ISLAMABAD, Oct 24 (APP):The fascist Indian government, led by Narendra Modi and driven by a Hindutva mindset, has launched a full-fledged cultural offensive in the Indian Illegal Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) by changing the names of historical places and institutions as part of its efforts to reshape the political history of the territory.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hell-bent on obliterating the Muslim identity of Kashmir and for this purpose, it has taken many initiatives to build Hindu temples, change the transcript of the Kashmiri language, obscure its history, link it with the Muslim world and change names of important places.
“ The Jammu and Kashmir government approved the naming of 57 infrastructure assets, like schools, roads, bridges, and sports stadiums, after the Indian army,” a latest Human Rights Report compiled by the Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) revealed.
This renaming of schools, colleges, roads, and buildings in IIOJ&K is similar to what the BJP has been doing in the rest of India since 2014, aiming to erase Mughal influences.
For instance, in October 2019, the Chenani-Nashri Tunnel became the Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel. The Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control Department was changed to the Jal Shakti Department. The Sher-e-Kashmir police medals for gallantry and meritorious service were renamed the Jammu and Kashmir police medals for the same, as of January 26, 2020.
In July 2021, the Divisional Commissioner’s office in Jammu instructed Deputy Commissioners to identify government schools in villages and municipal wards that could be named after the Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and the police.
The report hinted that more changes were on the horizon, including renaming the Government College for Women, Srinagar, after Prof Riyaz Punjabi, and the Boy’s Higher Secondary School Jawahar Nagar after Prof Hamidi Kashmiri. The Government Degree College, Hyderpora, is proposed to be named after Padma Shri awardee Moti Lal Keemu, and Lal Mandi Road might be named after Sahitya Academy awardee poet Zinda Koul, or Masterji.
The people of IIOJ&K have endured severe suppression at the hands of the Indian forces since their invasion on October 27, 1947, with the situation escalating after the revocation of Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019.
Currently, nearly one million Indian troops are present in parts of IIOJ&K, leading to concerns about demographic change to convert the Kashmiri majority into a minority. This is being achieved through massive human rights violations and the imprisonment of Kashmiri leadership, resulting in immense suffering to innocent Kashmiris.
After nearly 76 years, unarmed and innocent Kashmiris are still looking towards the international community and human rights advocates, particularly the United Nations, to play their due role in implementing the resolutions passed by the Security Council in securing the legitimate right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir