Consequences of UK colonialism still felt in Kashmir, Hong Kong

We are still reminded of the consequences of British colonialism with the ongoing volatile situations in places such as Indian-controlled Kashmir and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong and Kashmir share the same legacy, that of imperialism in Asia, and the locals are still paying for the mess that the British left behind during its days of unbridled colonialism.

Unlike Hong Kong, India – including Kashmir – went from being a colonial subject to an independent country.

Following independence, the unique cultural region of Kashmir turned out to be a very difficult problem for India and its policy of assimilation. So, New Delhi resorted to the same conceptual tactics perpetrated against them while under British rule: military occupation and limitations on free speech.

Hence, earlier this month, a presidential decree revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution, which guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority Kashmir region, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters, except defense, communications and foreign affairs.

Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, in return, censured India’s ‘illegal’ Kashmir move, vowing to fight the decision, including at the UN Security Council.

Khan said the move was in breach of international law, adding that he feared ethnic cleansing by India.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has merely expressed “concern” about India’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status, which was guaranteed by Article 370 of the Indian constitution.

Meanwhile, heading into 11 weeks of demonstrations in Hong Kong, Britain has consistently supported anti-China “protestors” and agitators.

On July 1st, protestors stormed and defaced Hong Kong’s parliament. And in a vivid demonstration of the protestors’ real loyalties they foisted the colonial-era flag (emblazoned with the Union Jack) atop the parliamentary podium.

Britain rushed to the “protesters” defense, warning of dire consequences if China exercised its right of restoring order in its own territory.

In a strong rebuke, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said the days when Britain ruled Hong Kong were “long gone”.

It is clear that Britain sees Hong Kong, in addition to Taiwan, as effective pressure points on China. British interests in the region are closely aligned to America’s, namely both powers are anxious to contain China’s rise as a global power – a remnant of the UK’s colonial days.

Britain could do more to recognize its contribution to the discontent of millions of people who have never had a say in their own government.

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