India's Looming Ethno-Nationalist Catastrophe - By Siddhartha Deb - IAMC
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India’s Looming Ethno-Nationalist Catastrophe – By Siddhartha Deb

In the long list of enemies maintained by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of India (BJP), the Muslims of the northwestern state of Kashmir have always held a special place. The only Muslim-majority state in India, and one guaranteed notional autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, Kashmir is routinely depicted by the right-wing Hindu BJP as the ungrateful beneficiary of Indian munificence…

As with Modi’s demonetization drive, the apparent suddenness of the decision to remove Article 370 and carve Kashmir up into two administrative units is contrived.… The BJP wants to allow its Hindu majoritarian supporters to expand into Kashmir. If it looks like settler colonialism, that’s because it is.

Elsewhere in India, in the northeastern state of Assam, Modi’s party has created a different kind of misery with a similar aim, by raising the specter of a Muslim migrant influx from neighboring Bangladesh. A nightmarish system of tribunals, detention centers, and updates to India’s “national register of citizens” has sparked what might be the largest disenfranchisement project in the world, as Bengali speakers—largely Muslim and mostly poor—suddenly find themselves registered as foreigners or “doubtful” citizens, with many thrown into prison because they cannot prove their Indianness. The pattern of governance is clear.…