India-Pakistan: December 7, 2003


Kashmiri separatists are talking compromise now, but there are still radical factions that want to fight on until all non-Moslems are driven from the province. Violence continues in Kashmir, with about half a dozen people a day getting killed. 

In India, there was violence between groups of Hindus and Moslems in several parts of the country. The Hindu nationalists were celebrating the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992. Hindu nationalists have made the Babri mosque a major issue, as they assert that it was built, in the 16th century, on the site of a major Hindu temple. Northern India suffered several invasions by Moslem armies in the last thousand years, which is why there are still over 100 million Moslems in the country. But unlike elsewhere, the Moslem invaders were unable to convert the majority of the subjugated population. Hindu resentment has simmered over the centuries. Most of the Moslem converts are ethnically identical  to their Hindu neighbors. However, many of the converts came from the poorest and lower caste, Indians. This, in a country where caste still counts, adds to the religious tensions.


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