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Modi's Kashmir Blunder: Wider Implications For India, Pakistan and the World

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reckless decision to unilaterally abrogate Article 370 of the Indian constitution has sent shockwaves across South Asia and the rest of the world. The immediate effect of this action is on Indian Occupied Kashmir which has lost its status as a state and stands divided into union territories directly ruled from New Delhi. 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.

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.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Pledge

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.”

India-Pakistan Escalation:

Most of Kashmir has been under an unprecedented and extended lock-down. People are imprisoned in their homes for several days in a row. There is no Internet, telephone or television.

Eventually when the restrictions are eased, there will be large street protests which the Indian security forces will try to quell by force. When such protests turn violent,  Mr. Modi will cry "terrorism" and falsely accuse Pakistan of being behind it. There will be a familiar replay of the events of the past with Mr. Modi escalating conflict with Pakistan across the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Such escalations pose the danger of spiraling out of control and leading to a nuclear confrontation.

The West, particularly the United States and Canada, are geographically far removed from South Asia. This distance makes many think that any nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would not have a significant impact on life in America and Europe. Dr. Owen Brian Toon and Professor Alan Robock dispute this thinking. They believe the nuclear winter following an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange will kill crops as far as the United States and cause a global famine. Another study by Nobel Peace Prize- winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility reached the same conclusion.

Professors Robock and Toon have calculated that the smoke from just 100-200 Hiroshima sized atomic bombs exploding in South Asia would cover the entire globe within two weeks. This smoke would hang 30-50 miles above the surface of the earth where it never rains. This thick layer of smoke would block the sun causing farmers to lose their crops for years to come. The resulting famine would kill billions of people around the globe.

It seems that the American leadership recognizes the devastating global impact of possible India-Pakistan nuclear war.  In "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in S...", Pakistani-American analyst Dr. Moeed Yusuf talks about the US efforts to prevent India-Pakistan war that could escalate into a full-scale nuclear exchange. He analyzes American diplomacy in three critical periods: Kargil conflict in 1999; the stand-off after the Indian Parliament attack in 2001 and the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

Yusuf argues that the US-Soviet Cold War deterrence model does not apply to the India-Pakistan conflict and offers his theory of "brokered bargaining". In chapters that detail the US role during three India-Pakistan crises, it is clear that the US rejected India's insistence on bilateralism in resolving India-Pakistan disputes.  The author says that "in each episode, the concern about the escalation forced the United States to engage, largely unsolicited, and use a mix of rewards (or promises of) and punishments (or threats of) with the regional rivals to achieve de-escalation--ahead of its broader regional or policy interests."

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. 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.

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Views: 92

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 10, 2019 at 8:56pm

#India must talk with #Pakistan as #Kashmir is not an internal matter of #India, says Karan Singh, son of #Kashmir ruler Maharajah Hari Singh who signed accession document - The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Kashmir-is-not-an-internal-m...


Son of the erstwhile king of Kashmir, Mr. Singh said the government is weakening its claim on the State by refusing to look at the international dimensions to the issue.
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Karan Singh urged the government on Wednesday to abstain from stating that the political instability in Jammu and Kashmir was “an internal matter” of India.

Son of the erstwhile king of Kashmir, Mr. Singh said the government is weakening its claim on the State by refusing to look at the international dimensions to the issue as half of the state’s territory is under Pakistani and Chinese occupation.

“Today, we have barely 42,000 square miles under our control,” said Mr.Singh, while addressing the lawmakers at Rajya Sabha. “To say that we will not talk is not a mature response. When we say we do not need to talk to Pakistan, have we legitimised that [Pakistan occupied Kashmir]?”


While insisting on restoration of the dialogue process with Pakistan, Mr. Singh reminded the House that on October 27, 1947, when his father Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of the princely state, signed an Instrument of Accession with the Union of India, the development happened on three principles — that only Defence, Communications and Foreign Affairs would be handled by the Centre, and the rest will be under the state.

“I was in the House when the Accession was signed. However, please remember something more, my father acceded for three subjects — Defence, Communications and Foreign Affairs. He signed the same Instrument of Accession that all the other princely states signed. But all other states subsequently merged. And J&K did not merge,” said Mr. Singh.

“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 realise 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,” he added.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 13, 2019 at 7:27am

BBC News - #Article370: Has #India pushed #Kashmir to a point of no return? Autonomy had already been largely stripped away by a series of integrative measures imposed on the state by #India's central governments between the mid-1950s and the mid-1960s. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49316350

Indian-administered Kashmir has been under an unprecedented lockdown since last week after India revoked Article 370, a constitutional provision granting the region special status. Sumantra Bose, professor of international and comparative politics at the London School of Economics (LSE), explains why the decision is fraught with challenges.

At the end of October, Jammu and Kashmir will cease to be a state of India.

Last week, India's parliament approved by a large majority the decision by the federal government to split the state into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Union territories have much less autonomy from the federal government than states do, and are essentially subject to Delhi's direct rule.

Almost 98% of the erstwhile state's population will be in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, comprising two regions - the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, which has about eight million people, and the Hindu-majority Jammu, which has about six million. The third region, the newly created union territory of Ladakh, is a high-altitude desert inhabited by 300,000 people, with almost equal numbers of Muslims and Buddhists.

Last week's events fulfilled a Hindu nationalist demand dating back to the early 1950s: the abrogation of Article 370.


Hindu nationalists have for seven decades vehemently denounced Article 370 as an example of "appeasement" of India's only Muslim-majority state. This objection to Article 370 was also congruent with the Hindu nationalists' ideological belief that India should be a unitary and centralised nation-state.

The "reorganisation" of Jammu and Kashmir also reflects a longstanding Hindu nationalist agenda.

In 2002 the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the core organisation of the Hindu nationalist movement, demanded the state be divided into three parts: a separate Hindu-majority Jammu state; the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley; plus union territory status for Ladakh.

Simultaneously the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an RSS affiliate, called for the state to be divided into four parts: a separate Jammu state and Ladakh as a union territory, plus the carving out of a sizeable area, also with union territory status, in the Kashmir valley to be inhabited solely by Kashmiri Pandits, the valley's small Hindu minority who were forced to leave nearly en masse when insurgency erupted there in 1990.

Under the VHP plan, what remained of the Kashmir Valley would then be left to the Muslim majority.

The claim made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah that the autonomy enshrined by Article 370 is the cause of "separatism" in Jammu and Kashmir is disingenuous.


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Many democracies have regions with ingrained secessionist impulses: the United Kingdom in Scotland, Canada in Quebec, Spain in Catalonia.

What the BJP government has done is akin to what Serbia's Milosevic regime did in 1989 by unilaterally revoking Kosovo's autonomy and imposing a police state on Kosovo's Albanian majority.

But the BJP government's approach to Kashmir goes beyond what Milosevic intended for the Kosovo Albanians: subjugation.
The Hindu nationalist government seems to ultimately aspire to assimilate rebellious Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir into a form of Indian national identity defined by its movement's ideology.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 27, 2019 at 5:27pm

Chris Wood cuts #India’s weight by 1% point. #Kashmir has proved more negative for #MSCI #Pakistan down 11% in first 2 weeks, while India declined 1.5%. Pakistan Index is up 11.2% so far this week, compared with 1.6% decline in India. https://www.bloombergquint.com/markets/jefferies-chris-wood-cuts-in... via @BloombergQuint

Jefferies’ Chris Wood cut India’s weight in portfolio by 1 percentage point on worries that the security situation will get “significantly worse” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government removed the special constitutional status of Jammu & Kashmir. “Kashmir aggravation has added an additional negative,” Wood, global head of equity strategy at Jefferies, wrote in his weekly Greed & Fear new

Earnings estimates have continued to come down in the first quarter with Jefferies revising down the FY20 Nifty 50 earnings per share forecast by 7 percent since early July. As a result of the downgrades, the Indian market is not cheaper despite the 10 percent decline in the Nifty Index from the peak in early June, Wood said. “Investors are going to need to see evidence of a cyclical pickup to get

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 27, 2019 at 6:21pm

BBC News: How serious is #India's #economic crisis? The quibble among the members of the economic team of Mr #Modi and his government is not about whether India is facing an economic slowdown or not, but about how grave the current economic crisis is. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49470466

Top Indian government officials are engaged in a vociferous public debate over the state of the country's economy.

Rajiv Kumar, the head of the government's think tank Niti Aayog, recently claimed that the current slowdown was unprecedented in 70 years of independent India and called for immediate policy interventions in specific industries.

The Chief Economic Adviser, K Subramanian, disagreed with the idea of industry-specific incentives and argued for structural reforms in land and labour markets. Members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic advisory council sound inchoate, resorting to social media and opinion editorials to counter one another.

In essence, the quibble among the members of the economic team of Mr Modi and his government is not about whether India is facing an economic slowdown or not, but about how grave the current economic crisis is.

This is a remarkable reversal in stance of the same group of economists who, until a few months ago, waxed eloquent about how India was the fastest growing economy in the world, generating seven million jobs a year.

To put all this in context, it was less than just two years ago, in November 2017, that the global ratings agency Moody's upgraded India's sovereign ratings - an independent assessment of the creditworthiness of a country - for the first time in 14 years.


Justifying the upgrade, Moody's had then argued that the economy was undergoing dramatic "structural" reforms under Mr Modi.

In the two years since, Moody's has downgraded its 2019 GDP growth forecast for India thrice - from 7.5% to 7.4% to 6.8% to 6.2%.

The immediate questions that arise now are: is India's economic condition really that grim and, if yes, how did it deteriorate so rapidly?

One of India's most celebrated entrepreneurs, the founder of the largest coffee store chain, Café Coffee Day, recently killed himself, ostensibly due to unmanageable debt, slowing growth and alleged harassment by tax authorities.

The auto industry is expected to shed close to a million direct and indirect jobs due to a decline in vehicle sales. Sales growth of men's inner wear clothing, a key barometer of consumption popularised by former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan, is negative. Consumption demand that accounts for two-thirds of India's GDP is fast losing steam.

To make matters worse, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first budget recently with some ominous tax proposals that threatened foreign capital flows and dented investor confidence. It sparked criticism and Ms Sitharaman was forced to roll back many of her proposals.



So, it is indeed true that India is facing a sharp economic downturn and severe loss of business confidence.

The alarm over the economic condition is not merely a reflection of a slowdown in GDP growth but also the poor quality of growth.

Private sector investment, the mainstay of sustainable growth in any economy, is at a 15-year low.

In other words, there is almost no investment in new projects by the private sector. The situation is so bad that many Indian industrialists have complained loudly about the state of the economy, the distrust of the government towards businesses and harassment by tax authorities.

But India's economic slowdown is neither sudden nor a surprise.

Behind the fawning headlines in the press over the past five years about the robustness of India's growth was a vulnerable economy, straddled with massive bad loans in the financial sector, disguised further by a macroeconomic bonanza from low global oil prices.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 27, 2019 at 8:18pm

Why a top think tank official says #India’s fiscal problems are “unprecedented"? #Economy #Modi #BJP https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/27/india-economic-crisis-kashmir-...

“Unprecedented” Fears About the Indian Economy?

Last Friday, India’s government finally acknowledged that all was not well in the world’s seventh-largest economy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rolled back a tax on foreign investors and promised to speed up tax refunds to small businesses, among other announcements. Investors seemed pleased: On Monday, the key Mumbai stock market gained more than 2 percent, after recording its worst July in nearly two decades. And the markets continued to rise on Tuesday.

Broader problems. While the stock market may have received a short-term boost, Sitharaman’s announcements alone won’t fix underlying economic problems. The biggest concern—and a likely factor behind slowing consumer demand—seems to be the country’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate, the highest in 45 years. An estimated 1 million Indians enter the workforce every month, and enough jobs simply aren’t being created for them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, car sales declined by 36 percent in July. Sitharaman announced on Friday a one-off government move to replace its fleet of cars with new ones, but that will hardly encourage the auto industry to ramp up production or hire more workers. (Automakers have laid off an estimated 350,000 workers since April.) Meanwhile GDP growth has slowed, with Nomura analysts predicting a tepid 5.7 percent growth rate for the April-June quarter, expected to be announced next week.

Criticism. Thomas Isaac, the finance minister of the state of Kerala, tweeted that Sitharaman’s announcements didn’t amount to enough. “What is required is a large fiscal spending package,” he wrote. And in a rare example of a top Indian businessman criticizing New Delhi, Adi Godrej, the chairman of the Godrej conglomerate, told Business Standard last week that “the speed of decision-making is very good for example in Kashmir, but the speed of decision-making on business matters is not good.”

One problem may be that even as India’s central bank continues to cut interest rates—which are already at their lowest level in nine years—outdated state banks often avoid passing on cheaper loans to consumers. And the private sector seems too spooked by a global slowdown to make large investments. Put together, these trends led a top government think tank leader to admit last week that India’s economic situation was “unprecedented” and that “nobody is trusting anybody else” in the government and private sector.


Depleting brain trust. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had to cope with the loss of some key lieutenants to ill health. On Saturday, Arun Jaitley, who was finance minister from 2014 to early 2019, died after years of kidney-related illnesses. Sushma Swaraj, who served as external affairs minister over the same period, also died this month after a heart attack. And Manohar Parrikar, who served as defense minister from 2014 to 2017, died from pancreatic cancer in March.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 31, 2019 at 8:34am

#India excludes nearly 2 million people from Assam citizen list. #India has passed law that grants citizenship to people who moved to India from #Bangladesh, #Pakistan and #Afghanistan as recently as 6 years ago - as long as they are not #Muslim @AJENews https://aje.io/8e6fs

Nearly two million people have been excluded from a list of citizens in India's northeastern Assam state, raising fears they could be rendered stateless.

The list, known as the National Register of Citizens (NRC), was published on Saturday after a years-long exercise aimed at identifying legal residents in the impoverished border state.

A total of 31.1 million people were included in the final list, leaving out 1.9 million people, according to a statement from the Assam government.

"The entire process of NRC update has been meticulously carried out in an objective and transparent manner. Adequate opportunity of being heard has been given to all persons at every stage of the process. The entire process is conducted as per statutory provisions and due procedure followed at every stage," it said.

The government said it carried out the mammoth exercise to detect and deport undocumented immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, but critics viewed the exercise as an attempt to deport millions of Muslims, who make up a third of the state's population.

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The BJP governs Assam and critics say the NRC process reflects the BJP's goal to serve only people of the Hindu faith.

In January, India's lower house passed legislation that grants citizenship to people who moved to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan as recently as six years ago - as long as they are not Muslims.

Critics say the BJP was planning to pass new legislation to help Hindus who have been excluded from the NRC get Indian citizenship.

Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah, Modi's right-hand-man, has called for the ejection of "termites" and said before the BJP's thumping re-election victory in May that it would "run a countrywide campaign to send back the infiltrators".

Samujjal Bhattacharya from the All Assam Students' Union, a key driver of the NRC, said the register was necessary to protect Assam's indigenous "sons of the soil".

"We are not ready to live here like second-class citizens in our own motherland," he said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 6, 2019 at 9:59am

Analysis: A moment of reckoning for Indian Americans
Varghese K. GeorgeSEPTEMBER 06, 2019 15:50 IST
UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 06, 2019 17:46 IST
SHARE ARTICLE 0PRINTA A A

Influential Hindutva voices in America have turned against Democrats, and are moving closer to the Trump camp
After Indian American engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed by a white nationalist in Kansas in February 2017, it took several weeks before the new President, Donald Trump, condemned it, only obliquely still, upsetting the community. Democrat Bernie Sanders instantly came out in support of the family and the community, and said the President’s rhetoric on immigration led to the murder.

As campaign for the 2020 presidential election picks up, a dominant section of the Indian Americans linked to Hindutva politics is gunning for Mr. Sanders and aligning with the nationalist politics of Mr. Trump, for their respective positions on Kashmir. This rapidly evolving realignment will polarise the community and could alter the basis of India-U.S. ties.

Indian Americans have largely been supporters of the Democratic Party to which all five U.S. lawmakers of Indian origin also belong. Democrats have been more supportive of immigration and religious and cultural rights of the minorities. The simultaneous rise of nationalism in India and America, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Trump, had put the community in a paradoxical situation, as they were largely jubilant about Hindutva in India while being at the receiving end of nationalism in their adopted land.


The Kashmir factor
Kuchibotla himself was an ardent fan of Mr. Modi’s sweeping Hindutva politics as his wife related after this murder. Not only Mr. Sanders, but Democrats such as Congressman from Silicon Valley Ro Khanna, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and several other friends of India and Indian Americans have denounced Hindutva politics in the wake of the prolonged lockdown of Jammu and Kashmir following the unilateral end to its autonomy.

“India’s behaviour is unacceptable,” said Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Khanna, grandson of a freedom fighter and a member of the first Parliament of India, said, “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, Buddhists and Christians.”

Influential Hindutva voices in America have turned against these Democrats, and accused them of pro-Pakistan sympathies and being in the spell of anti-India, Muslim advisers. Mr. Trump does not sweat over India’s Kashmir policy barring its impact on his own plans for an American military withdrawal from Afghanistan. His tirade against immigrants, particularly the Indian techies notwithstanding, the Hindutva sections had found his bluster against Muslims appealing. Kashmir has brought them closer to Mr. Trump and their journey to his camp could be completed ahead of the 2020 Presidential election. There are many ironies in this, but this might end one central paradox of Hindutva-leaning Indian American politics that has been sympathetic to religious majoritarianism and cultural supremacism in India while demanding religious and cultural rights in America.

Political realignment
The dualism of Indian-American politics has now become unsustainable as Democratic leaders find it increasingly impossible to side with Mr. Modi as he advances the Hindutva agenda. Many of these friends of India were mislead, and had misread Mr. Modi’s politics and they interpreted his success in 2014 as a turn in Indian politics towards more neo-liberal reforms and globalism. Such an image of Mr. Modi was also projected by Indian diplomacy in America. But one American thinker, who interpreted Mr. Modi’s victory as a nativist revolt against a global elite, was none other than Stephen Bannon, the most authentic interpreter of Mr. Trump’s nationalist politics. Mr. Bannon has also been particularly a critic of the H-1B visa and Indian-American immigration. That the Indian Ambassador to the...

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 14, 2019 at 6:56pm

Amit Shah's #Hindi push sparks outrage among state leaders, #TamilNadu's Stalin, #Karnataka's Kumaraswamy join attack after Union Home Minister Amit Shah advocated Hindi as #India India’s national #language #HindiDiwas2019 #Modi #Hindutva https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/hindi-amit-shah-national-lang... via @indiatoday

HIGHLIGHTS
Opposition trains guns on Union minister Amit Shah after he says Hindi can unite the whole country
Asking Amit Shah to reconsider his appeal, Opposition says Hindi imposition could affect the unity of India
On Hindi Diwas, Amit Shah had earlier said efforts will be made to expand Hindi to different parts of India
Union Home Minister Amit Shah's call to unify India with the help of Hindi language has not gone well with the Opposition leaders who have asked the minister to "reconsider" his appeal.

Leading the charge, DMK chief MK Stalin on Saturday registered protest against "imposition of Hindi" saying comments made by the Union minister could affect the unity of India.

In response to Amit Shah's push for Hindi as India's national language, Stalin said the Union minister should reconsider his decision. "We have been continuously waging protest against imposition of Hindi. Today's remarks made by Amit Shah gave us a jolt, it will affect the unity of the country. We demand that he takes his statement back," Stalin said on Saturday.

Hitting out at the BJP, Amit Shah said India's greatest strength is this diversity that brings together diverse states but the BJP is in the midst of distorting and destroying this.

On Amit Shah's remark that India needed one landuage, Stalin said in a statement, "If the national language is the most widely spoken Hindi, then the most flying bird in India, crow, should have been the national bird of India, this was our leaders Anna's stand. From that day, DMK has worked hard to protest Tamil language."

Asking the Prime Minister to clarify his position, Stalin said, "There is an attempt to impose Hindi dividing the spirit of our country (unity in diversity). The DMK is ready to defend the integrity of the country."

JD-S chief and former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy also joined the attack against Amit Shah over 'imposition of Hindi'. "Across the country, Hindi Diwas is being celebrated. When will PM Modi celebrate Kannada diwas, which is also an official language according to the Constitution," Kumaraswamy asked.

WHAT DID AMIT SHAH SAY

On Hindi Diwas, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said widely spoken Hindi is the language which can keep India united as he made an appeal to unify India with Hindi. He also called for Hindi to be made the primary language, saying that it is necessary to have one to represent India.

"India is a country of different languages and every language has its own importance but it is very important to have a language which should become the identity of India in the world. If one language can unite the country today, it is the widely-spoken Hindi language," Amit Shah tweeted.

In another tweet, the home minister appealed the people to increase the usage of Hindi language to realise the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. "Today, on the occasion of Hindi Day, I appeal to all the citizens of the country that we should increase the use of our mother tongue and also use the Hindi language as one language to realise the dreams of Bapu and iron man Sardar Patel. Happy Hindi Day," Amit Shah said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 15, 2019 at 7:01pm

Protest dharnas across #Indian Punjab in #Kashmir support | India News, The Indian Express

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/protest-dharnas-across-punj...

The Kashmir National Struggle and Support Committee, formed by these organisations, had announced on Saturday that it will stage dharnas wherever its members are stopped by police. Posters put up for the Sunday rally have pictures of children with eye injuries from pellet guns.

Denied permission to organise a mega rally in Mohali and protest march to Chandigarh over the situation in J&K, 13 organisations under the banner of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) on Sunday held protest dharnas in 14 districts, blocking various highways leading to the state capital.

The organisations had held several district-level protests across the state earlier this month over the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to J&K.

Punjab has witnessed several agitations against the revoking of Article 370.

The Kashmir National Struggle and Support Committee, formed by these organisations, had announced on Saturday that it will stage dharnas wherever its members are stopped by police. Posters put up for the Sunday rally have pictures of children with eye injuries from pellet guns.

Dharnas were organised at Bhucho Mandi, Rampura and Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda area blocking the Bathinda- Chandigarh highway after buses full of protestors going to Chandigarh were stopped midway. In Barnala, a dharna was organised on the Barnala-Chandigarh road near Badbar area.

Two other agitations were staged along the Moga-Barnala road near Himmatpura and the Dharamkot-Ludhiana road near Kishanpura area. In Mansa, a dharna was held on the Mansa intersection, the Barnala-Mansa state highway, in Muktsar, Faridkot, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Patiala etc. State highways were blocked from 10 am to 2 pm.

‘Don’t understand why state govt changed its stand’
“Protestors from Amritsar and Gurdaspur managed to reach till Ropar, where they were stopped and hence they staged dharna on the Ropar-Chandigarh state highway from 10 am to 2 pm. Likewise, dharnas were also held at Kurali, outskirts of Mohali, as people were stopped from entering Mohali,” Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan) told The Indian Express. “We were allowed to hold rallies and protest marches in Bathinda, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Gurdaspur etc. on September 10, and took out a protest march from Bathinda city as well. Hence we felt surprised at how the state government changed its stand and denied us permission for the Mohali rally for Sunday. It would have been a collective rally and a first mega attempt in support of Kashmiris who are living under severe restrictions as of now.”


(Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)
The organisations that were part of this protest were: Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan), a farmer union active in Malwa Punjab, Pendu Khet Mazdoor Union, Textile Mazdoor Union, Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Punjab Students Union etc. These groups said they don’t support any political organisations and hence they should not be linked with anyone. Lachhman Singh Sewewala, president of the Pendu Khet Mazdoor Union said, “We neither take nor give support to any political party. Our grudge is that when we were not stopped for district-level dharnas which we organised in different districts of Punjab from September 3 to 10, why did the government stop us from organising a rally in Mohali? On one hand, Rahul goes to Kashmir, Capt Amarinder calls August 5 ‘Black day’, invites Kashmiri students for lunch at his residence on Eid, and on the other hand, he stopped us from organising today’s rally.”

Effigies burnt, many detained in Mohali

Vadodara university asks students to join rally against Article 370
Protestors were carrying effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in every bus. The effigies were burnt wherever they were stopped.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 22, 2019 at 9:08pm

Alison Redford, Ex Premier of #Alberta #Canada: "For too long, #Pakistan’s actions have been unreasonably characterized as aggressive. #India’s tactics have been increasingly violent...more international criticism of its conduct and occupation of #Kashmir" https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-this-not-the-same-o...

First, in media reports, India refers to 40 years of terrorist attacks against India by Pakistan without equal mention of terror attacks perpetrated by India on Pakistani soil, as recently as three months ago in Karachi, or India’s support for independence insurgents operating in the Northwest of Pakistan over the past 10 years.

Second, although in the past there have been allegations that Jaish-e-Mohammed has been supported by Pakistan, the organization has been banned in Pakistan since 2002 and support for its operations and training activity was withdrawn. Yet, India continues to assert this position, without providing evidence to support it.

Third, it is against the fundamental principles of international law to launch a military attack on civilian targets, which can be considered an act of war. In those circumstances, one can argue that Pakistan had the right to defend itself and that its response was both measured and reasonable.

On the Kashmiri question, Pakistan has called for United Nations mediation, but India has refused, saying that it is an internal issue, while violently suppressing a growing, and younger, local insurgent movement. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized India for using excessive force in 2017. More than 500 people, including 100 civilians, have been killed in 2018.

In recent months, India’s tactics have been increasingly violent, leading to more international criticism of its conduct and occupation of Kashmir, including most recently by British parliamentarians, and two resolutions at the OIC this past weekend condemning its violent actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also faces criticism domestically from Indian opposition leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, for manipulating these events to bolster Mr. Modi’s political support in an election year.

There have been times when both countries have been accused of being involved in unwarranted actions against the other and the international community is quick to ignore the complicated dynamics in the region and rely on history. Instead, each incident should be assessed on its own merits to avoid dangerous rivalries from being perpetuated. With a real nuclear risk, we cannot afford to be complacent.

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