Indian repression of local minorities and Kashmiris goes hand in hand under the BJP. The BJP led government of Indian state Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) has announced an end to holidays for Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Jummat-ul-Wida, and 15 other public holidays. While a majority of the holiday’s cancelled are related to the Hindu religion, they are for minor celebrations that would not hurt Hindu sentiments and serve as a secular mask for BJP’s Hinduvta fuelled politics. Yogi Adityanath is proving to be a torch bearer for upsetting minorities, and the same torch can be found burning Kashmir down.

The government in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) has ordered suspension of internet services in the valley for a period of one month or till further orders. Mobile internet services in Kashmir were suspended last Monday following widespread student protests in the valley against alleged highhandedness of security forces. The action comes after the parliamentary election in Srinagar was scarred by violence with a record-low turnout of voters (7%). Graphic footage has also surfaced on social media showing abuses by security forces. A full-blown protest by students erupted on the streets on April 25 and even schoolgirls were seen throwing stones and hitting police vehicles.

IHK CM Mehbooba Mufti rushed to Delhi on Monday to urge the federal government to “announce a dialogue and show reconciliatory gestures” – but New Delhi does not seem to want reconciliation with anyone, just quiet submission. Reports say PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh told her that they could not “offer a dialogue with separatists and other restive groups in the valley” while fierce violence and militant attacks continued. We have heard this line countless times before when it has been directed at Pakistan, and it looks like the BJP sees Kashmir as an external entity. The Kashmiris have no incentive to soften to New Delhi, and even international media outlets like BBC are suggesting that India may be losing Kashmir.

Former Jammu and Kahsmir CM and leader of the regional National Conference Party Farooq Abdullah warned India of this and suggested something reasonable: The government should begin talking with the stakeholders – Pakistan, the separatists, mainstream parties, the minority Kashmiri Hindus – and start “thinking of not a military solution, but a political way”. But New Delhi is not having it.

From firing pellets to strapping young Kashmiris to vehicles as human shields, India has shown its worst. India has more than 500,000 security forces in the region and is unlikely to lose territory in Kashmir. Yet, it has lost the battle for hearts and minds in Kashmir, whose people have lost their life, rights and self-respect under Indian occupation.