Actors, academics and politicians lead the commentary on the current situation as Kashmir waits to discover what will happen next.

India's Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a highly controversial process of revoking the ‘special status’ of its majority Muslim region Jammu and Kashmir.

The move is likely to inflame tensions in Kashmir, where many see India as an occupying force.

Online reactions to India’s move to abolish Article 370 of the constitution giving autonomy to the Muslim-majority Himalayan region has been swift.

The Indian government has shut down all communication between the region and the outside world as well as placing it under curfew with more than 600,000 soldiers in a bid to stop Kashmiri voices from speaking out against the move.

One social media commentator asked: “Is India still a constitutional democracy or is now practically under hindutva raj?”

The Indian government's decree goes against previously signed agreements that India is bound by, respecting the region’s autonomy pending final status negotiations.

The Pakistani Minister for Human Rights called India’s move as an “illegal annexation of a militarily-Occupied territory and completely unacceptable.

The British politician Lord Nazir Ahmed who is also of Kashmiri decent was equally scathing citing India’s presence as an “occupation force” bent on “demographic change.” 

Many Kashmiris are also adopting the colour red to highlight what they see as Indian atrocities in Kashmir.

A student activist, Kawalpreet Kaur, also spoke out against the measures by Modi’s government.

“You can't shut down the people, put all their leaders under house arrest, suspend all means of communication and then boastfully with all media channels in your hand decide the future of those people. Kashmiris lives are at STAKE and they have NO say in it.”

Whereas Nagma Morarji an Indian politician and former actress had many questions for Indian authorities and their heavyhanded crackdown:

“Why pro- Indian leaders, elected representatives in Kashmir are under house arrest? Why suspend internet? Why Curfew in the entire state? Why such harassment & torture to our people?

Beginning of the end?

On the Indian side, there has been widespread support from voices close to Modi.

Meanwhile, a popular meme making the rounds online amongst Hindu nationalists shows them going to the Kashmiri region armed with guns to buy properties.

Many Kashmiris fear that the government's announcement opens the doors to state-sponsored demographic change in a bid to turn the Muslim majority region into a Hindu-dominated one.

The jingoistic nationalism unleashed during Modi’s tenure was also reflected by Abhinav Prakash, an academic at Delhi University who touted the support of his students.

Whereas the Indian academic based in Sweden, Ashok Swain, cautioned his countrymen about falling prey to Modi’s nationalism given his other failed and hubristic policies.

“The liberals who have turned nationalists, just think a little before you jump,” he warned.

More chilling were the words of Anupam Kher an Indian actor and the former Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India who, with an online following of almost 14 million, stated: “[The] Kashmir Solution has begun.”

Source: TRT World