Achin Vanaik in Jacobin:
The people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the border have been continuously betrayed by the governments of Pakistan and India.
In the Indian-occupied part of the province, previous governments, with the support of puppet-state regimes and rigged elections in the Valley, systematically eroded the autonomous powers and rights of the region. In the face of deepening resentment among the population, Modi’s repressive moves were the only way to contain Kashmiris’ growing anger and militancy.
One can recognize the nefarious role played by the Pakistan government, and the Islamist forces supported by them, in this scenario. But the truth is that the Indian government created and maintained the “troubled waters” in the Valley, in which, from the late eighties onwards, Pakistan fished. All previous Indian governments were determined to maintain territorial unity and military-political control of the valley at all costs, regardless of the suffering of the people of Kashmir or what Kashmiris wanted. In short, the land was always more important than the people.