Saturday, August 18, 2012

India at 65: Independence Day 2012

Wisdom Quarterly

Saffron, white, and green with Buddhist wheel
AUGUST 15th marks India's independence from British oppression. Much like the United States, the "greatest experiment in democracy" (India) liberated itself from United Kingdom colonialism in 1947. Unfortunately, it meant the loss of a great deal of land ceded in the interest of the departing empire. It has kept India fighting with its neighbors (the new Pakistan and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) ever since. Imperial UK strategists cut India up along religious lines. But ethnic strife has continued to plague the nation as well as its infamous communal violence. Tens of millions of Indian Muslims were given a homeland of sort, but 100 million Muslim remain in India. And Pakistan poses the greatest threat to its sovereignty. With the US military on former Indian land (Gandhara now Afghanistan) as it continues to prosecute the longest war of its short history, the even shorter-lived nation is determined to take sides against its own neighbors squeezing it to give up territory, Pakistan and China. Southern California is privileged to have numerous Independence Day celebrations on weekends throughout the month, particularly in LA's "Little India" (Artesia).

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