More than 12 days since the Narendra Modi government decided to recast the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir, the development and its aftermath have found relentless coverage in several global dailies.
While some articles have kept their focus limited to questioning the Indian government's move to scrap Article 370 to imposition of internet shutdown and security lockdown, several others have equated the decision as an extension of Modi's-brand of Hindutva politics to the region.
The Washington Post called the move a dangerous game in an editorial 'India's dark moment in Kashmir' on Saturday. "Mr. Modi is playing a dangerous game. His sunny vows of transparency aside, the stripping of Kashmir’s autonomy was done in darkness and in the most coercive way possible," the editorial wrote.
"This is the kind of crackdown on free speech and assembly one expects from authoritarian China, which has set up concentration camps for ethnic Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. But India, which just this week celebrated 73 years of independence as a boisterous, multiethnic and multiconfessional democracy? Mr. Modi might have fulfilled a dream of Hindu nationalists going back to the 1950s, but he also stained that democracy and most likely stoked anger in Kashmir that will fester long into the future," it added.
The Economist in an article on August 15 questioned the Centre's move to "lockdown" the region after taking away what it calls "largely nominal autonomy."
"An information blackout has obscured the northernmost tip of India. Since it scrapped Jammu & Kashmir’s largely nominal autonomy on August 5th and carved the state into two territories, the central government has maintained a curfew in the region. Internet and telephone services have been suspended. Travel has been restricted," it wrote.
The coverage in international publications has prompted several commentators to wonder whether the Kashmir has been internationalised.
In The Guardian, Mirza Waheed wrote, "India’s treatment of Kashmiris is the clearest glimpse yet of the path that Modi, a Hindu nationalist leader, wants to tread. His vision is for a majoritarian, Hindu-first nation where all debate, difference and dissent will be crushed."
Earlier on August 5, an editorial in The New York Times said, "The Indian government knows how incendiary its actions are, which is why, before making the announcement on Monday, it ordered tens of thousands more troops into Kashmir, put major political figures under house arrest, ordered tourists to leave, closed schools and cut off internet services."
The US-based Foreign Policy magazine has also questioned the Modi government's move to scrap Article 370 and believes it could backfire badly.
In an article on August 5, it said "But the repeal of Article 370 is fraught with risk. India is unilaterally altering the territorial status of a highly disputed territory that is, per square mile, the most militarized place in the world. Something has to give, and New Delhi understands this—which is why it implemented a draconian lockdown before the announcement."
First Published: Aug 19, 2019 12:49 PM IST