Populist governments like the Hindu supremacist BJP always keep their populations hostage to fears of a boogeyman – Pakistan in this case – in order to control them and to justify their aggression at home and abroad. In line with characteristics of populist governance, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has overseen rampant “state colonisation, mass clientelism and legal determinism”. The country has witnessed the occupation of state institutions by sycophants and loyalists, distribution of assets and resources as favours to useful elites and discriminatory legislation and application of law against minorities, especially Indian Muslims.

In its desperate quest to project influence around the globe and paint Pakistan in the light of a terrifying villain, the BJP government has been running pillar to post searching for a sympathetic ear. As its grand ambitions fail to materialise, it feels compelled to commit blunders like its intelligence agencies tasking an Indian editor to recruit Canadian politicians through money and favours; their influence to be deployed against Pakistan. It did not take long for this ridiculously comical plot to be uncovered by Canadian authorities who appear in no mood to save the Modi government from yet another embarrassment at the global stage.

In Occupied Kashmir, the situation remains precarious as ever. Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Kashmiris remain deprived of information, access to reasonable internet or healthcare facilities. The Indian Army Chief will find that his incendiary rhetoric will not distract the world from his country’s excesses and oppression in Jammu & Kashmir. His predecessor failed too. The fact is that if a state has to put the entire population of a region under curfew for months on end to keep it from demanding its right to self-determination, its defeat and ouster is inevitable. Kashmir will never become a part of India, especially not under the banner of the racist RSS.