The Political Religious Divide in India
* India was a colony of Britain, At that time India was made up of present day Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. * The British encouraged conflict between the two dominant religions: Hindu and Muslim. * It gained independence in 1947 and was divided into two states India (Hindu) and Pakistan (Islamic/Muslim). The division was based on religion. However large numbers of minority religious groups were left behind in both countries. * Large scale migration resulted, because of fear of prosecution and rioting. * 12 million migrated across the Hindu Kush, many died. (Muslims left India for Pakistan and Hindu left Pakistan for India). * Pakistan was divided into two parts West (Indus Valley) and East (Ganges Valley). These two parts were separated by a long distance with northern India in between. * It did not work out and in 1971 East Pakistan broke away from West Pakistan and became Bangladesh. * Some territory is still in dispute between Pakistan and India. This disputed region is called Kashmir. * Violent fighting broke out between the minority (25%) Hindu and the majority (75%) Muslim population. This resulted in war. * The UN negotiated a ceasefire and established a line of control for each country. This was intended temporary but it has remained the dividing line. * Today India rules 65% of the region and 35% Pakistan. This is unacceptable to Pakistan as it has an (Muslim) Islamic majority. * Pakistan wants to gain control of the Indus River and several of its tributaries. * As a result both countries have nuclear weapons and it is a very dangerous situation. * 2/3 of the wars between Pakistan and India were over Kashmir.
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