It has been over a year since India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s semiautonomous status and bifurcated the state into two federally governed union territories. The unrest which followed resulted in curfews, lockdowns and communication limitations. What has this change in policy meant for the residents of the former Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and its strategic environs? Our panel of experts do a deep dive exploring how Modi’s Kashmir policy has affected India’s domestic security and stability, local demographics in the disputed region, the rights of ethnic and religious minorities at a time of rising right-wing Hindu nationalism, and the broader geopolitics involving neighboring Pakistan and China.
Ahsan I. Butt is an Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. His main research interests lie in nationalism, political violence, and South Asia. His book, Secession and Security: Explaining State Strategy Against Separatists, was published by Cornell University Press in 2017 and won the 2019 International Studies Association award for best book in International Security Studies.
Myra MacDonald is a former journalist and bureau chief of Reuters in India. She is the author of two books on India and Pakistan. The first, Heights of Madness, covers the Siachen war fought between India and Pakistan in the high mountains on the periphery of Jammu and Kashmir. The second, Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War, examines how relations changed between India and Pakistan since their nuclear tests in 1998. A revised version of her Siachen book, looking more broadly at the contested frontiers of Kashmir, is due out later this year.
Minna Jaffery is the Content Manager at the Center for Global Policy. She graduated with her MA in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University, and obtained her BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and English from the University of Chicago.