Sunday, May 08, 2005

South Asia: The Politics of Partition

An overdue look at a Gulf News Opinion piece on South Asian trade politics. The article dates back to March 2005, but the basic points remain valid, since the issues go as far back as 1947. Some fascinating realities to be garnered from this article.

Intensified pipeline diplomacy between India and its neighbours promises to transform the geopolitics of the subcontinent.

The single biggest consequence of this pipeline diplomacy could be an end to the economic partition of the subcontinent, a little over 57 years ago. Until 1947, the subcontinent was a single economic space.

Indeed, opponents of the partition have cited this very fact as a potential problem. The restriction on distribution of resources puts a strain on populations. A flood that ravages one part of the country could formerly be compensated by produce from another, but now, borders and deeply ingrained political savagery block such efforts.

Bangladesh is a classic victim of such a problem. Global warming is causing rising sea levels (a currently observed phenomenon in Bangladesh) and people will soon have to relocate to higher land. But the border with India, which surrounds Bangladesh to the East, North and West (the Bay of Bengal to the South), limits all that. If global warming is even half the reality that scientists predict, either we will have to go the Netherlands way, or we will have to invade India.

As the logic of globalisation sweeps across south Asia, Pakistan and Bangladesh could eventually become land bridges between the subcontinent and the regions beyond.

The logic of globalisation does compensate for the movement of capital. But people are left out to dry. Capitalism's most fundamental problem.

The region, however, continues to mature. In fifty years, the government's of South Asia will be more organised, separated by about 5 generations from the traumatic partition and the antagonistic baggage inherited thereof, and people will finally be able to talk issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment


About Me

My photo
I write essays in my spare time on things that are important to me. The ones that I feel are any good, or make any sense, I put them up here. :)