The conflict of Kashmir has multiple dimensions and goes beyond the issue of territory. Both India and Pakistan have fought three wars for the state of Kashmir and the issue is still unresolved. The issue started when the Hindu ruler of Muslim majority state decided to join Indian territory instead of Muslim majority Pakistan. The partition between India and Pakistan was based on religious ideology. Seventy years after the partition, both nations continue to fight each other with religion still being the center of arguments. India has the world’s second largest Muslim population and is the only country with Hinduism as the largest religion. The Hindu-Muslim conflict in India and Kashmir has only increased in past decades. Kashmiris, especially, has been the greatest victim of hatred coming from India. Not only civilians but thousands of Indian soldiers in Indian Occupied Kashmir have been accused of creating the worst humanitarian crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Such acts have led to increasing extremism among the youth of Kashmir.
This paper will analyze the factors that lead to increase extremism among the youth of Kashmir. The paper will state the oppression and discrimination of civilians in India, and Indian authorities against the people of Kashmir.
India is a Hindu majority country with the second largest Muslim population in the world. Muslims have ruled India for more than a hundred years until the British came in and colonized the subcontinent. The Hindu vs Muslim cleavage in India came into being after the British started colonizing India. With a lot of ethnic and religious diversity, today India is known to be one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice religion freely. According to the pew research center, India is ranked to be the fourth worst country in religious extremism (Kisi et. al). Hindu nationalists continue to oppress Muslims in India, especially targeting Kashmir. Soon after the Pulwama attack of January 1, most of the Kashmiri students flew from universities in order to save their lives (Mirani). Protests and domestic violence against the people of Kashmir rose once again as forty soldiers got killed in a blast conducted by a Kashmiri residence (Mirani). After the partition, Muslims and Kashmiris have been a prominent target of Hindu extremists. The cases of violence against Muslims and Kashmiris continue to rise every day. According to a report published by Center for Study of Society and Secularism, the most recent large attack against Muslims occurred in Uttar Pradesh when local authorities and civilians killed about 65 Muslims while more than fifty thousand were displaced (9). The report further claims that authorities try their best to hide daily hate crimes against Muslims and Kashmiris. A Hindu nationalist group known as the World Hindu Council is reported to work against Kashmiri students in the universities. Recently, Aabid Majeed Kuchay, dean of Alpine College, was suspended after the protest by World Hindu Council (Niazi). Abrar, a 20-year-old Kashmiri graduate school student, states that shortly after Pulwama attack Kashmiri students felt the wave of hatred against them in the university. He further tells University World News that next morning mobs entered the university and threatened to kill all Kashmiris if they don’t live the campus (Niazi). Such acts continue to happen against the people of Kashmir living with Kashmir and elsewhere in India. The large Hindu population of India sees Kashmir as a symbol of Muslims living in India which leads to more violence against Kashmiri people. Continuous hatred by the civilians motivates the Kashmiri youth, especially in universities, to develop the concept that Hindu Indians are their enemies. It increases hatred between two groups which forces the people of Kashmir and other Muslims to become extremists.
Hatred against Kashmiris and Muslims by the establishment in India is a lot larger than one by the civilians. Since 1990, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been a land of conflict between the people of Kashmir and Indian forces, as the civilians demand independence or the accession to India’s traditional rival Pakistan (Rape in Kashmir 1). The conflict between people and forces has led to the creation of the worst humanitarian crisis in Kashmir. During the week PHR and Asia Watch conducted investigations in Kashmir, the Asia Watch team reported fifteen cases of rape, forty-four extrajudicial executions, eight cases of torture, and twenty injuries resulting from indiscriminate shootings by Indian army and security force (3). The year 1990 brought horrific reports of rapes by Indian army and the crime continues even today. In May 1990, a young Kashmiri bride Muniba Ghani was traveling to her husband’s home when the army officers raped her and her aunt (6). Kunan and Poshpora valleys in Indian Occupied Kashmir came under the horror of Indian army when more than 150 girls were raped in one night. The event completely changed India’s position in Kashmir conflict and the independence movement in Indian occupied Kashmir increased rapidly (Borpujari). The killing of young guys, blinding people, and arresting civilians without any reason are some main types of human rights abuses that take place in Kashmir by the Indian army every day. The rape of young Kashmiri women forced the Kashmiri youth to embrace the ideology that they are in a war with India and Indian armed forces. India’s ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been known for their Hindu nationalist and anti-minorities ideology. The current prime minister of India, Modi, has been accused of killing Muslims in his home state Gujarat. The party also uses Anti-Pakistan slogans in order to gain popularity and votes during elections campaigns. After BJP came in power, the rights of minorities, especially Muslims and Kashmiris, came under great threat. According to a report on hate crimes by Fact Checker, seventy-six percent of victims of hate crimes in India over the last ten years have been Muslims and ninety percent of these attacks have occurred since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was voted into power in 2014 (Ayyub). The Indian government has long been justifying its horrific behavior in Kashmir while the NGOs continue to bash India for such acts. The reports mentioned above show that the Indian army, local police, and the government of India are all oppression Kashmiris in some or other way. The oppression by Indian army has led to multiple attacks by the Kashmiri locals on the Indian army. On January 14, 2019, a resident of Indian Occupied Kashmir committed a suicide attack which ended up killing more than forty Indian soldiers. The event also increased tensions between India and Pakistan after India accused Pakistan of raising militancy in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The oppression by the people of India and Indian authorities is the most prominent reasons for increasing extremism in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Many world leaders and NGOs have warned India to change their behavior in Kashmir. India is de facto losing Kashmir by increasing oppression against them. The territorial conflict of Kashmir is nowhere close to being resolved but the international community has strongly condemned India’s behavior in Kashmir which has also resulted in resolutions for Kashmir in the United Nations.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/reasons-behind-rising-extremism-among-youth-in-indian-occupi