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Hilal English

Torn Lives, Muted Voices: Humans without Rights in IIOJK

February 2024

On December 11, 2023, the Supreme Court of India affirmed the Government of India's decision from August 2019, ending the special status and internal sovereignty of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Furthermore, this decision led to the bifurcation of IIOJK, transforming it from a constituent State into two Union Territories. The Supreme Court of India's judgment and decision not only go against the Constitution of India, particularly Articles 3 and 370, as well as domestic opinions and sentiments in both India and IIOJK, but also contradict the established norms of international law regarding the right of peoples to self-determination. It is inconsistent with the consent given by the Indian State before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) when it passed numerous resolutions in the 1940s and 1950s.
The decision by the Supreme Court of India falls short of its intended goals and instead appears to validate the Hindu nationalist agenda of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has openly sought to reinstate Ram Raj in India. The BJP has persistently pursued the annulment of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, and it is unsurprising that, with the support of a complacent judiciary, it has finally realized its long-standing objective. Nonetheless, the struggle for self-determination in IIOJK will persist, as the people of IIOJK have made considerable sacrifices in their quest for self-determination and a dignified life.
Regrettably, the Hindutva ideology has permeated every institution in present-day India. Rooted in discrimination, radicalism, intolerance, and fascism, the Hindutva slogan dismantles India’s long-crafted image as the world's largest democracy. In practice, the BJP's Hindutva ideology translates to the suppression, exploitation, and subjugation of non-Hindus residing in India, with a particular focus on the Muslims of the IIOJK.
It is widely known that far-right extremist groups in India are inclined to harm Muslims whenever they encounter them. Controversy arose over a video in which India's Consul General in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, discussed the abrogation of Article 370 in connection with the 'Israel settlement model.'
In the context of Israel, while the conflict in Gaza extended beyond the initial hundred days with no resolution in sight, a parallel struggle was taking place at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. Across two days in January, South Africa put forth an urgent, thoroughly crafted, and persuasive argument, against Israel for committing genocide in Gaza against Palestine, in violation of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
South Africa petitioned the ICJ for provisional (interim) measures to instruct Israel to halt its military operations and implement measures to mitigate the ongoing risk of genocide. This includes ceasing all genocidal acts, ensuring the punishment of those involved or inciting genocide, preserving evidence of genocidal acts, issuing guidelines on reparations (such as enabling displaced Palestinians to return home), reconstructing what was destroyed in Gaza, and upholding the human rights of Palestinians in the region. In light of the pressing circumstances and the potential for irreversible harm amid the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the ICJ issued its provisional measures orders on January 26. These measures are in place until a final resolution is reached on South Africa's claims. In the immediate future, the UNSC needs to implement the ICJ's orders, putting an end to the ongoing violence, facilitating a ceasefire (implicitly suggested in the ICJ orders), ensuring the release of hostages, and permitting unimpeded entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.
As the struggles for justice and self-determination persist in both IIOJK and Gaza, the implications reverberate globally, emphasizing the urgent need for concerted efforts to uphold fundamental rights and principles of justice.


 

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