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Kashmir Under Indian Settler-Colonialism in The Times of Covid: Myriad Ways to Annihilate A People

Author: Huma Dar

Affiliation: UC Berkeley, USA

Organization/Publisher: Pulse

Date/Place: July 03, 2021 / USA

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 2650


Keywords: Kashmir, Pakistan, India, National Liberation Struggle, Settler Colonialism, COVID-19, Militarization, Land grab, demography


Detailing how India is enforcing an apartheid in Indian-occupied Kashmir by vigorously discriminating against the Muslim population in the form of “explicitly prejudicial new land laws aimed at full-blown settler-colonialism”, the author argues that the Indian state’s violence in Kashmir “draws upon and abets Islamophobic violence against the Muslims”. Amid a raging pandemic, the academic notes how the “situation in Kashmir is exacerbated by a settler-colonialism aimed at drowning Kashmiris once and for all.” The mass mobilization of India’s military in what is already the world’s highest militarized zone, along with India’s massive changes in law governing the UN-designated disputed region’s land and domicile laws, the author says has exacerbated the socio-economic situation and is tantamount to “further advancing the ten stages of genocidal process.” Given that India’s actions are completely illegal because Kashmir is on the UN’s agenda, i.e. any unilateral move is deemed against international law, the author says New Delhi’s plans extend to “escalating the demographic-change, via ethnic-flooding and ethnic-cleansing” where the nomadic Muslim Bakarwal and Gujjars tribal people are “particularly at risk, and have already faced thousands of such motivated evictions.” The author also points to the dismal state of health infrastructure in the region to battle the pandemic while tens of hundreds of Kashmiris remain in jails, putting their lives at risk due to the raging pandemic in India, the second most hit nation in the world. India holds an annual all-Hindu pilgrimage, which the author says could prove to be a super spreader of the coronavirus. The Hindu-led administration in the Muslim-majority region cancelled this year’s pilgrimage only seven days before its start, probably due to “increased world attention.” The Kashmir-origin academic recommends that the Indian government be asked to immediately demilitarize Kashmir and to halt demographic changes in Kashmir, and additionally be urged to implement the United Nations Security Council resolutions that give Kashmiris the right to decide their own political future.

By: Riyaz ul Khaliq, CIGA Non-Resident Research Associate



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