By Farrukh Aziz
First off, I would like to wish all of you, without equivocation, the auspicious occasion of ‘Navratri’, on behalf of the people living on the other side of Radcliffe Line. I hope these nine days usher in the perennial peace and eudemonia in both the neighboring countries.
Dear Indians, I am a man of ordinary stature, hailing from Sindh, which together with Hind was once the seat of Indus Valley Civilization, and is hailed as the land of peace, harmony, tolerance, and Sufi Saints, ranging from Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast, to Sami, and Bhagat Kanwar Raam. Today, let me take liberty to communicate with you in a candid environment, as to how an ordinary person like me here perceives you, how by cunningly employed tactics and falsified mirror images and irrelevant stereotypes one community is depicted as demonic to the eyes of the other, and vice versa, just for the vested interests of ‘certain elements’, and what commonalities both the peoples share with each other, in fact articulating the word ‘peoples’ seems ridiculous, for the same blood courses in our DNA; justice therefore demands me to use the word ‘people’ for both of us.
Dear Indians, it is some 69 years since we both got liberated from the yoke of the British imperialism, but, while my introspecting for the moment, a question confounds my mind as to what sort of freedom an ordinary Indian and a Pakistani have gotten. The plight, in which the masses in both the countries are, honestly speaking, is indicative of the worst of the worst thralldom, and repression, akin to that of the colonial rule. While the elite and establishment in both the countries may be free, the masses are chained to the fetters of hunger, starvation, illiteracy, religious barbarity, and inhuman life.
Governments of both the countries invest incredible budgets each year in military arsenal, and in boosting warfare equipment, and take pride in flaunting military might and technological advancement, right from the 68 years of their independence, but the fact remains that an eye opening ratio of populations in both the countries is living below the poverty line. Dears, what if the huge amount of national exchequer spent on unnecessary scuffles, which, at their best, have always ended in pyrrhic victories, is utilized to ensure no-one sleeps hungry in each country?
Dear Indians, it is an open secret that masses at large in both the countries easily fall for the politically motivated nefarious designs of arousing hatred of one community against the other, but do let me tell you in sincerity that ordinary people on this side of the border do not perceive you to be their foes, as is rumored, and I believe, the same views of good will for us are nourished on the other side. We think like you, we grow fond of every type of brand of a commodity coming from you, women here have a kind of obsession with your drama serials, and our culture, frankly, has been indianized.
Dear Indians, the scourge of terrorism is something, common to both; Pakistani public as a matter fact, has borne the serious burnt of terrorist attacks, with places from mosques, hospitals, schools, etc becoming more and more insecure day after day. The governments of both the states engage in blame-game, accusing each other, sometimes, of leading proxy wars, and sometimes of harboring terrorists. Dears, even if, supposing for the moment, they both are involved in these activities, the question of the utmost concern is ‘out of all this, what does a common Indian and Pakistani gain?’ Certainly, naught. Only irreparable loss of lives and assets, martyrdom of lower rank poor soldiers of each armed forces.
Dear Indians, the major bone of contention between us is not religion, or a piece of land, or balance of power or race for unipolarity in South Asia, etc. Rather, it, I believe, is the politicians and demagogues, on each side, brazenly engaged in manipulating us, the public, into their own interests. I stand flabbergasted at thinking about what is actually out there, to bar both the countries from having friendly relations with each other. When America and Germany, Germany and the rest Europe, and China and Japan can have neighborly terms, why can’t we, who have a one origin, and have lived together for hundreds of years?
My Forefathers were born Indians, my father opened his eyes as an Indian Sindhi, and my Grandmother was a Hindu, from what is India today. A large number of people over here have same sort of pedigree, and the same case is with many of you out there, so I end it here, leaving a simple question: ‘can a brother be bloodthirsty of his own brother?’