Pakistan and India both celebrated their Independence Day yesterday on the 14th and 15th of August respectively. Its a joyous occasion in both countries, celebrating freedom from colonial oppression and the imperialist British Raj… Both countries had a chance at self-rule, the swaraj they had aimed for.

But for country ties, old scars, deep wounds and more than half a century of hatred mark the acrimonious relationship between the two countries. Words like Kashmir, Kargil, Siachen, 1948, 1965, 1971, 1999, 2008 seem to be what fuel the bitter discourse of international relations. Accusations of political interference on both sides of Wagah, claims about hegemonic powers in South Asia, the role of the two nations in countering global terrorism etc. are some of the topics of controversy between India and Pakistan.

At the same time, do winds of change seem to be blowing? Are socio-cultural human-human bonds strong enough to break through political hatred? Of course, some say that deeper political questions need to be resolved before a viable peace process starts. I do not know. All I know is, violence is never the answer. And even a single drop of blood shed because of superficial country identities is a terrible waste. Human life is sacred.

More Reading:

Realizing costs (both opportunity costs and immediate ones) and stronger economic ties between India and Pakistan, with autonomy to Kashmir might be the answer: http://www.usip.org/publications/kashmir-problem-in-search-solution

An Indian think-tank and policy institute’s collection of statistics on the costs of conflict between India and Pakistan: http://www.strategicforesight.com/news_ccindia_pakistan.htm

A Time feature from September 1947; gives an insight into the brutality of Partition, though I disagree with the political leanings: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,804165-1,00.html

A new generation “Remembering Partition”: http://www.rememberingpartition.in/Home.html

Under construction, but looks promising: http://www.1947partitionarchive.org

I feel like the “coffee-drinking liberal” criticized in this piece, but good argument: http://tribune.com.pk/story/231910/you-are-free-to-go-to-your-mosques 


3 Replies to “1947”

  1. I was thinking of one thing, “house built on murders, will it be sustainable”?

    My reply was immediate. What’s done, is done. The important part is to avoid future atrocities and killings. And yes I saw that “you’re free to go to your mosque” article. I liked it.

  2. What I gained from my experience at the Remembering Partition event: Governments, on both sides will ALWAYS find an excuse to create differences. Its the people-to-people interaction that matters more now.

    Its just a simple fact. People cheered me, and the people comprised of Partition survivors, Indian students and Indian media. They cheered me, and gave me a standing ovation for this. I don’t see how this does not imply that we ARE ready to take steps. Events like these, and visions like Ria’s (the brainchild behind RP), will make sure that one day we stand as two nations on a friendly basis. No one’s questioning the validity of Partition. All we are hoping for, is peace.

  3. Pingback: 1947 | Tea Break

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