Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
If I may defend myself/state my beliefs more precisely with…
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
If I may defend myself/state my beliefs more precisely with regards to Hindu-Muslim tensions (cf. Zack's reference):
I must have misstated my views on the roles of the different actors in the Partition. I do know that the British, in dividing India into India and Pakistan, were responding to petitions from the Muslim League, which was an organization of Muslim Indians. I wish the Muslim League had not had the clout that it did have to successfully petition for the Partition, or that the secularist lobby had been able to block it, or that Britain had Just Said No. I know that there have been periods of relative peace and periods of relative conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India; I did not mean to imply that all had been wine and roses for centuries on end.
But I think Hindus and Muslims might have found it easier to get along if, yes, there were no controversial geographic boundary over which to bicker.
Today my mom and I were listening to NPR as we drove somewhere, and we disagreed violently over the current situation. As much as I dislike the unconstitutional way that General Musharraf came to power (a coup), I must admit he's really trying to crack down on militant Islamism and terrorism in Pakistan. What will it take for India to agree to talks?! Surrender of Kashmir? Mass conversions to Hinduism in Islamabad? bin Laden's head on a platter? I really think India is being unreasonable about this.
But my mom backs Vajpayee one hundred percent. She said that "they" attacked the Indian Parliament and therefore must redeem themselves. Now, I tried to point out that, as far as we know, Pakistan's government didn't bomb the parliament, and is trying really hard to track down and punish those responsible. But my mom would have none of it.
I'm beginning to think that India is just jumping on the anti-terrorism bandwagon and is using the current, more permissive atmosphere to get on Musharraf's case for something that he's trying his hardest to control. I predict he'll be killed or ousted himself within the next six or twelve months by hardliners in Pakistan because he's trying so hard to give India what it wants and avoid war. And just when I was beginning to like him.
As you can tell, I'm peeved.