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Hindutva Colonialism in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir – India replicating Israeli Model

Hindutva Colonialism in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir – India replicating Israeli Model

 

By Sara Nazir

In recent years, the Indian government has been increasingly drawn towards the Israeli model of governance. This has included closer collaboration with Israel on security and counter-terrorism issues, as well as attempts to adopt certain aspects of Israel's approach to managing its own minority populations. However, the consequences of this approach are becoming increasingly clear, as illustrated by the recent bulldozing of the house of an opposition Muslim leader in the Indian-administered region of Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The Israeli model is a term that has gained popularity in India in recent years. It refers to the policies and strategies used by Israel to control the occupied territories, particularly the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These policies include settlements, military checkpoints, and the use of force to suppress any form of resistance or dissent. The Indian government has been accused of adopting similar tactics in Kashmir, where it has been trying to suppress the ongoing insurgency since the 1990s. The recent bulldozing of an opposition Muslim leader's house in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has once again brought the Israeli model to the forefront of public discourse in India.

The Indian government's actions in Kashmir have been a matter of controversy for several decades. The region, which is predominantly Muslim, has been the subject of a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. The dispute has resulted in several wars between the two countries, and the Indian government has been accused of human rights abuses in the region.

The situation in Kashmir came to ahead in August 2019, when the Indian government revoked the region's semi-autonomous status and imposed a complete lockdown. The lockdown, which lasted for several months, saw a complete shutdown of the internet and mobile services, as well as restrictions on the movement of people and goods. The Indian government claimed that these measures were necessary to maintain law and order in the region, but critics argued that they were designed to suppress any form of dissent from Kashmiri people. Since the lockdown was lifted, there have been several incidents of violence in the region, including clashes between security forces and militants, and protests by local residents. The Indian government has responded to these incidents with a heavy hand, often resorting to the use of force to maintain control. This has led to accusations that the Indian government is using the Israeli model to suppress dissent in the region.

The recent bulldozing of the house of a prominent opposition Muslim leader in IIOJK has once again brought the issue of the Israeli model to the forefront of public discourse in India. On the 19th of February, 2023, when Indian security forces arrived at the house of Mehbooba Mufti, the former Chief Minister of IOJK and a prominent opposition figure in the region to demolish her house. Mufti had been placed under house arrest for over two years, following the Indian government's decision to revoke the region's semi-autonomous status in August 2019. Mufti has claimed that the demolition was a politically motivated move designed to intimidate her and other opposition figures in the region. This incident is just the latest in a series of actions taken by the Indian government against opposition figures in IIOJK. Since the revocation of the region's semi-autonomous status, there has been a concerted effort to silence dissenting voices and crush any form of opposition to the government's policies.

Similarly, back in 2021, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was a prominent figure in the separatist movement in Kashmir and had been under house arrest for several years. After his death in September 2021, the Indian government bulldozed his house, claiming that it was an illegal structure. However, many people in the region saw the move as a deliberate attempt to erase Geelani's legacy and intimidate other separatist leaders. The bulldozing of Geelani's house has sparked widespread condemnation in India and around the world. Human rights organizations have accused the Indian government of using the Israeli model to suppress dissent and silence opposition voices.

Critics of the Indian government's actions in Kashmir argue that the use of the Israeli model is not only ineffective but also counterproductive. They point to the fact that Israel has been unable to quell the insurgency in the West Bank and Gaza Strip despite its use of force and repression. They argue that the Indian government's actions in Kashmir will only serve to further alienate the local population and fuel resentment against the Indian state. The Indian government, on the other hand, maintains that its actions in Kashmir are necessary to maintain law and order in the region. It claims that the majority of people in the region support its actions and that it is working towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict. These measures have been justified by the Indian government as necessary steps to maintain law and order in the region, and to prevent the spread of separatist and extremist ideologies. However, they have been widely criticized by human rights organizations and other observers as violations of basic civil liberties and human rights.

However, the most alarming aspect of the Indian government's adoption of the Israeli model has been its approach to dealing with dissenting voices and opposition figures. This has included the use of arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings, as well as the bulldozing of houses and other forms of property destruction. These actions are not only morally reprehensible, but they are also feckless from a strategic perspective. By crushing dissent and limiting freedom of speech, the Indian government is only fueling the very separatist and extremist ideologies that it claims to be fighting against.

If the Indian government is truly committed to maintaining peace and stability in IOJK, it must adopt a more nuanced and inclusive approach to governance. This means engaging with all segments of the population, including opposition figures and minority groups, and working to address their grievances. The use of the Israeli model in IOJK is particularly troubling, as it represents a significant departure from India's traditional democratic values. The use of militarized police forces, surveillance technology, and other means to suppress dissent is more commonly associated with authoritarian regimes, and it is deeply concerning to see these tactics being employed in a country that has long prided itself on its democratic institutions. The Indian government's crackdown on dissent in IOJK has been accompanied by a broader assault on civil liberties and democratic norms in the country as a whole.

*Author’s Bio

The author has done MS in Strategic Studies from Air University Islamabad and currently

teaching as visiting faculty in International Islamic University Islamabad. She writes on South

Asian security and strategic issues.

 

 

 

 

 

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