Monday, January 06, 2003

South Asia at a crossroads

South Asia, I feel is in a pivotal position right now. India and Pakistan have the opportunity to do a lot of great things, but it seems that domestic constituencies/constraints are really holding both states back. Pakistan really is taking the lead in assisting the United States root out al-Qaeda inside Pakistan. The whole concept of hot pursuit is a funny one though b/c if India conducted hos pursuit inside Pakistan, that could lead to nuclear war. When the United States does this, it is ok? While this is really besides the point it is interesting.

My main point is that domestically Pakistanis, from the media at least, it seems that they are for the most part anti-American, specifically with regards to this war on terror. I think it would be advantageous for Pakistan (the people of Pakistan) to wholeheartedly back this war to root out al-Qaeda from its soil. Think of the future domestic benefits that a strong and undoubted relationship with America could bring to Pakistan. The way I see it, if Musharraf is going to come out strongly in favor of America's war, then the people of Pakistan should as well. Otherwise Musharraf, as President, is not really representing the people, that he is supposed to represent. I guess that is what happens when you have a dictator. But wait, didn't he overwhelmingly win the support of his people in the last election?

India on the otherhand is going all out on the Hindutva front. I have been silent for the most part on the gujarat elections and what not b/c I cannot really come to terms with the downfall of gujarat. I was giving an interview with an Indian-American paper, and one of the things I had said something similar to how ironic that in Gujarat, a state that prohibits alcohol in respect of Mahatma Gandhi, the government would allow such a purge and separation of religious groups. Gandhi was for an India for Indians, whether they be Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh, etc. Modi, and these hindu fascists want to make India a Hindu state. Vajpayee, whom I had regarded as pretty secular seems to be falling in line with this sort of thought it seems, with his promoting the rewriting of Indian text histroy books to show how Hindu India was. It is always poor to rewrite history, unless it was previously factually incorrect. In India's case it wasn't, the RSS and the rest of the Sangh Parivar want to change the history so that it inaccurately portrays it with a Hindutva flare.

Who would have thought a post discussing India and Pakistan without one mention of Kashmir. Is there more to these two states then Kashmir and nuclear weapons?
There is a lot more to this topic, and once my computer is returned hopefully I can return to this discussion.


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