India Revokes Kashmir’s Autonomy, Raising Fears of More Unrest

Critics see move as an attack on Muslim-majority region

Always a restive territory, the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir is expected to see a huge upsurge in disquiet following Monday’s move by India’s Hindu nationalist government to permanently revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted Kashmir broad autonomy.

Under Article 370, Kashmir was allowed almost total self-governance, beyond military and foreign affairs. The revocation not only eliminates this, but will allow Hindu settlers to buy land, permanently settle in Kashmir, and hold local government positions.

This is seen by many as the major point, as India’s government has long struggled with independence ambitions in Muslim-dominated Kashmir, and may believe they can rapidly change the region’s demographics.

Constitutional experts are questioning the legality of this abrupt move, and a substantial legal challenge is expected to the government’s move, which comes amid an ongoing crackdown in the region.

On top of the internal unrest, protests have begun across neighboring Pakistan, where many Muslim groups have long supported Kashmiri independence bids.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.