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Pakistan and India: Identity politics

Duration:
10 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 21 March 2013

Pascale Harter introduces personal stories, analysis and reflection from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition, two stories from South Asia explore how politics can affect identity - both who people think they are, and who they can prove themselves to be. Mike Wooldridge is in the Joseph Colony area of Lahore, and finding even this cultured city isn't immune to the sectarian violence which plagues Pakistan. Recently there has been a wave of renewed attacks on Christian, Shia and Ahmadi communities. Yet as early as its founding in 1947, Pakistan provided specific legal protection to its minorities. Will their role in the nation turn out to be an issue in the May 11 general election?

Peter Day is in Rajasthan, seeing how even some of the very poorest Indians feel it's worthwhile to spend time queuing for a new form of ID. Without a verifiable identity, many of them are shut out of state benefits or legal title if they move away their home area. Now a software billionaire has stepped in with a scheme to make technology work for the good of India - and all its citizens.

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