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My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WILMINGTON, Del.—The report of the United Nations' representative, Dr. Frank P. Graham, has now been given to the Security Council on the situation in Kashmir. It appears that India has rejected all the proposals made by Dr. Graham, whereas Pakistan has accepted in principle.

India has felt right along that Kashmir was an integral part of the Union of India. It is largely a Moslem state, and therefore Pakistan has felt that as a result of the division on religious lines Kashmir should line up with Pakistan and not with India. The suggestions made by Dr. Graham seem reasonable, but if you accept the Indian premises you can understand that there can be no settlement except for Pakistan to give up and let Kashmir become a part of India.

It looks as though this will not be an easy question to solve. In spite of India's insistence that all other countries in the world act peacefully, we may wake up someday to find that India itself was not able to find a peaceful solution to this very difficult question.

As you look around the world today there seem to be a never-ending number of places where unrest exists. Indonesia is suffering. The whole of the Near East, including Turkey, gives one a feeling of great unrest. There is trouble in Africa, and yet in spite of all these troubles the peoples of the world want peace.

During this Easter season people have spent more time in their churches than they usually do, and I am sure that prayers for peace have gone up from many hearts everywhere. Yet how much will all these prayers affect our governments? Many of us have wanted for a long time to have our government concentrate much more on economic than on military aid. We feel that our influence should be on raising the standards of living for people throughout the world and trying in that way to make life more worth living, in which case perhaps governments would find it harder to plunge their people into war. I am glad, for instance, that we did not ship arms to the Batista government in Cuba, and I hope we will try to bring about peaceful settlements wherever our influence can really be felt.

The other night I saw the prize-winning movie, "The Bridge on the River Kwai." It contains beautiful photography, but I think I am getting too old to sit through quite so much suspense and tension. One wonders, indeed, how human beings stood the cruelty meted out to them. The insight into the British character and British standards as soldiers was most interesting and, I think, at times difficult for the civilian to accept, though one cannot help admiring them.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Wilmington (Del., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 8, 1958

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.