India does not covet territory

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Srinivas_K, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 17, 2009
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    'India does not covet territory’
    The need to reclaim South Asian identity emerged as the overarching theme for Sunday’s session titled India, Cultural Conundrum?
    The panel comprised Indians and Pakistanis with backgrounds in literature, journalism, politics and international diplomacy. They discussed a range of topics and issues affecting the people and governments of the region.
    More than 800 people were packed in the hall. Several others had to be turned away due to the space constraint despite waiting in queue outside the hall for at least half an hour before the session began.
    Historian Alex von Tunzelmaan, the moderator, said judging by the overwhelming turnout at the session, it was clear that the subject was of great interest to many. The talk opened with Aitzaz Ahsan. “If this discussion was taking place in India, with Pakistan replacing India in the topic, we would’ve experienced many protests,” he said. Pakistan’s cultural conundrum was hard to understand, said Ashan, while the region’s plurality has stayed intact, it had not made its way to the school curricula. “We don’t teach our children about how India had stayed plural till 1947, we don’t tell them about East Pakistan either because it doesn’t fit our historical narratives.” Ahsan said it was important to realise that Pakistanis were essentially South Asians not Arabs. “Yes we are Muslims but we have to embrace plurality.”
    Indian writer Shobhaa De said decoding and deconstructing India required more than a lifetime. “I feel passionate and protective about my country too…but I am also disheartened by what I see before me.” De said while India had its share of challenges, it was never a territorial occupier. She also said that she realised it would be hard for Pakistanis to agree to her opinion and respected that. “We need to reclaim our South Asian identity, especially for our children and future generations,” she said.
    “Otherisation”, former Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman said, was highly unproductive in the Pakistan-India discourse. She said India had been “otherised” so much during Zia’s regime that it still had an effect. “But I also think that both countries have moved past the phenomenon.” She said there was clear consensus for peace with India, “The door is open from Pakistan’s side, India must grasp the opportunity.”
    Talking about modern day India, Rehman said there were growing concerns about India’s “swing towards the right” and resistance towards secular narrative. “The constitution there [India] is secular, yet public space has changed too,” she said. Rehman asked whether Muslims in India could exercise previously held liberties, in the wake of increasingly rightwing public sentiments.
    Indian journalist Masih Rehman said, “The right is growing because of the economic policies.” Unfortunately, a political shift towards the right also tends to increase sectarianism, he said.
    Masih Rehman said the BJP was likely to come to power in the upcoming Indian elections. “However, this should not be a cause for anxiety among the Muslims of India. Muslims might be under pressure due to greater Hindu supremacy, they still occupy their own space…this has been the case for quite a while now.”
    Recalling incidents from the past, he said, there was a time when there was general acceptance of Muslims in the Indian national cricket team. That, he said, has changed. “Muslims are such a large minority in India that there is no way you can treat them this way.” Rehman agreed with De and said India did not covet territory in South Asia, it instead focused on economic struggle.

    ‘India does not covet territory’ – The Express Tribune
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  3. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2009
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    India's NOT being expansionist doesnt mean that like the first PM we need to give away what
    is and was rightfully ours in order to "prove" the fact, especially when we are bordered by one
    or two nations that ARE (somewhat expansionist ) .

    There is a huge difference between NOT being expansionist and naively believing that others' will also
    "play by the rules" by being respectful of others' territories..

    . It is most unfortunate that our first government led by the first PM did not realise the difference !
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
    rajsking likes this.
  4. chase

    chase Tihar Jail Banned

    Aug 22, 2012
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    A bunch of morons and self-declared experts on India discuss Indian identity. I don't know what is 'south-asian' identity? South Asia's history,experience and civilization have been created by the DHARMIC ideas. Without considering this you cannot talk about any south asia identity as it will be artificial.

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