There are many differences but also some insightful parallels between the June mass protests in Hong Kong and the recent and dramatic revocation of the autonomous status of Kashmir. India has fallen to 140/180 on the World Press Freedom Index this year, way behind Hong Kong at 73. Weeks on from the revocation, Kashmir is still cut off from the rest of the world with telecommunications still down and Kashmiri political leaders still detained. Despite all this, the Indian mainstream media has been in support of Prime Minister Modi’s government and has downplayed clashes whereas puzzlingly, in Hong Kong, the recent widespread protests were highly lauded.
Why does this matter? Rising tensions in China and India are clearly worrying for the regions affected and will probably hamper the delivery of economic plans, especially as China’s economy slows and India experiences the lowest level of private investment for fourteen years.
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