Flowing across the Lines
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Among the resources shared by Pakistan and India is the river Indus, or
Sengge’i kha-babs, as it is called in Ladakhi, ‘‘Flowing from the lion’s mouth.’’
The river originates from Lake Manosarovar at the foot of Mount Kailash in
Tibet, makes its way from Ladakh into Pakistan, and eventually drains into
the Arabian Sea. During winter months, it meanders through the mountains
like a garland of turquoise, moistening and fertilizing the Himalayan soil. In
the summer, it mixes with glacial silt to assume an opal-colored sheen. The
Indus is what Sherry Ortner (1973) describes as a ‘‘key’’ symbol that provides,
in this concluding chapter, the opportunity of using the lens of performance
once more to evaluate the political, historical, and cultural practices of border
subjectivity that have guided this book.
To honor the Indus and to recreate the practice of river worship that ap-
parently prevailed in the province of Sindh before it was incorporated into
Pakistan, a festival called the Sindhu Darshan Abhiyan was initiated in 1997
by L. K. Advani (later the current deputy prime minister of India) and Tarun
Vijay, editor of the right-wing journal, Panchajanya.Vijay (1997) writes of his
encounter with the Indus in an essay entitled ‘‘Mother Sindhu, We Have Not
Forgotten You!’’:
It seemed to set an ambience of Blessing. It seemed as though Sindhu
Mata was smiling and asking us the question—Why have you thought
of me after fifty years! Where were you till now!!?—
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