India’s latest step to open Jammu & Kashmir settlement by outsiders sparked another concern “Palestine in the making” among the majority Muslim population.
The Indian government issued a notice on April 1 that changed the old residency law in the region. Now the rights of anyone who has lived in the region for 15 years to domicile status – 10 for central government officials and their children and seven for middle school students.
This change took place eight months after India revoked Article 370 of the constitution which provided considerable autonomy for countries within the country – an arrangement that was enacted at the time of accession to India in 1947. In August 2019, India also divided the two countries into two union territories. : Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The new law has now become a source of deep concern for residents in Muslim-majority areas who worry it is directed to bring about demographic change. Jammu & Kashmir, according to the 2011 Census, has 68.3% of the Muslim population, while Hindus constitute 30%, Sikhs 2%, and Buddhists, who mostly inhabit Ladakh, are a little over 1%.