Global Politics & Cultures (formerly Independent Thought & Freedom)
Episode 26

12: Prof. Kapil Kumar | An Indian Nationalist Perspective on Indo-Pak tensions in Jammu & Kashmir

Kirk Meighoo published on

Is the world on the brink of nuclear war between India and Pakistan because of religious conflict and oppression in Jammu & Kashmir?

This is the way the question is framed in most of global media, and framed this way, it does seem senseless.

Yet since this is a flashpoint for nuclear war, and it concerns the entire globe, it is important to be able to make sense of the situation and advance discussion.

In "Independent Thought & Freedom" this week, I discuss the Jammu & Kashmir issue with Professor Kapil Kumar, the Director of the Centre for Freedom Struggle & Diaspora Studies at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India, a staunch and sometimes controversial Indian nationalist.

In our discussion we unpack the issue and the way it is framed, as the very framing of the issue leads to the intractability of the conflict.

We discuss questions such as:
- Is Jammu & Kashmir actually a majority Muslim state?
- Even if so, how does that mean that Pakistan has a right to claim the territory as its own?
- Why isn't this ethnic logic accepted in Europe or the USA, when individuals and groups like Richard Spencer and the Alt-Right, or Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, demand white and black ethnostates in the US?
- Is Pakistan actually a pro-Muslim state?
- Is India a Hindu state that oppresses Muslims? If so, why did most Muslims choose to stay in India when Pakistan was created? How does this make sense when India has roughly the same amount of Muslims as Pakistan?

An alternative political and geo-political understanding is forwarded, upon which peaceful relations between India and Pakistan can be built. 

Such an advance is extremely important in this conflict involving two nuclear-armed states.


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