Another problem centres on Kashmir, the province with a Muslim majority where India’s neighbour Pakistan supports a separatist movement. So media labs coexist alongside continued outbursts of sectarian violence. This said (March 2002) Shashi Thahoor, 2Indian writer and social critic, ‘is one of the ironies of Indias muddled march into the 21st century.’ Despite all the latest positive developments Thahoor sees India as still ‘shackled to the dogmas of the past.’ According to Cohen (2001, page xiv) ‘New Dehli still finds it difficult to translate economic potential into political and strategic influence.’
In fact there are so many problems that it is feared that the much vaunted Indian tradition of plural development and secular government could be at risk.. Meanwhile, India, already a nuclear power, is pressing for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. At a 2002 United Nations debate on the future of the Security Council,3 A. Gopinathan Indias deputy representative to the U.N, put forward a proposal that the number of countries permanently represented be expanded. The present set up was decided before India even had self government as a country, and reflects the world of the 1940’s rather than the present day situation. It was argued that the present format is both unrepresentative and anachronistic. as quoted by the Press Trust of India in March 2002, and should be revamped to better reflect the increasing importance of India and other emerging nations.
India’s sectarian problems are of course nothing new. Although there is an Hindu majority, there are also a number of other religions represented including Muslims, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs. Onwards from the year of modern India’s birth in 1947, when more than a million people died , violence has been a common part of Indian life. In February 2002, as reported by Celia Dugger, 458 travellers, including children, were