Lazing on my bed deciding between going to the gym or watching a movie this lazy Sunday morning, by sheer (bad) luck I saw a debate that was going on, on a popular news channel, about whether we are happy that partition of India happened and that Pakistan was created. After an hour of innocuous jargon, the show culminated with the anchor asking if it would be prudent to reverse partition today..
It made me a little breathless with its very thought. Six decades ago, partition was wrong, more so in its timing and execution, and of course in the ridiculousness of the idea of a “friendly exchange of the population”. So wrong that it lead to what today comprises of eighty percent of our modern history syllabus. Stories of carnage and hatred, of divisions and new boundaries, of losses and deaths, of camps and refugees, and finally the birth of two nations in the pool of blood and lap of genocide. And although the partition baton was tossed between Mountbatten to Jinnah to Nehru depending upon which team was shouting , it happened and we accepted it .
This tragedy, if it can be called had several horrible ramifications which can obviously be seen till today. We are still and forever quite uncomfortable being neighbours, we have the military primarily to guard ourselves from each other and we oppose everything the other says in international meeting and forums. We have fought three full fledged wars, hundreds of skirmishes leading to mass killings, proxy wars of humongous magnitudes and so on and so forth. Added to which we have been the victim of terrorism and separatism resulting in non stop nuisance to our police and security forces. Surprising though it may sound to us, this angst is felt also on the other side with the Pakistanis feeling they too are a victim of India, its policies and its arm twisting tactics.
But the idea that it should be reversed? In the name of Allah NO. We as Indians are far far happy being the way we are. Short of sounding jingoistic we are a nation which is truly pluralistic and all encompassing in all respects. We are a nation where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism were born, where Christianity has existed for 2000 years; where the oldest Jewish synagogues and Jewish communities have resided since the Romans burnt their 2nd temple; where the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile reside; where the Zoroastrians from Persia have thrived since being thrown out of their ancient homeland; and which has the second largest Muslim population, even post this partition on religious grounds. We are an example of a modern liberal society, despite its hiccups and hurdles, and have continued to be. We respect and understand democracy, and although may be accused of symbolism, cannot deny that we have had three Muslim Presidents, a Sikh as the Prime Minister and Catholic Italian woman, as the head of a the ruling party. We have, despite global recession, a seemingly okay economy showing some developments in all the sectors. We have to be credited with having top quality educational institutes, both for primary and higher learning and have slowly started dominating the world intelligentsia with our presence in the silicon valleys and research institutes globally. We may not be laughing all the way to the bank always but we are optimistic and hopeful, and this vibrancy is manifested in our movies, arts, economic growth, and if looked at closely, in our voting patterns also despite the usual cry of rigging during elections.
If I may humbly ask…what has Pakistan to offer us today, other than a open barrage of problems, disaster and debacles, which they have, nobody but themselves to blame ? What good would come to us if we inherit a bankrupt economy, a dead defunct non existent industry, millions of unemployed youth, and illiterate hooligans masquerading as champions of Islam. What a scary thought it is to see some Kalashnikov wearing tribal, hanging around our country, threatening people and forcing Shari at laws. Pakistan is a completely failed state, the epicentre of global terrorism, and like a football is kicked as and when the American shoe decides to change its angle. It is a country that was made wrongly, for the wrong people, by the wrong people and if I may add of the wrong people. The only way it can survive now is if the almighty Allah and not India, takes out time from his busy schedule and decides to do a charitable overtime. Somehow it seems that his diary is also full.
So please, let us be the way we are, it would be quite fine for now if we just remain happy neighbours, maybe allow easy movement of population, and ease out our visa laws. Maybe we should work together, if there is an honest will, to curb terrorism, and fight poverty and illiteracy. We should completely subscribe to the policy of live and let live and happily coexist while being peacefully indifferent. We should get each others news, watch each others films, allow cultural visits from one country to the other, and play cricket from time to time.
But only if we return back to our separate homes.