Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited this week with a lucrative financial aid package and boisterous claims of making the conflicted region "strong and powerful."
But the Indian government's actions in Kashmir are in stark contrast with what the prime minister had to say.
Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan, is an ongoing point of contention between the two countries. But seldom has any country tried to give Kashmiris freedom, instead of violently attempting to occupy the land.
India's nonchalance toward Kashmiris once again became clear with Modi's latest visit to the region. Modi, understandably, is not a revered figure in Kashmir. While Kashmiris have always eyed Indian leaders with suspicion due to their encouragement of the Indian army that kills the natives, kidnaps them, disperses their religious gatherings, Modi has earned his rather unenviable position after his particularly anti-Muslim stance.
Modi's latest visit was marked by protests from Kashmiris. And the Indian government equipped itself for any disruption. More than 300 people were arrested prior to the visit, and the army took down over 50 Facebook and Twitter pages for promoting dissent.
Kashmiris still managed to come out with a unique black balloon protest. They were quickly dispersed.
In the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium in Jammu, Modi stood tall, certain that no voice will be raised today to question him. It was from this pulpit that he announced a package of more than $12 billion for Kashmir, reiterating that he wanted to see a "powerful" Kashmir.
The very next day, Modi's vision of a stronger Kashmir was clear to the world, as the region once again plunged into chaos. The residents and the Indian army clashed once more, and the army — which treats locals like enemies — opened fire on the protestors. One person was killed.
Modi cannot assuage these people and undo decades of oppression with just one financial aid package. Not until the Indian government slows down on its efforts to make Kashmir a police state.