Photo from Pan African News Service
Yesterday, I had one of my regular meetings with my accountant. Originally from India, he is a very well read and well informed chap. We usually spend twenty minutes talking about business and the next forty discussing politics and world affairs.
After we had discussed the Chancellor's budget, about which he was unimpressed, we got onto the subject of the rise of India and how soon it will assume its place as an economic and military superpower. Far from being optimistic about the prospects for the country of his birth, he fears for its future stability and, in the worst case, its fragmentation into warring regions.
His rationale goes something like this.
Both Pakistan and Bangladesh are close to collapse. Climate change, leading to rising sea levels and the faster melting of snow in the Himalayas, leaves Bangladesh vulnerable to flooding. Millions of people could be displaced in a country which is already one of the most densely populated in the world. Where would they go? To India, of course. They speak the same language as their neighbours in West Bengal and there are already large Muslim populations in many Indian cities. The collapse of Bangladesh could see tens of millions of people migrating to India and there would be little the Indian government could do to stop it.
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