New Delhi, August 15, “Independence Day”
The “integration” of Kashmir into India, or what some (if a distinct minority) would call its annexation by the Indian nation-state, has been discussed largely from the legal, national security, policy, and geopolitical standpoints. But what might a Gandhian reading of Kashmir look like? The BJP claims that it is now freeing Kashmir from the stranglehold of a colonial-era politics and the Nehruvian dispensation which had no stomach for a truly manly politics. The BJP is thus in the process of creating a narrative around the abrogation of Article 370, the removal of J & K’s “special status”, and the “opening up”—an expression that, in such contexts, has meant nothing more than asking for the abject surrender of a people to the regimes of neo-liberalization and rapacious “development”—of the state as the beginning of the “liberation” of Kashmir.