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Indian Occupied Kashmir Under Total Extended Lockdown On Eid ul Azha

Indian military has kept Occupied Kashmir under extended and inhumane lockdown on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha to prevent protests against New Delhi's reckless decision to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The lockdown is being enforced by over 700,000 Indian troops deployed in Jammu and Kashmir.  People are imprisoned in their homes for several days in a row. There is no Internet, telephone or television.  Delhi rules the region under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the same law that was created and used by the British colonial power to try and crush Gandhi's Quit India movement. Thousands have died and more than 6,221 people received pellet gun injuries in the seven months following the July 2016 killing of Burhan Wani, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government as reported by The New Humanitarian.  Mr. Modi's actions are not only an affront to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in clear violation of India's international and bilateral obligations under United Nations charter and the Simla Accord.   It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir:

Regardless of Article 370, the region of of Jammu and Kashmir remains a disputed territory whose status must be resolved according to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 47 (1948) and 80 (1950). India can not unilaterally alter its status without agreement with Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are are parties to it.  Any unilateral action by either India or Pakistan on Kashmir also violates the Simla Agreement which requires bilateral resolution of the disputed region.

Mr. Modi's actions are not only an affront to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in clear violation of India's international and bilateral obligations under United Nations charter and the Simla Accord.

China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, lays claim to Ladakh region. It has objected to India making it a union territory.

India is deploying 700,000 troops with extraordinary powers to detain, torture, blind, injure and kill any Kashmiri citizen with impunity under Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990. It is the most heavily militarized region in the world.

India rules Kashmir using Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the same law that was created and used by the British colonial power to try and crush Gandhi's Quit India movement.

After independence in 1947, the Indian government has made extensive use of the same colonial-era British law to crush legitimate demands for freedom by the peoples of Assam, Manipur, Kashmir and other regions. The Act has now been in force in Kashmir for 26 years.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Pledge


Deaths and Injuries:

In the latest Kashmir uprising triggered by the July 8 2016 murder of young Kashmiri activist Burhan Wani by Indian military,  hundreds of protesters have been killed and thousands more injured in peaceful protests.

The extensive use pellet guns by Indian soldiers has blinded thousands of young men and women, even children, during the current wave of mass protests. More than 6,221 people received pellet gun injuries in the seven months following the July 2016 unrest, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government as reported by The New Humanitarian.

Prior to casualties this latest round of protests since Mr. Modi rose to power in New Delhi, there have tens of thousands of civilians killed and hundreds of thousands injured by Indian military in Kashmir. Thousands of bodies have been found in mass graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara districts in Kashmir, according to The Hindu.

Kashmir Mass Graves:

Dr. Angana Chatterji, a professor of cultural and social anthropology at California Centre for Integral Studies who uncovered the mass graves, reported as follows:  “Of the 2700 graves, 2,373 (87.9 percent) were unnamed. 154 graves contained two bodies each and 23 contained more than two cadavers. Within these 23 graves, the number of bodies ranged from 3 to 17."

Scholars, she said, refer to mass graves as resulting from Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, or Genocide. “If the intent of a mass grave is to execute death with impunity, with intent to kill more than one, and to forge an unremitting representation of death, then, to that extent, the graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara are part of a collective burial by India’s military and paramilitary, creating a landscape of ‘mass burial.’

Dr. Chatterji said post-death, the bodies of the victims were routinely handled by military and paramilitary personnel, including the local police. She said that the bodies were then brought to “secret graveyards” primarily by personnel of the State Police.

The International Peoples' Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, an independent group headed by Dr. Chatterji, alleged that the violence and militarization in Kashmir, between 1989-2009, have resulted in over 70,000 deaths, including through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions, custodial brutality, and other means. “In the enduring conflict, 6, 67,000 military and paramilitary personnel continue to act with impunity to regulate movement, law, and order across Kashmir,” she added.

Indian University Student Protest:

Many enlightened Indians like the Jawaharlal Nehru University students see the brutality and futility of Indian military occupation of Kashmir. At protests earlier this year, many chanted slogans in favor of Azadi for Kashmiris.  "Geelani bole azaadi, Afzal bole azaadi, jo tum na doge azaadi, toh chheen ke lenge azadi! (Geelani and Afzal demanded freedom. If freedom is denied, we will snatch it!)".


New Generation in Revolt: 

During the 26 years of Kashmir under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, an entire new generation of Kashmiris has grown up. This generation, represented by tech-savvy youngsters like Burhan Wani, has seen nothing but repression and violence committed by the Indian military against their people. They are more determined than ever to defy and defeat the illegal and immoral military occupation of their land by India.

Domestic Opposition in India:


Mr. Karan Singh, a member of Indian Rajya Sabha (upper house) and the son of Kashmiri Maharaja Hari Singh who "acceded" Jammu and Kashmir to India in 1947, has said that Kashmir is "not an internal matter" of India. Mr. Singh has insisted on restoration of the dialogue process with Pakistan.

“J&K’s relationship with the rest of India is guided by Article 370 and the State Constitution that I signed into law. We must realize that from the very beginning, J&K, rightly or wrongly, has been given a special position. Now [after] that special position from the original three subjects, there have been a whole series of developments — some may call them positive developments of integration, others may say negative developments of reducing autonomy,” Mr. Singh was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Strongest reactions to Mr. Modi's decision to annul article 370 have come from top leaders in Indian Punjab and Tamil Nadu. It has inspired fear that the central government in Delhi could take control of any state, strip it of its statehood and impose direct rule without the consent of its people.

Former union minister P. Chidambaram called Modi's action a "cardinal blunder" and a "fatal legal error"."What you are doing today sends a very wrong signal to every state of country", he added.

Tamil Nadu's DMK party leader MK Stalin took to Twitter to condemn Modi's decision. “This is a dark day in the history of Indian federalism. I urge the President of India to not precipitate the situation and not take any further steps in this regard until a democratically elected Government is formed there. The DMK stands with its Kashmiri brothers and sisters and will oppose any assault on federal structure,” he said in a series of tweets.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh of Indian Punjab has denounced the revocation of 370 as “totally unconstitutional”. He tweeted that “the Constitution of India had been rewritten without following any legal provisions. Such a historic decision should not have been taken and pushed through in this arbitrary manner...This will set a bad precedent as it would mean that the Centre could reorganize any state in the country by simply imposing President’s rule.”

Summary:

Indian Hindu Nationalist government of Prime Minister Modi's abrogation of Article 370 is in clear violation of the Indian constitution and international rules governing resolution of disputes between countries.  Indian military has kept Occupied Kashmir under extended and inhumane lockdown on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha to prevent protests against New Delhi's reckless decision to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The lockdown is being enforced by over 700,000 Indian troops deployed in Jammu and Kashmir.  Thousands have died and more than 6,221 people received pellet gun injuries in the seven months following the July 2016 killing of Burhan Wani, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government as reported by The New Humanitarian.   It has wider implications for India's federal, secular and democratic constitutional structure. It has sent alarm bells ringing in Indian states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Mizoram. It also threatens to escalate tensions between nuclear armed rivals India and Pakistan when the Kashmiri resistance turns violent and Modi falsely blames it on "cross-border terrorism". Nuclear confrontation in South Asia could result in deaths of billions of people across Asia, Africa, Europe and America. It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

 

Here's Human rights activist Ajit Sahi exposing Modi's atrocities in Kashmir at Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Sahi says 6 people a day being killed in extrajudicial killings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBjfOERnLz0

&

Here's another video discussion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_VAqyClS-0

https://vimeo.com/182288648

Did India beat Pakistan in the 1965 war from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

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Views: 64

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 27, 2019 at 9:01pm

#India Is Shooting Itself in the Foot in #Kashmir. The costs to the country’s image overseas are higher than government boosters want to believe. #Modi #BJP https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-08-28/india-s-kashm...

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 28, 2019 at 9:34pm

#Kashmir narrative. According to western media outlets, #pulwamaattack was #Pakistan’s doing, not part of long history of J&K resistance. Since 911 US war on #terror, #India cast separatists as “terrorists” and framed #Kashmir struggle "terrorism" https://www.cjr.org/analysis/the-kashmiri-narrative.php via @cjr

IN MID-FEBRUARY, A YOUNG MAN named Adil Ahmed Dar killed 44 Indian paramilitary officers in a suicide bombing in Kashmir’s Pulwama district. It was the deadliest attack against Indian soldiers in three decades. Dar was from a local village, but the militant group that claimed responsibility was based in Pakistan. Fears escalated of a confrontation between the two countries, both nuclear-armed. “Our neighbor will not be allowed to destabilize us,” India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. A few days later, India retaliated by firing rockets into a remote part of Pakistan. The White House called for Pakistan to end its support of Kashmiri “terrorists.” 

International news outlets, relying mainly on India and Pakistan analysts to explain Kashmir, distorted the reality on the ground. The New York Times, for one, noted that “an insurgency that was once stoked by Pakistan may have taken on a life of its own, as Kashmiris become more disenfranchised and angry at the central government in Delhi and its use of force.” According to the Times, as well as The Washington Post, the BBC, and other outlets, Kashmir is a “disputed territory”; the attack was Pakistan’s doing rather than part of a long history of regional uprisings. These reports—framed, as Kashmir stories have been for decades, in geopolitical terms, as a rivalry between India and Pakistan—failed to recognize the political struggle led by locals, who have rarely seen their home covered from their point of view. “The Kashmiri narrative doesn’t exist at all,” Feroz Rather, a Kashmiri fiction-writer, told me, “because the two states have held it hostage.” 

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Soon after the Pulwama attack, several members of the Kashmir diaspora sought to change that. Hafsa Kanjwal, an assistant professor of South Asian and Kashmir history at Lafayette College, got on the phone with about a dozen friends and colleagues: How could they amplify the idea that Kashmir wasn’t just in crisis when India-Pakistan tensions were high, that Kashmir has been in a state of war with India for years? Together, they formed Stand With Kashmir, a group that aims to center the Kashmiri perspective, in part by encouraging journalists to quote more local voices. “We are trying to push that there was already an indigenous uprising,” Kanjwal told me. 

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Kaul described Kashmir as a “mobilizing issue” for the Hindu Right. The hostility has been advanced by online trolls who attack anyone in the press trying to represent the voices of Kashmiris. Reporters and academics have observed that the Modi government and his party uses social-media trolls to target Kashmiris who might be seen as sympathetic to the independence movement. In 2016, Facebook accounts of several Kashmiri activists who lived outside of the region were suspended, or saw posts deleted, after Facebook received complaints that they violated community standards. Modi’s government has, in the past, requested that Twitter block hundreds of users for “objectionable content.” Since it was created earlier this month, Stand With Kashmir’s Instagram account has been suspended four times.
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Over the past few weeks, Kanjwal, Kaul, and Trisal have been accused of erasing the history of Kashmiri Hindus or of being terrorist sympathizers, because of articles they’ve written, lectures they’ve given, even for tweets they’ve liked. Kanjwal described this month as a “pivotal moment,” both for Kashmir and the world’s awareness of the situation there. Writing for The Washington Post, she called India’s move the “beginnings of a settler colonial project in Kashmir,” comparing the dynamic to that of Israel and Palestine.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 29, 2019 at 4:25pm

US Congressman @RepAndyLevin on #Kashmir: #Modi’s actions speak to broader, global concern: the increased acceptance of anti-#Muslim bigotry and dangers posed by ethnonationalists like Narendra #Modi, Jair #Bolsonaro, Benjamin #Netanyahu and Donald #Trump https://link.medium.com/BxHQJbUkyZ

I first visited India in 1978, fresh out of high school. I traveled widely with my dad, who was then Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. We visited, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Agra, in addition to the neighboring countries of Nepal and Bangladesh.
The impact on me was immediate, overwhelming, and literally life-changing. I fell in love with India. When I went to college, I became a religion major with a focus on the Buddhist philosophy of India and Tibet. I went back again and again, spending a year in Utter Pradesh during college and a summer in Karnataka and traveling around — including in Kashmir and Ladakh — during graduate school.
In a beautiful country where there is so much to experience, I was struck most of all by its religious pluralism and raucous democratic culture. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists — different peoples living together under one democracy. Imperfect, to be sure, but still a remarkable example of overwhelmingly peaceful coexistence amidst superrich diversity.
The India of Narendra Modi is not the India I fell in love with.
Prime Minister Modi, a Hindu nationalist, earlier this month made good on a campaign promise to strip Muslim-majority Kashmir of the privileged status it has held under India’s constitution for 70 years. In revoking the contested region’s autonomy, Prime Minister Modi may have broken Indian law. He has trampled democratic norms and fundamental human rights. And he has heightened long-simmering tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed powers.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has hinted that this could have dire consequences, warning, “if the world does not act today…(if) the developed world does not uphold its own laws, then things will go to a place that we will not be responsible for.” The threat of renewed violence between India and Pakistan is, of course, deeply troubling. And Pakistan’s human rights violations also demand attention.
But Modi’s actions speak to a broader, global concern: the increased acceptance of anti-Muslim bigotry and the dangers posed by ethnonationalists like Narendra Modi, Jair Bolsonaro, Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump.
Modi’s moves with respect to Kashmir, while alarming, do not come out of left field. After all, in 2005, the Bush Administration denied Modi entry into the United States on account of his failure, as chief minister of the state of Gujarat, to intervene during a 2002 outbreak of horrific violence against Muslims. Approximately 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. A New York Times report published that year noted that Modi “offered no consolation to the state’s Muslims and expressed satisfaction with his government’s performance. His only regret, he said, was that he did not handle the news media better.”
Modi’s record on violence against Muslims hasn’t improved with time.
Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch published a report detailing “a violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption and those deemed linked to it” in India, where many Hindus consider the cow sacred. Nearly 50 people, mostly Muslims, were killed as part of this campaign between May 2015 and December 2018. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hasn’t helped matters; according to the report, “police often stalled prosecutions of the attackers, while several BJP politicians publicly justified the attacks.” Perpetrators are so secure in their belief that they’ll face no consequences that they post videos of beatings on social media. Sadly, their certainty has proven justified.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 2, 2019 at 2:20pm

#Trump's silence on #Kashmir sends a dangerous signal. #Modi and #Netanyahu willing to resort to incendiary and threatening language against the #Muslim. And both are abetted by the active support — or telling silence — of Trump. #Hindutva #BJP #India https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-29/india-kashmir-modi...

Just when we thought we’d seen every trick in the illiberal democratic playbook, along comes a particularly unnerving new one: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to remove the long-standing autonomy of Kashmir, the northern region at the heart of India’s 70-year dispute with its western neighbor, Pakistan.

The region was awarded to India during the 1947 partition that divided the subcontinent into two new states, India and Pakistan. But according to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was to be granted autonomy over most governance issues, aside from defense and foreign affairs. Article 370 was largely honored until early this month, when Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, a member of the BJP party of Modi, followed up on the prime minister’s crackdown with a series of orders revoking the state’s autonomy.

Overnight, Kashmir’s historic status was lifted, and a communications blackout was imposed. Since then, thousands of Kashmiris have been arrested by Indian federal authorities.

There is, of course, a backstory to the Indian government’s actions. Muslims constitute nearly 70% of the population of the state and, therefore, represent a constant irritant and threat to the Hindu nationalists of Modi’s BJP, who aspire to achieve ethnic purity in India. Now that Modi has consolidated power with a landslide election in 2019, he is moving rapidly and boldly toward realizing the BJP vision of a Hindu India — one that bears little relation to the vision laid out in India’s Constitution, which guarantees justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to all.

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Now, Modi has followed suit in Kashmir. While the world’s attention was fixed on a host of other vexing issues — mass shootings in America, Brexit chaos, and climate change, to mention a few — Indian troops swept in, ostensibly to ensure security and prosperity to the restive area. The world has barely uttered a peep.

Given the ineffective response, first with Crimea and now with Kashmr, it may only be a matter of time before another of the illiberal squad strikes. Netanyahu, currently immersed in a fateful election campaign, might decide, say, to annex the West Bank.

The parallels between the Israeli-Palestinian situation and that of India and Kashmir are striking. Both are byproducts of attempted partitions after British imperial rule. Both Kashmir and the West Bank contain populations deemed hostile and undesirable by the ethnic purists in their respective countries. Both Modi and Netanyahu have shown themselves to be willing to resort to incendiary and threatening language against the Muslim populations in their midst. And both are abetted by the active support — or telling silence — of Trump.

What would Trump do if Netanyahu went ahead with his periodic pledge to annex the West Bank and its nearly 3 million Palestinians? Would he and his fellow illiberals sit back and crow that this is the new way of the world?

Perhaps so, and that is why the rest of us must rise up in protest each time illiberal leaders attempt to expand their powers in illegal and undemocratic ways. We must support civil society organizations that fight for the equality of their countries’ citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity. And we must insist that democratic countries honor the noble principles enshrined in their constitutions and other founding documents, for they are the best antidote to the xenophobia, racism and discrimination of today’s illiberalism.

David N. Myers teaches Jewish history at UCLA, where he directs the Luskin Center for History and Policy. He is also president of the board of the New Israel Fund.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 2, 2019 at 8:35pm

#Indian nationhood: a #masculine fantasy. In the #Hindutva imagination, while the #Kashmiri #Muslim man is the ‘Other’, Kashmiri Muslim #women are objects of fantasy. #Modi #BJP https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/indian-nationhood-a-masculin...

A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Only then is it done, no matter how brave its warriors nor how strong its weapons — A saying among the Cheyenne, an indigenous people in America.

Since the abrogation of Article 370, there has been much naked gloating about Kashmir’s ‘annexation’ in the rest of the nation. Even more disturbing has been the explosion of misogynistic jokes about Kashmiri women on Indian social media.

The entire discussion around Kashmir has reduced it to a political and economic issue. In doing so, what we miss is that nation states are violent masculine projects, and that they are played out on the bodies of women. In this way, they mimic the logic of colonialism, marked by patriarchy and sexual violence. This is ironic because nation states like India have been founded by defeating colonialism.

The sexual fantasies that have been unleashed around Kashmir —the top Google searches in India immediately after August 5 were ‘marry Kashmir girl’ and ‘Kashmiri girls’ — are thus not innocent. They are misogynistic. But they are also deeply tied to the political arena of nation-state building. The flurry of videos on TikTok and Facebook by men declaring that they will marry Kashmiri women — something that a Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker openly asked his party workers to do — or buy property in Kashmir, are also linked to the larger ‘nationalistic’ goal of changing the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir.


Of course, the women are not humans, with voice and agency, but are reduced to the status of material property. It does not matter what Kashmiri women think about marrying all these men. This is what is reflected in the BJP lawmaker’s supreme confidence and the resounding applause with which his exhortation was met with.
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Yet, we cannot trivialize these fantasies, for the consequences of nationalism and State-building for ‘others’ who do not fit neatly into them are real and terrible. That is why the entire focus has only been on how Kashmiris have been unjustly getting special privileges at the cost of the rest of India, and not on what it means to live in the most militarized zone in the world.

Women in particular are affected, for they are subjected to not only the patriarchy of the nation state but also the patriarchy of their own community. It is important to remember here that the women of the Kashmiri villages of Kunan and Poshpora, raped allegedly by the armed forces, are yet to receive justice even after 28 years of the crime. Human right violations and extra-judicial killings have occurred under the cover of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act not only in Kashmir but also in other theatres of recalcitrance like Manipur.

Justice is also yet to be delivered in the brutal rape and fake encounter killing of Thangjam Manorama despite the order of an interim compensation by the Supreme Court. The killing had led to an unprecedented protest by Manipuri women in the nude. In 2014, a judicial panel in Manipur noted that “Crimes against women, more particularly relating to sexual harassment committed by armed forces, are now increasing in some states like ours.”

It is time to recognize that sexuality and gender power, often taking violent forms, are as much a part of nationalism and nation-state building as their political and economic aspects. In the Hindutva nationalist imagination, while the Kashmiri Muslim man is the ‘Other’, Kashmiri Muslim women become objects of fantasy.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 3, 2019 at 4:32pm

#SiliconValley's #Indian #American #Hindu Congressman Ro Khanna rejects #Hindutva, asks fellow Hindus to speak for "equal rights for #Hindus, #Muslims, #Sikhs, #Buddhist & #Christians.” http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2019/09/03/op-ed-ro-khanna-rejects-hin... via @SanJoseInside

by Amar Shergill


There was a political shift in the South Asian American community last week which arrived quietly but will have consequences for years to come. It reverberated from its origin in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party with implications for the United States, India and world geopolitics.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) tweeted the following on Aug. 29: “It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist & Christians.”

The quote seems innocuous without context, therefore, a brief political summary follows.

The history of the South Asian subcontinent is complex with language, religion, ethnicity and caste that predate America by several millennia. The Indian democracy has been managing this complexity with mixed success since its colonial independence in 1947. In fact, violence against minorities has often been a path to electoral success. Although there are many examples, the most recent and infamous are the 1984 Genocide of Sikhs in Delhi and the 2002 Gujarat Massacre of Muslims.

In recent years, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won elections by pairing violent political rhetoric with virtual impunity for those that engage in the rape, torture, murder and oppression of Indian Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Ravidassias, and Hindu Dalits. (See the US Commission on International Religious Freedom Reports for detail.) Modi’s political party (BJP) and its cultural counterpart organizations (RSS, VHP, etc.) form the backbone of the Hindutva movement. However, in deference to the complexity of India, we should note that this is not simply a religious conflict. Hindutva is a fascist and supremacist movement similar to white supremacist movements in the US. It mobilizes around a virulent religious ethno-nationalism, holding that India is a homeland for only Hindus and uses violence to intimidate compliance around its economic and political policies.

Every organ of Indian democracy is in crisis under Hindutva and progressive movements across South Asia have been mobilizing to ask the world for solidarity as they continue to bravely resist the volatile conditions in the region. Further, Modi and the Hindutva movement have set upon a path to influence U.S. policy from within the American political system, which brings us to recent events.

Last month, Caravan published a longform exposé by South Asian analyst, Pieter Friedrich. The article sourced and detailed decades of Hindutva organizing in the US and their development of political allies. At the top of that list is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, also a candidate for the US presidency, who has cultivated deep ties to the Hindutva movement. She attends their events in India and the US, solicits money from American Hindutva organizers, and even invited their leaders to her intimate wedding ceremony. As an apparent term of that bargain, she does not engage in criticism of the Indian government and often advocates its positions during US policy debates.

On Aug. 12, the author of the Caravan article tweet-replied to a Gabbard campaign post, providing a link to the piece. Khanna also replied. The exchange is provided below:

Khanna’s statement was immediately recognized by South Asian politicos as a seismic shift in Indo-centric politics. He is the highest ranking American elected official of Indian origin, with a deep understanding of and connection to South Asian politics, and, yet, he stated in decisive moral terms that the dominant political ideology of India must be rejected as a matter of fundamental human rights.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 7, 2019 at 7:45pm

#Hindutva Group of 100 protests outside #WashingtonPost's office over its coverage of #Indian Occupied #Kashmir. Post's response: “The Post’s coverage of #India’s actions in Kashmir since the Aug. 5 crackdown has been fair, accurate and comprehensive" . https://wapo.st/2N3MPPK?tid=ss_tw

About 100 people demonstrated outside The Washington Post’s building on Saturday to protest its coverage of the recent crisis in India’s Kashmir region.

Vijay K. Sazawal, a protest organizer, said he believes The Post’s reporting has been overly sympathetic to Kashmir’s Muslim-majority community while overlooking the concerns of Hindus and other minorities who live there.

“The point The Post has consistently failed to recognize is the injustice that has been done to the minorities of Kashmir by the majority community, which is the Muslim community,” said Saza­wal, international coordinator for the Indo-American Kashmir Forum. “You don’t recognize, we have been ethnically cleansed from the Kashmir Valley in the past 20 years.”

A smaller group of counterdemonstrators gathered nearby.

“The Post’s coverage of India’s actions in Kashmir since the Aug. 5 crackdown has been fair, accurate and comprehensive — at a time when India has imposed tight restrictions on the flow of information and has severely limited access by our journalists trying to cover this important story,” Post Foreign Editor Douglas Jehl said.

Last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following a path long advocated by Hindu nationalists, revoked a measure of Kashmir’s autonomy and imposed a communications blackout over the majority-Muslim region and detained thousands of people, including politicians and activists. The move, breaking with decades of history, has affected millions in the region.

Critics called the prime minister’s action unconstitutional and warned that the crackdown would backfire by stirring violent protest and separatist passions. Although India’s government has said the situation has eased in recent days, the Kashmir valley is still cut off without Internet or mobile phone service. Stores have closed in protest, and nearly all of the region’s political leadership is under arrest.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 7, 2019 at 10:12pm

#PallavBagla #India Loses Contact With #Chandrayaan2 #Vikram Moon Lander During Its Descent. “This is all about national (#Hindutva) pride,’’ said Pallava Bagla, co-author of a book about #Indian space exploration and a dedicated space journalist #Modi https://nyti.ms/34qTx7H

India Loses Contact With Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander During Its Descent

The country will probably have to wait for a future mission to join the elite club of nations that have landed on the moon.


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The Chandrayaan-2 mission appeared to end in failure, thwarting India’s bid to become the fourth country to land on the moon.CreditCreditJagadeesh Nv/EPA, via Shutterstock

  • Published Sept. 6, 2019Updated Sept. 7, 2019

BANGALORE, India — India’s attempt to land a robotic spacecraft near the moon’s South Pole on Saturday appeared to end in failure.

The initial parts of the descent went smoothly. But less than two miles above the surface, the trajectory diverged from the planned path. The mission control room fell silent as communications from the lander were lost. A member of the staff was seen patting the back of K. Sivan, the director of India’s space program.

He later announced that the spacecraft was operating as expected until an altitude of 2.1 kilometers, or 1.3 miles. “The data is being analyzed,” he said.

The partial failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission — an orbiter remains in operation — would delay the country’s bid to join an elite club of nations that have landed in one piece on the moon’s surface.


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If the spacecraft crashed — although a communications glitch was also possible — it occurred during a period that Dr. Sivan had called “15 minutes of terror.” A series of steps had to be completed by computers on board the spacecraft in the correct sequence, with no opportunity for do-overs.

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This was the third attempted spacecraft landing on the moon this year. In January, China landed the first probe ever on the far side of the moon. The lander and accompanying rover have been operating since then.

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An Israeli nonprofit sent a small robotic spacecraft named Beresheet to the moon, but its landing attempt in April went awry in a manner similar to Chandrayaan-2. The initial descent went as planned, but then communications were lost near the surface. It was later discovered that a command to shut off the engine was incorrectly sent.

Chandrayaan-2 launched in July, taking a long, fuel-efficient path to the moon. Earlier this week, the 3,200-pound lander, named Vikram after Vikram A. Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space program, separated from the orbiter and maneuvered toward the moon’s surface.

Fifteen minutes before the planned landing, the Vikram lander was traveling at more than 2,000 miles per hour at an altitude of about 20 miles. Four of its engines fired to quickly slow it down as it headed toward its landing site on a high, flat plain near the South Pole. Later in the landing process, it appeared that Vikram was descending too fast and then data from the spacecraft ended.



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The moon is littered with the remains of spacecraft that have tried and failed to land in one piece. Two American craft, from the robotic Surveyor series that helped blaze the trail for Apollo, crashed in the 1960s. Several probes from the Soviet Luna program also collided with the moon’s surface.


ImageSilence fell on the control room of the Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore as communications from the Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission were lost.
Silence fell on the control room of the Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore as communications from the Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission were lost.CreditJagadeesh Nv/EPA, via Shutterstock

The makers of Beresheet and Chandrayaan-2 both noted the low cost of their missions — $100 million to $150 million, which is much cheaper than those typically launched by NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA is currently trying to tap into entrepreneurial innovation for upcoming robotic moon missions; the first of these low-cost trips is scheduled to launch in 2021.

The outcomes of the Indian and Israeli missions highlight that lower costs can mean higher risk of failure, which NASA will need to adjust to as it pursues a lower-cost approach.

While India may not have stuck the landing on its first try, its attempt highlighted how its engineering prowess and decades of space development have combined with its global ambitions.

It remains to be seen what the crash will mean in India’s domestic politics. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country’s nationalist leader, has embraced the country’s space program to raise India’s brand on the global stage and make Indians feel fired up about their nation’s growing strength.

“This is all about national pride,’’ said Pallava Bagla, co-author of a book about Indian space exploration and a dedicated space journalist.


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Applause swept through viewing parties in Bangalore for most of the lander’s descent. At the command center, scientists rose to their feet as they tracked the mission’s progress. When communication was abruptly lost, Sathya Narayanan, 21, an educator with Astroport, a group in Bangalore that spreads awareness about astronomy, said his heart dropped.

“At this point, it is a partial failure,” he said. “We will push until the end.”

While the mission may briefly soften the muscular nationalism espoused by Mr. Modi, whose government is already facing challenges from job losses and international criticism of his recent moves in the disputed territory of Kashmir, the prime minister tried to reframe Saturday’s landing attempt as an opportunity for improvement in brief remarks after contact was lost.

Hours later and back at the space center in Bangalore, the prime minister greeted the scientists, engineers and staff of the space agency after delivering a motivational speech that was broadcast nationally in India. He stopped short of stating explicitly that the lander had failed.

“We came very close, but we will need to cover more ground in the times to come,” he said.

Later in his address, Mr. Modi added, “As important as the final result is the journey and the effort. I can proudly say that the effort was worth it and so was the journey.”

Space has become a popular topic in India.

In some Indian cities, posters for Chandrayaan-2 have been plastered on giant billboards. Schoolchildren in space classes are launching rockets made from empty plastic soda bottles. In July, when India sent up the rocket carrying the lander, millions watched the live broadcasts of the rocket cutting into the sky on top of a funnel of fire.

The moon mission has been years in the making for ISRO, India’s version of NASA, founded in 1969, when components of rockets were transported by bicycles and assembled by hand.

Hundreds of millions of Indians still live deep in poverty; India’s philosophy is that space development can be used for human development. Its satellites help predict storms and save countless lives by sending out early warnings. And it hopes future business opportunities in space will create more work that lifts up more Indians.


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While the landing may have failed, India could try for the moon again. And it also plans to build future robotic explorers headed for Venus, Mars and the sun. In the next decade, it intends to send Indian astronauts into Earth orbit aboard its own spacecraft for the first time.

_____

Jeffrey Gettleman reported from New Delhi, Hari Kumar and Kai Schultz from Bangalore and Kenneth Chang from New York.



Jeffrey Gettleman is the South Asia bureau chief, based in New Delhi. He was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for international reporting. @gettleman  Facebook

Kenneth Chang has been at The Times since 2000, writing about physics, geology, chemistry, and the planets. Before becoming a science writer, he was a graduate student whose research involved the control of chaos. @kchangnyt

Kai Schultz is a reporter in the South Asia bureau, based in New Delhi. He has reported from five countries in the region and previously lived in Kathmandu, Nepal. @Kai_Schultz

A version of this article appears in print on Sept. 6, 2019, Section A, Page 6 of the New York edition with the headline: India Loses Contact With Spacecraft on Saturday in Attempt to Land on MoonOrder Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
Comment by Riaz Haq on September 9, 2019 at 5:37pm

#Beijing backs #Pakistan amid #Kashmir tensions. #China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “No matter how the situation in the region changes, China will firmly support the Pakistani side in safeguarding sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity.” #India https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3026308/beijing-g...

The two countries are ‘all-weather’ partners with a rock-solid relationship, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi says
Balancing India’s influence and promoting the Beijing-funded China-Pakistan Economic Corridor are among their common interests

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has pledged support to Pakistan and described the two countries as “all-weather” partners as Beijing moves to protect its regional interests amid tensions with India.
Wang met Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the Pakistan capital Islamabad, where they had an “in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest”, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Monday.

“No matter how the situation in the region changes, China will firmly support the Pakistani side in safeguarding sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity,” Wang, who began a four-day trip to Pakistan and Nepal on Saturday, was quoted as saying.
“[China] firmly supports the Pakistani government in achieving national stability and development and prosperity, and firmly supports Pakistan to play a more constructive role in regional and international affairs,” Wang said, referring to the two countries as “all-weather strategic partners” with “rock-solid” relations.


Wang’s comments come amid fresh tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over Kashmir. India decided last month to strip the Jammu and Kashmir autonomous state of its special status and break it into two federally controlled territories, which China said infringed its territorial integrity.

Both India and Pakistan claim the whole of Kashmir, which was partitioned between the two after the end of British rule in 1948, and have fought wars over the territory.

China has formally backed Pakistan’s request for the United Nations Security Council to hold “closed consultations” on the revoking of the state’s autonomy.
India is also involved in the Indo-Pacific strategy led by the United States, which Beijing views as a containment strategy to hinder China’s military expansion.

Wang stressed that China and Pakistan should cooperate to secure their common economic interests.
“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC] is a long-term development plan for Pakistan,” Wang said. “The Pakistani military has made unremitting efforts in corridor construction, especially security.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 15, 2019 at 1:56pm

Selective #Hindutva narrative of #JammuAndKashmir about #KashmiriPandits ignores that #Jammu had #Muslim majority in 1947. Within weeks, riots and mass killings and forced migration of #Muslims turned it into a #Hindu-majority area
Opinion via @htTweets https://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/we-cannot-be-selective-about...

by Karan Thapar

"“Hindus and Sikhs of the Jammu area … apparently with at least the tacit consent of state authorities, have driven many thousands of their Muslim neighbours from their homes”. Citing Mahatma Gandhi, he asserts “some two hundred thousand are … not accounted for”. Christopher Snedden, in Kashmir: The Unwritten History, estimates between 70,000 and 237,000 Muslims were killed. Arjun Appaduri and Arien Mack in India’s World believe 200,000 could have been killed and a further 500,000 displaced. Last year, the columnist Swaminathan Aiyar wrote: “In sheer scale this far exceeded the ethnic cleansing of Pandits five decades later”. So why is a horror of this scale not remembered? Habibullah, who’s written about it in My Kashmir: The Dying of the Light, suggests two reasons. First, it occurred when communal riots and brutal massacres were happening right across northern India. In that bigger outrage, this smaller tragedy seems to have been forgotten. His second reason is intriguing. Sheikh Abdullah, then the undisputed leader of the Kashmir Valley, who one would have expected to draw attention to this massacre, deliberately chose to ignore it because the Muslims of Jammu did not support his National Conference, but leaned towards Jinnah’s Muslim League. The Sheikh’s politics seems to have silenced his conscience.""

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