Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crossing Borders: Horizontal, Vertical, and Cricketical

Three pieces of news hit me today, each of them making me more proud than the other. it is nice to see India crossing three different boundaries:

1. Cricketical: We defeated the leading test-playing nation in the world by a huge margin of runs! Take that, aussies!

2. Vertical: Chandrayaan 1 [NOT Chandraaaayan, as the crazy news people have been saying] ( chandra=moon, yaan=craft) lifted off to the moon! Hurrah for the team behing it! [brochure, photo gallery, space.com report]

3. Horizontal: Perhaps the biggest news for me was trade routes have opened across the LoC between the India and Pakistan controlled regions of Kashmir. Two reasons - firstly, trade is always good for the people of the reason, who are by now tired with all the death and destruction; and second, this will hopefully make people think about making the LoC the international border and end this thing once and for all! After all, why pay customs duty across a line if it isn't an international border ;-)?

3 comments:

  1. any act of mutual cooperation by trade is well and good but the problem is that we send traders and they send terrorist and the fear is that this border would also help infiltrate terrorist like indo-nepal border and indo-bangladesh border

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  2. Roopa4:59 PM

    I second that. I'm not thrilled about the trade for that one reason. Trade is good, but if we've learnt our lessons from Kargil(which happened on the heels of the friendship bus jingoism - when free trade hadn't even opened yet), then we'll understand that all this free trade is symptomatic relief...till we get down to solving where the LoC really lies, and get google maps and the rest of the world to agree with the 10paise maps of our local stationery shop. :-)

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  3. @all: indeed, there is a ton of need for stricter border control, but I guess smuggling a gun is still going to be a problem thru that gateway -- the wilderness is still a better way for that. That say, no need to slack off on the security measures. My point is that hopefully this will bring much needed income to the locals.

    @roopa: The world knows where the LoC is, but the 2 countries on either side of it are not willing to acknowledge it as an international border. _That_ is what becomes more and more palatable as we have trade across that border.

    I think it the local 10 paisa map that needs to be more nuanced. Our kids need to know that there is a dispute going in, and indeed there this thing called the LoC which goes northward into a vague region called Siachin. Nothing will come out of another generation of kids [like me :)] who do not realize that mount K2 is NOT in India anymore.

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