Why is South India voting against Modi

Guest comment: Forced unification in India

In his celebratory speech on the national holiday, Narendra Modi praised himself for the green clover: he succeeded within 70 days what other governments had not been able to do in 70 years. That's true. The only problem is that you don't know what exactly the Indian Prime Minister has succeeded in doing. First of all, it should be noted that he has managed to cut off the Kashmir region from the outside world for almost two weeks, as far as technically possible. That wouldn't be necessary if Modi's politics were popular there. But the people in Kashmir are not as important to him as those in the rest of India.

Loss of autonomy with the stroke of a pen

On Indian Independence Day, Modi said that India could finally become "one nation" with "one constitution". Something like that sounds somehow threatening in such a diverse country. What exactly does Modi have in mind?

Peter Sturm is editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In Kashmir, people are just getting an idea of ​​what it is like to live in Modi's nation. They lost their autonomy with the stroke of a pen. It is obvious that Muslims in particular now feel discriminated against, regardless of all the positive messages about prosperity and a golden future that are echoing them from Delhi.

One shouldn't idealize the past. Even the decades-long autonomy status has not brought peace to Kashmir. But it was an important signal to the Muslim population. Now everything is unified with compulsion. It is to be feared that many people will have to pay for the dream of Modi and the Hindu nationalists with their lives.

Pakistan, the other player in the Kashmir conflict, is outraged by Modi's coup. But Prime Minister Imran Khan is verbally moderate. He knows that his country is militarily no match for its neighbors. When he darkly conjures up the danger of a "reaction" in the Muslim world, he is on the one hand telling the truth. On the other hand, it is a transparent attempt to absolve yourself, your country and its secret services from any responsibility in the event of another bloody terrorist attack.

China on Pakistan's side

The only realistic chance for Pakistan to influence what happens is to put the issue on the international agenda. It is supported by China. India, on the other hand, regards all of this as a purely internal matter. Prime Minister Modi did not say a word about the neighboring country in his address on Thursday. That way, there will be no real peace in the region - even verbose self-praise will not help.