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Kashmir: a Holy Mess

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Kashmir: A Holy Mess
The battle for Kashmir didn’t just represent a clash of ideologies. Though ideology (both religious and political) was a massively important aspect in driving and fueling the conflict, one cannot simply pigeonhole this extremely complex issue. Not only was the battle especially convoluted, but it had far reaching effects and was inseparable from the global politics of the time, such as the formation of Israel and the conflict between Britain and the Soviet Union. Furthermore it is imperative to remember that the outcome of the battle of Kashmir hinged not only on the political and religious ideologies of two nations, but on the extraordinary personalities that exemplified these ideologies. The eloquence of speeches and the ability of leaders influenced the battle. The more effective the leader and the more eloquent his speeches, the more he could push his ideology, making it seem stronger in the eyes of his audience. The battle of Kashmir hinged on certain men that changed the course of history. No matter how broad the term “clash of ideologies” is, this conflict was simply too messy to classify!

To begin with, Kashmir was and still is a state of massive geostrategic importance since it “came to share borders with Afghanistan, Chinese Xinjian (Sinkiang), and Tibet. [and naturally, India and Pakistan] Only a very narrow tract of Afghan territory separated it from the Soviet Union” (Guha 75). It was therefore important to the security of India. Furthermore it was an important source of water to both Pakistan and India. The clash over Jammu and Kashmir was then clearly not only drawn on ideological lines but geostrategic ones as well, to a certain extent both countries simply needed Jammu and Kashmir because of it’s location. “It was geographically contiguous to both India and the future of Pakistan”(Schofield 28).

Pakistan’s line of attack was drawn clearly on religious lines, they sought to couch economics and politics in religious...

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