Aug 15, 2015

The Independence Craze

Today it is the Independence Day of India. Indeed a big zealous day for all Indians irrespective of their religion or caste. The day is celebrated with intense patriotism and extreme devotion all over the country. A day ago, the same zeal was celebrated from the other side of the border with a similar fervor.

Both India and Pakistan commemorate their respective day of Independence enthusiastically. Wonder how great it is to imagine a single Independence Day for both India and Pakistan, celebrating its freedom from slavery, together as one great nation. To put in a simple way, what if Hindustan had not been split?

The partition of India and Pakistan is one of the ugliest blunders that ever happened. It displaced millions of families while killing thousands of innocent people from both the sides let alone talk of the mental trauma, political instability, economical breaches and other blunders that followed.

Hatred is one ugly stigma that the partition left behind as an incurable canker. Hence today the same people from both the sides of so called "L.O.C" are divided physically by concertina wires and emotionally by an outrageous hatred.

A recent visit to Wagah border, Attari was too disheartening. I was excited to cherish the phenomenal experience of India and Pakistan forces exchanging the peaceful salute parade. Alas my visit dampened all my spirits.

I was looking forward to see how harmony is cultivated everyday at the border gates among one of the worst foes in history. But what I experienced was totally repelling. Both the forces were boasting about their strength, pride and honor. And the people were supporting their respective teams with a loud hullabaloo

At one time it was fascinating to see how the guards raise their legs high into the air and thump hard their chest with pride while shouting out their confidence. It was a delight to experience. But overall it was not a presentation of love and harmony. It was more of domineering - 'Hey I am better than you.' 
One veteran writer comments about the movie,With a cute mute Pakistani-Kashmir girl lost at Wagha border, actor Salman Khan created a highly emotional masala movie that happily ends at the LoC in Kashmir. It has already recorded Rs 500 crore business. But the complexity of the divide has prevented the people straddling the LoC from seeing even somebody getting closer to the utopian Bajrangi Baijaan.” 
But the reality is different. It is cursed. Period!  
The day is welcomed by blocking the mobile phone signals and internet in the name of National security. Police security is beefed up one week early and people are relentlessly frisked at every corner. 
At last, I really wish and pray to see the border vaporize and blend the two cultures into one, fading away all the tensions and unrest.
Let us eliminate this hatred and come together to cultivate the seeds of harmony that will eventually grow into peace. Let us think beyond nationalism. Let us act as humans. Lets open our hearts and the gates at Wagah. That's the bottom-line.

My eyes pained, witnessing the disgusting gestures being traded at the border. My ears ached, filled with the overwhelming rebukes and abuses being exchanged crossways. My heart pounded, failing to conceive the hate vibes dangling all over in the air.   

There was sloganeering on both the sides which people surely enjoyed. People from both the sides shouted at the top of their lungs trying to chock down the voices from the opposite side. I wondered where Kashmir lies amidst all these frantic slogans.

I could not find any traces of love in the air. There were only frantic voices proclaiming “Pakistan Zindabaad”, countered by “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.” There was extreme patriotism among the respective crowd. And their adrenaline rush was pumping more venomous jingoism in each. Shame!

I guess the only people getting the real pleasure from the parade were the firangees, foreigners, with VIP passes.

Talking about the border reminds of the recent Bollywood hit, Bajrangi Bhaijan. I wonder how funnily the Bollywood and media takes us to some utopian world, far from reality. Bajrangi Bhaijan sets one good example.

Source: Kashmir Life

That’s the reality, unfortunately. 

Nevertheless the movie is best indented to give a beautiful peaceful message in the end. Sagarika Ghose writes, "Bajrangi Bhaijaan moment reminds that cinema and popular culture have almost managed to achieve what, frankly, our political class has failed to: Bridge the Indo-Pak divide."
Source: Aman Ki Asha

Now talking about the Independence day in Kashmir that to the disappointment of my dear Indian readers is not actually celebrated. I cannot find a better statement for August 14/15 than what one of my dear friend, Dibesh Anand, rightly said, “While those believing in the two nation-States celebrate forgetting millions massacred during partition and tens of thousands killed in their name since then, some still refuse to accept the notion of 14/15 August as Independence Day. They are the oppressed and the occupied. While the chamchas and fans of either state in Kashmir may celebrate one or the other day, the fact is that those celebrating are accepting being occupied by one or the other without dignity.

All the streets in Kashmir wear a deserted look every year on red letter day of 15th August and 26th January while the whole Indian nation is celebrating on the streets. Why? As a protest to attest the non-belongingness and forced occupation.

Only a minor fraction of people sings the Indian National Anthem with pride. The majority are still caught in the labyrinth of Azadi while another minor fraction carries a vision-impaired romanticism towards Pakistan. That's a fact.

Coming back to the border! Well, personally I am a non-believer of the two nation theory although I am a great follower of Iqbal’s philosophy. Apparently, the present Pakistan is nowhere like Iqbal’s ideal Muslim nation. “Iqbal tere desh mei koi Iqbal na raha,” I reason.

This is in the best of the mutual interests of both India and Pakistan that they must agree to a common peaceful solution. They must deviate their resources that they have been spending endlessly to fight/defend against each other and more importantly to keep Kashmir, the bone of contention, under their thumb. The resources can otherwise be used to build a better nation with finest health services, good education and better employment.

I pray that people from both the sides understand the fact that hatred is no solution. It is going to get even worse if they dwell on hatred. I pray for peace. 

P.S. The two nations proudly celebrate their big days. But the fact is that they are independent, yet not free.