Why We Will Never Let Kashmir Go

August 05, 2010
Deepti Lamba

15th August is round the corner and flags are waving. India is the largest democracy in the world and people are thumping their chests saying they are proud to be Indians. But with pride comes the niggling uncomfortable admission - we hold a slice of land called Kashmir hostage.

There can be no bewilderment, no moralizing and no hatred but the facing of hard facts. Why do we need Kashmir? Ask the soldiers who have given their lives. Young bachelors who are sent there to fight by the Indian army. They know the reason - its not to bring glory to our tri-colored country or to save its reputation.

It is hard cold military strategy. We need the Himalayas to protect us against Pakistan and China. Kashmir merely happens to be part of the meat the dogs are fighting over. The people running out into the streets demanding Azadi, well, yes, we Indians see it and we too have paid over three decades for holding on to them in blood and tears.

One's terrorist is another's freedom fighter is all talk that goes around in circles and leads nowhere. Ground reality lies in history books where nations are carved out in blood and only break when the maggots from within make it hollow.

But India is the young Gir lion, roaring its might to the world, its end nowhere in sight. Letting Kashmir go will not break the land. India is strong in its foundations and its citizens pragmatic enough to know that for secure borders we must pay dearly.

The rest is all fluff - the debates, the moral dilemmas, even the patriotism and flag waving. Why do we hold on to Kashmir? The answer is simple - if we don't 'they' will kill us.

dee.jpgDeepti Lamba is an author, besides editing at Desicritics
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