UK News: India marks Independence Day with its secular, postcolonial image in tatters - PressFrom - United Kingdom

UK NewsIndia marks Independence Day with its secular, postcolonial image in tatters

01:05  15 august  2019
01:05  15 august  2019 Source:

India government revokes disputed Kashmir's special status

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The Indian Independence movement was a series of activities whose ultimate aim was to end the British rule in India . The movement spanned a total of 90 years (1857–1947).

India celebrates Independence Day on August 15 each year. India became an independent nation on Independence Day is a day when people in India pay homage to their leaders and those who Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.

India marks Independence Day with its secular, postcolonial image in tatters © Money Sharma, AFP | India's national flag on the ramparts of the Red Fort during a rehearsal for the... India on Thursday celebrates the anniversary of its independence from Britain, but the pomp and splendour cannot mask the country’s abuses in Kashmir and the shredding of its secular principles.

Exactly 72 years ago, when the union jack was lowered from Delhi’s Red Fort and replaced by the Indian saffron-white-and-green tricolor, the world hailed the birth of a new nation that soon became a postcolonial beacon of secular democracy for countries emerging from colonialism.

This year, India’s Independence Day ceremonies will stick to a template that has been followed for decades. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the flag at the Red Fort just as the country’s first premier, Jawaharlal Nehru, did on August 15, 1947. It will be followed by the prime minister’s speech, delivered from the ramparts of the magnificent Mughal era fort, the singing of the national anthem, and a 21-cannon salute commemorating the country’s freedom fighters.

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As India celebrates its Independence Day this Tuesday, the annual holiday will come with an added layer of meaning: This marks 70 years Finally, as Britain faced its own internal post -WWII problems and a changing of the guard in Parliament, Prime Minister Clement Attlee promised in early 1947 that

The Republic of India celebrates its Independence Day on August 15 each year. While the various Indian states made dissociated attempts to resist being taken over , an organized struggle for independence has its seeds in the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

But while the trappings of a secular democracy remain in name, India has reneged on many of its foundational precepts. In the disputed region of Kashmir for instance, New Delhi has effectively followed the methods and discourse of a coloniser, notes Nitasha Kaul, a novelist and associate professor in politics and international relations at the University of Westminster. “There’s a word for supposed development that comes with assumed moral superiority and economic rationality, in the shadow of the gun, with no input from the people affected, and based on the fantasies of a foreign power. That India claims to be a post-colonial democracy does not change this fact -- no colonial venture in contemporary times has dared name itself as such,” wrote Kaul in a Foreign Policy column.

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India 's 67th Independence Day was celebrated with much pomp and fervour. Here, students, their faces painted with the colours of their national flag, pose in Guests leave the Red Fort after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the nation to celebrate India 's Independence Day .

Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4th) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776.

While the country was birthed as a secular nation transcending religious identity in contrast with the foundationally Muslim Pakistan, India today is as Hindu as Pakistan is a Muslim state. “The vision of Hindu nationalists is the yin or the yang to the Pakistani counterpart, which is unfortunate because India did hold up another model for democracy that was secular and a place for peoples of all other faiths,” said Mira Kamdar, author of the book, “India in the 21st Century,” in an interview with FRANCE 24.

Last week, Modi’s government crossed a Rubicon with the unilateral scrapping of Article 370, which guaranteed autonomy to Indian-administered Kashmir under the country’s constitution. The gutting of Article 370 effectively whitewashed the murky circumstances under which the territory was acceded to the Dominion of India, and the subsequent UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir that India has ignored.

Article 370 revoked in J&K: A look back at its history and what now

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The Indian system, with its secular and democratic character, has managed to maintain this diversity for the As India is celebrating its 71st Independence Day , Indians around the world are rejoicing too. To mark 70 years of India 's independence , Indian embassies in many countries have been lit

Indian Independence Day is celebrated each year on 15 August, and this year marks 70 years since British India was split into two nations – Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan – and millions of people were uprooted in one of the largest mass migrations in history.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had long threatened the move and made it a key promise of their 2019 re-election campaign. When it was finally abrogated on August 5 in a lightning move that caught everyone by surprise, Modi’s supporters called it a “final solution” with no hint of irony.

The implementation, though, was far more sweeping than the BJP’s campaign promise. In one fell swoop, India’s only Muslim-majority state lost its statehood and was downgraded to a union territory administered by the central government in New Delhi.

While Modi waxed eloquent on the well-being and economic prosperity this would bring to Kashmir and the rest of India, Kashmiris were placed under an unprecedented lockdown with no access to the Internet, mobile phones or even landlines. Movement was restricted, a curfew was imposed and tens of thousands of additional troops were deployed in one of the world’s most militarised zones.

Meanwhile economists have been left to unpack the myth that the scrapping of Article 370 will economically benefit Kashmir, which has better demographic indicators than many other Indian states.

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Defining Indian nationalist thought required coming to terms with the presence and domination of a foreign power in addition to the formulation of a positive view of India rooted in its cultural, religious and historical traditions. The colonial state was prepared to crush any violent opposition to its power.

Find independence day india stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. Indian Independence Day concept, Hand Drawn Sketch Vector illustration.

Kashmiris long denied their right to self-determination were not hailing their latest “salvation”, but the optics of repression failed to dent the Modi administration’s triumphalist discourse.

“India over the years has steadily eroded Kashmir’s autonomous status. This is the final step in the process,” explained Sumit Ganguly, distinguished professor of political science at Indiana University, Bloomington, in an interview with FRANCE 24. “This has been done with the vision of India as a homogenous Hindu state with little or no use for secularism.”

Acquittal despite a lynching on video

While India was founded on Nehru’s vision of a secularism designed to hold the subcontinent’s disparate communities together, a strand of Hindu nationalism has long envisaged a majoritarian state that would dispense with multiculturalism.

“That strand was always present,” said Kamdar, referring to Hindu nationalism. “These were the people who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, who opposed Nehru’s vision and that of [the father of the Indian constitution, B.R.] Ambedkar and others. But now that second vision, which was once an undercurrent, has risen and is in the process of transforming a secular democracy into that other vision, which is a Hindu nationalist state where minorities live at the sufferance of the Hindu majority.”

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With India celebrates its 70th Independence Day after getting freedom from the British Empire in 1947, August 15 is marked as the day when the country gained its independence . Well, India is not alone here today. There are four other countries in the world which mark the day as their independence day .

India (official name: the Republic of India ; Hindi: Bhārat Gaṇarājya) is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country

On the eve of Independence Day, a court in the western Indian state of Rajasthan on Wednesday acquitted six men of the killing of a Muslim dairy farmer. Pehlu Khan’s horrific 2017 lynching by a mob of cow vigilantes was caught on video, making national headlines.

Cows are considered sacred by Hindus and cow slaughters are banned in a number of Indian states, including Rajasthan. Since the BJP came to power in 2014, the phenomenon of vigilante squads lynching Muslim farmers -- who are accused of slaughtering cows without any proof -- has increased.

Following the verdict, #PehluKhan was India’s top trending hashtag, with a number of Indians, including those from the diaspora, voicing their anguish.

“In spite of clear video evidences, the killers of #PehluKhan have been acquitted -- Kill Muslims in the name of Cow will NOT take you to the jail but will make you leaders in New India,” tweeted Ashok Swain, a professor of peace and conflict research at Sweden’s Uppsala University.

Infiltration of Hindu nationalism in institutions

While India has an independent judiciary, the gradual infiltration of supporters of Hindutva -- or a Hindu nation -- into the country’s institutions has gradually, if not completely, eroded secular principles.

“The delicate balance of secularism in India can only be maintained if the rule of law prevails and enables every citizen to feel equal to others, irrespective of community. For that to be true, a watchful judiciary without the taint of religious bias or motivation is required. While the Supreme Court remains the most important Indian institution in this respect, its sometimes contradictory decisions and the communal overtones espoused by some lower judiciary officials have contributed to the erosion of secularism,” noted Christophe Jaffrelot, research fellow at the Paris-based Centre for International Studies (CERI-Sciences Po) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in “The Fate of Secularism in India,” a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report.

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History of Indian Independence Day . The British established their first outpost on the Indian India became a republic within the Commonwealth after promulgating its constitution on 26 January At the time of independence , India had no official National Anthem. While Jana Gana Mana was written in

View & share a beautiful collection of Happy Indian Independence Day Quotes with Images in English, The 15th of August is a very important day in the history of our country – India because India became an independent nation on August 15, 1947, after a very hard struggle.

While Muslims -- who at around 14 percent of the population comprise India’s largest minority -- face the worst consequences of majoritarianism, other minority groups are not exempt from violent Hindu nationalism, says Ganguly.

“Other minorities are also facing increasing discrimination, including the tiny, miniscule Christian community, with churches burned and attacks on individuals,” noted Ganguly.

A massive market

Barring a few years when a national state of emergency was imposed, India has succeeded in sustaining a democratic system of governance, an achievement that has long placed “the world’s largest democracy” in a postcolonial favourite spot in the international community.

But while the democracy has endured, India is reeling from the populism that has gripped many countries. However in the world’s second-most populous country, things tend to fall apart on a grand scale.

The extent of the disruption has often gone unnoticed by an international community clinging to stereotypes of a spiritual nation where Orientalist visions of a non-monotheist “other” can still be projected in a rapidly unifying, globalised world.

“The excitement of international investors about the potential of the Indian market and the image of a forward-looking, progressive, technologically savvy, growing India joining the ranks of the great democracies is titanic and very hard to overturn,” explained Kamdar.

Many of the world’s political and corporate leaders are not keen to offend New Delhi.

“The world’s key capitals value their partnerships with New Delhi since India has tremendous market opportunity, which is why they don’t want to rock the boat,” explained Michael Kugelman from the Washington DC-based Wilson Center in an interview with FRANCE 24 over the weekend.

A massive market is one of the factors accounting for the weak international response to India’s scrapping of Article 370 last week and its systematic human rights violations in Kashmir. In some respects, this oversight is aided by Pakistan’s poor track record on supporting jihadist groups as proxy geopolitical tool in Kashmir.

Commonwealths firm on shooting exclusion despite India threat

Commonwealths firm on shooting exclusion despite India threat Commonwealths firm on shooting exclusion despite India threat

The Independence Day of India , which is celebrated religiously throughout the Country on the 15th of August every year, holds tremendous ground in the list of national days , since it reminds every Indian about the dawn of a new beginning, the beginning of an era of deliverance from the clutches of British

“Pakistan struggles with an image problem overseas and has difficulty getting its voice respected. It has tried the UN General Assembly to project its voice, but it lacks credibility on the world’s stage,” said Kugelman.

On Wednesday, August 14 -- as Pakistanis were celebrating their Independence Day, which falls a day before India’s -- Islamabad announced that Pakistan had called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting on India’s actions in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s letter requesting an urgent meeting would be discussed by council members, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told reporters Wednesday. Poland holds the UN Security Council’s rotating presidency this month.

While major powers and heads of multilateral institutions may still be cautious about censuring New Delhi’s actions in the disputed Kashmir region, a growing international awareness of the crisis could fuel public anger.

Since August 5, demonstrators have been protesting outside the Indian embassy and consulate buildings in cities such as London, New York and Los Angeles. Pro-Kashmir groups have called for another protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on Indian Independence Day. Meanwhile supporters of India’s BJP are also scheduled to hold a demonstration in London on Thursday, raising the spectre of headline-grabbing heated debates. In the Kashmir Valley, the easing of restrictions is likely to spark another wave of protests and unrest, keeping the issue in the international spotlight.

“As the Modi government puts a foot on the accelerator of its Hindu nationalist agenda, it could imperil India’s fairly pristine reputation overseas,” said Kugelman. “Delhi needs to be careful with its optics and the tactics it uses to quell the unrest in the Valley otherwise more negative headlines will put pressure on Western governments to call out India. If major stakeholders start calling out Indian violations, it will then get Pakistan in the place it’s always wanted diplomatically.”

Commonwealths firm on shooting exclusion despite India threat.
Commonwealths firm on shooting exclusion despite India threat

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