By Manish Prabhat
Edited by Nandita Singh, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
Once recognised by the same name called Hindustan, the people of India and Pakistan are now living with hatred for each other. I narrate an incident of one of my Pakistani friends. The conversation goes like this-
Her: where are you from?
Her: I hate you.
Here, the girl is a 10 year old child who cannot distinguish between love and hatred, and it is society which made her feel so. I express my deep condolences towards the high tension on the borders.
It is also due to the wrong and biased depiction of the past in history books of both countries that this animosity is caused, as they only aim to defame each other and bring glory to their own heroes. Most of the text books taught in educational institutions of both countries also present false and subjective pictures, so the youth of both nations grows up thinking of each other as rivals and enemies. In order to invoke nationalism and make people proud of their past, the syllabus taught in schools was rewritten with vigilant removals, erasures and accumulations to present biased “facts” and “truths” in favour of the home nation (Saigol, 2006). For example, in a particular text book used in India, it is written that, “The Babri Mosque was built after demolishing a temple, which is exactly the same place where the Indian God, Rama, was born.” (Saigol, 2006) and in a civics textbook of Class VI, Pakistan, it is written that, “The Hindus attacked Pakistan in 1965 at the hours of night so they are timid and cowardly and always had sneaky ways to fight with the courageous Army of Pakistan.” (Saigol, 2006). History is distorted making one’s own personalities as heroes, and blaming others for all the bad things that happened the past. This kind of subjective knowledge was designed and distributed to create hatred and violence against religious and national fragments, which gave birth to many episodes of tension among the people of the country in India and Pakistan, like the incident of the demolishing of Babri Masjid and subsequent Gujrat massacre in 2002 in India, which further lead to the destruction of many temples in Pakistan.
Shah Rukh Khan, a middle class Muslim boy from Delhi, is considered a living legend of the Indian Film Industry. He is popularly known as King Khan, and is termed as a modern-day god as his posters are sold among religious deities in the streets of India (Anupama, 2007). Shah Rukh Khan is married to an Indian Hindu girl, and he termed his marriage as an instance of a ‘true face of secularism,’ and thus, the face of modern India. Shah Rukh Khan says that,
“The language, the name of god, should not become an issue between couples, between neighbours, society and the whole of the country. I stand for the young, educated Indian and when I say Indian it could be Muslim, Hindu or Sikh.”
India and Pakistan share borders, share history, share their heritage, share the same sky, so there should be a congenial relationship between the two countries. It is never wise to hurl abuses at your neighbour, and they should be met with revulsion by all intellectual and learned citizens of these countries, who can motivate the people to open hands for a peaceful and democratic relationship between the two nations.
I wish for more positive and friendly relations between the two countries in the coming years.
Manish Prabhat studies at Kirorimal College, University of Delhi. A geographer, having the desire to explore the world. He is an avid reader and loves to observe the happenings around. Loves to think on issues affecting the society when alone. Other than that he is a civil service aspirant with a hope of changing the social perspective about the needs and rights of children. He believes in respecting all rather than a particular group of people.