Geopolitical moves in Jammu and Kashmir have a local cost, too

RUTH GAMBLE  ALEXANDER DAVIS 14 August 2019

The planned dissolution not only creates a regional
disturbance, but tips the balance against minority rights.

Stakna Monastery near Leh in the northern Indian state of Ladakh (Photo: Xavier Galiana via Getty)
Stakna Monastery near Leh in the northern Indian state of Ladakh (Photo: Xavier Galiana via Getty) Published 12 Aug 2019  

The mixed reaction to the Indian government’s planned dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, which has been approved and will take place on 31 October this year, demonstrates yet again the geopolitical complexity of the western Himalaya. It is also an example of the inherent tensions between the protection of indigenous rights and majoritarian rule that are proving difficult to resolve for many nation-states – including Australia.

In Kashmir, tensions are high, and the region is in lockdown. In Jammu, there were muted celebrations. And in Ladakh, which will be made a separate union territory, there were celebrations on the streets in the capital, Leh, and protests in the second-largest city, Kargil.

Pakistan and China, which both claim parts of the old Jammu and Kashmir state, condemned changes to the status quo. India’s responded that this was an “internal matter” that would be resolved by the national government.

A lockdown in Srinagar on 11 August after the Indian government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy (Photo: Sajjad Hussain via Getty)

These reactions reflect the region’s contested history and complicated ethnic mix. Historically, a series of trade routes between Central and South Asia crossed the western Himalaya. These routes, along with the mountainous terrain, helped to create multi-ethnic, multi-religious communities and rich plunder for expanding empires. Shi’a and Sunni Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist communities all live in the region, speaking various Indo-European and Tibetic languages.

By dissolving the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government
has destabilised the region’s geopolitics and tipped the balance toward
majoritarianism, at the cost of minority rights.

It has also been a recurring target for expanding empires. Alexander the Great passed through the region in the third century BC. Following a succession of later imperialists, the British were the last empire to conquer these mountains, in the mid-19th century. They defeated the region’s previous rulers, the Sikhs, who had invaded the highlands from their base in Punjab. Rather than ruling the region directly, the British created the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir (1846–1947) from the Sikh Empire’s ruins.

Its Maharajas were Hindus, based in the lowland city of Jammu, and ruled over a very diverse people who lived in fragile environments. Their realm included majority-Buddhist, Tibetic-speaking, high-altitude Ladakh; the majority-Shi’a, Tibetic-speaking, high-altitude Gilgit; the majority-Sunni, mid-altitude valley of Kashmir; and the majority-Hindu lowland city of Jammu.

As a new, ostensibly post-colonial world order was established after the Second World War, there were calls for Jammu and Kashmir to become an independent, multi-cultural nation-state. Instead, acting like competing empires, the new nation-states of Pakistan, India, and China fought over its spoils. Militia forces linked to Pakistan invaded western Kashmir and Gilgit. In response, the ruling Maharaja, Hari Singh (1895–1961), negotiated with India for Jammu and Kashmir to become a semi-autonomous state within the Indian union. This semi-autonomous status was set out in articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution.

Pakistani Christian shout slogans in support of Kashmiris at a rally in Quetta on 11 August (Photo: Banaras Khan via Getty)

Despite several wars between India and Pakistan, western Kashmir and Gilgit have remained under Pakistani control. The area administered by the two states is still demarcated by a “line of control” rather than an agreed border. Both countries claim the entire territory of the defunct princely state.

At around the same time India and Pakistan fought over Jammu and Kashmir, the People’s Republic of China made claims to parts of the western, Ladakhi side of the new state. This area, China said, was a part of Tibet and therefore a part of China. China and India fought a war over the border in 1962, and ever since there have been intermittent skirmishes along it.

All three countries now have troops stationed in the region, and all three are now nuclear-armed.

The tense geopolitics of the region did not allow the central Indian government to fulfil its promise of granting Jammu and Kashmir autonomy. Their militarisation of the region contributed to the Kashmiri insurgencywhich began in the 1980s and continues today.

While it is often presented as such, the problems of governing Jammu and Kashmir have not been limited to the Kashmir Valley. Since the 1940s, the majority of Buddhist Ladakhis have understood themselves to be threatened by both Pakistan and China, and counted India’s central government as a staunch ally.

Buddhist Ladkhis have repeatedly expressed frustration about their administrative links to restive Jammu and Kashmir, and fostered a multi-party, decades-long campaign to escape Kashmir. They view their new status as a “union territory without legislature” as a victory. The alignment between the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and minority Himalayan Buddhists is part of a broader trend evidenced across the Himalaya.

Prime Minister Modi has a habit of aligning Buddhists with his greater Hindu-Nationalist agenda. In the aftermath of the announced dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, he tweeted an explanation of the move in Urdu (Jammu and Kashmir’s state language), Hindi, English, and Ladakhi. Ladakh was the only part of the state not under a communication blackout and able to read his tweets.

But it is unlikely that the links created between India’s new “model minority” Buddhists and the majoritarian BJP will be as favourable as the Buddhists hope.

Indeed, the first result of the alignment has been the inflaming of tensions between Buddhist and Shi’a Muslim groups in Ladakh. Ladakh’s Shi’a Muslims are concentrated in the northern town of Kargil and have close links with Pakistan-occupied Gilgit across the border. After the proposed dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir, local Kargil leader and renegade Congress politician Asgar Ali Kabalai called for protests and a two-day strike.

This latest episode represents a notable shift in complex, ongoing negotiations between this region’s nation-states and its minorities. By dissolving the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government has destabilised the region’s geopolitics and tipped the balance toward majoritarianism, at the cost of minority rights.

And they have taken the Ladakhi Buddhists along for the ride. The BJP have pointed to the celebrations in Leh as evidence of local support. The Kargil protests should remind us that even in Ladakh, support for the new status is conditional. The area’s new governance regime has already stoked tensions between local groups, and any perceived disrespect from majoritarian rulers in Delhi toward Ladakhi Buddhists will be judged harshly. The dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir statehood does not solve the region’s issues – it merely transforms them.

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6 Comments

  • samgobo8@gmail.com'
    samir sardana
    August 16, 2019, 3:18 am

    I met some Pakistanis who expressed regret over the beheadings
    of Yadav and Goo-r-kha fokad faujis !

    Y ?

    That is what they deserve ! That is what their own GODS did to then

    Krishna himself wished and planned the extermination of the Yadavs

    When Krsna had killed the demons, and thus relieved the burden of the earth, he thought,
    The earth is still overburdened by the unbearably burdensome race of the Yadus. No one else
    can overcome them, since they are under my protection.’ … Deluded by Krsna’s power of
    delusion, and cursed by the Brahmins, they were all destroyed, and when his entire family
    had been destroyed, Krsna said, ‘The burden has been removed.’ " — Srimad Bhagavatam
    10:90:27-44; 11:1:1-4; 11:30:1-25.

    As far as the Goo-r-kha rats are concerned – Krishna himself beheaded
    them !

    Lord Krishna, the Dandy Boy,”himself killed and beheaded the Nepali Goo-r-khaa Rat”, Yalambara – Still the Dindooo Hindoo Army, “keeps these rats”

    So by a clever stroke of diplomacy,”Krishna cut off Yalambara’s head”. REFERENCE BELOW : https://www.scribd.com/doc/

    44141644/The-History-of-Ancient-Medieval-Nepal http://cultureandheritagetourisminnepal.blogspot.in/2010/07/history-of-nepal.html

    That is their worth

    REPLY
  • samgobo8@gmail.com'
    samir sardana
    August 16, 2019, 3:19 am

    I met some Pakistanis who expressed regret over the beheadings
    of Yadav and Goo-r-kha fokad faujis !

    Y ?

    That is what they deserve ! That is what their own GODS did to then

    Krishna himself wished and planned the extermination of the Yadavs

    When Krsna had killed the demons, and thus relieved the burden of the earth, he thought,
    The earth is still overburdened by the unbearably burdensome race of the Yadus. No one else
    can overcome them, since they are under my protection.’ … Deluded by Krsna’s power of
    delusion, and cursed by the Brahmins, they were all destroyed, and when his entire family
    had been destroyed, Krsna said, ‘The burden has been removed.’ " — Srimad Bhagavatam
    10:90:27-44; 11:1:1-4; 11:30:1-25.

    As far as the Goo-r-kha rats are concerned – Krishna himself beheaded
    them !

    Lord Krishna, the Dandy Boy,”himself killed and beheaded the Nepali Goo-r-khaa Rat”, Yalambara – Still the Dindooo Hindoo Army, “keeps these rats”

    So by a clever stroke of diplomacy,”Krishna cut off Yalambara’s head”. REFERENCE BELOW : https://www.scribd.com/doc/

    44141644/The-History-of-Ancient-Medieval-Nepal http://cultureandheritagetourisminnepal.blogspot.in/2010/07/history-of-nepal.html

    That is their worth

    REPLY
  • samgobo8@gmail.com'
    samir sardana
    August 16, 2019, 3:20 am

    How can a follower of Abraham live with a Hindoo ? As per the Hindoo scriptures – the Hindoo Gods deliberately misled the Hindoos

    Sample 1 – Lord Shiva is "explicitly ordered by Lord Vishnu",to promote the philosophy(i.e. Advaita Vedanta) to "fool and beguile", the Dindoo Hindoo Bindoo Motherfuckers

    svagamaih? kalpitais tvam´ ca
    janan mad-vimukhan kuru
    mam´ ca gopaya yena syat
    sr?s?t?ir es?ottarottara

    [Addressing Lord Siva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead said:] Please make the "general populace averse to Me" by imagining your own interpretation of the Vedas.

    Also, cover Me in such a way that people will take more interest in "advancing material civilization", just to "propagate a population bereft of spiritual knowledge". ’Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda (62.31).

    Sample 2 – Lord Vishnu instructs Siva,in the "Varaha Purana",by saying:

    esa moham srjamy asu yo janan mohayisyati
    tvam ca rudra maha-baho moha-sastrani karaya

    O mighty-armed Siva, please "write books filled with lies", and thus bewilder the people.

    atathyani vitathyani darsayasva maha-bhuja
    prakasam kuru catmanam aprakasam ca mam kuru

    O mighty-armed one, please "preach a collection of lies". Place yourself in the forefront,and conceal Me.
    Sample 3 – Shiva tells his "chammiya Parvati",as under

    mayavadam asac-chastram pracchannah baudham ucyate
    mayaiva kalpitam devi kalau brahmana-rupina

    O Goddess, in the age of Kali I shall "descend in the form of a brahmana" to spread this "Mayavada philosophy", which is actually "covered Buddhism". (Padma Purana)

    REPLY
  • samgobo8@gmail.com'
    samir sardana
    August 16, 2019, 3:21 am

    Will the Hindoo Cowards fight the Kashmiri Mujahideen ?

    Look at these Nepalee Goo-rkha toilet cleaners !

    Their destiny is to clean toilets – and the Hindoo Monkey army hires them

    In Iraq – these cowards used to hide in garbage containers ! Garbage Containers !

    http://arko.asia/news/nepal/govt-urged-to-rescue-nepalis-hiding-in-garbage-container-in-iraq/

    That was the only place Daesh did not look ! Allah has placd these coward Goo-r-khas in the
    Hindoo Army for a purpose – to be slaughtered !

    Sample these Rajasthani sons of harlots born out of Nata Pratha – which is basically
    child prostitution for a fee !

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Kids-most-vulnerable-to-abuse-due-to-Nata-pratha/articleshow/56263686.cms

    And these Gujaratis like I said are a breed born of harlots and have a system of organised
    prostitution by registration – called Maitri Karar – which is registered by the DM

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/drishtikone/2013/01/maitri-karar-gujarati-social-custom-of-keeping-mistresses-by-circumventing-hindu-marriage-act/

    How can a follower of the Prophet live with these scum ?

    REPLY
  • samgobo8@gmail.com'
    samir sardana
    August 16, 2019, 3:22 am

    Why do the Arabs buy into the lies of the Hindoo – after bearing witness to the lies spread against the Prophet ?

    The word Hindooo means liar and cheat in Persian !

    Take the example of Laxmee Bae – the harlot married to an impotent gay who begged in writing that his wife should not be raped after his death !

    Or take the case of The Rat Rana Pratap – who begged for surrender and ate rotis made of grass

    These cowards will fight ?

    The Dindoo Rats Claim that Jhansi Ki Rani , was “the Dindoo Joan of Arc and Lady Hypatia fused together”, who refused to be enslaved to the Brits

    She was “married to a limpdick”, Gangadhar Rao (age 65), her “beau cavalier”, who was impotent and had no children

    Hear what “George B. Malleson” has to say about Gangadhar Rao !

    George B. Malleson maintains that Gangadhar Rao, who succeeded his brother in 1835, was an “imbecile,”which made it necessary for the government to administer the state through an agency.

    Her husband “lost interest in her”, in a few years (the Sunny Leone syndrome), and spent a lot of time with horses

    Her married life apparently was not the happiest; reports have suggested that the Raja was “a homosexual” or that he had one or more mistresses, also that he had a “general penchant for
    dressing up as a woman”

    Read more: http://www.ukessays.com/essays/history/rani-lakshmibai-warrior-queen-a-historical-profile-history-essay.php#ixzz3iRVdtIX2

    Her husband “begged,in writing”, the British,”not to rape his wife” ,after he was dead or killed

    An extract from his letter, is reproduced here below:

    “I trust that in consideration of the fidelity I have evinced towards the government favour may be shown towards this child and that my widow during her lifetime may be considered the Regent of the state and mother of this child and not be molested in any way.”

    Rana Pratap

    The Hindoo Bindoo Rats claim that Rana Pratap was “a great warrior”
    Akbar reduced this man to “making rotis of seeds of grass in jungles” and the man wrote “a letter of surrender,”to Akbar

    This is also what the “spineless Dindoo Historians”, now say !

    http://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/the-great-debate-115052901736_1.html

    REPLY

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