A day after national outcry in India over the governments defeatist response to China killing 20 Indian soldiers on the Kashmir border, India started shelling Pakistan-Administered Kashmir resulting in the death of 4 civilians. It is not clear why the unprovoked shelling took place but it comes a day after many questioned why India demonstrated such bravado towards Pakistan over the same Kashmir it silently succumbs to handing over to China.
Pakistan’s Major General Babar Iftikhar said “Pak Army troops responded effectively to Indian firing” after he said Indian Military had violated the ceasefire by firing across the border killing 4 civilians.
The Indian Foreign Ministry have not released a statement. The two nuclear armed nations have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir and the issue has lead them twice to the brink of war in recent times.
In 2019 India invaded Pakistani airspace and carried out airstrikes, leading to both India and Pakistan carrying out several airstrikes in each other’s territory. During the aerial dogfights Pakistan Air Force downed Indian jets, one inside Pakistani territory leading to the capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. He was released back to India by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan as a gesture of peace.
During every Kashmir stand-off with Pakistan, the Hindu extremist right wing RSS always says it is ready to fight Pakistan over Kashmir and the rhetoric from the Government and media is “Ghar me ghus kar marenge” meaning “We will enter their house and beat them.” The RSS have been silent in the face of Chinese aggression.
When China took 60 miles squared of territory in Kashmir from India, including strategic routes and a bridge which India had invested million of rupees building, it was reported the Indian soldiers didn’t even put up a fight and left as fast they could. The same timid response can be seen from the government who didn’t respond. Even when 20 Indian soldiers were killed by China the Prime Minister only responded when the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi called him out.
Many questioned why such a relaxed approach was being taken when the same Kashmir which invoked so much passion against Pakistan, invoked nothing against China. Anger with the media and government was voiced in demonstrations on the streets of India. Others broke their China-made TVs in anger at Chinese goods when TV anchors called on viewers to boycott Chinese goods, despite their own shows being sponsored by Chinese goods.
Controversial Indian talk show host, Arnab Goswami, who is notorious for stoking community tensions against Muslims was called out for his hypocrisy too. He hosted a programme, sponsored by two Chinese companies VIVO and Xiaomi’s Mi10, asking China to get out out of India. He went on to call on Indians to boycott Chinese products, while being sponsored by two Chinese products. He even gave airtime to the Chinese to explain their position, something never done with Pakistan.
Former Minister of Finance of India, Yashwant Sinha called out the hypocrisy of the current Indian government of India towards China and Pakistan. People shared contradictory statements from Prime Minister Narendar Modi before he was Prime Minister as well as Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah who said in 2014 “Whenever the Chinese soldiers want,they come and have picnic inside our territory and our government could do nothing.”
Now on Amit Shah’s watch his government has sat back and done nothing as the Chinese military haven’t just had a picnic, but have taken strategic routes and the expensive bridge his government had invested in. TelegraphIndia joked that Indian Prime Minister Modi has punished Chinese President Xi by not wishing him a happy birthday.
Underneath all the spoof and mockery, a question of hypocrisy lay bare and while India has not taken any steps against China, instead it appears to be trying to get a confrontation with Pakistan to distract the people.
The serious undertone to Indian government and media hypocrisy is the loss of innocent Kashmiri life, especially in Indian Occupied Kashmir, as they are caught in the cross-hairs of the Indian conflict. India plays politics with Kashmir often and Kashmiris have suffered many times as a reult.
India faces live border disputes with Nepal, Pakistan and China but has lost the appetite for battle as the Indian economy suffers badly. The world watches the escalation closely as China, Pakistan and India are all nuclear armed states.