“Over the past few weeks, six people have died, with hundreds injured, during the worst sectarian rioting in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in decades.” That news report opening sentence, written eight years ago about strife in Kashmir, could be repeated today except that the numbers of casualties are higher this time. And […]

When Sara Smith did her fieldwork in Ladakh, she frequently encountered interfaith couples who were being pressured to break up their marriages and return to their respective Buddhist or Muslim communities. However, the region was not always divided so rigidly between the different faiths. In a recent journal article, Smith provides background for the religious […]

One result of the peaceful values held by Ladakhis has been the frequency of interfaith marriages, which are widely accepted among both Buddhists and Muslims, according to a news report last week. The story indicates that, despite the interfaith troubles of the late 1980s and early 1990s, tensions have subsided and the local beliefs in […]

A Ladakhi woman suggests that attempts to prevent relationships between Buddhist and Muslim men and women are a poor idea, because when people from different communities get married, it creates harmony. A Ladakhi man adds that intermarriages between people of different communities and faiths are normal all over the world. Sara H. Smith, from the […]

A prominent Buddhist leader in Ladakh expressed his irritation last week about the fact that their population growth is lagging behind that of the Ladakhi Muslims. The president of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), Dr. Sonam Dawa, sent a letter to the State government of Jammu and Kashmir, of which Ladakh is a part, asking […]

The warfare and bitterness of the Indian partition era helped foster discrimination, dissention, and communal tensions that persist to this day in the Zangskar region of Ladakh, according to one scholar. Zangskar valley, which is 95 percent Buddhist, is in the mountains of Ladakh’s Kargil District to the southwest of the town of Leh and […]

A news story in the Telegraph of Calcutta last week observed that the demographic trends of Ladakh are running against the Buddhists. The article indicates that the population of 236,000 Ladakhis is divided, according to the 2001 census, into 47.4 percent Muslims and 45.9 percent Buddhists. The worrisome feature of the story—at least for the […]

Dying and death are very important components of the worldviews of the Ladakhis—as they are for other adherents to Buddhism. In a recent journal article, Uwe Gielen provides a brief overview about the primary tenets of Buddhism in Ladakh: the belief that death is an integral part of life; that suffering is an essential aspect […]

The practices and beliefs of Buddhism are quite important to Ladakhis but they do not form the basis of their peacefulness, according to the research of one anthropologist. Fernanda Pirie argues in a recent journal article that the Buddhist villagers she studied in Ladakh fundamentally do not have a cosmological view of their moral universe. […]