came to power in 2014, he had abolished the “Kashmiri privilege” as the main platform, but at the time the Congress Party still had considerable influence in the Constitutional Court. After the general election, the Bharatiya Janata Party became the absolute majority party, and Modi further consolidated his power. Obviously, there are fewer concerns.
On the other hand, Modi also hopes to achieve “long-term stability” in Kashmir through strengthening economic integration and cutting down the links between local forces and Pakistan. In Modi’s view, the Indian economy has flourished in recent years, but the “outdated laws” in Kashmir have restricted the influx of talents and funds, making the local economy develop for a long time below the Indian average and breeding public grievances. In the past few years, Modi has promoted the difficult tax reform throughout the country in order to eliminate domestic trade and economic barriers, and Kashmir must not fall. In fact, many Kashmiri Muslims also hope that investment from other states can change the local economic dilemma.
In addition to this, there are security problems throughout Kashmir. In February of this year, a team of Indian security forces officers suffered a car suicide attack in Kashmir and 46 security personnel were killed. Between 2015 and 2016, Pakistani militants launched a number of attacks with the help of local forces in Kashmir. In September 2016, attacks on the Indian Army’s military headquarters killed 20 soldiers. Modi hopes that after the implementation of comprehensive control rights, the issue of “collaboration between domestic and foreign” in the Kashmir region can be resolved.
As a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, New Delhi has always avoided the “Pakistan factor” that bypassed Kashmir. On Wednesday (August 7th), Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to fight against the Indian government’s decision to abolish the special autonomy of Kashmir, and will support the Kashmiri people’s “just struggle for self-determination.”
Is the solution still a Pandora’s Box?
At the same time, Pakistan announced that it would lower its diplomatic affiliation with India, expel the Indian High Commissioner (ambassador level) and interrupt the air, rail and trade between the two countries, and even the Indian cinema will stop broadcasting Indian films. In the next stage, Pakistan may step up its assistance to Kashmir’s anti-Indian forces and complicate the situation on the ground. In contrast, China’s performance is relatively low-key, only because India’s newly established “Ladakh Central Territory” involves Sino-Indian disputed territory, the official must openly oppose.
However, in contrast to the prevention of “foreign forces,” Modi has to face the long-standing lack of mutual trust between the Kashmiri nationalist movement and New Delhi. Some Kashmiris regard India as the other, and they are deeply dissatisfied with their step-by-step encroachment on Kashmir’s autonomy. They are now losing their last line of defense. It is still unknown whether they will choose to succumb to the status quo or “burn in jade”. At the same time, the Indian nationalists who have grown stronger since Moody came to power have regarded the Kashmiris as “traitors” and are also hostile to the Muslim community. When they respond to the call of the Modi government to participate in various political and social fields in Kashmir, they will increase the risk of internal conflicts.
As a civilian prime minister who started from the state, Modi has always used national sentiment to promote the situation. From the moment when Kashmir’s autonomy was deprived, the old order has disappeared. How to create a new bureau is the real test of Modi.