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With Allah On The ­Loudspeaker

The BJP rustles up a mix of Indian nationalism and Kashmiri Muslim identity for a toehold in the Valley

With Allah On The ­Loudspeaker
Photograph by Getty Images
With Allah On The ­Loudspeaker
outlookindia.com
2018-01-06T11:07:10+05:30

On December 17, just a few weeks after the killing of BJP’s Shopian district youth president Gowhar Ahmad Bhat, ­another district leader of ­India’s ruling party, its Budgam ­district president Ghulam ­Hassan Khan, is on the main road of his native Ichgam village, talking to villagers without any security cover. All around are numerous banners made of green cloth with Islamic sayings written on them. It’s a Sunday, and the locals are still celebrating Prophet Muhammed’s birth anniv­ersary, Eid Milad-Un-­Nabi, which was on December 2 this year. “We celebrate it the entire month,” says Khan, who was a soldier in the Ind­ian Army and later a militant, before joining the Congress first and then the BJP. Since his party colleague Bhat’s death, the government has been providing security to all prominent BJP leaders. Bhat, a 30-year-old health department emp­loyee, was found dead with his throat slit on Nov­ember 3, a day after he was ­abducted by militants from a government hospital in Shopian.

The...

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