A loyal reader who is a recovering Bong and therefore wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals from family members has solved the Kashmir crisis. This has been done through some brilliant out-of-the-box thinking.
Key to his/ her solution is that what the Kashmiris want is azaadi, and not specifically Azad Kashmir. Geelani-type junta would also like said azaadi to be come with Islamic foundations, or at least with Islamic neighbours. The only problem is that by itself, Azad Kashmir isn’t sustainable. It’s landlocked, vulnerable to interference from Pakistan, India, and China, and has too few people. And it could so easily descend into being a Central Asian banana republic.
But the Kashmiris still want Azaadi. And considering India is a democracy I think we should give it to them good and hard. So here is where my reader’s solution comes in, towards making the idea of an independent Kashmiri republic (or independent Kashmiri theocracy for that matter) feasible – set it up not in Kashmir, but in Bengal.
This would work as follows: whichever Kashmiris wanted azaadi would migrate to Bengal. Then you’d integrate West Bengal and Bangladesh, thus creating a unified Bongland with lots of territory, lots of people, and Islamic parties already established. Then the Kashmiris take over, and turn the whole thing into Azad Kashmir.
This is a brilliant plan. Everyone wins. Let’s look at the benefits for all involved.
- Gets azaadi
- Gets a quarter of a billion Bongs to lord over and exploit as menial labour
- Gets warm water ports
- No longer has to worry about financing counterinsurgency operations in Kashmir and was fencing the Bangladesh border anyway
- Doesn’t have to worry about the effect of Pakistani or Chinese influence on an independent Kashmir valley
- Gets rid of Mamata Banerjee, 60% of the CPI(M) MPs, and 30% of the CPI MPs
- Gets rid of Bongs in general, for that matter
Honestly, who cares what the benefits are for Bongs? But still, for the sake of completeness:
- An integrated Bongland means the jute and the jute mills are finally in the same country
- Kashmiri carpet making technology means that there could finally be an actual use for jute
- Kashmiri houseboat technology can be a mitigant to global warming inundating Bongland
- Bong rice + Kashmiri cuisine = score!
Now nitpickers and pessimists will no doubt complain that moving Kashmiris to Bengal will come with a huge refugee problem and the pain of migration and large scale rioting and violence. Likewise, integrating Bengal. Likewise, emigration of Bongs and Cal-maadoos who don’t want to live under the Kashmiri jackboot. And I gaze at them scornfully and say: ‘Some people look at things and say why, I look at them and say why not.’ Or some platitude along those lines involving can-do attitudes. Really, we can’t squander this opportunity.