On August 5, 2019, in a highly controversial move, the Indian government issued an order to revoke Article 370 that guarantees Kashmir autonomy over most of its administrative affairs. This move is forcing Kashmir under direct Indian rule in an attempt to erase their political identity. Under the false pretext of national security, the Indian government deployed 40,000-armed soldiers to join the already 700,000 military personnel stationed in Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir is already one of the most militarized regions on the planet.

The Modi government’s unilateral and provocative actions could set the stage for heightened conflict – with Kashmiri political leaders and activists detained or placed under house arrest, public meetings banned, communications cut off, and reports of abuse and torture mounting. These actions undermine the fundamental rights of Kashmiris to live in peace and dignity. India cannot claim to be both the world’s largest democracy and a country that violently strips people of their right to self-determination.

A true democracy does not arbitrarily change a constitution, block all forms of communication, deploy thousands of troops, and falsely claims that the population is content with these actions.