Man vs. Kashmir
India recently revoked Kashmir’s ‘special status’, thereby taking away the Muslim majority state’s autonomy. What’s more, it also withdrew Kashmir’s ‘statehood’ meaning it is not even another Indian State but as of now run by the central government of India.
But, before revoking the rights of the entire region and making it an annexe of the capital, the government was kind enough to shut down all communications and internet connectivity with the outside world. Ignorance is bliss, after all.
According to local journalist sources, the “blackout is so total that locals don’t know [that] India rewrote their constitution”. Presumably this journalist knew their way around a pigeon and a hair-tie.
Now, this is not the first time that the people of Kashmir have had to sit by candlelight thanks to the Indian government, as they cut their internet 134 times last year. Maybe that was an attempt to ease the citizens of Kashmir into darkness?
The central government also put in severe travel restrictions, and most local journalists are unable to report the goings-on. Three hundred political figures have been detained, and public gatherings have also been banned. That’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to strip away the rights of over 6 million people, for some public gatherings to spoil the fun.
India explained the move, as “[p]re-empting any violence that the announcement may trigger”.
Now, If you just spat the remainder of your Chai latte from your keep-cup at you new MacBook Air, saying “Kashmir should be independent this instant” – be advised. The situation is rather delicate, as Kashmir is located between Pakistan, China and India – all 3 of whom have a great interest in the region.
Firstly, Kashmir is the primary source of fresh water in the region.
Second, the area has been a source of geopolitical stress between India and Pakistan.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, all three powers feel it is just really neat to have a little more land. And, that’s before you even get to those soft jumpers.
But much more than a game of Risk, Kashmir is at risk of fuelling India and Pakistan’s long-time feud.
In an attempt to defuse the tension, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the crackdown is an attempt to change the demographics of the region to the disadvantage of the local Muslim population. He stated in a tweet “will the world watch and appease as they did Hitler at Munich?” Vivid.
What’s more, Pakistan has cut all trade with India and called on the UN and the world’s greatest, most amazing, and terrific diplomat for help; Donald Trump.
Indian diplomats have called this an exaggeration, and accused Pakistan of trying to present an “alarming picture to the world” – in a sort of ‘we won’t deny what we’re doing, but no need to be rude about it’ way.
Indian PM Narendra Modi has been rather quiet about all of this. Perhaps because he is currently ‘promoting peace and a never give up spirit’ with Bear Grylls on Man vs. Wild.