When we talk about Pakistan, we have two images that runthrough our minds. One is the image of a beautiful hilly terrain with exquisitely beautiful women clad in black burkhas concealing their beauty(imagine Hina Rabbani) and of course the enthralling aroma of Biryani and Kababs, so delicious that it ranks above Ma ke hath ka khana. Another image is of course of men in big baggy clothes wielding AK 47 rifles, with a rocket launcher hanging quietly on one side, ready to kill, and when the killing stops, ready to yell ‘Inshallah’. This seems almost like a paradox. But the reason behind juxtaposing these images, is to prove that neither of them actually define ‘Pakistan’. The aforementioned imagery is actually a consequence of Sunnt Deol films(Hail the industry) and popular belief that Pakistan is evil. This belief has its manifestations in facebook trolls and my particular favourite (wait for it :p ) ….Tum doodh mangoge hum kheer dene, Kashmir mangoge cheer denge (just cannot get over my obsession ) or Go back to Pakistan. But as we receive and transmit this view of Pakistan, nobody actually contradicts it, because of some other reason other than the fact the Pakistan has low internet penetration and also the fact that discussions about Pakistan often break into cyber feuds with abuse being doled out like sewaiyan(maa ki …hath ki 😛 ) during Id, by both sides. So today we take a look at Pakistan and though I m no foreign affairs expert I will try to tell you why an average Pakistani is not to blame.
So one day Pintoo( my childhood friend ) and I were sitting in my house doing nothing. Fawad Khan’s Khoobsurat was playing in the background and suddenly Pintoo raises his voice and says “*reference without reverence to sisters * Pakistanion ko film mein kyun late hain”. Then I proceeded to argue with him and explain how there was need for cultural transfusion between India and Pakistan and how Pakistan had some of the best talent in the world working in the Bollywood. But Pintoo clearly didn’t understand and he proceeded to swear and explain to me how Pakistani cricketers could not speak in English (as if he could). The debate ended with Pintoo walking out and plucking out a handpump from the precinct ( just kidding :p ).
Let’s see how Pakistan came into being. Muslim league which was found as an attempt to make Muslim voices heard and to voice their grievances to the British Raj. Thought the Muslim League was necessarily an attempt to find an alternative to the Congress and oppose its growing influence, there was a phase when both of them actually signed a pact to decide the constitution on India together. But as luck would have it some body in the league(not Rahul Gandhi :P) came upon an idea of Pakistan, a separate state for Muslims and ended up influencing Jinnah who earlier supported the cause of united freedom. So Pakistan became a separate state, not rather peacefully, riots and migration of Hindus from Pakistan to India and Muslims from India to Pakistan began. Today Pakistan suffers many problems(more of that in a minute).
But the point behind telling you this history is that ,Pakistanis are no different from us , atleast ethnographically, that explains why Bollywood films are widely watched in Pakistan and also why Sania Mirza’s sasural is in Pakistan and also why Sasural Simar ka is as much as a hit there in Pakistan. And the partition which happened was not because of the collective will of Pakistanis , but rather due to the collective will of a small body of them , who claimed to represent them.
Pakistan is a troubled neighbour with a confusing polity. The army has been given sweeping power there in Pakistan and has a tendency to do something it is not supposed to – rule. General Pervez Musharaf and General Zia ul Haq(not the cricketer) are a few examples of military dictators who steered Pakistan to a policy it holds today. Further the army is not answerable to the civilian government, and all the news you hear about Pakistani government sponsoring terrorism is infact the Pakistani army and the infamous ….ISI. So for everything that goes wrong in Pakistan the polity is to blame, not some blogger like me who has no money :P.
What is happening today is saddening. Shows of Pakistani artists are being shut down in the name of patriotism by Hindu fanatics and the facebook post you share is actually fuelling the fire. Ghazal artist like Ghulam Ali are being targeted and their shows vandalized. What does a singer have to do with cross border firing and terrorist attacks unless of course you are wait for it …..Honey Singh (he always manages to be an exception ). What we are missing out on, is a cultural legacy which both the countries jointly share. Ghazal is as much as my cultural inheritance as is Odissi, just because somebody drew a line and called us distinct doesn’t mean we start living differently and start experiencing different things. Pakistan is a brother, maybe a lunatic one, but still a brother, and it’s not time enough to give up on him, atleast not time enough to start hating him.
Another popular view I would like to counter here is the ‘Hindu State view’. Just because the partition created a Muslim state called Pakistan doesn’t mean what is left of it is a Hindu state. This will be countering the most basic principles which form the core of the socialist democracy of India. Infact to give a more theological argument Hinduism is one religion which has no set boundaries for what a Hindu is or is not. There is no history of an idea of blasphemy or heretics in Hinduism. Some Hindus worship Rama, some Ravana, some worship Durga others Mahishasura. The idea of a Hindu state therefore is disastrous and inconceivable. The belief that minorities in India will have to put up with the majority view is pointless, because all of us are minorities in some way. I am a Hindu(if you ask my parents), but I am also a Brahmin while around 90 % of Hindus are not. The point is it is easy to make arguments based on passion and sentiments, but its difficult when those arguments go against your existence.
It’s time to shed the long held hatred and improve trade relations with Pakistan. Currently smuggling constitutes most of the trade between the two nations (also smuggling of little children Bajrangi Bhaijan :p and also terrorists ).
At the end I would like to say that Pakistan may have been the reason for terrorist attacks in India, but the average Pakistani is as much to blame as Anushka Sharma is to blame for Virat Kohli’s downfall or advent for that matter, now that they broke up. There is no point advancing this nationalism of hatred. Narendra Modi’s recent diplomacy when he landed up in Pakistan, as a departure from his schedule is worth praising, but what his partymen are doing in the country is ironic.
At the end I would like to say
“No men are foreign no countries strange, beneath every uniform the same body breaths “
Stay blessed and as they say in Berhampur ‘khela kariba bhulibuni’