This is a guest post by Mohammad Umar Khan.
Partition was probably the saddest thing that has ever happened on this pure land. While some claim that the Partition should have never happened, some see it as a successful culmination of a national movement for the achievement of Pakistan. However, it was uniquely tragic, no matter from which side of the border one looked at it. It divided a beautiful land into two. Breaking of this land also broke many hearts, many sentiments, the feeling of oneness and brotherhood.
India’s Partition was the biggest tragedy no matter who lost more since violent acts mutually. Considering the following facts, estimations say that somewhere between 2 to 30 lakh people were killed in Partition violence. Those who participated in the orgy of violence were often not professional killers but ordinary people. Sometimes they killed simply to save their own lives, and not out of any passion or hatred. They killed because, in their perception, the only alternative to killing was getting killed. Between killing and getting killed, they preferred to kill. In many instances, the killers were family members. Patriarchs killed the women of their families to save themselves from ‘dishonour’. Killing the women of their own families appeared to be the only ‘honourable’ option before them. Around 70,000 women were captured, abducted and raped. Abducting a woman from the other religion became the standard way of taking revenge on the other religious community. Import and export across the line, marked as border, started.
With lots of trouble and pain, people started migrating. It was quite painful; so much that I can’t describe those feelings in any sentence. And then Gandhi’s Hindustan became India and Pakistan.
Like siblings locked in an endless rivalry, India and Pakistan are searching for the right key to unlock themselves from this big war spanning over six decades.
Looking back trying to find a valid reason behind this unhygienic rivalry, I find that the two countries themselves were not only responsible for the partition. Countries like United Kingdom and Russia are mainly responsible for fostering distances between the two siblings. As I state here that the arms which have been provided to both India and Pakistan gets supplied directly from the above mentioned countries. So if there would be no export of arms to India and Pakistan, suppliers would be facing loss in loosing regular customers like India and Pakistan. All I want to mention that these Arms supplier nations never wanted to see the two arch rivals come closer, and they made sure to cook some nuisance between India and Pakistan to maintain their rivalry for keeping up their markets.
America! Who can play a better Villain than Him? For the sake of its power and dictatorship all over the world, America never wanted to bring these two siblings together. America has always tried to maintain the gap between India and Pakistan as he thinks of loosing that 3rd party strength if India and Pakistan join hands. So America keeps rotating the flavor of bitterness among India and Pakistan to sell his market and also has friendly relations with these two countries.
Let’s think, if this separation had not have happened, what would have been the picture of that Hindustan. What could be better viewing than the two great legends Sachin Tendulkar and Imran Khan playing for the same nation? It would have been more beautiful, more exciting, more sporting and many more extra strength which is still a dream.
With same culture and tradition, I don’t understand why these two are known differently; but thankfully art, sports and music are bringing them both together. Now it is often seen that artists from both the countries share the same stage, using it as a field to showcase their talent and promote friendship between India and Pakistan. More and more tourism initiatives have been started and people are often seen travelling between the two countries.
“With countries having same culture and tradition, the people of these two countries meet me in some other country like Dubai never look different. It is hard to find whether they are Indians or Pakistanis,” said Indian Global Icon and film actor Shah Rukh Khan. He truly believes that this gap should get over and we all could live peacefully with one another. SRK’s ancestral house is in Peshawar, Pakistan.
“What I found is that there is tremendous fascination, there is tremendous curiosity about Pakistan. We do not reciprocate that. We are condescending about that. I say they (those who are against exchange) can go take a hike. I intend to continue whatever I can do in developing person to person contact,” said Veteran Actor Naseeruddin Shah in an interview, who has been often visiting Pakistan for film and theatre.
In many cases they were not accepted. Many such stories are still unknown. It is unlikely that we will ever know the full extent of the human tragedy that was involved in India’s Partition. This was not all. Over 12 million people migrated from one country to the other. This is perhaps the largest migration in the entire human history around a single event and in a short span of time. And, unlike many other migrations; it was not driven by opportunity, but by despair and desperation. Those who migrated did so, not in search of new opportunities, but merely to save their lives. Often they left behind a life of comfort to settle for a life of deprivation.
I also believe and hope that we could go someday and visit beautiful Lahore, eat delicious food, watch Umer Sharif’s drama live and also people from Pakistan should come and roam near Paranthe Wali Gali in Old Delhi, visit Taj Mahal and Golden Temple and eat Tundey Kabab in Lucknow.
‘Allama Iqbal’ who is also considered Pakistani, said famous couplets which goes like this:
“Mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna, Hindi hai hum, Watan Hindustan hamara.”
(Religion does not teach to keep bitterness among us,We are Hindi and our country is Hindustan.)
And Gulzar wrote:
“Lakeerein hain, to rehne do /Kisi ne rooth kar ghusse mein shaayad khainch dee thi / Inhi ko ab banao paala, aur aao, kabbadi khelte hain/ Lakeeren hain, to rehne do.”
So, let’s come together, hand in hand, and walk around the world because we are from the same parents and we are Hindustanis.
– x –
Mohammad Umar Khan (2014) is a graduate student in the Department of English. He can be reached via email at: flytoumar@gmail [dot] com