hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Wednesday, June 05, 2002
notes on Kashmir:

three reasons for India to keep Kashmir

silly: Kashmir is an integral part of India. The Sovereign ruler of Kashmir, Hari Singh signed the accession order and that’s that. It was endorsed by Mountbatten, and that’s that.

substantial: 1. we want Kashmir
2. We have a substantial historical claim to it.
3. We have the strength to keep it
4. Therefore, we will keep it.

very substantial: domino theory: the North East, Punjab, Sikkim, Goa. It could be that the separatist movement could reach all the way to Kerala, and if that’s the case, all bets are off. What’s left can’t even be called India.

Therefore, even though there is an undoubted cost to keeping Kashmir by force of arms, we simply must do it. Look at the United States. What if they had let the Confederate states secede? And the people in the old Confederacy hated the Notherners for many, many years. But now they are the most patriotic, loyal Americans. But the whole process took almost 130 years. The Kashmiris may not become our most patriotic citizens, but given time: 40-50 even 100 years, they will become Indians. We must have that faith, for the sake of the long term future of the country.

also: so many of our jawans have died for India to keep Kashmir. Can you look them in the eye, and in effect, betray the sacrifices they made for their country?

categorization of Kashmiri Muslims:

wants azaadi :
prefer Pakistan to India
prefers India to Pakistan
no strong preference

wants to be a part of Pakistan

wants to be a part of India

Kashmir Buddhists: India

Kashmiri Sikhs: always assumed they were closer to Indians, but they are probably neutral.

reasons why Kashmiri Muslims might prefer India to Pakistan
1. spent a substantial part of their formative years in India
2. pleasantly surprised by Indians/ disillusioned by militants in some way or another.
3. genuinely prefer the semi-secular ethos of India to the semi-religious ethos of Pakistan (Sheik Abdullah, Mufti Mohamed, Safiuddin Soz)
4. personal gain derived by trumpeting the Indian line. Farooq Abdullah

proof that Indian occupation of the Kashmir valley was relatively mild: Omar Farooq lived there! Offered a choice between so-called Azad Kashmir, and Indian-Occupied Kashmir, the Farooqs chose to live on the Indian side of the line. Imagine if Tibet was split in two, and the Dalai Lama choosing to live on the Chinese side, all the while aserting that the Chinese were barbaric human-rights abusing, all in all, bad people. I think the logical question is, if things are so bad, why not go to Azad Tibet? That is not to say, however that the grievances that the Kashmir muslims have against the Indians are completely illegitimate. However, they should be taken with several grains of salt. The complaint that the Indians are bullies, keeping a land that doesn’t belong to them, must be treated with respect. But the charge that the Indians are sadists, happily engaging in human rights violations, can largely be discounted.


I am a South Indian (Tamilian) Hindu, and my preferred (Indian) political party is the Janata Dal, just to inform you where I'm coming from. I also attended a speech by the Maulvi Omar Farooq, and was impressed with his character and intelligence, though of course as a proud Indian I didn't agree with everything he said.

Very briefly, I think Kashmir should be partitioned along communal lines, with Jammu and Ladakh staying in India, along with some minority portion of the Kashmir Valley forming "Panun Kashmir", which will stay in India. "Panun Kashmir" is intended mainly for the Pandits, but also for any Kashmiris who want to remain part of India (Sikhs, Shia Muslims, secular Muslims, etc.) The remaining, major, portion of the Valley will go to the rest of the Kashmiri people, mostly Muslims, who can vote for Azadi or accession to Pakistan as they prefer.

I realize most Kashmiri Muslims will instinctively reject this, as they hold out hope for a unified, free, non-communal Greater Kashmir. But I am fairly sure that Partition is the only viable long-term solution. Indians who believe that India can occupy the Kashmir Valley by force of arms forever are misguided, and are not being true the ideals on which our Country was founded. But Kashmiri Muslims who believe that Kashmir can return to a relatively non-communal Golden Age of Kashmirayat are also deluding themselves. Once the Dogs of War have been unleashed, there is no going back. In particular, I am sure that after the attempted Genocide and successful Ethnic Cleansing that the Kashmiri Pandits have faced at the hands of "Kashmiri Freedom Fighters", they will never trust their Kashmiri Muslim “brothers” to protect them from more extreme Muslims . And similarly, most Kashmiri Muslims will never trust the Indians.

However, even if you accept this analysis, there is one major stumbling point, which is, where to draw the Partition Line? I don't know that much about Kashmir, so I honestly can't say. I don't know if you are angry at what I have written, but if not, where do you think I could find good information (maps, population centres, etc.) on how a Partition Line could be drawn?