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Integration into national mainstream

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By K.N. Pandita
 
India is a union of federating units. These units are diverse in most of the facets of life, culture, and economy. Their geography and economic resources are at great variance.

In simple logic these should have been independent units, at best having a friendly working relationship with the neighbouring units.

But certain factors have bound them together, especially long history of foreign occupation and colonial rule. Civilizational cohesion has remained a binding force. It goes to the times when earliest settlers namely Indo-Aryans set their foot first on Indo-Gangetic plain and gradually expanded over the vast Hindostan.   Continue Reading…

Northern Region: Policy Planning and Security Concerns

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By Dr. K.N. Pandit

Our country has 7,683 kilometre-long coastlines; its economic zone is over 2 million square kilometres in size and we have 15,000 kilometres of border with seven countries.

For a population o f 1.12 billion souls our total defence budget is 3 billion US dollars. The US, with a population almost one fourth of ours only one department connected with the security of the country namely FBI, has the annual budget of 7.1 billion dollars, two and a half times larger than our total defence budget.

The US spends 4.1 % of GDP on defence, China spends 4.3 %, Pakistan 3 % and our country spends 2 %. Continue Reading…

Peace in Kashmir, Myth and Reality – a report

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Kashmiris on Their Own Future, Public Opinion from Both Sides of the Line of Control, June 2008:

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Was Kashmir handled or mishandled?

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Added on July 7, 2009: Find this photo on the Shehjar Magazine: Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru addressing a gathering in Srinagar in November 1947. Sheikh Abdullah sits in a chair next to him. Photo: The Hindu Photo Library.

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By K.N. Pandita

At a recent social gathering in Delhi, an old friend of mine, a rabid Congressite (of course by design as most KPs are) asked me if  Nehru had taken a right decision on Kashmir. He knew I had other ideas on the subject.

Nehru’s sentimental fondness for Shiekh Abdullah stands in direct contrast to Jinnah’s cool assessment of the man. When the Shiekh rose to leave Jinnah after a meeting sometimes in pre-independence days, Jinnah cast a glance on the back of the Sheikh exclaimed, “This man cannot be trusted.” I am reminded of what in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus said of Cassius; “Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look; such men are dangerous”.  Continue Reading…

Politics of exhausted antics

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By K.N. Pandita

Strikes, hartal s and shutdowns with some sprinkling of violence have been part of the history of Kashmir separatist movement for two past decades. Separatist leaders stir up peoples’ hysteria through a variety of pretexts ranging from hurt religious feelings to minor and insignificant road rows. You need just a pretext and the rowdies are on the roads yelling anti-India slogans, making violent body-language and exuding malicious vitriolic, hurling abuses on one and all and pelting stones on all and sundry.

This kind of destructive activity is undertaken by the youth; most among them beneficiaries of political gangsters who revel in their sadism and feel elated to be in news headlines. They are on the prowl and slightest mishap resulting from an inadvertent act is enough to set the forest on fire. Continue Reading…