Kashmir Dispatch April 2023

WKA – News roundup – April 2023

The world watched in horror this month as the Civil War renewed in Sudan, shutting down the Capital City of Khartoum and the specter of another genocide on the African continent only two years removed from the Tigray War in neighboring Ethiopia. This April marked 29 years since the genocide in Rwanda, and it continues to have haunting implications for Jammu and Kashmir.

What Rwanda can teach us about Kashmir’s future

There are perhaps two major lessons from the Rwandan Genocide, which began on April 7, 1994. The first is that the signs are evident far before the killing starts. Hardliners exploit ethnic tensions to consolidate power – in Rwanda, the ruling Hutu government led a campaign of propaganda, dehumanization, and violence against the Tutsi in the years before the genocide was there.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the same signs are there. Anti-Muslim propaganda has been created and boosted by the ruling BJP. A campaign of terror led by the Indian Military has detained thousands and led to the deaths of countless others. Calls for genocide and violence circulate among the right wing and even among Hindu priests. The law has been weaponized to deny Kashmiri Muslims their basic human rights.

The conditions are right, the tinder is dry, and all it would take is a spark to set it off.

In Rwanda, the spark was the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana.
In the 21st Century Post-truth world, it could be anything, and it’ll likely be contrived and manufactured.

The second lesson from Rwanda is that the International Community will do nothing to stop it. There will be handwringing, and speeches will be made that someone should do something. Ultimately, no one will. If the International community could not muster to lift a finger to stop a genocide in a small African nation, they certainly will not do anything in the world’s largest so-called democracy.

The United Nations was formed in the ashes of World War II – to prevent war and stop genocide.
It has been an appalling failure.

You can read more about Rwanda’s lessons for Kashmir here.

Former Kashmir governor condemns Modi’s corruption and incompetence

Satya Pal Malik, Kashmir’s final governor before Article 370 was abrogated, and the valley became a Union Territory, condemned the systemic corruption of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a shocking interview.

The revelations were shocking. As Malik was a member of the BJP – he revealed the level of intelligence failures that led to the devastating terrorist attack on soldiers in Pulwama in February 2019.

In the interview, Malik gave details that were previously unknown about the attack – including a shocking intelligence failure in the Pulwama incident because the car carrying 300 kilograms of RDX explosives which had come from Pakistan but was traveling around the roads and villages of Jammu and Kashmir for 10-15 days without being detected and without anyone knowing.

After the attack, he revealed that Modi instructed him to “Keep quiet and not talk about it.”
The interview offered the most damning criticism to date of a BJP politician denouncing Modi.
In the same interview, he stated that Modi is ignorant of the situation in Kashmir and called for statehood to be restored to the region.

Malik answered nearly 30 questions spanning some of the biggest political decisions in India in the last five years. Despite the apparent risk to his safety, Malik stands by all that he has said.
You can read more about the interview here. You can watch the interview in its entirety here.

Kashmir advocacy organizations call on G-20 leaders to skip meetings in occupied Kashmir

The Kashmir Diaspora Coalition (KDC) and its six international affiliate advocacy organizations called on the leaders of Group of 20, an economic cooperation bloc comprising 19 industrialized countries and the European Union, not to participate in the group’s meetings in Indian-occupied Kashmir, an internationally recognized disputed territory.

“We hope that in light of the territory’s disputed status, you will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation and encourage the Government of India to change the summit’s location, or not participate.

The joint statement was also joined by other Kashmir organizations including the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Washington, DC; Kashmir House Istanbul; Kashmir Civitas, Canada; World Kashmir Freedom Movement, London; Tehreek-Kashmir, UK, and EU and Kashmir Campaign Global, London.

The G-20 summit – held though out 2023 by India has sought to portray a sense of normalcy – when its campaign to transform Kashmir has failed and human rights abuses are systematically committed every day.

Final thoughts: Chaos in the face of normalcy

The revelations of Satya Pal Malik are only shocking because they were uttered by a BJP politician. The reality is that the chaos, corruption, and destruction, that Modi and the Hindu nationalist government have wrought has been apparent to anyone who has eyes. What remains to be seen is if causes any cracks in the Prime Minister’s Party and what the fallout will be.
However, if recent history is any guide, the Authoritarian will condemn him as not a true party member, a traitor, or both, and circle the wagon will loyalists and lies.

As 2023 gives way to next year, the desire for normalcy among the chaos is sure to rise as the BJP faces voters again at the ballot box.

And nationalist governments cannot resist stoking the fires of prejudice. With the groundwork of genocide already laid, all that remains to be seen is if it will give way to violence.