Sham Elections in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir: A Facade of Democracy

Sham Elections in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir: A Facade of Democracy

May 13, 2024 Off By Sharp Media

In a blatant display of coercion and deception, the Indian government orchestrated a multilayered arrangement of armed forces under the guise of sham elections in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) capital, Srinagar. This move, purportedly aimed at deceiving world opinion, marks a disturbing trend in the region’s political landscape.

Since the controversial abrogation of Article 370, nearly 17.48 lakh people in the Srinagar constituency of IIOJK have been subjected to a coercive electoral process. Under the facade of democracy, the Indian BJP-led government deploys all its might to assert control, disregarding the legitimate aspirations and grievances of the Kashmiri people. The redefinition of the Srinagar constituency, following the 2022 delimitation exercise, is portrayed by the BJP as an opportunity for improved voter turnout. However, the reality belies these claims, as past experiences indicate widespread apathy and boycotts among the populace, particularly with the Hurriyat conference gaining traction as a symbol of resistance.

Despite assertions of foolproof security measures by the BJP-installed Kashmir administration, the Kashmiri people remain defiant, refusing to participate in what they perceive as a charade. Heavy deployments of police and paramilitary forces across Srinagar, Ganderbal, Pulwama, and other districts only serve to reinforce the atmosphere of intimidation and coercion. The establishment of over 2,000 polling stations, accompanied by special provisions for migrant voters, underscores the extent of the state’s efforts to maintain a covering of legitimacy.

However, behind the cover of democracy lies a more sinister agenda: the forcible coercion of the Kashmiri populace. Reports emerge of security forces attempting to terrorize residents into participating in the elections, resorting to tactics that violate the basic principles of free and fair elections. Such actions not only undermine the credibility of the electoral process but also exacerbate tensions in an already volatile region.

The international community must not turn a blind eye to these blatant violations of human rights and democratic principles. The ongoing situation in IIOJK demands urgent attention and intervention to prevent further escalation of conflict and suffering. Any semblance of legitimacy conferred upon these sham elections only serves to perpetuate the cycle of oppression and injustice endured by the Kashmiri people.

To conclude, the sham elections in Indian Kashmir are a stark reminder of the lengths to which authoritarian regimes will go to maintain their grip on power. Behind the facade of democracy lies a reality stained by coercion, intimidation, and disregard for the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people. It is imperative for the international community to condemn these actions and stand in solidarity with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people for freedom and self-determination.