I think that Dibyesh Anand, in his piece at Foreign Policy, has the situation in Kashmir about right, as expressed by a “vegetable vendor”:
This is about empowering activists who now exclaim proudly, “Aab Hindu Rashtra banega” (“We will now build a Hindu nation”), or the ordinary vegetable vendor in Ranchi saying to me with sadistic glee: “Now the Muslims will become Hindu out of fear or they will go to Pakistan or they will face…” He let the sentence trail off, an unspoken threat.
The BJP, under strongman leader Narendra Modi, is driven by a far-right Hindu chauvinist ideology. Its solid reelection victory this spring gave it the power to bring about controversial and fundamental changes in Indian politics and justify them as a matter of national security and as a rectification of the “past mistakes” of the secularist Indian National Congress. The BJP has justified abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which guaranteed autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, and of Article 35A, which protected indigenous society from possible demographic transformation in the name of development, equality, and national unity.
While analysts may try to connect Modi’s decision to geopolitical imbroglios, it is most appropriate to see it as a dress rehearsal for the BJP’s main agenda—the conversion of India from a secular pluralist democracy to a Hindu Rashtra. From political sloganeering “Hindustan mein rehna hai to hindu ban kar rehna hoga” (If you want to live in India, you have to be a Hindu) to the crackdown on religious conversions into Islam and Christianity to inclusion of various anti-Muslim agendas in party manifesto to celebrating anti-secular supremacists as national heroes, the BJP is remaining true to the explicit agenda of Sangh Parivar, a family of organizations linked to the far-right paramilitary Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
I have long been skeptical about the U. S.’s cultivating too close a relationship with Israel on the grounds that I do not believe that an explicitly sectarian country aligns well with our values. I have similar feelings about the direction in which India is moving.