India just put democracy at risk across South Asia

By | August 8, 2019

Jonah Blank writes:

If you didn’t notice that Prime Minister Narendra Modi just changed the status of the restive Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, I understand. On August 5, his government introduced legislation to abrogate Article 370, and even Article 35A, and—see, I’ve lost you already.

But don’t let jargon and legalese distract you: This may be the most important event in an enormously volatile part of the world since the end of the last century, with repercussions that will extend far beyond Kashmir itself. Most immediately, they will be felt throughout India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but the long-term effects could ripple much farther afield.

In reality, what’s at stake is the definition of democracy: Does majority rule mean that majorities simply rule? Or does genuine democracy require that minorities (whether defined in religious, ethnic, or ideological terms) be granted institutional protection to prevent their voices from being swamped? It’s a question with which nations across the world are now wrestling—not least the United States, Britain, and much of Europe. Except in Kashmir, the answers carry with them a non-zero risk of nuclear war. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.