The Revenge of Geography

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Vinod2070, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4862&print=1

    A good article on the issue of geography and the nation states. Some points are quite pertinent. Specifically about the geography of our artificial neighbors in our region.
     
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  3. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Our favorite neighbor comes first!

    I think the natural borders of India are at the Hindukush in the North West. That is what can be and should be defended. Not the Northern plains!
     
  4. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Some more of our neighbors.
     
  5. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Excellent find !!! Awesome, dude !!!
     
  6. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Geography is something that people forgot to take into acount when they partitioned India.
     
  7. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    A bit complicated read. But I guess he is saying that geography will inevitably take over with time and the borders of the states will be redefined. Technology and population growth will play their part in this eventuality.
     
  8. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    indian sub-continent is filled with nations that have artificial boundaries drawn at the whims and fancies of erstwhile imperial power, the Great Britain. for example, take bangladesh. Bengal was partitioned on the basis of two nation theory. there was no cultural, historical or geographical boundary which could be depended on to divide bengal into two. but it was still partitioned into two. this is an artificial divide that sparked large scale migrations and unprecedented riots. undoubtedly, the leaders of india had limited options. they had to choose between long aspired freedom or undivided but occupied india. they chose partition. hoping that in future, the country would be united once again. nehru himself had expressed this opinion. and his daughter got the oppurtunity to fulfill the desire. but the international pressure and other conditions of the time tied her hands down. she succeeded in freeing the bangla brothers from the clutches of barbaric PA, but she couldnt assimilate them back into india. so, the artificial boundaries persist. we know today the situation of bangladesh. we also know that today it is the breeding ground of jihadi terrorism against india. history has taught us that artificial boundaries will only lead to animosity between the two parties. history has taught us that artificially created nations only cause instability and imbalance to the entire region. the difference between bangladesh and bengal can be easily seen. the development, the economic wellbeing of bengal is far superior to bangladesh . why? becoz bengal has been in its rightful place. as a part of india. every part of india has developed only becoz they have been part of india. otherwise, the same fate that has engulfed all our neighbours would have engulfed these regions as well if they had tried to be independent or create a sub-nation. I have taken bangladesh as an example. we can easily replace pakistan(earlier east pakistan) or even nepal as examples. and perhaps even parts of tibet. btw, south tibet are formed by sikkim and AP.

    now, this knowledge makes two things clear to us:
    -being part of the union has benefitted every part of the modern india(some have benefitted more than others).
    -some parts of pre-1947 india have been outside of india due to creation of artificial states by british. these states have languished in poverty and instability. furthermore, they have caused instability and violence even within our present boundaries.

    so, wat is the lasting solution to this?
    remove the artificial boundaries, restore the natural, cultural and historical boundaries of india. this will benefit all ppl and reduce the violence.

    wat is stopping us from achieving this solution?
    the one word answer is: US. before US, it was britain. these global powers have/had vested interests in keeping india divided. imagine the unpartitioned, free, democratic india with its vast population, strategic geography, and resources. so, US and its european friends would be the biggest road block. also, our dear northern neighbour china would do everything in its capacity to cut india to size(literally). even today when it is clear that pakistan is bankrupt, the US continues to provide billions of $$$ in aid to make the country float. unkil obama follows the glorious tradition of his followers. they have successively kept pak afloat to use it as a counter-check to india. this is simply a more sophisticated version of divide and rule that british had used on ancient india. US knows that all these dollars and weapons would go into terror factory which has india as its main target.

    how do we counter this game:
    firstly, economic development. secondly, military buildup. thirdly, strong political leadership. fourthly, some chankyan thinktank ready to be ruthless and decisive.
     
  9. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    In a similar vein Balochistan and NWFP are better of than their counterparts in Iran and Astan resp !
    India was languishing behind the neighbours in the past decades.

    The main reason for our success is an excellent constitution, strong judiciary, free media, free fair elections, robust institutions etc.

    This is a recipe for disaster. A better solution would be making borders irrelevant as physical barriers a la EU.

    Also imagine an undivided India with Taliban in the NW, BLA in SW, LTTE in S,
    HuJi, ULFA in E, Maoists in Nepal, C.India, Jihadis in N ?

    I would riot against the govt that proposes merging India with Pakistan or BD.

    China afaik has no terrritorial ambitions other than which are known to us and if given an opportunity wouldn't we desire to do the same ;)

    This is the most absurd logic I've ever heard. A collapsed Pakistan is the worst news possible for India.

    1. India is amongst the fastest growing big economies
    2. India has one of the largest armed forces in the world
    3. India is growing stronger inspite of undergoing many hardships.
    4. India maintains relations with NK, Iran, Myanmar, Venezuela, Vietnam, Israel, Palestine, Saudis, France, UAE, UK, Russia, US, Germany, China, Japan, SK, Iraq, Astan, Tibet(Free Tibetans).. who can claim the same ?
     
  10. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Not true anymore!

    I used to think the same but I have changed my thinking now. No so sure anymore. You posted Vir Sighvi's OP-ED opposing the very same thinking in the other thread.

    Anyway the Pakistani collapse is now a matter of "when" and not "if". I see no reason why we should help delay the inevitable. The current situation has not worked well for us for 6 decades. Let's give the alternative a chance.
     
  11. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Vir Sanghvi opposes a strong stable Pak formula and proposes a weakened Pakistan, and the accompanying arguments he puts forth are sound.

    However, a collapsed Pakistan would not bode well, gradual demise -> we can cope, but a sudden demise...
     
  12. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Depends on what you mean by collapse. If collapse means Pakistan losing control over its two western provinces then yes, that could very well happen.

    However, the remaining ones - Sindh, Punjab and POK+NA could band together in some form of weakened Pakistan. That IMO is the best situation for India.

    De-nuked of course.
     
  13. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    indeed a completely different outlook on how things gets impacted by the geography but i cant agree geography has played that big a role in determining how a state functions, in fact a part of the reason for the dysfunctional status of our neighbor hood has to do with the long standing traditional ties between various tribes of which pakistan is the prime example. their nwfp or baluchistan have never thought themselves to be a part of pakistan who find themselves culturally more closer to tribals in afghanistan a reason why afghanistan even today does not agree to any sort of demarcation of their border with pakistan or the baluch who again for the same reason see baluch in iran as their brothers not a punjabi or a sindhi or a pashtun from rest of pakistan. if one is putting across the point of geography along with traditions and cultures followed then that is more acceptable.


    in case of bangladesh i tend to agree geography has played a bigger role than it has played in pakistan and the migration happening to india has a lot to do with that but their dysfunctional status has to do with the taking of cue from pakistan of building their nation around islam which was a flawed concept to being with or the so called land of pure would have not been divided in the first place. the biggest challenge we will face will be from bangladesh from where we will see immense push in the migration into india which will have massive demographic changes and this is waiting to happen. if and as & when this happens be rest assured which ever part of india these people migrate to the term dysfunctional will get more associated with us.


    nepal remains ungoverned 85% geographically is unheard of before but if it is true even with the maoists taking over then i am sure that state has a serious problem and this just shows how vulnerable their any government would be and any up rise against the state is never too far, it can be the maoists today but it might not take long for some other disgruntled organisation to take center stage with the help of a bullet. isn't this more a case of less connectivity, less development, inefficiency on part of successive governments than geography per se or a state like himachal or uttrakhand would have been as less governed like our neighbor.


    the concept of greater india or akhand bharat is a concept which can not be practiced, we have been moved apart by hundreds of years to as low as 6 decades in case of pakistan and bangladesh. thinking imbibed in us and thinking imbibed in rest of the people from our neighboring countries is completely different, we think secular but my neighbors thinks religion first, we believe in democracy they hate democracy, they think bullet we think ballet and many such things. even a punjabi or a bengali or a gorkha from india can not associate with with their counter parts from our neighborhood, we as a society are liberal and progressive which is as a trait is seen in minority with our neighbors. try bringing north and south together and it will repel even further and we could end up being as dysfunctional like the rest of our neighbors and may end up like USSR where tamils have a separate state, or punjabis have a separate state or paharis have a separate state which could at the end be a recipe of disaster. the concept of borderless EU kind of a thing being replicated is again flawed as the mainlanders of india will never agree to migration of population which will then be unrestricted given the background of extreme poverty where we are still not able to employ our employable population, not able to properly feed our populace and then topping all this is the politics that gets played in our part of the world.


    the only integration that needs to be done to the indian republic is the PoK and aksai chin of which PoK is the most important as that cuts the land route between pakistan and prc, it gets back the divided families of j&k together who then can work for a better future with no place for violence and this gives us a strategic reach to CAR.


    a dismembered pakistan is in the best interest of india as we have seen how a united pakistan has been a threat to the very existence of india this at a time when we can push our will through US which is only weakening as the time passes by and probably another economic down turn which has a tendency of repeating it self after every 10yrs could weaken them to the extent that prc takes the center stage a thought which would be a nightmare for india. prc once it reaches that stage will use pakistan to check mate us and they could go to the extent of fueling tensions between india and pakistan to such an extent that we are forced to go for a war as a solution which will be a clear disaster. the ungovernned regions of pakistan need to annexed and they need to be intergrated with afghanistan and iran and have a friendly government in the rop (sindh and punjab) which would depend on us economically.
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Vir Sanghvi again :113:

    The same people? Surely not

    Few things annoy me as much as the claim often advanced by well-meaning but woolly- headed (and usually Punjabi) liberals to the effect that when it comes to India and Pakistan, "We’re all the same people, yaar."

    This may have been true once upon a time. Before 1947, Pakistan was part of undivided India and you could claim that Punjabis from West Punjab (what is now Pakistan) were as Indian as, say, Tamils from Madras.

    But time has a way of moving on. And while the gap between our Punjabis (from east Punjab which is now the only Punjab left in India) and our Tamils may actually have narrowed, thanks to improved communications, shared popular culture and greater physical mobility, the gap between Indians and Pakistanis has now widened to the extent that we are no longer the same people in any significant sense.

    This was brought home to me most clearly by two major events over the last few weeks.

    The first of these was the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team on the streets of Lahore. In their defence, Pakistanis said that they were powerless to act against the terrorists because religious fanaticism was growing. Each day more misguided youngsters joined jihadi outfits and the law and order situation worsened.

    Further, they added, things had got so bad that in the tribal areas the government of Pakistan had agreed to suspend the rule of law under pressure from the Taliban and had conceded that sharia law would reign instead. Interestingly, while most civilised liberals should have been appalled by this surrender to the forces of extremism, many Pakistanis defended this concession.

    Imran Khan (Keble College, Oxford, 1973-76) even declared that sharia law would be better because justice would be dispensed more swiftly! (I know this is politically incorrect but the Loin of the Punjab’s defence of sharia law reminded me of the famous Private Eye cover when his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith was announced. The Eye carried a picture of Khan speaking to Jemima’s father. “Can I have your daughter’s hand?” Imran was supposedly asking James Goldsmith. “Why? Has she been caught shoplifting?” Goldsmith replied. So much for sharia law.)

    The second contrasting event was one that took place in Los Angeles but which was perhaps celebrated more in India than in any other country in the world. Three Indians won Oscars: A.R. Rahman, Resul Pookutty and Gulzar.

    Their victory set off a frenzy of rejoicing. We were proud of our countrymen. We were pleased that India’s entertainment industry and its veterans had been recognised at an international platform. And all three men became even bigger heroes than they already were.

    But here’s the thing: Not one of them is a Hindu.

    Can you imagine such a thing happening in Pakistan? Can you even conceive of a situation where the whole country would celebrate the victory of three members of two religious minorities? For that matter, can you even imagine a situation where people from religious minorities would have got to the top of their fields and were, therefore, in the running for international awards?

    On the one hand, you have Pakistan imposing sharia law, doing deals with the Taliban, teaching hatred in madrasas, declaring jihad on the world and trying to kill innocent Sri Lankan cricketers. On the other, you have the triumph of Indian secularism.

    The same people?

    Surely not.

    We are defined by our nationality. They choose to define themselves by their religion.

    But it gets even more complicated. As you probably know, Rahman was born Dilip Kumar. He converted to Islam when he was 21. His religious preferences made no difference to his prospects. Even now, his music cuts across all religious boundaries. He’s as much at home with Sufi music as he is with bhajans. Nor does he have any problem with saying ‘Vande Mataram’.

    Now, think of a similar situation in Pakistan. Can you conceive of a Pakistani composer who converted to Hinduism at the age of 21 and still went on to become a national hero? Under sharia law, they’d probably have to execute him.

    Resul Pookutty’s is an even more interesting case. Until you realise that Malayalis tend to put an ‘e’ where the rest of us would put an ‘a,’ (Ravi becomes Revi and sometimes the Gulf becomes the Gelf), you cannot work out that his name derives from Rasool, a fairly obviously Islamic name.

    But here’s the point: even when you point out to people that Pookutty is in fact a Muslim, they don’t really care. It makes no difference to them. He’s an authentic Indian hero, his religion is irrelevant.

    Can you imagine Pakistan being indifferent to a man’s religion? Can you believe that Pakistanis would not know that one of their Oscar winners came from a religious minority? And would any Pakistani have dared bridge the religious divide in the manner Resul did by referring to the primeval power of Om in his acceptance speech?

    The same people?

    Surely not.

    Most interesting of all is the case of Gulzar who many Indians believe is a Muslim. He is not. He is a Sikh. And his real name is Sampooran Singh Kalra.

    So why does he have a Muslim name?

    It’s a good story and he told it on my TV show some years ago. He was born in West Pakistan and came over the border during the bloody days of Partition. He had seen so much hatred and religious violence on both sides, he said, that he was determined never to lose himself to that kind of blind religious prejudice and fanaticism.

    Rather than blame Muslims for the violence inflicted on his community — after all, Hindus and Sikhs behaved with equal ferocity — he adopted a Muslim pen name to remind himself that his identity was beyond religion. He still writes in Urdu and considers it irrelevant whether a person is a Sikh, a Muslim or a Hindu.

    Let’s forget about political correctness and come clean: can you see such a thing happening in Pakistan? Can you actually conceive of a famous Pakistani Muslim who adopts a Hindu or Sikh name out of choice to demonstrate the irrelevance of religion?

    My point, exactly.

    What all those misguided liberals who keep blathering on about us being the same people forget is that in the 60-odd years since Independence, our two nations have traversed very different paths.

    Pakistan was founded on the basis of Islam. It still defines itself in terms of Islam. And over the next decade as it destroys itself, it will be because of Islamic extremism.

    India was founded on the basis that religion had no role in determining citizenship or nationhood. An Indian can belong to any religion in the world and face no discrimination in his rights as a citizen.

    It is nobody’s case that India is a perfect society or that Muslims face no discrimination. But only a fool would deny that in the last six decades, we have travelled a long way towards religious equality. In the early days of independent India, a Yusuf Khan had to call himself Dilip Kumar for fear of attracting religious prejudice.

    In today’s India, a Dilip Kumar can change his name to A.R. Rahman and nobody really gives a damn either way.

    So think back to the events of the last few weeks. To the murderous attack on innocent Sri Lankan cricketers by jihadi fanatics in a society that is being buried by Islamic extremism. And to the triumphs of Indian secularism.

    Same people?

    Don’t make me laugh.


    The same people? Surely not- Hindustan Times
     
  15. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    OK, I only meant the Western provinces going their own way when I mentioned collapse. This is a highly likely scenario now, given the current geopolitical scene.

    That will almost inevitably lead to Sindh going it's own way too. So the remaining "Pakistan" (effectively Punjab) will be a rump state with no access to the sea and depending on the goodwill of "Sindhudesh" and "Balochistan" to have access to the sea. It will become a land locked anti-India state with little resources beyond agriculture and little potential. It may or may not still have nukes but will be of such a small size that it can be overrun easily, if required. Without Pushtun tribals, their military will be much weaker too and they can't sustain the present unnatural military size.

    I don't see POK sticking with the rump state for long. It may well revert to India. These people are not Punjabis and they have no reason to stay with them.
     
  16. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    A good post, Ritesh. I agree we need to consolidate what we have now. Get rid of the insurgencies, gve our people a better life, education, healthcare etc.

    Once we have done that, we can look at getting back what we have lost.
     
  17. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    The problem with such a scenario is that the "badlands" of the west might overrun the region if Pakistan weakens beyond a point, thus bringing the war right to India's doorstep.
     
  18. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    I think this war has to happen some day. All we can do is try and postpone it for a day when we are in a better position.

    If you think about it, what is happening in Pakistan is a collision of two civilizations. These two civilizations are diagonally opposite and need to fight it out to assert their superiority.

    For too long we have had the invasions at the hands of these bandits and barbarians from the North-West. I would really like a change in direction for once. This time we should strike hard at these nomads and not hold our punches.
     
  19. Su-47

    Su-47 Regular Member

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    Completely agree with you there. Many die hard Gandhians quote how India is a peaceful nation coz we never conquered others. They conveniently leave out how we have been plundered, massacred, raped and conquered by foreign invaders. The Greeks, Persians, Afghans, Portuguese, Dutch, French and British have all ruled over us, and we have just laid down and taken it like dogs for centuries. Never again.

    Next time someone comes to mess with us, we should give them such a beating that their ancestors who attacked us feel the pain.
     
  20. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Oh please. Its one thing to anticipate and prepare for war, and quite another to bring it to your doorstep by self-destructive policies.

    You guys have your fun dreaming about taking on the "barbarians from the west", but how many of you are willing to engage the Taliban across Kashmir and the Rajasthan and Punjab borders?

    This high-on-emotion interpretation of history "we have always taken it like dogs" etc. etc. is not only highly inaccurate but also speaks of a kind of self-loathing that can only lead to bad things.
     
  21. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    You think Taliban can fight in the plains with the same effectiveness as in their own mountains?
     

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