Showing posts with label Kashmir. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kashmir. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Kashmir Deserves Normalcy

India is no longer a democracy if Kashmir can not be like any other state in India. If the regime in Delhi will not respect human rights, it is not a democratic regime. Elections do not make a democracy, respect for human rights does. Delhi must restore normalcy to Kashmir. Israel occupied Palestine is nobody's gold standard, nobody's north pole, least of a country that claims to be the largest democracy.

India consul general in United States calls for 'Israeli model' in Kashmir Indian official tells New York meeting: 'It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it' ........... the Indian government’s goals of a settler-colonial policy for the valley, which Kashmiri academics and scholars have long warned is the ultimate ambitions of the Indian state. ...... there remains a deep anxiety among Kashmiri Pandits that their pain is being weaponised to further the goals of the BJP-led government. ........ Thus far, only a far-right European delegation has been allowed in while foreign journalists have not been allowed to enter the valley since August 5. ........ Estimates vary, but more than 100,000 Kashmiri Hindus left during the upheaval. According to government figures, 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed between 1989-2004. ........ Since the insurgency began in the late 1980s, more than 70,000 Kashmiri Muslims have died, while an estimated 7,000 others have "disappeared". ....... Israeli-India relations have intensified since the election of Narendra Modi in 2014. India is Israel's biggest purchaser of arms, amounting to $1bn per year. ........ On Monday, Agnihoti delivered a lecture at an event jointly organised by the American Jewish Council and the Hindu Jewish Council. ......... Arab regimes are fully on board with India's settler-colonial project in Kashmir ......... “The violent re-writing of the subcontinent’s history is angering, stunning and also tiring. It’s a familiar tactic that relies on nationalism, Brahminism and Islamophobia. It has little to do with displaced Kashmiri Pandits” ......... .....Though landlines and post-paid mobile phones have been reconnected in Kashmir since the communicat9ions blockade was announced, prepaid phones, text messaging and internet services are still down in Kashmir. ........ ...There are more than 700,000 Indian troops in Kashmir, in what is described as the most militarised region on earth. Since 1947, Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan, with a small portion held by China.
India's blockade of Kashmir: 100 days in, the world's silence is deafening Kashmir is under a tight grip, its people occupied and their movements monitored......... Even Pakistan’s Imran Khan, who has championed the cause since 5 August, seems to be running out of steam ......... whereas Muslims facing persecution around the world are not likely to be holding out for words of comfort or solidarity from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or any other Arab country for that matter, the resounding silence from other Muslim majority countries has been particularly shocking. ........ Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan’ comments at the UN General Assembly in September have earned the wrath of India's government with Prime Minister Modi's planned visit to Ankara postponed as a result. Likewise, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's comments during his address at the UN summit, describing India has having “invaded and occupied” Kashmir, have led nowhere either........... Even Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, who has championed the cause since August, seems to be running out of steam. So, too, has the silence been from almost all quarters of the western world, otherwise evangelical in their approach to spreading democracy and justice......... On Tuesday, it will be 100 days since the blockade began in Kashmir and very little has changed on the ground..........

In the sky, drones conduct sweeping Israeli-inspired surveillance over protest sites, helping armed forces identify "miscreants".

........ Kashmir is under a tight grip, its people occupied and their movements monitored. ....... The crackdown has seen thousands of ordinary people arrested, including children picked up by India’s armed forces - some held for a few hours, others held indefinitely - without any transparency from the state......... Parents are said to be going from prison to prison in Kashmir, only to find that their sons, held without any charge, have been transferred to prisons in a different state thousands of kilometres away. ........In mid-October, 18 female activists and academics, one as old as 82-years-old, were arrested for staging a silent protest. They were only released when they promised not to speak or protest against India, a tactic authorities are using to quell dissent. .......

Over the past week, a series of unusual and record snowfalls hit the valley, leaving residents without electricity for three days. Kashmiris were just left in the dark and in the freezing cold without the ability to call even their neighbours, emergency services or the outside world for help.

........... The spectre of Hindu-only settlements has left Kashmiris concerned that their home will resemble the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Crucially the demographic shift will render the UN mandated question of self-determination obsolete....... Kashmiris are not oblivious that their plight is among a number of vicious resource-driven and politically motivated campaigns against Muslims (often instrumentalised by Islamophobia) around the globe. ........ Kashmir is not just about territory disputed between India and Pakistan. Both countries rely heavily on the water that flows through the region. ....... On Monday, The Gambia took Myanmar to the International Court of Justice, accusing it of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority. ........ The case, filed at the behest of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, has been touted as a historic one, for it gives the Rohingya a chance to seek justice and accountability.
India's annexation of Kashmir is straight out of the Israeli playbook With more than 700,000 Indian soldiers, paramilitary and police in the region, the most militarised region on earth, they argued that Kashmiris were living under client leaders held firm by the might of the Indian military establishment. ........... Revoking article 370 paves the way for a full settler-colonial project in Kashmir, much like Jewish settlements in the West Bank......... This included ending the "privileges" enjoyed by Muslims - even if they were and remain the poorest and most undeveloped community in India. It also included framing Kashmir as one dotted by shrines and temples, and part of Hinduism's glorious past in the Himalayas.......... ... a full settler-colonial project in Kashmir with the next stage likely to involve Hindu-only enclaves, much like Jewish settlements in the West Bank. ........ Pakistan has supported the armed movement, but its security agencies also fear Kashmiri independence as much as India does........ his popularity increases each time Hindu-Muslim tensions rise in the country. He is a master manipulator and puppeteer of majoritarian ambition, scapegoating widespread economic failure to those who fall outside the national project, be it Muslims, or Kashmiris, or those who dare to express dissent.
When it comes to Palestine and Kashmir, India and Israel are oppressors-in-arms The hue of 'democracy' has given India and Israel special gravitas and legitimacy, while human rights violations continue unchecked......... In a back alley in downtown Srinagar, the capital of India-controlled Kashmir, a string of words splashed on a wall reads: "Long Live Palestine". Nearby, "Free Gaza" screams from a shutter on a store. .......... For many Muslims around the world, Palestine holds a special place in their political consciousness. Al-Aqsa Mosque, after all, is one of the most important sites in Islam. Those on the left, whether millennial radicals or grey-bearded Marxists, have also supported the Palestinian cause over the zealous imperialism of Zionist settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, displacement and war-mongering........... in Muslim-majority, India-controlled Kashmir, the subjugation of Palestinians is a personal matter - a reminder of their own condition...........

When the last Gaza offensive began in July 2014, Kashmiris took to the streets daily to protest against the Israeli bombardment.

....... Kashmir has been claimed in full by both India and Pakistan since 1947. A de facto border separates the Indian-controlled from the Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir. Three out of the four wars fought between the two countries have been over the dispute. ........

with around 700,000 troops amid a population of 14 million, Kashmir is the most militarised place on earth.

....... This is a society harassed by checkpoints and army convoys, terrorised by troops able to operate with impunity under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and mired in a legal malaise called the Public Safety Act that allows young boys to be picked up and held indefinitely without charge. This is not dissimilar to the Israeli policy of "administrative detention" that has seen thousands of Palestinians held indefinitely. ............ For years, Indian forces have used lead-plated pellets as a method of "crowd control". These have blinded 1,000 people and wounded 10,000 others, with injuries ranging from torn tissue to internal organ damage............. As if violence was not enough, the Indian state regularly disconnects the internet and telephone services to discourage grassroots organising and the dissemination of information, and to cut off Kashmiri people from the rest of the world. ......... Between 2013 and 2017, India was the largest importer of Israeli arms. Israeli Rafael's Spice 2000 missiles as well as Heron drones reportedly played a significant role in India's recent "surgical strike" in Pakistan on 26 February. Just days before the strike, India ordered 50 more drones in a deal worth $500m.......... Israel has systematically ethnically cleansed Palestinians, taking over their homes, buying off resistance, quelling dissent, and appropriating elements of their culture - even cuisine - as part of a larger bid to remove the Palestinian footprint from these lands. As a result, Palestinians are essentially second-class non-citizens. .............In comparison, India, through a policy of "domestication" - or to use BJP leader Ram Madhav’s words, "instilling India" into Kashmiri Muslims - seeks to make Kashmiri Muslims relinquish their political identities and submit to the larger Indian project.............. They would then become "Indian Muslims," who, by all measures of success and equity in Indian society, are second-class citizens. The end game is to facilitate a demographic shift in Kashmir itself, bringing in more Hindus from India to settle into Kashmir............ Both Israel and India employ a sophisticated, securitised, statist language - parroted by their jingoistic media - that helps to legitimise the occupation, along with related human rights violations and crackdowns. ......... The quick resort to Islamophobia is an easy sell to justify their actions. Just as Israel describes its invasions of Gaza as a "defence" against "radical Islamist" Hamas members, Indians are still able to invoke their international brands of "Gandhi" and "yoga" while unleashing ammunition into protests by Kashmiri youth, saying that they are Pakistan-sponsored terrorists or radical jihadists.............. Israelis famously picnicked on hilltops to watch as the bombs rained down on Gaza in 2014. This week, as Indian jets flew over Pakistani territory to kickstart war, Indian celebrities cheered them on Twitter..............

Just as Israelis or Zionists intimidate academics, journalists and intellectuals who question Israeli policies, so too do the strong, often nationalistic Indian diaspora in media houses and schools around the planet attempt to suppress any discussion of Kashmir.

........... Like Palestinians, many young Kashmiris, powerless in the face of state machinery, have resorted to stone-pelting. The fact that Indian authorities use disproportionate force - including burning down villages, homes and crops of those loosely acquainted with rebel fighters - is also conveniently ignored........... Both Palestine and Kashmir have neighbours operating primarily on self-interest. If Palestine has Jordan and Egypt undermining its cause, Kashmir has Pakistan, which seeks little more than allegiance and a worthy alibi in India to deflect from the real and legitimate concerns of Kashmiris.............. This comes after Kashmiris in various Indian cities were beaten and intimidated by mobs who screamed "Dogs welcome but not Kashmiris," following the attack on paramilitary forces on 14 February. ............ The hue of "democracy" has given both India and Israel special gravitas and legitimacy; their supposed utility - India's economic power and Israeli's technological prowess - for the rest of the world has also granted them a certain immunity. Israel might still have its detractors, while India is still "a lesser evil". But together, they are formidable.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

India's Massive Unemployment Problem: China Actually Knows

India has a massive, massive unemployment problem. Even when there is some economic growth, the jobs are not being created. And China is one country that actually knows how to solve that problem. And it might even be eager to help.

That is why it is important to settle the border dispute with Pakistan. Because the same formula that will settle the dispute with Pakistan will also settle the long border dispute with China, the longest in the world.

The India-Pakistan border and the China-India border are unnecessarily militarized. Both need to be turned into trade membranes.

There is a region in Nepal called Karmali. It is right by Tibet in the west of Nepal. Karnali, about 500 years ago, used to be a prosperous empire, big enough to be called a civilization. Today Karnali is destitute. It has unimaginable poverty. It is because Karnali is like a house with all its windows closed. China has sealed the border with Tibet. That hampers trade or rather suffocates it.

Peace with Pakistan is important because peace with China is also important. Trade solves many problems. Peace is the greatest dividend of trade. Prosperity is secondary, but not minor.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Can't Stop Water To Pakistan

China does not have a right to block the Bramhaputra. China, India and Bangladesh have to agree to share the waters of that large river. Similarly, there are rivers that originate in India but flow through Pakistan to ultimately fall into the Arabian Gulf. Those are shared rivers. India can not unilaterally block the water flow. For one, it is illegal. And it is inhumane.

Water is about to become an issue. This past summer the seventh-largest city in India - Chennai down south - saw major water shortage. Chennai is far far from Pakistan.

Kashmir is a thorny enough problem. Let's not add water to that fire.

Don't blame Pakistan for global warming. Pakistan is itself a victim. Due to global warming glaciers in the Himalayas have been melting faster than they ought.

What to do?

Fight global warming by planting a trillion trees, and fast. Use rain harvesting techniques. That is a great way to collect water. India should become a less agricultural country. India should move up the economic food chain and should embark upon a clean energy led industrialization.

But whatever you do, don't block the water flow to Pakistan.

Clean energy technologies are seeing such exponential advances in terms of both quality and cost, desalination is going to become a very real option for both countries before the decade is out.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

The Nation State In Peril

I am looking at the (1) incarceration epidemic in the US, (2) the million detained Uighurs in Xinjiang, China, and (3) Kashmir having been turned into an open-air prison by the Indian government in Delhi, and I am thinking, the nation-state, as we have known for a few hundred years now, is in need of an overhaul. What we have is not working.

We need 4-5 layers of government on the planet. The local, the state, the national, and the global. Most countries could use federalism. And sometimes local is not enough. Some small cultural units need autonomy within that local/state government.

When the Prime Minister of India meets the President of China in their annual two-day summit, do you think they just hang out? No. Their foreign ministries have been doing the homework for weeks in advance. Bureaucracies are involved. Four-Layered governance on the planet will make for more efficient bureaucracies.

The nation-state is not in a position to tackle the big challenges of the day. Not climate change, not terrorism, not global poverty.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Imran Khan Is Back Home

The Biggest Reason For Lifting The Curfew In Kashmir

The Government Of India did what it did on Article 370, but the people of Kashmir have a right to challenge that decision and take it all the way to the Supreme Court. Maybe the Supreme Court will side with the Government of India, maybe it will not. We can not know beforehand. But there is no avoiding that route. You can not wish the Supreme Court away. You can not wish the judicial process away.

The curfew should be lifted. And the people of Kashmir should be told loud and clear, if they disagree with the decision, their best option is to take the issue to the Supreme Court of India, and to that end, they should organize peaceful gatherings in indoor locations and marshall their arguments after deliberations and discussions. That peaceful political process has to be encouraged to the hilt.

The curfew is inhumane. It is not the democratic way. And it needs to be lifted immediately. It has been two months already. That is two months too long.

Of course, all politicians, all intellectuals in Kashmir who have been put under house arrests if not outright taken to jail should be release immediately. Maybe they would like to give the Delhi government a wait and watch mode. Or maybe they disagree and they would like to go to the Supreme Court. That judicial process should be encouraged to the hilt. That might not be enough. But that might be one way to make the situation less explosive.

For me it is not about how I feel about Article 370. For me it is about how the people of Kashmir feel about Article 370.

I would be utterly surprised if there are no street protests after the curfew is lifted. But peaceful protests should be encouraged. And the judicial option has to be encouraged. Those who disagree with the decision need to see there is a political way to oppose it.

By now the curfew has become a major issue of its own. And the longer the curfew lasts, greater the ammunition for those who could never side with the Indian government.

Police impose restrictions in Indian Kashmir after Pakistan PM's speech In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Khan warned of a bloodbath once India lifts its restrictions in Kashmir, which have been in force since it revoked the region’s decades-old autonomy in August and detained thousands of people. ...... Soon after the speech, hundreds of Kashmiris came out of their homes, shouting slogans in support of Khan late on Friday night and calling for the independence of Kashmir....... Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full...... The troops also blocked access to the main business center of Srinagar with razor wire..... Two Indian officials said six militants and one Indian soldier had been killed in two separate incidents in the state ........ Though New Delhi has eased some of the movement curbs, no prominent detainees have been freed and mobile and internet connections remain suspended......... While warning of the consequences of lifting what he described as an “inhuman curfew,” Pakistani premier Khan demanded India do so and free all detainees....... Khan addressed the United Nations a day after the senior U.S. diplomat for South Asia called for a lowering of rhetoric between India and Pakistan, while saying that Washington hoped to see rapid action by India to lift restrictions it has imposed in Kashmir and the release of detainees there.

Friday, September 27, 2019

इमरान ने जनरल असेम्ब्ली में छक्का मारा

धारा ३७० को हटाना अगर गलत था तो लोग भारतमें सर्वोच्च अदालत को जाएँगे। लेकिन कर्फ्यु जो अभी तक जारी है वो तो बहुत गलत है। ये तो चीन ने जो १० लाख लोगों को डिटेन कर रखा है उससे भी दो कदम आगे चला गया। आप ८० लाख लोगों को खुले जेल में रखे हुवे हैं। ये तो बहुत गलत है।

आप कहते हैं काश्मीर के हित में है ये कदम। तो कश्मीरियों को खुले में आने दिजिए। जश्न मनाने दिजिए। ५०-५० दिन तक कहीँ कर्फ्यु लगाया जाता है?

मैं चाहुँगा इमरान अपना राजनीतिक दबाब बनाए रखे। नहीं तो कर्फ्यु कभी उठेगा ही नहीं।

काश्मीर के लोगों का मानव अधिकार भारतके संविधान में सुरक्षित है। काश्मीर में जो मानव अधिकार हनन है वो भारतके संविधान के विरुद्ध है।

आप अगर अपने देशके भितर मानव अधिकार हनन अगर करते हैं तो वो आतंरिक मामला नहीं रह जाता।

The curfew in Kashmir must be lifted immediately. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Formula For Peace: Iran-Saudi-US, Taliban-US, India-Pakistan


Situation: War is not an option. An all-out attack by the US on Iran and an all-out counter-attack is unthinkable. For one, there would be a global Depression. It would be like the global economy had a heart attack. A seizure. Even when you are not talking, you are essentially "talking," you are signaling.

Interesting: The Saudis, the Iranians and the Americans all are on excellent terms with both Imran Khan and Narendra Modi. Both Modi and Imran should come together and help out Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the US.

Solution: Go back to the Obama nuclear deal and while you are at it, negotiate on all other outstanding matters. Give full engagement to Iran as a conclusion step. Maximum trade, maximum tourism.

Rationale: If you want democracy in Iran, you want to engage to the maximum. Trade also prevents war. If the Chinese and American supply chains were not such a spaghetti, we would already have seen a US-China hot war by now.


Situation: The Taliban and the Afghan government refuse to talk to each other, but both are willing to talk to Imran Khan.

Interesting: Both the Afghan government and the Taliban are eager to talk to Imran Khan. The Indian government is on good terms with the Afghan government.

Solution: Integrate the Afghan Army and the Taliban to create one unified army, like happened with the Maoists of Nepal and the Nepal Army in the mid 2000s.

Bottomline: The Taliban must agree to become a political party and contest elections in Afghanistan.


Situation: Indian Kashmir is under curfew for more than 50 days running now.

Interesting: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the US are all on excellent terms with both Imran Khan and Narendra Modi.

Solution: Let Pakistan and India recognize the Line Of Control as the final border between the two countries and compete with each other to install democracy and human rights in both Kashmirs. This formula of recognizing the LOC as the final border is also the solution to the India-China border dispute. They have the longest disputed border in the world.

Bottomline: The curfew in Kashmir must be lifted immediately.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Kashmir: Not Normal Yet

Modi's Big Political Mistake On Article 370 In Kashmir

The status quo was unsustainable. I grant you that much. But if the goal is lasting peace between India and Pakistan, the move just made by Modi and his Man Friday Amit Shah might not have been the best step forward.

First of all, let's start with the aspect that is black and white to me. Why do you have a curfew for so long? You have turned all of Kashmir into an open-air prison. You claim the move you just made is in the best interests of the people of Kashmir and their aspirations for peace and prosperity. Well then, let them speak. Let them come out into the streets and celebrate this wonderful move of yours. And if some want to peacefully protest, let them. Let the politicians out. Move Kashmir towards elections at the earliest.

I have long advocated that the key to permanent peace is for both countries to recognize the Line Of Control as the final border, and to boost trade and tourism across the border. That formula, applied between India and Kashmir, can then be taken also to the India China border, the longest disputed border in the world.

So you can say this abrogation of Article 370 is just a step in that direction. But a much better way would have been to take the people of Kashmir into confidence, to take the political leaders of Kashmir into confidence, to take Pakistan into confidence. Modi should have taken Imran Khan on his offer and organized summit talks, one attended not just by the Prime Ministers, but also by the two army chiefs, and the two intelligence chiefs.

And then the two could have agreed, let's leave the Pakistani Kashmir with Pakistan, and the Indian Kashmir with India, and let's pull back our troops and normalize the border. Let's now focus on trade and tourism. Let's compete to install full-fledged democracy across Kashmir. Let's compete on human rights.

After that summit and agreement with Imran Khan, Modi and team could then have taken people like Omar Abdullah and Mufti into confidence, and then the Article 370 could have been abrogated.

But now that where we are, the total focus has to be on restoring normalcy in Kashmir and heading towards elections. That is a black and white issue to me. And I will call out Delhi on that. Delhi is wrong to impose what looks like an indefinite curfew in Kashmir. That is wrong.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Imran Khan: India's Last Hope For Lasting Peace

Imran Khan becoming Prime Minister of Pakistan is like if Muhammad Ali had become President Of The United States. Imran Khan has been the most well known Pakistani in India for much of his adult life. That has not changed. Not only well known, but popular, loved. Give the game of cricket some credit. The game seems to do what politicians can't.

Imran Khan means well. The US would like to see democracy in Iraq, perhaps in Iran. It should start in Pakistan. Pakistan is still a democracy being built. Instead of giving tens of billions to the Pakistan Army, the US should fund the work of democracy.

Imran wants lasting peace. I don't understand why Modi could have talked to Nawaj Sharif but will not talk to Imran.

Imran is a well-educated, well-traveled man. He is East meets West. He has children who are growing up in London. He can talk as articulately about Islam as he can about democracy and economic growth, health and education.

Islam is much misunderstood. It serves the world to give Imran Khan more stages on which to speak.

I want Imran Khan to do for Pakistan what Nitish Kumar did for Bihar after he started in 2005. Bihar was a big mess in 2005 when Nitish Kumar became Chief Minister. Pakistan is a big mess today. I think Imran can get it done. He can put Pakistan on a path to double-digit growth rates. He has what it takes. Permanent peace between India and Pakistan is key to that equation.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

News: Hong Kong, Kashmir, Vigilantism, Curfew, Terrorism, Diaspora

Carrie Lam can defuse the Hong Kong protests by taking on the property tycoons

Hong Kong is in India, Kashmir is in China. Right? Hong Kong and Indian Kashmir. One is administered by the world’s biggest democracy and one is the democracy-craving outlier of an authoritarian state...... Which is which? These days, it’s hard to tell … flying in from India this time, amid dramatic developments in the country’s restive Kashmir region, I could use a refresher on the virtues of democracy. ....... Like Hong Kong, the province of Jammu and Kashmir – till recently – was an autonomous region with special privileges defining its relationship to the republic holding its sovereignty. The princely state acceded to a newly independent India in 1947 in return for guarantees of its autonomy, including having its own constitution. ....... A rough, local equivalent of Modi’s move would be President Xi Jinping suddenly scrapping the Basic Law and declaring Hong Kong as a full-fledged province of China right away, rather than give it the stipulated three more decades as an autonomous territory. ...... focus on the opticality of it, which is what makes Kashmir such a striking contrast to Hong Kong........ a total lockdown, which is what is in place in Kashmir today ........ A fact-finding team of activists that has just returned from Kashmir describes it as “a prison under military control”, where underage boys are being arrested to pre-empt protests. And no one has heard from Kashmiri leaders since August 5....... estimated numbers ranging from 500 to 1,300. Its three top leaders, all former chief ministers, are in solitary confinement, with no contact with their families, lawyers or party members.........

Even stranger for a democracy is the way Kashmir is being covered by India’s mainstream media, especially when compared with supposedly quasi-democratic Hong Kong’s telling of its own story.

The months-long movement has been reported extensively and unhindered by the local and international media alike, making it one of the biggest international news stories this year. The protests are often beamed real-time and live-blogged by the city’s top media brands, increasing the scrutiny of government conduct......... The last two questions faced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at her most recent press conference were, “do you have a conscience?” and “when will you die?”. ........ Most Indian mainstream media outlets, on the other hand, evidently under pressure from a headline-obsessed Modi administration, are more or less following the government narrative of peace and calm in Kashmir despite the abrogation of its special status. This is of a piece with the current trend in India, where a once-proud and independent media landscape is now littered with a host of news outlets eager to please the powers that be, rather than speak truth to them. The Press Club of India in Delhi even denied permission to display photos and videos brought back by the fact-finding team returning from Kashmir..........

India this year fell two more places on the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. From 80th in 2002, it now ranks 140th out of 180 territories, right behind South Sudan (139), Myanmar (138) and Palestine (137), and far behind Hong Kong (73).

.......... Nowhere is this precipitous drop in journalistic standards and reporting climate more evident than in prime-time news and talk shows, where government spins are faithfully belted out by loud anchors eager to prove their patriotism and score brownie points with the government.

Some of them would easily give the Chinese state media an inferiority complex.

The dominant media narrative established in these shows and newspaper headlines is how Modi’s “masterstroke” will improve the lot of Kashmiris. Only, neither the Kashmiri people nor their leaders are anywhere in sight to vouch for this magical transformation of their lives. .......... Organisations like the BBC and Reuters have reported the rage bubbling up in Kashmir, impromptu protests and police firings to quell the mobs. Delhi has dismissed the reports as “fabricated”, much in the manner of an authoritarian state warding off prying foreign media.......While the image of one pellet injury has animated Hong Kong, reports and photos of at least half a dozen new pellet injuries that have surfaced in India’s plucky news websites and international media have had little impact in India. ........ A people who say they do not have democracy and are demanding elections can stand up and be counted, while those who took part in the world’s biggest election just three months ago are living under an undeclared martial law imposed by their own government and silenced. It’s almost as if Hong Kong and Kashmir have miraculously switched geographies – as if Hong Kong is part of India’s disputatious and diverse democracy, and Kashmir, an aberrant Muslim province in monolithic China.

On the ground in Kashmir, feelings of loss, betrayal and helplessness as Srinagar remains in lockdown
Have Singaporeans misunderstood the nature of Hong Kong protests?

One China, two different worlds: how the great political divide is on full show overseas amid Hong Kong chaos Hong Kong students abroad have described an atmosphere of fear, intimidation and vitriol in dealing with ultra-nationalistic mainland Chinese since the city’s anti-government protests broke out........ With the gulf in understanding showing little sign of narrowing, universities are now grappling with concerns about freedom of speech ........ she found her picture circulating on WeChat. She believes it was snapped by one of the dozens of mainland Chinese students who turned up to counter the protest on August 16......... Even more disturbing, someone photographed her while she was shopping at a Costco store the next day, and put that picture on WeChat too.......... It rattled her, and left her looking over her shoulder everywhere she went. “Who knows what they are going to do?” Wong said. “I keep feeling they will follow me home.”.......

The Australian citizen, originally from Hong Kong, made a police report.

........ Campus clashes and other incidents have occurred recently in cities including Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia, and Vancouver and Montreal in Canada........In Vancouver, police escorted worshippers out of a prayer meeting for Hong Kong last Sunday after flag-waving mainlanders surrounded the church in what one organiser described as an attempt at “bullying” and “intimidation”........

The incidents have almost always been initiated by a small number of ultra-nationalistic pro-Beijing Chinese, often students, who oppose demonstrations supporting Hong Kong’s anti-government protests, Taiwan independence or calling for investigations into Uygur detentions in China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang.

........ an expansion of tension that has periodically flared between Hong Kong and mainland students on Hong Kong university campuses, over issues such as separatism......... Overall, there were 1.2 million people of Chinese descent in Australia in 2016, according to the census that year. Of the total, 41 per cent were born in mainland China and 6.5 per cent in Hong Kong. Canadians of Chinese descent make up 1.76 million people, according to 2016 census data, of whom about 753,000 are mainland-born, and 216,000 were born in Hong Kong.............. Hongkonger Eugenie Wong, 19, an organiser of the Melbourne protest, said she was worried about being recognised on the street by the pro-Beijing group.......... “That makes me feel like Australia is not even safe – or that nowhere is safe – for a Hong Kong student,” said Wong, a La Trobe University student. ....... At the University of South Australia, a student who requested anonymity said a mainland student followed him to his apartment after he attended the anti-government protest at the university....... Simon Fraser University, where a Lennon Wall of messages supporting the Hong Kong protesters has been repeatedly vandalised........ While mainland students overseas have mobilised to counter voices critical of Beijing for decades, Cheuk Kwan, the former chairperson of the non-profit Toronto Association for Democracy in China, said they were now increasingly resorting to outright intimidation. ....... many mainland students he encountered struggled to adjust to the liberal norms of Australia because of a sense of grievance over past wrongs against China by Western powers combined with an inferiority complex towards Western countries. ........“They spend all their 20 years of life on studying but nothing else, and have little understanding of how democracy or freedom works in the West,” Gao said. “These students are laughingly naive about political and social issues.............. “But they become more defensive of China after they come to Australia because all they see and hear in the media is a one-sided, negative framing of China, if not outright China bashing.”....... most mainland students steer clear of disciplines such as international relations in favour of subjects such as commerce and accounting....... mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong, however, where 12,000 of them are enrolled at the city’s eight universities............The recent clashes between those supporting the Hong Kong protesters and the pro-Beijing group have sparked calls for greater scrutiny of Chinese influence at universities, including through the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a Beijing-funded organisation that purports to help students adjust to life abroad and has about 150 branches on campuses worldwide.........

Media in Canada and the United States have published evidence that mainland students belonging to the association have coordinated with Chinese consulates to counter perceived anti-China activity abroad.

....... In Australia, the Chinese consulate in Brisbane issued a statement after the campus chaos at the University of Queensland praising the “spontaneous patriotic behaviour of Chinese students”. It drew a warning from Foreign Minister Marise Payne who said diplomats in Australia should not interfere with the right to free speech, even on contentious issues.......... universities had been caught off guard by the recent clashes and were yet to wake up to the “problems inherent in having

Chinese student groups effectively run and funded by PRC embassies and consulates”

......... the “excessiveness” of their reliance on mainland Chinese students for revenue........ this group makes up approximately 10 per cent of all Australian university students, with almost 153,000 mainland Chinese enrolled in higher education in Australia as of December 2018......... At seven universities, including the University of Queensland, course fees paid by these students form anywhere between 13 to 23 per cent of the institutions’ revenue....... concern that proactively defending people in Canada from coercion by the PRC regime could impact negatively on other aspects of the Canada-China relationship....... What Australian universities could do, Laurenceson said, was to “make it clear that physical altercations, tearing up pamphlets and ripping the megaphone out of the hands of those with opposing views, blocking other students from posting to Lennon walls, and so on, impinge on the fundamental value of freedom of speech and will draw consequences.”.......

A Hongkonger who recently graduated from McGill University in Montreal said universities needed to respond to the new reality that many Hong Kong students now felt afraid to express themselves freely.

....... “If nationalist mainlanders can threaten Hongkongers, they can threaten anyone who they do not agree with.......... the city’s supporters overseas are bracing themselves for more displays of patriotic fervour from pro-Beijing supporters.

Hong Kong protests: man seriously hurt after attack by anti-government demonstrators as street fights between rival groups erupt
Hong Kong protests: three months on and the anti-government activists want their enemies to burn with them. Is there any end in sight? They are strangers in a crowd. They do not know each other’s real names and have little clue how the other looks under the gas masks they call snouts, the 3M goggles and hard hats. But they regard each other as sau zuk, which means “hands and feet”, a Cantonese idiom to refer to how close they are that losing the other is like having a limb amputated......... For Kelvin, the image of a fellow protester whom he had just met on the frontline being hauled away by police and leaving a trail of blood stains in his wake left him feeling helpless. He says: “I keep awake thinking of it, and I blame myself.” ....... Over in Central’s Edinburgh Place on September 2 as thousands of secondary school pupils gather for a school boycott rally, a 15-year-old student surnamed Pang laments: “I can’t sleep and can’t eat, my heart is tired.”........ The disciplined service quarters in the working-class district – where police families such as hers live – have been besieged several times by angry protesters throughout the summer holiday. A window in her flat was struck and cracked by one of the many projectiles hurled at the quarter. Her parents shrugged off the attacks. Her younger brother, in Primary Two, cried....... The gamut of emotions felt by Katie, Pang and Kelvin reflects what the wider society is reeling from as Hongkongers try to comprehend how their city has changed from one renowned for its stability and orderliness to a place that has almost nightly protests in one corner or another.......

many admit they have no answer to when and how it will all end.

....... Lam has refused to entertain the remaining four demands, which are for the independent probe, amnesty for arrested protesters, a halt to categorising the protests as riots and genuine universal suffrage.......

Three months on, the young protesters have come to believe the movement offers them a now-or-never chance to fight for genuine democracy, or, for the extreme radicals, even breaking away from the control of the Chinese Communist Party. “If we burn, you burn with us,” they say. Many believe this is the denouement of their demand for democracy and appear prepared to risk everything.

........ The impasse looks set to harden, with further concessions unlikely from both sides.........But if the government’s strategy is to wear the protesters down, it is not working........ The psychological support offered to the protesters by the vast swathe of society, the moderate and middle-class ranks, is the political vitamin keeping the momentum going...... “It is a call to restore ‘one country, two systems’ and to defend their civil liberties and the way of life.” ...... Kelvin’s mother and sister used to be politically indifferent, but now they constantly monitor live broadcasts of the clashes. They know the drill if Kelvin disappears: trash all his belongings that could be linked to the protests and hide his laptop at a secret place no one can reach........ Over the three months, police have fired more than 2,382 canisters of tear gas, more than 776 rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and sponge grenades as of September 10 and arrested 1,359 people. At least 70 of them have been charged with rioting, an offence carrying a penalty of 10 years in prison........... As the protests have continued, demonstrators and police have clashed in pitched battles, each weekend encounter more bitter and seemingly surpassing the level of violence seen the weekend before. Police have been accused of using excessive force while protesters have now not just used bricks but also petrol bombs, some 100 of them a fortnight ago........

“Snape said, ‘the Dark Lord isn’t resting’. So we can’t rest.”

........On LIHKG, the Reddit-like site which acts as a virtual command centre for the movement, users have begun responding to recent talk the government might invoke emergency powers to end the unrest with slogans that they are ready to do battle and “want to perish together”....... most protesters, according to an academic survey, consider themselves to be from middle-class backgrounds. The ratio falls to half middle-class and the other half from lower middle-class when it comes to those on the front lines........ such sentiments reflect the total breakdown in trust between those in power and those on the streets......

Government insiders say it is almost a “mission impossible” for the administration to offer further concessions, especially after Beijing has spelt out some clear bottom lines.

....... the government is struggling to find solutions to the unrest and expects it to go on “for a very long time”....... between August 21 and 27 found that 68.3 per cent of 716 respondents expected the clashes to continue or become even more serious in the coming month........ While nearly half agreed both protesters and the government should make concessions to seek common ground, almost two-fifths of the respondents thought the opposite and argued the protesters should stick to their five key demands and not compromise....... In recent weeks, the police appear to have changed their strategy by going after mass arrests, apparently targeting hard core protesters and prominent pro-democracy activists........

the crackdown will galvanise rather than gut the movement.

........ To break the impasse, one needs to understand the defining spirit behind the movement....... Hongkongers’ anxieties if not anger at what they perceive as the local government’s bid to push the city towards being “one country” and eroding the city’s own identity........ Beijing, he says, should learn from how the tightening up post-Occupy through various actions, including the disqualification of six pro-democracy lawmakers, would only cause grievances to fester and grow again....... A lot of people still miss the old days of ‘the well water does not mix with the river water,’” he says, referring to a Chinese idiom once quoted by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin to suggest Hong Kong should not interfere in the affairs of mainland China and vice versa. .......

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