Issue Brief on “Indian Assault on Socio-Cultural Identity of Kashmir”

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The world is not unaware of India’s limitless tyranny in Kashmir. Its oppression is not only limited to the revocation of the Article 370 and 35A but also extends to renaming of lands in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). By doing so, India has aimed at threatening the socio-cultural identity of the people of IIOJK. Initially, India relocated the special status of Kashmir on territorial grounds. Later on, the Indian authorities changed the names of many cities, universities and roads after Hindu emperors and monarchs in an attempt to culturally assimilate IIOJK with India.

Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, signed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Removal of Difficulty) Order 2021 on 17 July 2021. After Kovind’s signature, the names of the Common High Courts of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh were changed to High Courts of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh respectively. The names were changed for convenience and consonance. The idea was to make them similar to the names of Indian High Courts.[1]   

The Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) is primarily responsible for changing names in the Jammu city. Resolutions have been passed to rename the airport, university and chowks after Hindu Dogra monarchs.[2] Jammu airport is proposed to be named after Maharaja Hari Singh Jammu Airport, and Jammu University after Maharaja Gulab Singh Jammu University. The historic Jammu city chowk is already renamed Bharat Mata chowk, and Kachi Chawni Chowk as Atal Bihari Vajpayee Chowk.

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