Back after a long time. Plan to post more frequently hereafter.
I read this beautiful piece on the website of ‘The Dawn’ the Pakistani daily a few months back and wanted to write about the same. It was a transcript between two chat friends one Indian and the other a Paki. Don’t know if this happened for real, but the news claimed it did. The Indian Rakesh and the Paki Adil were chatting after a long time. In the past they have had have had numerous animated conversations on Taliban, Kashmir, USA, Islam, Hinduism, Bin Laden, Cricket, Hockey each one defending his country’s stance. However, this time it was different. Since it had been quite some time since they chatted after the usual friendly exchanges, Adil popped the question. What do you feel about the current situation in Pakistan? This set Rakesh thinking. There’s a lot that he felt about the situation in Pak, but thought to himself “Where do I start? What do I tell him?”
Rakesh then told him how sad it was that the whole societal fabric was coming apart in many areas thanks to the Taliban and the fundamentalists. Adil too shared his sadness about what was happening and how they had fallen behind the eight ball when it came to progress (if there is any) in all aspects of public life. Adil mentioned about how tens of friends and relatives of his had fled the country in the past five years or so for a safer and a better future in the middle-east and the west. Adil said he too had the opportunity to do so, but didn’t as he always had the hope that things would change soon for the better and that a true leader would emerge who would put Pak on the path to sanity if not glory. He would at times think that the leader would be Imran Khan. Unfortunately that has not happened and says it’s only a matter of time now that he would immigrate to the UK. Adil had lost all hope for Pak for it is now on a path to total annihilation. He told Rakesh how lucky India were that they had super people like Manmohan Singh and Abdul Kalam at the helm and how they were committed to the vision they shared for the nation. He also shared his envy and commended the progress India has made economically and technologically compared to Pak.
I just sat back and felt aren’t we lucky that partition happened and we ended up on the right side of the Radcliffe line. Imagine having to deal with army dictatorship, the anarchy, huge influx of refugees for the past 30 years, the Taliban and the influence of religious fundamentalists on society, the jihad and the decaying community life. Not that India is armoured against all these. Yes, we do have the Bajrang Dal, RSS, MNS, SIMI, Shiv Sena etc. who through their theological and ideological dogma as well as self righteous antics make an attempt to disrupt this societal accord. Just that luckily enough education, progress, development and democracy have created a huge majority encompassing all religions and classes who are able to rationally investigate and interpret their beliefs in a manner that ensures a harmonious society to a great extent.
The leaders Gandhi, Patel and others deserve our undying gratitude for they albeit unknowingly through partition have prevented India from being a part of the hell that Jinnah and his men have managed to create for themselves. I for one think partition was the best thing to us. Yes, the prospect of Miandad, Wasim, Sachin and Gavaskar sharing the dressing room does sound enticing but then so does an Indo-Pak encounter. One could dwell on the past analysing, scrutinising the actions of Jinnah, Gandhi et.al that perpetrated the partition, but the bitter or rather the sweet truth one has to admit is that undivided India would not really have been the fancy of our imagination.
I hope and wish Pakistan is able to fight the evils plaguing it and that a strong leadership emerges and are able to build a nation for their people to live in where freedom can be celebrated and cherished.