U S President Trump’s latest statement that “Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have the Hindus, and you have the Muslims, and I wouldn’t say they get along so great… it is a complicated situation. A lot has to do with religion. Religion is a complicated subject…Well they have been having these talks for hundreds of years. You have millions of people who want to be ruled by others …may be on both sides… and you have two countries that haven’t gotten along well for a long time…” has created enormous misgivings in India. Nevertheless, a dispassionate analysis of this statement can be described in terms of partly hyperbole, partly truth, and wholly in American strategic interests.
Muslims are not a monolith entity
President Trump should hold his close ally Britain for imparting the narrative of Kashmir being a Hindu-Muslim problem. Trump would know that Britain is guided by the colonial mindset, wherein colonialism in the Indian subcontinent thrived on Muslim separatism. The Indian Constitution rejects this whole idea of Muslim separatism based on the indigenous perspective of subcontinental Islam.
The reality of Kashmir is that Islam in the subcontinent, particularly Kashmir, has many strands and shades. In J&K, there are Sunnis, Shias, Pahari Muslims, Gujjar Muslims, and Bakarwal Muslims. Then there are various religious sects, i.e. Wahabis, Ahl-e-Hadis, Sufis, Deob