On 5 August, the Narendra Modi-led government removed the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. The government downgraded the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. It then enforced a communications blockade in the region, which is still ongoing. The government has since claimed that the situation on the ground is peaceful, and that people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh have all welcomed the move. News reports from the region, however, contradict this claim.
In “State Subjects,” The Caravan is featuring a collection of voices from various parts of the erstwhile state. Aamir Sohail is a Ladakhi who holds a master’s degree in criminology and justice. He explains why he wanted the region to be a union territory, but does not trust Ladakh’s politicians to safeguard its interests.
On 5 August, I woke up to the sound of Whatsapp notifications flooding my phone. When I opened my chats, I saw that my friends from home, in Ladakh, had shared articles which claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government had bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. I had heard rumours that the centre was planning something big in Kashmir, but no one knew what it was going to be.