Robert Fantina in Counterpunch:
In August of this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India suspended Article 370 of the constitution, the provision that granted some level of autonomy to Kashmir. Already heavily policed by Indian soldiers, nearly 40,000 additional troops were deployed to ‘calm’ (read: further oppress) the population following Modi’s repressive and illegal decision. Travel in and out of the country was banned, with even news reporters forbidden from entering, and all communication was disrupted, leaving people around the world with no word on the status of their friends and family members in Kashmir.
With India’s increased oppression of the people of Kashmir, one cannot help but see similarities to Israel’s decades-long, brutal oppression of the Palestinians. And that comparison was not lost on the government of India. On November 16, Sandeep Chakravorty, who is India’s consul-general to New York City, was in New York attending a private event. He told Kashmiri Hindus and Indian nationals that India will build settlements modelled after Israel for the return of the Hindu population to Kashmir. He did not mince words; said he: “I believe the security situation will improve, it will allow the refugees to go back, and in your lifetime, you will be able to go back … and you will be able to find security, because we already have a model in the world. I don’t know why we don’t follow it. It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it.”
Although Modi’s increased repression of the Kashmiri people has been condemned by much of the international community, most nations only objected with a whimper, and news of this unspeakable, ongoing oppression quickly took a back seat to other events. But for the Kashmiri people, the suffering continues.