India, Pakistan and Kashmir

Import from 26 July 2008 English:

Import from 26 July 2008 English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pakistan, A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven is an excellent introduction to the subject, and I recommend it highly. But no one book is adequate to explain the complexities of the Indian subcontinent, so don’t stop there.

Some experts believe that the border between India and Pakistan is the most dangerous place on the planet because of the dispute over Kashmir where both sides have nuclear weapons. Since the partition in 1947, the question of who owns Kashmir has been an intractable one and three wars have already been fought over the question. I cannot offer a step-by-step solution, but I do think that the ultimate solution or goal must be reunification of Pakistan and India, undoing the partition, and subsuming the Kashmir question. If Pakistan and India are reunited in one country, the ownership of Kashmir becomes a moot question.

Bangladesh is not part of the Kashmir problem, but I believe that it too should reunite with India to form one nation on the Indian subcontinent, not two or three as exist now. With global warming raising ocean levels during the present century, I believe that Bangladesh will be better able to cope with flooding from the Bay of Bengal as part of India than it would by itself. The victims of flooding in Bangladesh will need somewhere to go, and Bengal seems to be the most logical place.

I am not suggesting that the process of undoing partition and reunification will be easy, but I am suggesting that it is the only viable long-term goal.

Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey

Ladakh

Ladakh (Photo credit: TCPMU)

Yesterday I was fortunate to attend a splendid documentary film at Docutah, in Saint George, Utah. The film runs 70 minutes and documents a trek in the Himalayas to promote preserving the environment. Approximately 700 people trekked to Ladakh in the Kashmir area of northern India/Pakistan. Along the route, they collected trash to leave the area cleaner than they found it. Environmental degradation in the Himalayas is slowly poisoning the source of the fresh water relied on by about half of the world’s population. They also tried to teach the population of the area they traversed about why the climate is changing and how to preserve their homes and crops from violent storms and resulting landslides. The trek in summer, 2009, tranversed snow fields and crossed a pass above 17,000 feet. The film’s producer, Wendy Lee, was there after the film to answer questions.

If you would like to see this very worthwhile film, it will be screened on September 20, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, at the Global Peace Film Festival. A related film about the oceans will be screened in Monterey, California at the Blue Ocean Film Festival between September 24 and 30, 2012. Further information is available at www.padyatrafilm.com

Southern Utah International Documentary Film F...

Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)