As the Indian Government on Monday abrogated constitutional provisions that give Indian-occupied Kashmir special rights, a number of Twitter hashtags popped up in solidarity with the people of the valley.
By repealing Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in occupied Kashmir and settle there permanently. Kashmiris as well as critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers.
The move raises fears of further violence in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region where Kashmiri fighters and many residents have fought for the region’s independence or to join Pakistan.
“There will a very strong reaction in Kashmir. It’s already in a state of unrest and this will only make it worse,” Wajahat Habibullah, a former senior bureaucrat in Jammu and Kashmir, told AFP yesterday.
Uniting under hashtags such as #RedForKashmir, #BleedForKashmir, #StandWithKashmir and #KashmirUnderThreat, social media users from around the world expressed their solidarity with the people of Kashmir, in spite of the complete communication clampdown in the occupied region.
A number of social media users, mostly on Twitter, changed their display picture to a bright red colour after a call to action under the hashtag #RedForKashmir started making rounds.