Flip the coin and on one side India and Pakistan seem to be combating with each other forever. On the other side, they are sharing the same bread of common roots, common cultures, languages, and traditions.
This love and hate relationship between the two neighbors is both as a result of natural and historic bonding between the peoples of the two countries. At the same time, there is the hostility generated by militancy from Pakistan and India’s dithering stand in resolving the Kashmir problem.
In 1947 when the British colonial rulers left the Indian subcontinent Pakistan was established. It was on the basis that the Muslims population would have their own country. This was done by simply drawing a distorted boundary line along the north-western part of united India. A similar line was drawn in the northeastern part. Thus a geographically unique nation of Pakistan, with miles apart east and west regions, was constituted.
The partition of United India in practically three regions saw one of the worst communal riots. In this abrupt war of hatred, hundreds of thousands of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs were killed. Millions faced unprecedented miseries as a result of sudden uprooting of people from their ancestral homes and lands.
In that bloody anarchy, however, Pakistan got its Muslim majority.
But the genesis of Pakistan based on one religion could not represent the diversity within its Muslim population. Different languages, different cultures, along with different sects within Islam were part of the reality of Pakistan as well. The result East Pakistan was completely scratched out from the map. And a new nation of Bangladesh was born. This was a negation to the perception that a common religion would hold the nation together irrespective of its cultural, linguistic and ethnic pluralities.
In this context, one wonders why the subcontinent was divided in the first place. If carving a Muslim state was the main reason to establish Pakistan then it did not take in its fold all the Muslims in united India. Nor it could address the regional and diverse cultural and linguistic aspirations of its people. Urdu or Hindusthani speaking migrants settled in the Sind and Punjab provinces of Pakistan felt alienated.
Moreover, the division of the sub-continent generated a never-ending hostility between India and Pakistan which is dominated by the Kashmir problem.
By Promod Puri https://promodpuri.com/