The Indian government cannot hold together the farce of peace in Kashmir much longer. While the DGISPR is allowing for international journalists to visit Azad Jammu & Kashmir, the Indian side is busy pretending nothing is wrong and orchestrated a stage-managed show in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), inviting far-right European leaders to visit the tumultuous region on Tuesday. This invitation was extended in a personal capacity and those in attendance are not an official delegation.
What these parliamentarians will see is obviously going to be heavily curated by the Indian state – with access to telephone and the internet still severely limited in IOK and the curfew still in full force for the past eighty days – there is not much to see except what the Indian states wants to be seen. Add that to the fact that the Indian administration refused to cancel the board examinations of students in IOK, even though most have been boycotting schools entirely for the past two months, tells us that India is trying hard to make things look like they are normal.
27 European leaders from predominantly far right or extreme right-wing parties have been handpicked for this trip – in all likelihood due to their hardline views – which is only indicative of the falseness of the Indian narrative. Islamophobia continues to be a cornerstone of the European far-right movement and the fact that the Modi government has invited those that have nothing but hatred for Muslims to witness their subjugation is nothing short of evil and outrightly fallacious.
Most, if not all of these parliamentarians stand against the migration of Muslim refugees from war-torn countries and would gladly have them sent back to a life of conflict and bloodshed as long as they don’t have to see them in their streets. For many of these individuals, Islam and terrorism are two sides of one coin; hence it will not be surprising if none of them come out in defence of the Kashmiris being marginalised by the Indian state.
By orchestrating this visit, the Indian government has only further solidified the idea that the Modi government is systematically trying to oppress Muslims in India. All those that hate Islam are now seemingly unified under one banner, and the Modi government gets all the credit for this. If the past 80 days of curfew did not make his intentions transparent enough, the world should now realise that Prime Minister Modi is looking to exploit religious divides in his country and this will only lead to more Muslims attacked and losing their rights in the future.