Though other regional conflicts may capture more headlines, none reaches as deeply into the past nor haunts the present as ominously as Kashmir. The region, divided between India and Pakistan in 1947, is today perhaps the most militarized place in the world.
At this Open Society Institute event, four panelists discuss the remote origins of the Kashmir conflict, as well as its longterm consequences, including its incalculable human costs, its effects on Indian and Pakistan polities, the American role in the dispute, and the prospects for a resolution. In addition, they will trace the tentacles from Kashmir that have extended to other regional conflicts, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the streets of Mumbai.
Steve Coll is President and CEO of New America Foundation, and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at The Washington Post, serving as the paper's managing editor from 1998 to 2004.
He is the author of six books, including The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T (1986); The Taking of Getty Oil (1987); Eagle on the Street, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the SEC's battle with Wall Street (with David A. Vise, 1991); On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia (1994), Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004); and forthcoming in 2008, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century.
Pankaj Mishra was born in North India in 1969. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in commerce from Allahabad University before earning his Master of Arts degree in English literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
In 1992, he moved to Mashobra, a Himalayan village, where he began to contribute literary essays and reviews to The Indian Review of Books, The India Magazine, and the newspaper The Pioneer. His first book was Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India (1995), a travelogue that described the social and cultural changes in India in the new context of globalization.
His novel The Romantics (2000), an ironic tale of people longing for fulfillment in cultures other than their own, was published in eleven European languages and won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. His recent book An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World (2004) mixes memoir, history, and philosophy while attempting to explore the Buddha's relevance to contemporary times.
Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond (2006), describes Mishra's travels through Kashmir, Bollywood, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, and other parts of South and Central Asia.
In 2005, Mishra published an anthology of writing on India, entitled India in Mind (Vintage). His writings have been anthologized in The Picador Book of Journeys (2000), The Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature (2004), and Away: The Indian Writer as Expatriate (Penguin), among other titles.
Mishra writes literary and political essays for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and New Statesman, among other American, British, and Indian publications. His work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Common Knowledge, the Financial Times, Granta, The Independent, the London Review of Books, n+1, The Nation, Outlook, Poetry, Time, The Times Literary Supplement, Travel + Leisure, and The Washington Post.
Basharat Peer is a Kashmiri journalist and author who will write a book on India's 154 million Muslims, one of the largest religious minorities in the world and the third-largest Muslim community. Peer will draw upon the stories of individuals and places to illuminate the challenges posed by religious violence, prejudice, and systemic injustice to democracy and human rights in contemporary India.
Peer has worked as an editor at Foreign Affairs and is the author of the acclaimed memoir Curfewed Night (forthcoming in the U.S. from Scribner). He served as a correspondent at Tehelka, an English-language investigative newsweekly, and has contributed to the New Statesman, the Nation, the Financial Times Magazine, the Guardian, and the Times of India, among other publications. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Mridu Rai is associate professor of history at Yale University. She was educated at Delhi University; the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and Columbia University, where she received a PhD in modern South Asian history. Her doctoral research focused on the problem of religion and politics in the making of protest in modern Kashmir between the 1840s and the 1940s.
In 2004, her book Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights and the History of Kashmir was published. Rai's new research looks at the region of Bihar and the relationships between caste, territory, region and nation as they evolved from the period of British colonial rule into the postcolonial era.
Region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent. It is bounded to the northeast and east by China, to the south by India, to the west by Pakistan, and to the northwest by Afghanistan. The land is predominantly mountainous and includes K2 and other peaks of the Karakoram Range. India and Pakistan have disputed over the region since India's partition in 1947. Pakistan occupies the northern and western portions, and India administers the largest area, in the south and southeast, organized as the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, China has administered portions of the northeastern section since 1962.
ALL the points???? lets see now, what about the Pundits? What aboiut PoK? What about the part of PoK sold to China? What about massacred millions? .......Sorry JIA* you need to learn before opening your mouth like basharat.
Kashmir is for the Kashmiris,
push back your prejudices and dont try to push the akhand bharat or the muslim umma agendas, the Kashmiris will prevail because they are willing to pay the price with their blood.
The risk is, if they pay the price with their blood and do reach their goal, which today seems within reach, what will be the outcome for the India and Pakistan, how will they live down their de-legitimacy.
How do you justify an India that used state terrorism under the grab of democracy and what is the future of such a state, which is further weakened by the unchallenged state sponsored communalism against christians, muslims, tribals etc. Pakistan is ever worse, a hostage to a frankenstien out of control.
Instead of working towards the United States of India, a powerhouse that can hold its own in the coming geopolitical scenario, India and Pakistan are in the mood to cut off the nose to spite the face,
Grow up, before your sons are shipped off to China to work in their factories.
Radical times call for radical solutions, move before you become Irrelevant.
How can you take such a panel serious when one of them - Basharat Peer - in a serious debate comment childisly eg 'half a million Indian soldiers on the streets' . Really ? This is absolutely a joke debate. Bring on serious people who understand Kashmir problem deep down & not novices as these three. Their only qualification on panel is either they have been studying Kashmir politics for few year or have written 3rd rate fictions in the last few years. Better qualification are needed to debate a serious problem created by the Islamists & Pakistan. Why no mention of half million or so Hindu pandits who have been made refugees in their own countries.
This is an Islamist problem now and not a political problem anymore.
Kahmir is the home to one of the holiest shrine in Hinduism.
The panel, especially Mridu Rai and Basharat Peer, appears to ignore the fact that Islamic fundamentalism has a role to play in recent years where the radical Muslims have gone round to kill non-Muslims in Kashmir
This is documented in this website, by Prof M.L. Koul,
"As an indoctrinated breed churned out from the Muslim seminaries of hate, fanaticism and religious bigotry the Muslim terrorists launched an all-out religious crusade against the non-Muslim ethnic groups directed to the end product of establishing an Islamic state placed on the foot stool of Shariat (Islamic Law) which reduces the ethnic and religious minorities to the exiles of a gulag deprived of human rights and human dignity."
Its very easy to blame outsiders for any problem. But in reality, its the local condition that invites others to fish in the troubled water. Kashmiris dont like Pakistan and/or Pakistan. Why they should not have the chance to decide their fate?
Poorly done, FORA TV. Watching this panel is like watching any panel on either MSNBC or FOX – presenting only one view of its choosing and ignoring the other.
Kashmir is not the problem but the symptom of a larger malaise. The Kashmir region is not limited to the valley. It is made up of the Kashmir valley, Ladakh, Jammu, Gilgit and Baltistan. Has the star panel cared to voice views of the majority of the people in that region who vehemently disagree with that of the panel? No! Sorry, Basharat Peer does not represent the mosaic of views of the people in that region.
it has been well established now that the kashmir issue is a red herring. The ISI/ARMY have demands for other muslim majority indian states. appeasing is feeding a crocodile and hoping it would eat you last. One other point: well over a million hindu kashmiris were massacred and displaced by these jihadis, how can you resolve this without them? oh and the azad kashmir that has been sold/given to china by pakistan? no mention of that either? if you want a plebescite then bring kashmir back to that period when election was considered as an option.