I would like to know why you think India has succeeded in the face of competing religions and factional violence....
Well, truth be told, I was always told when I was young that the nations which were most successful coming out of the colonial period, in Africa, the Carribbean and Asia, were only successful because they were once ruled and had their history influenced by the British, and benefitted from that.
But I submit, for your scutiny, the exact source of that bias; my family members (I come from a very small family, but we have a very proud military history) have served in the Crown's armies, and the Royal Navy, for nearly 400 years.....
But do I believe that? No. But, rather than dismiss it, I submit that it might be part of a larger reason.
I do believe my home country of Canada owes much of its stability and peacefulness to the fact that we are, by heritage, a "British" nation. Those institutions were almost entirely "transplanted" from the banks of the Thames River to the banks of the Ottawa. The buildings even look the same.
I think part of the reason why India has survived and, indeed, is thriving is due in large part to the sheer determination of the Indian people to make their country work. There is a fractured political spectrum, sure, and occasional violence.... but nothing prevents people from going to the ballot boxes. They refuse to lose to extremists who would further divide the country - as I think that India already suffers from a sort of national "post-partum" syndrome, as a result of the Partition in 1947. The Muslims and native Hindus got along fine until extremists invented the need to keep the two seperate.
But that's simply an opinion.
BTW are you Indian? or does you perspective come from being an outsider as does mine?
I'm not Indian, no. I'm Canadian by birth, British and (to a lesser extent) Norwegian by heritage.
How can those lessons be applied to the countries that are currently on the hot seat?
I think that what needs to be learned has
been learned - that the matter of deciding how
to govern themselves has to be decided amongst the people who will be governed by that system. That's essential. And that's being done.
As for the tolerance of religious and ethnic strife.... well, it's difficult in a part of the world where even minor altercations or differences are often thought to be solved with a gun. It's difficult on the streets of Los Angeles, as it is in Kabul or in Baghdad.
Maybe moreso in Baghdad and Kabul, as many of the intolerances stem from religious and not ethnic, cultural or economic differences. Those tend to be deeper-rooted and much more difficult to come to terms with.
But in all honesty, I don't know the answer.
But I know the best solution is on the track which the Coalition is persuing in Iraq and Afghanistan. We'll get there this way... even if it seems sometime not to be the easiest way to get there, we will certainly
get there. It needs to be done, I don't think anyone will argue with that - it's not a matter of what we should do or shouldn't do now, but what we need to do.
But we won't get there by wanting to pull the soldiers out-of-country tomorrow; but when we know that we can
extricate ourselves with the secure knowledge you'll never have to come back with them again.
But personnally? My belief is that Iraq is flawed by design. It's a creation of a map-maker after the fall of the Ottoman Empire..... meant to ease administration of the middle east and appease the British and French to having fair "pieces of the pie." The borders are out of date, and raise serious questions about the rights of self-determination of peoples who have never had a country of their own - the Kurds, namely.
Saddam's campaigns against the Kurds were so heinous that there may be irreconciliable differences, there.
Anyway, I could talk further... but work calls. DL021, you can feel free to email me about this if you want to discuss it more. Cheers.