Existing Effects of Imperialism in the World Today 1. Indian Sub-Continent Political rivalries and fighting, caused by ‘bogus borders’ drawn by the British as they left India has had a lasting impact on the sub-continent. Britain left India quickly (in 7 months). This led to 14 million Hindus and Muslims moving across the border. 1 million people died; there was terrible violence that lead to major security risks in both countries. Security experts believe that India and Pakistan is the place where nuclear war is most possible, because both countries have nuclear weapons. They have fought three wars since 1947 two over borders drawn by the British at independence. Problem: Both India and Pakistan wish to control Kashmir. Why do both India and Pakistan believe control of Kashmir is so important? The people of Kashmir are still tribal in nature. The geography is mostly rural, with fierce mountains, deserts, and valleys. Industry is undeveloped. If this region has natural resources such as oil or gold or silver in any quantity, this has not yet been discovered. Why the fuss? 1. Control of the Indus River. The headwaters of the Indus River are located in Kashmir. Whoever controls the headwaters, controls the river. The Indus is vital. It brings green fertile life wherever it flows. The Indus begins in Kashmir, then flows through Pakistan, then flows into mainland India. If India chose, since Kashmir is part of India, they could dam the Indus and change the flow of the river. Without fertile land to grow crops, Pakistan would become a desert and its people would starve. Pakistan does not trust India, nor does India trust Pakistan. They will not share control of the Indus. They both want total control. 2. Religious Sites. Both Pakistan and India have sites in Kashmir that are important to their respective religions. * Pakistan is predominately Muslim. Kashmir is predominately Muslim. * India is predominately Hindu. 3. Strategic Location. For India, Kashmir acts as a buffer. For Pakistan, Kashmir offers a fertile roadway into India for possible invasion. Who controls Kashmir today, and why? Approximately sixty years ago, Kashmir was offered a choice by the UN of becoming part of India, part of Pakistan, or becoming independent. To secure Kashmir for Pakistan, in what Muslim forces perceived to be a holy war, Pakistan invaded Kashmir. The ruler of Kashmir fled to India and agreed to place Kashmir under Indian rule if India would protect Kashmir from invasion. If there had been a vote in Kashmir, a vote by the people, the majority probably would have voted to become part of Pakistan for religious reasons. Since there was no vote, Pakistan has never accepted India's control of Kashmir. Pakistan believed then and still believes today that Kashmir should be part of Pakistan. However, for many years now, Kashmir has been part of India, just as Hawaii and California and Alaska are part of the United States. The people of Kashmir have the same rights as any citizen in India. They have excellent schools. They have television. They have computer access just like the rest of India. Kashmir is predominately Muslim. Muslims in the region only believe in Islamic teaching. War & Terrorism: Both India and Pakistan are convinced that they are right and that they will prevail if they continue their fight as they are doing, although this plan has not worked in six decades. In the past 60 years, Pakistan and India have fought three wars over ownership of Kashmir. India won all three. Today, the fight continues with acts of terrorism. Challenge: Come up with a solution for the Kashmir region that meets both India and Pakistan’s needs and desires for the area. Be sure to look carefully at the issue as it has yet to be resolved. 2. Canada – Residential Schools and the Future of Aboriginal Education Sadly, our history with respect to the treatment of Aboriginal people is not something in which we can take pride. Attitudes of racial and cultural superiority led to a suppression of Aboriginal culture and values. As a country, we are burdened by past actions that resulted in weakening the identity of Aboriginal peoples, suppressing their languages and cultures, and outlawing spiritual practices. We must recognize the impact of these actions on the once selfsustaining nations that were disaggregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of Aboriginal people, and by some provisions of the Indian Act. We must acknowledge that the result of these actions was the erosion of the political, economic and social systems of Aboriginal people and nations. Statement of Reconciliation, 1998 Canadian Federal Government The overt institutional racism of the past has clearly had a profoundly devastating and lasting effect on Aboriginal communities throughout Canada. European cultural norms have imposed themselves on Native populations in Canada, and Aboriginal communities continue to struggle with foreign systems of governance, of justice, of education, and of livelihood. Perhaps most palpable is the devastation caused by residential schools. Many of those who attended residential schools have been diagnosed with PostTraumatic Stress Disorder, suffering from such symptoms as panic attacks, insomnia, and uncontrollable or unexplainable anger. Not surprisingly, many also suffer from alcohol or drug abuse, sexual inadequacy or addiction, the inability to form intimate relationships, and eating disorders. Three generations of Native parents lost out on learning important parenting skills usually passed on from parent to child in caring and nurturing home environments, and the abuse suffered by students of residential schools has begun a distressing cycle of abuse within many Native communities. However, the legacy of residential schools is only one facet of the problem. Aboriginal children continue to struggle with mainstream education in Canada. For some First Nation students, English remains a second language, and many lack parents with sufficient educational backgrounds to assist them with their learning. Moreover, education in Canada is based on a written tradition, quite different from the oral tradition of Native communities. For others, it is simply that they are looked down upon for their ‘otherness’; their manners, their attitudes, their speech or a hundred other things that make them unique. Problem: Many Aboriginal students do not perform well in “traditional” Canadian schools. Challenge: Come up with ideas that will help First Nations children be successful educationally so that most, if not all, graduate from High School. 3. Mexico City is Sinking! After the Spanish destroyed the city of Tenochtitlan, they began to make a new city in Meso-America. This was to be their capital city in the New World (Mexico City). They used materials from Temple Mayor and built a cathedral on its ruins. They also built many other structures, buildings and homes in the Spanish style. The city, just as it was during the time of the Aztec, became a hub for trade and commerce in the region. As the Spanish city grew, the lake on which it was built slowly was filled, in eliminating the lake and the main water source for the city. Mexico City is one of the world’s most populated urban centres. As the city grows, however, it has a major problem. It is a city with no river flowing directly through it or even near it. All the water the city uses comes from aquifers under the city. The aquifers are beginning to be depleted at such a rate that Mexico City will run out of water to quench and clean its population. Another major problem is that as the aquifers are drained the empty caverns begin to collapse and as a result the buildings begin to sink. Case in point: the Grand Cathedral in central Mexico City is now two metres below street level and sinking a little every year. Problem: Mexico City needs a reliable and viable water source to sustain its population. Secondly, something needs to be done in order to save the public buildings in the centre of the city as they are sinking. Challenge: Figure out a way to get water to Mexico City. Figure out a way to stop the centre of Mexico City from sinking. 4. Independence For Tibet Beijing claims a centuries-old sovereignty over the Himalayan region. But the allegiances of many Tibetans lie with the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, seen by his followers as a living god, but by China as a separatist threat. 80% of Tibet is Buddhist; the communist government of China is predominantly Atheist. International attention was focused on the territory in 2008 during the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. Fatal clashes between anti-Chinese protesters and the authorities in Tibet were given wide publicity and the torch relay in London, Paris and San Francisco was dogged by pro-Tibet protests and stunts. Tibet has had a rocky history, during which it has spent some periods functioning as an independent entity and others ruled by powerful Chinese and Mongolian dynasties. China sent in thousands of troops to enforce its claim on the region in 1950. Some areas became the Tibetan Autonomous Region and others were incorporated into neighbouring Chinese provinces. In 1959, after a failed anti-Chinese uprising, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and set up a government in exile in India. Most of Tibet's monasteries were destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s during China's Cultural Revolution. Thousands of Tibetans are believed to have been killed during the struggle for independence. Problem: China feels that Tibet is part of China, but Tibet feels that it is an independent country and should be allowed cultural and religious freedom. Challenge; Come up with a solution for the Tibet Region so that both China and Tibet are satisfied. You may want to read what the current Dalai Lama feels about this crisis. 5. What are Israel and Palestine? Why are they fighting? Israel is the world's only Jewish state, located just east of the Mediterranean Sea. Palestinians, the Arab population that hails from the land Israel now controls, refer to the territory as Palestine, and want to establish a state by that name on all or part of the same land. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is over who gets what land and how it's controlled. Though both Jews and Arab Muslims date their claims to the land back a couple thousand years, the current political conflict began in the early 20th century. Jews fleeing persecution in Europe, after WWII, wanted to establish a national homeland in what was then an Arab- and Muslim-majority territory in the British Empire. The British offered to split the land into two regions: half for the Palestinians and half for the homeless European Jews. The Arabs resisted, seeing the land as rightfully theirs. An early United Nations plan to give each group part of the land failed, and Israel and the surrounding Arab nations fought several wars over the territory. Today's lines largely reflect the outcomes of two of these wars, one waged in 1948 and another in 1967. The 1967 war is particularly important for today's conflict, as it left Israel in control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, two territories home to large Palestinian populations: Today, the West Bank is nominally controlled by the Palestinian Authority and is under Israeli occupation. This comes in the form of "settlers," Jews who build ever-expanding communities in the West Bank that effectively deny the land to Palestinians, and Israeli troops, who protect the settlers and enforce Israeli security restrictions on Palestinian movement. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an Islamist fundamentalist party, and is under Israeli blockade but not ground troop occupation. The two Palestinian groups may have reconciled on April 23rd, creating one shared Palestinian government for the first time since 2007. The peace negotiations fell apart and, in July and August 2014, the conflict escalated to a full-on war between Israel and Hamas. The primary approach to solving the conflict today is a so-called "two-state solution" that would establish Palestine as an independent state in Gaza and most of the West Bank, leaving the rest of the land to Israel. Though the twostate plan is clear in theory, the two sides are still deeply divided over how to make it work in practice. The alternative to a two-state solution is a "one-state solution," wherein all of the land becomes either one big Israel or one big Palestine. Most observers think this would cause more problems than it would solve, but this outcome is becoming more likely over time for political and demographic reasons. Problem: The Jewish and Muslim peoples of the Israeli-Palestine Region both have a long-standing claim to the region. Both groups are here to stay. Challenge: Come up with a solution for the region. How can both the Palestinian and Israeli people live in this region, in peace, after so much conflict? 6. What Was the Rwanda Genocide Beginning on April 6, 1994, Hutus began slaughtering the Tutsis in the African country of Rwanda. As the brutal killings continued, the world stood idly by and just watched the slaughter. Lasting 100 days, the Rwanda Genocide left approximately 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers dead. Who Are the Hutu and Tutsi? The Hutu and Tutsi are two peoples who share a common past. When Rwanda was first settled, the people who lived there raised cattle. Soon, the people who owned the most cattle were called "Tutsi" and everyone else was called "Hutu." At this time, a person could easily change categories through marriage or cattle acquisition. It wasn't until Europeans came to colonize the area that the terms "Tutsi" and "Hutu" took on a racial role. The Germans were the first to colonize Rwanda in 1894. They looked at the Rwandan people and thought the Tutsi had more European characteristics, such as lighter skin and a taller build. Thus they put Tutsis in roles of responsibility. When the Germans lost their colonies following World War I, the Belgians took control over Rwanda. In 1933, the Belgians solidified the categories of "Tutsi" and "Hutu" by mandating that every person was to have an identity card that labeled them, either, Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa. (Twa are a very small group of huntergatherers who also live in Rwanda.) Although the Tutsi constituted only about ten percent of Rwanda's population and the Hutu nearly 90 percent, the Belgians gave the Tutsi all the leadership positions. This upset the Hutu. When Rwanda struggled for independence from Belgium, the Belgians switched the status of the two groups. Facing a revolution instigated by the Hutu, the Belgians let the Hutus, who constituted the majority of Rwanda's population, be in charge of the new government. This upset the Tutsi. Problem: Avoiding future cases of genocide and ethnic cleansing by one group against another Challenge: Come up with suggestions that governments and school systems can implement to be sure that genocide does not occur in a country. How can a government and education system build respect, acceptance of others views, religious beliefs, cultural ideals etc. so that its citizens live in harmony with each other? You could look at how Rwanda and Cambodia have tackled this issue in their countries.
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