I am not Bal Gangadhar Tilak, that savant of plate tectonics who formulated a Unified Field Theory of India when he reconciled the … oh let’s call it … fact of India being the birthplace of humanity with the equally muscular fact of only cold places producing intelligence by his earth-shattering (literally) discovery that India as a whole moved up to the North Pole where Manu was placed on it, and then made a return journey to the tropics and thus was born the greatest civilization the world will ever know.
I am not one of the great thinkers this land seems to be producing at an ever-accelerating pace, who have been able to decipher that Christianity is basically Krishna-neeti (Krishna’s policy) and Kaaba (Mecca) is a Hindu temple, and how India invented nuclear weapons (and called them Brahmastra) and diplomacy (krisna-neeting it Chanakya neeti). With these twain weapons shall India destroy and isolate Pakistan!
Hell, I am not even Narendra Damodar Das Modi, who cut through the fog of Chinese herbal teas and PM2.5 to ascertain that genetic science and plastic surgery was born in Ancient India as well, proof being the in vitro birth of Karan in Mahabharat and the replacement of the human head of Lord Ganesh with an elephant head, respectively.
No, sadly, I am a mere mleccha from a cold place and while that might give the Gangadhar a headache (Can I be intelligent?), it means I can only aspire to the lofty high these visionaries have attained.
So I dare not present grand facts about huge things. I will only make a tiny proposal about a small place.
Kashmir has been an eyesore on India’s body politic for the last 72 years. The average life expectancy in India is only 68.5 years, so there is a danger the eyesore might become congenital. The latest attack on Indian armed forces at Lithpur in District Pulwoam, where a Kashmiri suicide bomber killed more than forty Indian soldiers, can become India’s “enough is enough” moment. While randomly beating and harassing Kashmiris working or studying in various parts of Bharat is a good beginning, it won’t be enough. After all, if killing more than 80,000 Kashmiris and making about 10,000 of them disappear has not taught them a lesson, what will a few beatings achieve? No, India needs to do more.
This is my cue. Hear me out.
What are the various dimensions of the Kashmir problem?
Well, first of all, there is Pakistan, that bloody old Mamlikat-e-Khudadaad (I don’t even know what that means). They have been brainwashing Kashmiris from across the border while India, which holds the territory through its 700,000 soldiers and an iron-clad administration, has failed to convince Kashmiris about the merits of living in the World’s Largest Democracy. Unfortunately, brainwashing was not invented in Ancient India. Pakistan needs to be made to understand that its wishy-washy attempts to wash away India from Kashmir by brainwashing Kashmiris are mere pipe dreams.
Then there are these ungrateful Kashmiris themselves. I mean how many free and fair elections does India need to conduct in the state for Kashmiris to understand how much it loves them? Do the Kashmiris even realize what a logistic nightmare it is to muzzle every independent voice and put a soldier on every inch of the troubled land before every election so that its freeness and fairness is not called into question? Granted that India has made mistakes in Kashmir in the past; but if Kashmiris can’t forgive India, maybe India needs to find a new way to make its point.
Finally, what about Kashmiri Pandits? Kashmir was their land. It was a Hindu land. According to a Hindu myth, it was satisar, a great lake extending from Vearnag in the southeast to Varmul in the northwest, populated only by Jaludbhav, a rakshas (demon) who had been given the boon of immortality by Brahma himself, as long as he stayed in the water. Then the Pandits came from the banks of Saraswati in Haryana to settle on the banks of the lake (they loved their fish, still do). But Jaludbhav would gobble anyone who went near the lake. So they pleaded with Vishnu to rid them of the demon, and he sent Kashyap Rishi to drain the lake, leaving Jaludbhav vulnerable to Vishnu’s Sudharshan Chakra. Later, the mleccha came and polluted this holy land with their azaans and beef-eating. The holy land needs to be purified and restored to its formal liquid glory.
What if I tell you that my solution will take care of all these dimensions? Talk about single-window clearance! Am I a Modi Bhakt or what?
Ok, so here it goes. India needs to detonate a single thermonuclear device near Uri. Call it Surgical Strike 3.0. Since Uri means “the udder of a cow”, the strike can also be called Gau Raksha 1.0. Whatever the name, it will seal the narrow passage the Jhelum uses to sneak out of Indian-controlled Kashmir into Azad Kashmir. The result: Infiltration of water across the Line of Control will stop. Kashmir’s water will stay in the valley, slowly submerging towns and villages starting from Varmul, Sopore and Bandepur, then Srinagar and Ganderbal, then Pulwoam, Kopwoar, Badgoam, Koalgoam, Shopian, and Islambad, right upto Vearnag. Kashmir will become satisar, in the great Indian tradition of first inventing a legend and then creating it in reality. Kashmiris who are able to swim to safety can then be relocated to various manageable-sized colonies across India or given the option of going to Pakistan.
Varmul is at a height of 1,600 m above the sea level; Vearnag, at 1,850 m; the Baanhaal pass, at 2,832 m; Peer ki Galli, at 3,485 m; Zojila, at 3,485; and Sinthan, at 3,792. So, even after the blast, the blocked passageway, at about 2,600 m, will continue to be the lowest point of exit for the accumulating water. The volume of water that the bowl-shaped vale will be able to retain can be calculated from the formula for shallow domes, as follows:
Surface area of the Kashmir valley = 16,000 km2
Highest point = 2.6 km above sea level (Uri post-Gau Raksha 1.0)
Lowest point = 1.6 km above sea level (Varmul)
Therefore, height (h) of the spherical section = 1 km
Area of a spherical cap = 2 π r h. Here, area = 16,000 km2 and h = 1 km.
Therefore, r = 2,548 km
Volume will be π h2 (3 r – h) / 3; in our case, h = 1 km and r = 2,548 km.
Therefore, the volume of water in satisar will be = 8,000 km3 (approximately) or about 512 billion m3.
The ballpark figure of the flow of Jhelum’s water at Uri is around 4,000 m3 per second, so it will take about 128,000,000 seconds to fill up the satisar. This amounts to about 1,480 days. while that might be enough time to make Pakistan forget Karbala, india does not need to take any chances. So the strategic nuclear blast will have to be combined with the construction of a giant water wheel at the Baanhaal pass to ferry the water, once the satisar fills up, across the Pir Panjal Range and into the River Chenab, from where it can be sent to East Punjab through a network of canals starting at Reasi. It will ensure that Pakistan does not receive a drop of the water flowing in Jhelum and Chenab.
A similar Patisar (“pati” in Kashmir means “backyard” or “behind”) can be created in Ladakh, and its water ferried over the Zojila pass into satisar, from where it can then be transported to the Chenab by the aforementioned channels, or sold to China at a discounted price. In this manner, Pakistan will lose the water of Indus as well.
Thus, all the three goals will be achieved. Kashmir will become India’s forever and ever. Tourism will bloom as more space becomes available for houseboats and shikara rides. There will be an abundant supply of fish as well. The two giant water wheels at Zojila and Baanhal will be among the chief tourist attractions and can also be repurposed or diversified as Ferris wheels. Two, all of Pakistan’s rivers will run dry, its people will die of thirst, and it will have no water with which to brainwash Kashmiris. The icing on the cake will be the fact of Kashmir becoming satisar, the wet dream of so many visionaries.
The writer claims to be a direct descendant of Jaludbhav