Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting over our Pakistan Fixation

Rahul Gandhi has said many things that I have disagreed with. But for once I totally agree with him when he says that it's time for India and Indians to 'get-over' Pakistan.

We've been giving too much time and effort in dealing with Pakistan. Sure our history, the wars we've fought, and even the current threats posed by Pakistan require our attention. But we have to admit that our fixation with Pakistan is more than just that. We are obsessed by Pakistan.

Every Indian will have an opinion on Pakistan, and usually it is a negative one. Our history books go on and on about how the two nation theory was actually a 'complete falsification of the idea of India'. Most of our obsession is due to the trauma of partition on our national psyche. Our National leaders took partition as a slap on the face and till date our policy makers don't seem to have recovered from it.

Our obsession also has much to do with the romanticism of our Independence movement. No doubt our freedom struggle was a glorious one. And the ideals that held our leaders and our people together are timeless and true for all of humanity. In this context - Pakistan, or the creation of it, went against everything that our National movement stood for.

Somewhere along the line I think we Indians feel that India and Pakistan should get back together, that the aberration of Partition must be done away with. Like in the movies- where the errant brother finally realizes the follies of his ways and returns home to his elder brother seeking forgiveness. This romanticism is evident not only in general every day talk but also in our policy.

From this romanticism and idealism springs the fear in Pakistanis that India means harm to them. That India wants to do away with Pakistan, that India poses a constant threat to Pakistan. The military and political establishment have milked this paranoia for all it's worth and have kept Pakistanis in the grip of fear. No wonder the people there don't question the military's involvement in running of Govt. They feel that it's a necessity born out of the threat posed by India.

What this means is that our romanticism and idealism and Pakistan's fear is entangling us in a vicious circle. Do we need that? Isn't there another alternative?

Yes, there is. But it requires us to me objective, practical and smart. And let me tell you we are hopeless in all three.

We need to accept the idea of Pakistan and partition. No doubt it was a painful exercise and that it definitely could have been handled better. But let history be where it belongs. Let's not be victims of history- but let's learn from it.

It's been 62 years since Independence. That means there are at least two generations of Indians and Pakistanis that have never been part of the same country. We are two completely different nations now. Different ideals, different systems of Govt, different policies. India should learn to treat Pakistan like it treats any other nation.

There are the usual examples we cite when we compare India vis Pakistan. We are a functioning democracy, our economy is now the fourth largest in the world etc etc. But let's not get jingoistic about it. That's again a trap.

Let us not be victims of our past. Let's get over this impasse and look towards a brighter future. Sure it requires us to look at history in a different perspective and that is going to be a very very difficult task. But it can be done. And it must be done. We need to.

16 comments:

rimz said...

yeah,,,,enuf of chaos and oll, people shoud now get over this INDO-PAk love or hatred (the way people wishes)... Its time to accept the inevitable cnt be chnged now, evn if cn be chnged no use makin long lectures n all....

the topic is delicate and the writing is nice.

Amritbir Kaur said...

"Let us not be victims of our past." A very powerful message contained in this line alone...A well-thought out post and a meaningful one. After all, we have to change with time and come out of this obsession.

A New Beginning said...

I totally agree with you Ajai, its a kind of a blame game that the two countries have been playing with each other..its time that history turns its face to the brighter side and a new beginning makes its way into our lives.
Its time to strengthen ourselves against those who take advange and play with our weaknesses...our greatest enemy afterall are our weaknesses...weve got to strengthen from within.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

I do agree with what you've said for its well beyond time that we shed our Pakistan-bashing obsession!

But having said that, do also remember that theres a lot of subversion happening at the instance of our neighbour and that most of it is also not reported!

Uncommon Sense said...

its a good thing that pakistan got separated... the pakistan fixation is because the country is being ruled by an older generation and they are hoping pakistan to come back and be together..

the newer generation, is against such idea, as the older generation is replaced by newer one's so will get pakistan replaced from our mind

Vittaldas Prabhu said...

I have no expertise in this matter to shed my opinion. But leaving aside the "Pakistan" part from this post, I would like to soak in every meaningful sentence. This post has a very strong message of how we need to learn from the past, how we need to get a move on, how not to brood over the past and get frustrated. A thoughtful exploration like no other I have seen in this very article. Nice one, Ajai. It is truly wonderful.

Dhanya said...

Yeah, the India-Pak thing has gone too far! Enough is enough really.. :|

issam said...

A refreshing way of looking at it dude... it's time we moved on.
But that nation is a cause of worry...

AJai said...

@rimz, @sana, @Dhanya
glad to know that we share the same opinions on this matter. i hope there are more people and we'll actually start seeing change in policy. :)

@Amribit
Thanks for high lighting that. Yes, that was an important line. We should focus on moving forward. Anything that impedes us should be kept behind. That's my attitude to most things.

@Raks, @Issam
I agree that there is subversion and a proxy war on by Pakistan. That must be met with the required means of force/ intelligence. I agree that Pakistan is a cause of worry now. But that must not turn in to an obsession.

@US
totally totally agree with you. can't wait to get them buddas out!

@VP
Thank you so much bro. Do me a fav though. Don't be so formal k. It's nice to have you around. Take it that we are friends and be as informal and funny and crazy as you can. k? thanks again. :)

Vittaldas Prabhu said...

Sure. :) Do visit my space sometime too. :)

Tongue Trip said...

my best buddy is from Pakistan and most of my maternal relatives are from Kashmir. when i had the chance of visting the former, i mingled with the general junta and on asking what do the people really want, their answer was unequivocal, like the Kashmiris-Peace, just peace now. tall order?
thanks for your good wishes.
great scraps here. ta!

BrownPhantom said...

Right on Aj.
It's hard to be objective, especially when we talk of a nation. But, as you said, that is what is the need of the hour.
Nice observation of India's aspirations and Pakistan's fears.

Absolutely Normal Chaos said...

Confession: I am one of those who think that India and Pakistan should just reunite. But I do know I'm being way too idealistic here. And I also know that more Pakistanis than Indians will oppose my view.

But I get what you're saying. We need to get over this. Accept it for what it is. And move on. That's the hard part when something or the other keeps messing things up again and again.

Renu said...

We want to, but terrorism from pakistan and muslim vote bank for our politicians wont let us foirget. If instead of blaming Pakistan for everything our leaders start working..it will be different story, we dont ask thieves not to steal, but make our house safe and law and order good, but here we keep asking the thief to stop stealing and do nothing in our house.

AJai said...

@Tongue Trip
yes... ppl everywhere want peace so that they can get on with their lives. thanks for sharing that info.

@BP
Thanks bro. Seeing u here after some time. :)

@ANC
Ah... the incurable optimist. LOL. but like u urself rightly said... we need to be pragmatic here.

@Renu
I accept that. But that's a totally different issue there. It is true that we need to set our own house in order. At the same time we need to play our role in the neighborhood and in the world stage... both need to be done simultaneously.

iselldreams said...

hey Aj,there is an award waiting for you on my blog...Come and grab it :)