India

'Dhara 370' Song Urges Hindus to Claim Kashmir

The music videos began appearing on social media within hours of the announcement by India’s Hindu-led nationalist government that it was stripping statehood from the disputed region of Kashmir that had been in place for decades. The songs delivered a message to India’s 250 million YouTube users about moving to the Muslim-majority region, buying land there and marrying Kashmiri women. It’s the latest example of a growing genre in India known as “patriotism pop” — songs flooding social media about nationalism and the country’s burgeoning right-wing ideology. Earlier songs were limited to the rise of Hindus in India, defeating regional rival Pakistan and hoisting the Indian flag in every household. Now, they include settling in Kashmir — a rugged and beautiful Himalayan region claimed by both Pakistan and India, although both countries control only a portion of it. On Aug. 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked Kashmir’s decades-old special status that was guaranteed under Article 370 of India’s Constitution and sent thousands of troops to the region. The move has touched off anger in the Indian-controlled region, which has been under a security lockdown that has seen thousands detained to prevent protests there. One of Modi’s revisions allows anyone to buy land in the territory, which some Kashmiris fear could mean an influx of Hindus who would change the region’s culture and demographics. Critics have likened it to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories. The patriotic songs are mostly shared on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and the fast-growing app TikTok, whichContinue reading

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UK Colonialism Legacies

We are still reminded of the consequences of British colonialism with the ongoing volatile situations in places such as Indian-controlled Kashmir and Hong Kong. Hong Kong and Kashmir share the same legacy, that of imperialism in Asia, and the locals are still paying for the mess that the British left behind during its days of unbridled colonialism. Unlike Hong Kong, India – including Kashmir – went from being a colonial subject to an independent country. Following independence, the unique cultural region of Kashmir turned out to be a very difficult problem for India and its policy of assimilation. So, New Delhi resorted to the same conceptual tactics perpetrated against them while under British rule: military occupation and limitations on free speech. Hence, earlier this month, a presidential decree revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution, which guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority Kashmir region, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters, except defense, communications and foreign affairs. Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, in return, censured India’s ‘illegal’ Kashmir move, vowing to fight the decision, including at the UN Security Council. Khan said the move was in breach of international law, adding that he feared ethnic cleansing by India. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has merely expressed “concern” about India’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status, which was guaranteed by Article 370 of the Indian constitution. Meanwhile, heading into 11 weeks of demonstrations in Hong Kong, Britain has consistently supported anti-ChinaContinue reading

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Narendra Modi - India Politics News Headlines

The achingly beautiful Himalayan valley was flooded with soldiers and roadblocks of razor wire. Phone lines were cut, internet connections switched off, politicians arrested. Public gatherings were banned. The prime minister of the world’s largest democracy had clamped down on Kashmir to near-totalitarian levels. And Narendra Modi’s country reacted with roaring approval: As he had Kashmir stripped of statehood and its special constitutional status, even some of his political opponents were calling out support. Modi, a Hindu nationalist by the time he was 10 years old, had upended life in India’s only Muslim-majority state, flexing those nationalist muscles for his millions of followers. They loved him for it. “All of Kashmir is ours!” a jubilant middle-aged demonstrator, draped in the saffron-colored scarf of a Hindu, shouted during a New Delhi street celebration just before Parliament voted to end Kashmir’s decades of semi-autonomy. “Modi has fulfilled another promise,” said a more quiet-spoken supporter, Sushanto Sen, a retired senior manager with an aerospace and defense company, who lives in the crowded north Indian city of Lucknow. “Kashmir is part of India, and whatever rules apply to us should apply to others too.” To his critics, Modi is an authoritarian manipulator who wants to turn India into an avowedly Hindu nation. But to his supporters, Modi is an incorruptible ascetic unafraid to tell the truth — a man who understands what it means to be poor but, like so many of his supporters, wants India to be treated with respect by the restContinue reading

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Imran Khan vs Narendra Modi - Pakistan News - India Politics

Pakistan observed a ‘Black Day’ on Thursday to coincide with India’s Independence Day celebrations, in protest at New Delhi’s decision to revoke special status for its portion of the contested Kashmir region. India’s decision this month, along with a communications blackout and curbs on the movement of those in Indian-administered Kashmir, caused fury in Pakistan, which cut trade and transport links and expelled India’s envoy in retaliation. Newspapers in Pakistan printed editions with black borders on Thursday and politicians, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, replaced their social media pictures with black squares. Protests are due to be held across the country, including Azad Kashmir, the wedge of territory in the west of the region that Pakistan controls. The largely symbolic move comes amid growing frustration in Islamabad at the lack of international response over the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan was isolated diplomatically and faced “a world in denial” over the situation in Kashmir, Dawn, the country’s most influential English language newspaper, said in an editorial. The 15-member United Nations Security Council could discuss the dispute as soon as Thursday, but Pakistan says it only has guaranteed support from China, which also claims part of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. Permanent security council member Russia said on Wednesday it supported India’s stance that the dispute should be resolved through bilateral means, while the United States has called India’s decision an internal matter for New Delhi. In his Independence Day speech in the Indian capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the decision toContinue reading

Indian-Controlled Kashmir News

In India’s curfew-smothered Kashmir valley, even the freedom to mourn the dead has been shut down. When his father suddenly passed away this week in Srinagar, Irfan Ahmad Bhat’s grief was compounded by a military lockdown that not only prevented family members gathering to pay their respects, but also meant many could not be told he had died. “My greatest regret is that my father’s close relatives could not see his face one last time or perform his last rites,” Bhat told AFP. “This should not have happened.” Srinagar is coming up to one week without internet or phones — the city’s 1.5 million people cooped up in their homes unless they have a curfew pass. The lockdown and communications blackout is being enforced by tens of thousands of troops that New Delhi’s Hindu-nationalist government deployed to back its move on Monday to strip the Muslim-majority territory of its autonomy. So tight are the restrictions that Bhat said he had only been able to inform four family members who live in Srinagar that his 58-year-old father had passed away. The proper mourning period can only end when the whole family has been told, but “I don’t know how long that will take,” he added tearfully. Wired in Kashmiris are used to mourning. The region has been bedevilled by a three-decade-old insurgency that has left tens of thousands dead. But the inability to observe basic funeral rites is a stark illustration of the severity of the current clampdown that has transformedContinue reading

Indian-Controlled Kashmir

A strict curfew keeping residents of Indian-controlled Kashmir in their homes for a fifth day was eased for Friday prayers, the police chief said. The mostly Muslim region has been under an unprecedented security lockdown and near-total communications blackout to prevent unrest as India’s Hindu nationalist-led government announced it was revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgrading its statehood. “People will be allowed to go to the area-specific mosques for the prayers in most parts of Srinagar city,” the region’s police chief, Dilbagh Singh, told The Associated Press on Friday. The relaxing of the curfew in Kashmir’s main city was temporary but a precise timeframe wasn’t given. Friday prayers started at 12:37 p.m. in Srinagar and lasted for about 20 minutes. Television images showed small groups of people offering prayers in local mosques. “We see a sense of calm and normalcy (in Kashmir). There has been no incident of violence,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi. The Press Trust of India news agency earlier said authorities would allow people to offer prayers in small local mosques, but there would be no Friday congregation at the historic Jama Masjid where thousands of Muslim normally pray every week. Jama Masjid has been a center of regular anti-India protests after Friday prayers. Authorities will be closely watching for any anti-India protests, which are expected to determine a further easing of restrictions for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha to be celebrated Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in anContinue reading

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Narendra Modi - India Politics News Headlines

Indian security forces have arrested more than 500 people since New Delhi imposed a communications blackout and security clampdown in divided Kashmir, where people remained holed up in their homes for a fourth day. Pakistan, which claims the divided Himalayan region together with India, on Thursday suspended a key train service with India over change in Kashmir’s special status by New Delhi, as tensions between the rivals soared. India’s government this week revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and downgraded the region from statehood to a territory. Rebels in Muslim-majority Kashmir have been fighting Indian rule in the portion it administers for decades. State-run All India Radio, which reported on the arrests without details, also said that cross-border firing by Indian and Pakistani troops hit the Rajouri sector of the Indian-controlled Kashmir late Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the nation on Thursday to discuss Kashmir. His national security adviser, Ajit Doval, visited the region on Wednesday to assess the law and order situation. Activist Ali Mohammed told the New Delhi Television news channel that he has been organizing ambulances to carry sick poor people to hospitals in Srinagar, the main city in India’s portion of Kashmir, as local residents can’t even use phones to ask for medical help. “It’s hell,” a patient told the television channel. In New Delhi, opposition Congress party activist Tehseen Poonawalla said he expected the Supreme Court to hear his petition on Thursday seeking immediate lifting of curfew and otherContinue reading

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India Parliament

India’s move to strip Kashmir of special rights is likely to face legal challenges, constitutional experts and Supreme Court lawyers said, with some questioning the legality of the route used to make the change. New Delhi’s action also provoked condemnation in Pakistan, which has disputed sovereignty over Kashmir with India for decades. India’s revocation of the Himalayan territory’s special status is a bid to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority state with the rest of the country. Indian home minister Amit Shah said the government would scrap the constitution’s Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir state and allows permanent residents rights to property, state government jobs and college places. To do so, it used a provision under Article 370 of the constitution that allows the law to be tweaked by a presidential order — provided there is consensus in the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. One problem, though, is that the constituent assembly was dissolved in 1956. The government has tweaked another constitutional article so that a reference in Article 370 to “constituent assembly of the state” becomes “legislative assembly of the state.” The legality of that move, the lawyers said, could be questioned in court. Furthermore, New Delhi said all the changes were agreed to by the state government. And that, some lawyers say, could be another issue for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as there currently is no government in Jammu and Kashmir. For the past year the state has been underContinue reading

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Narendra Modi - India Politics News Headline

India’s government revoked disputed Kashmir’s special status with a presidential order Monday as thousands of newly deployed troops arrived and internet and phone services were cut in the restive Himalayan region where most people oppose Indian rule. Home Minister Amit Shah announced the revocation amid an uproar in India’s Parliament and while Kashmir was under a security lockdown that kept thousands of people inside their homes. The decree needs the approval of the ruling party-controlled Parliament, which was debating it on Monday. The order revokes Article 370 of India’s Constitution, eliminating the state of Jammu and Kashmir’s right to its own constitution and decision-making process for all matters except defense, communications and foreign affairs. The government’s action would also strip Kashmir of its protection from Indians from outside the state permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing educational scholarships. Critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers. The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a Cabinet meeting and the government’s top-decision making body on security matters, the Cabinet Committee on Security, which he heads. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim the region in its entirety. Two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since their independence from British rule were over Kashmir. Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, told a Pakistani TV station on Monday from Saudi Arabia, where he is on a pilgrimage toContinue reading

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US RQ-4 Global Hawk Drone vs Iran's Khordad 3 SAM system

“The armed drone has been successfully used by US in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria as the skies are dominated by their air force. Pakistan is the only country that has counter-capabilities but will think 100 times before it decides to take a US drone down by a SAM or beyond visual range air-to-air missile,” said a senior India’s military commander on condition of anonymity.Continue reading