Can Kashmir go Catalonia way?

  • Khalid bin Bashir
  • Publish Date: Nov 11 2017 8:20PM
  • |
  • Updated Date: Nov 11 2017 8:20PM
Can Kashmir go Catalonia way?

Catalonia announced a unilateral referendum for secession from Spain – called it a democratic right. In which Catalan’s said resounding yes for independence. There were initial attempts to make a deal between two administrations – when it failed, Spain declared direct rule and called for snap election; before that pro-freedom legislators of Catalonia passed a resolution declaring its independence.

Spain is facing strong civil disobedience movement, with local administration following its local government religiously. Whether Catalonia will be free in anytime soon is debatable, but what has come out this political-theatre has repercussions in the region and beyond.

Regions in the world with same interest are following and observing it keenly. Kashmir is very much similar to Catalonia. It has some degree of autonomy granted to it by Indian Constitution – which is right now under threat as was the case with Catalonia.

Can Kashmir repeat Catalonia?

Question about which everyone in Kashmir is thinking. Can Kashmir declare a unilateral referendum? Kashmir has no parliament as it used to be before 1953, but a legislative assembly – which somehow is stronger of all legislative assemblies in India on paper. To pass a resolution in JK assembly, two-third members must stand for it. Even if somehow, it is passed. It will be declared as “unconstitutional”—but there is no country’s constitution in the world with secession in its domain.  To make referendum happen two main components must act in tandem with the local government – that is civil administration and police. Will that happen? Even if all in these departments follow or want to follow orders – will non-native officials – who generally are at plum posts -- let this happen.

Moreover, with the presence of more than a-half-million Indian security – which makes it a world’s highest militarised zone. They can crush it.

During this whole transition in Catalonia, not a single dissident was killed. Even during the referendum day, few hundred people were injured – very few grievously injured. This is not the case of India in Kashmir, where it violates human-rights of people which it purportedly calls its citizens; at every tick of the clock. Killing, maiming and blinding of political dissidents is business as usual for Indian state.

Even though, Indian state would have enough resources at its disposal to not let any such thing happen. Still, it will send a strong message across the globe, the farce called an election which they call replicant of the referendum will get exposed. Leaders who call themselves well-wishers of people need to stand against the mighty state; make it happen. This may bring a considerable amount of credibility in them, at the moment they don’t have a shred of it.


Blogger can be contacted on twitter @khalidbinbashir