98. India and Kashmir: Pinkwashing human rights Har passerat
Lördag 25 november 2023 11:30 - 12:30 CET Henry
Key-note speaker: Professor Dibyesh Anand
Moderator: Emma Brännlund
As the second term of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to an end, the world is observing the country’s fast movement towards authoritarianism. Modi, at the helm of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has since coming to power in 2009 abandoned the secular pillars presented in the post-Independence Indian Constitution, seeking to redefine India as a Hindu nation by targeting religious minorities, particularly Muslims, and tightening the Government’s control over free speech, education, and civil society.
While it is often questioned whether the Indian-held area of Jammu and Kashmir has ever been included in the Indian democratic project, most observers agree that during Modi’s regime the political repression of Kashmir has further intensified. Since August 2019, following the revocation of Articles 35A and 370 of the Indian constitution which upheld Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) special status and the division of the former state of J&K into two union territories, the rights of Kashmir Valley inhabitants have been suspended in the name of security logic. The Indian Government and several pro-Hindutva organisations have argued that the abrogation of J&K’s special status was necessary to ensure that the 2018 Supreme Court decision that decriminalised non-heteronormative sexual activities also was applicable to J&K and that the Indian state has a duty to intervene to ensure that the rights LGBTQ Kashmiris are upheld.
This session will explore the evolving approach by the Modi-led Government to handle the Kashmir question, asking how an ideology based on Hindutva and neoliberalism, corporate interests, and authoritarianism intersect in continuing the settler colonial project in Kashmir. Particularly, it will look at how the Indian regime is using a language of LGBTQ-rights to legitimise the abrogation of Articles 35A and 370 since August 2019 and how Kashmiri queer activists are challenging the Indian discourse.
Nordic Kashmir Organisation (NKO) and Kashmir-Palestine Scholars Solidarity Network
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Professor Dibyesh Anand Key-note speaker
Head of School - Social Sciences, University of Westminster
Emma Brännlund Moderator
Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Mid Sweden University