I think that politics was the most significant factor in the era. Politics defined most of the action that took place. Political interests determined the support offered to the people. Kashmir decided to ask India for help when Pakistan attacked it for refusing to accede to it after the end of British control. India accepted to help Kashmir on condition that it acceded to it. The decision led to India driving out the irregulars, with only a few of them remaining. The UN had to mediate to resolve the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. India did not want to have any negotiations so long as the irregulars sponsored by Pakistan were still in their territory, since the ruler of Kashmir had already decided to accede to India. The UN led mediation talks suggested that people make their opinion regarding the issue, but this did not happen, and this heightened the tension between India and Pakistan. The Kashmir dispute has continued to define relations between India and Pakistan to the present day. I would rate religion as the second most important factor. Religion was a major player in political issues. It determined the political side that the people belonged to, and the policies they supported. A Muslim leader led the Hindus in the Hyderabad kingdom, while a Hindu led Muslims in Kashmir. The leaders were not in a position to know the needs of the people since they could not relate to them. Therefore, it is likely that the decisions that the leaders made did not reflect the opinion of the people. This would explain why the ruler of Kashmir chose to accede to India, although the kingdom shared a border with Pakistan. Possibly, people’s lives changed significantly because of the political and religious factors. People did not have a choice in the decisions made by their leaders because the leaders did not involve them. The fact that they did not know when they would be attacked meant that they could not afford to make any long-term plans regarding their lives. For instance, the Sikhs and the Hindus had to become refugees for fear of retaliation from the Muslims. They could not start businesses or work in any other economic area because they had to move. The people could not travel from one region to another for fear of attacks. They could only go to places within their own territories. This could have hindered any commercial efforts. I think that the character who would best describe India’s history at the time would be a vulnerable person who has no voice or any power over his life. This would be a person from a minority group, yet with significant representation. I would use a Muslim because, despite making a significant proportion of the population in Kashmir, they did not have the authority to determine what they would have wanted to do when Pakistan attacked them. I would use a male character, and I would use the perspective of a law enforcer in Kashmir. Such a person would be in a position to determine the region’s ability to defend itself. Males have greater authority in determining the affairs of their country. They are in a better position to make decisions regarding leadership. However, in this case, males were not in a position to say anything concerning their kingdom’s affairs. In addition, Muslims males are more involved in the political affairs of their country.
SATP. (2012). Jamnu and Kashmir Assessment-year 2012. retrieved from http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/index.html
Stein, B. & Arnold, D. (editor). (2010). A history of India, 2 ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons