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Certain episodes of "The Philanthropist" end with a question mark. Others end with an exclamation point. Despite the best efforts of Teddy Rist, this week's episode "Kashmir" ends with an ellipsis. And Teddy Rist -- a man of searing question marks and thunderous exclamation points -- hates an ellipsis...
The war being waged by the superpower governments of India and Pakistan in the territory of Kashmir is not a story that attracts much political or media attention. The world overlooks the circumstances facing the largely powerless citizens of Kashmir and the fact that their proud nation is being used as a battleground by their powerful neighbors. The Kashmiri people cannot travel or trade freely within their own nation, due to the questionably legal, inarguably injust occupation by their neighboring superpowers. Kashmiris watch helplessly and duck bullets fired haphazardly by the tens of thousands of warring Pakistani and Indian troops facing one another along the "Line of Control" that divides Kashmir in two - and the United Nations Security Council has been unable to stop the carnage that has claimed tens of thousands of Kashmiri lives since the Line of Control was drawn.
Teddy Rist, a man who wages his own war along his own line of control, sees opportunity amidst the chaos and lost paradise that is present-day Kashmir. Our hero leaps into a fearless (reckless?) pursuit of a simple business deal to create some small but significant change in Kashmir. Teddy sets a simple goal for himself: deliver water across the Line of Control to the impoverished Kashmiris who are denied a basic, sustainable existence due to brutal political stances by India and Pakistan. Teddy's plan fails. And, as happens with our hero, Teddy goes off the deep end and winds up trapped amidst the wolves. Back at Maidstone-Rist, word arrives that Teddy Rist is missing in the deadly mountains of Kashmir. Has Teddy's pursuit of a climax -- an exclamation point -- cost him everthing?
Are the nations of India and Pakistan willing to stand down from the war they have waged for decades in the land of the neighboring nation of Kashmir? Will the citizens of Kashmir ever gain control of their destiny as a nation, and escape the cycle of subjugation, poverty, and powerlesness that they've faced since Pakistan and India divided their ancient nation with the Line of Control?
Thanks to all of you who have invested your time watching our far-reaching show. From the alleys of Kosovo to the distant villages of Burma to the unsettling nocturne of San Diego, we've tried to provide you with a mix of compelling action and genuine substance, tied together by our brilliant lead James Purefoy in his performance as Teddy Rist. We hope this week's episode furthers your connection to our story, and introduces the world to the unending, needless war plaguing Kashmir, the ancient land of poets and kings...