Welcome to Haider, a Bollywood version of Hamlet set for a controversial, much anticipated release this autumn. Vishal Bhardwaj's latest Shakespearian adaptation turns the Prince of Denmark into a philosophy student from Kashmir, the former Himalayan princedom, who returns home from university after hearing that his doctor father has disappeared and his mother is in a new relationship. View the trailer here - captions available. [more inside]
"Hundreds of Kashmiri militants who left home as young men two decades ago have begun to return, middle-aged and disillusioned. What happens to them now?"
Inshallah Kashmir: Living Terror is Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar's brand new documentary, which is banned in India, that provides the perspectives of people that rarely receive positive mainstream media attention. [more inside]
What to do about Pakistan? The Economist urges the west to focus on the Kashmir issue in order to help stabilize the region. Christopher Hitches urges the US to stand more firmly behind India.
Fascinated by the Orient An exhibition of the letters, photographs and maps bequeathed to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences by the great explorer, archaeologist, geographer and Sanskritist Sir Marc Aurel Stein. Journeyer in the footsteps of Alexander, explorer of Central Asia and West China, surveyor of the antiquities of India and Iran; after a long life of journeying through and studying central Asia, Aurel Stein found his final rest in Kabul. He is also remembered for rediscovering the oldest dated printed book still in existence, a copy of the Diamond Sutra in the caves at Mogao. That the latter and many thousands of other manuscripts collected by Stein now reside in the British Library is of course, like his other 'treasure hunting', not without controversy.
The Coldest War - Beautiful photos of the Siachen Glacier conflict in Northern Kashmir (2003), a slide show (real) with fascinating commentary, a 50-minute BBC programme (real) covering the same ground with equally stunning cinematography (albeit low res), and some background links.
Has the US promised Kashmir to Pakistan? During his recent visit, Colin Powell named Pakistan a US ally. This move has people in India concerned about what the US is willing to give Pakistan to fight Al-Qaeda. [The site has pop-ups. Sorry.]
It seems that Pakistan is back in business "Officials from three Pakistani militant groups said in interviews this week that the government of Pakistan has allowed Islamic guerrillas to resume small-scale infiltrations into Indian-controlled Kashmir. " (NYTimes - regd' required)
In 1999, India and Pakistan were closer to nuclear war than was commonly known, according to Clinton's former chief adviser on South Asia. On Monday, the Defense Department's policy chief said that "there is a risk of war" that is "very large." On Tuesday, militants attacked an army camp in Indian Kashmir and killed 30 people, including 11 women and 10 children. All this makes me very nervous. Is it just me? And adding a touch of the bizarre, India is officially researching arcane, 2300 year-old military technology that it believes will give its military a greater advantage.