India wants to solve the Kashmir problem completely. It has removed internal impedances like Article 370 and 35-A, which granted special status to the disputed state of Kashmir. Now, Kashmir is an Indian state, just like any other state or province. But there are legal issues with Kashmir as UNSC resolutions on this issue are still valid, and globally it is recognized as a primary dispute between two nuclear-armed arch-rivals in the subcontinent.

Kashmir remains an unsolved problem since the independence of both India and Pakistan from the British Raj in 1947. The spirit of UNSC resolutions is to seek the local population’s majority vote about the state’s political future through a plebiscite, which India, for the last 76 years, has been denying to hold despite making promises in front of a comity of nations.

After BJP/RSS took control of India in 2014, it announced to make Kashmir part of India, and this announcement also included Azad Kashmir and the region of Gilgit Baltistan.

Removal of 370/35-A paved the way for the next step, which was to change the demography of the state so that India could show to the world that a majority of Kashmiris wanted to be part of India. This is a long-term settler-colonial project in Kashmir which is being advanced on several fronts by the Indian state. With its settler-colonial project, India wants Kashmir to be settled by Indian Hindus, to change the demographics of the region from a Muslim-majority to a Hindu majority, and thus erase all calls for self-determination. Now, the Indian state is taking steps to trigger an influx of Indian Hindus (non-residents of Kashmir) into the region under different pretexts.

This also explains the process of “Delimitation” carried out in Kashmir. This was one of the actions in India’s long list of legal changes that it has been rapidly orchestrating in Kashmir since 2019. It stands out as India pushes to establish Hindu supremacy in the region as it provides more electoral power to the dominated Jammu region.

Introduced through the “Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019,” this delimitation process enabled India to carve out six additional Assembly seats for the Jammu region while only one for the Kashmir valley (where the Muslim population is in the majority). The Commission’s final order has set the stage for elections in 2024 in the erstwhile State that last held Assembly polls in 2014. This strategic increase in legislative power of the Jammu division aspires to put Kashmir under the control of a Hindu Chief Minister and, once again, subject the Muslims of the region to supreme Hindu rule in Hindu Rashtra.

The upcoming election will provide India an opportunity to see how much demographic change it requires to alter the majority views about being part of Pakistan or India as per the 1947 partition scheme and UNSC resolutions passed after the 1948 war.

Initially, India began a settler project under the garb of return of Hindu pandit who were forcefully evicted from their homes as per the Indian version. Nothing can be further from the truth. The reality is that the departure of these Pandits resulted from economic deprivation faced by the region. Now, their return is part of the Hindu Rashtra. It is not an assertion but a fact that becomes clear if we see how their return is being staged.

As Lt Governor J&K Manoj Sinha said, accommodations for employees belonging to the Kashmir Pandit community in Kashmir have been arranged, and allocation will be completed expeditiously. This statement reflects the real intentions of the Indian state, which is to bring in a lot more Hindus in the region than the original numbers who once fled from this area. For this purpose, India is making concentrated efforts based on a list of incentives for Kashmiri Pandits.

To complete this colonization project in Kashmir, the Indian state is carrying out massive propaganda and disinformation ops within India as well as globally. Bollywood is being used to distort historical facts to cultivate local support for this project, and the same is being exported abroad to tarnish the separate identity and unique character of the native population. In this regard, “Kashmir Files,” a recently released propaganda movie made by Vivek Agnihotri on Kashmiri Pandits, was submitted to the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), where it was not well accepted due to its poor production value and the way it distorted the historical facts.

The Jury head went on stage to call it “a vulgar, propaganda film”; an inappropriate entry for “such a prestigious competition.” The comments were made in the presence of several government functionaries, including ministers of the Centre and many BJP leaders who had publicly praised and endorsed the film earlier. India tried to distort the historical facts relating to Kashmiri Pandits’ exodus from IIOJK, projecting that Pundits were forced to leave Kashmir, fearing an ethnic cleansing at the hands of Muslims.

India is aggressively following its settler-colonization project in Kashmir, for which it is following the template of Israeli expansion in once Muslim-dominated Palestine. For Pakistan, now more than ever, it is imperative that India’s multi-pronged war against Kashmiris is exposed to the world.

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