An unreasonable Indian

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93

Stuck on stereotypes

Most people desire to live in peace. If that is the case then why the states of Pakistan and India have failed in this quest? One may blame the politicians, diplomats, civil and military decision makers of both the countries for exhibiting tunnel vision at critical junctures to reach conflict resolution. This put the onus on the common folks across the borders to engage in meaningful dialogues to develop a better understanding of one another.

Most people neither have the means nor the time to make visits across the borders to see for themselves how their counterparts think about them and their country. Often those who appear in the electronic media and write in the press have either peculiar agenda to pursue or experience certain invisible restrictions which do not allow them to freely express themselves. Moreover, these people are not ‘common’ folks in the real sense of the world. It was my desire to find how a common Indian thinks about Pakistanis that I picked up a book by Mr U V Singh, a highly educated Indian with vast experience in corporate management and possessing a doctorate from New Delhi, a post-doctorate from France and having the authorship of three books to his credit including the ‘Indo-Pak relations-glamour, drama or diplomacy.’

To gain the confidence of one’s opponents for fruitful engagement, one has to first engage the other with all the due courtesies and civilities. I leave it to the readers to decide how the people of the two countries can advance towards a people-to-people rapprochement if an ‘educated’ Indian has such feelings about Pakistan and its citizens. For example, he terms the creation of Pakistan a ‘nefarious adventure’. He calls its birth an ‘unpleasant act’. To him “Pakistan is like a fakir with only one cloak of anti-Indianism to cover its body.” In his grand view, “The rationale of Pakistan’s existence is to be anti-India and anti-Hindu”; that Pakistanis blindly parrot out, “India is our enemy number one”; that its rulers are ‘mentally distorted’ and “Pakistan’s real intention is not to do anything to improve relations with India so as to keep its population poverty stricken and development denied”; and “without anti-Indian opium, Pakistan’s rulers suspect that the country might not survive.” He then concludes that Pakistan is an ‘evil’ and India is a ‘non-evil’ much like Ronald Reagan labelling the erstwhile Soviet Union as an ‘evil empire’.

After such harangue about Pakistan, he sharpens his tirade against the Pakistanis by branding the ‘Pakistani mindset’ as an ‘Islamist mindset’ by which he means that the whole Pakistani nation is nothing but a mass of religious militants. He equates the post-partition violence as the ‘vicious Islamic violence’- a deliberate attempt to establish a link between Pakistanis and their religion, Islam- as being inherently violent. Whereas several historical studies have proved that the post-partition violence was primarily motivated by personal greed and sense of vengeance on the part of the perpetrators whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. Moreover, though every student of religion knows that no religion preaches hatred and bloodshed of humans; this ‘educated’ Indian argues that “Islam was never a religion of peace” and that “sword and bloodshed have appealed [to the Muslims] more than dialogue and understanding.”

With such sweeping generalisations about Islam, he delves into the history of Hindu-Muslim relations in the subcontinent where he finds Muslims only as ‘invaders’, who killed, plundered and forcibly converted Hindus to Islam during the course of interaction extending over a millennium. Without quoting any historical authority, he surprises the readers by stating that the All-India Muslim League had two ‘vicious militias’ that indulged in the killings of Hindus in horrendous proportions after the League’s Direct Action call in 1946. What were the names of those ‘vicious militias’? ; Who were their heads? And who has historically investigated their ‘heinous’ acts? ‘Our worthy writer has not even bothered to answer these questions.

There is an unmistakable hint of fear in this Hindu Indian of Muslims, whom he look upon as ‘predatory invaders’. He feels a constant threat to his country from Pakistan, which is much smaller in size, numbers and defence capabilities than India. Thus, about the first Indo-Pak war over Kashmir in 1947-48, he ignorantly asserts that Pakistanis tried to grab the whole of Kashmir ‘under the guise of a tribal attack’ whereas historical researches have revealed that the first Indian Governor-General Mountbatten and Premier Nehru had secretly sent artillery and forces to Kashmir much before the tribal invasion. And then this ‘educated’ Indian ‘innocently’ whips Mountbatten for fooling ‘Chacha’ Nehru to go to the UN for a favourable outcome of the conflict as if the ‘Chacha’ was not an astute politician but merely a ‘goofy kaka’. With sheer naiveté bordering either on ignorance or spitefulness, this Indian makes a startling allegation that Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto dreamt of separating India’s north-east by cutting it off at the chicken’s neck with the Chinese help and when this did not materialise then the state of Pakistan fuelled the Tamil insurgency. He brings his discourse to the present-day efforts being made for Pak-India normalcy by stating that “The leopard [Pakistan] is not changing spots; it is not ready for peace. Whatever it might say for public consumption, Pakistan firmly believes that peace with India is not in its interest.” In one go, our ‘educated’ Indian has decided to act as the judge, jury and the executioner.

He represents the educated and informed Indians and is not the mouthpiece of India’s political or military establishment but ironically his views about the past, present and future of Pak-India relations are quite identical to the stereotypical ‘official’ views of the Indian state. The propaganda machine of ‘democratic’ India has proved to be as good as that of ‘authoritarian’ Pakistan. Can there be a meaningful meeting of minds even with educated Indians if this is what their views are about Pakistan and the Pakistani nation. Let the two peoples judge themselves.

The writer is an academic and journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]

10 COMMENTS

  1. Well done, I think you need to write from the other side. That will balance the field. You need to write how Pakistani govt aka army and the generals have fed the Pak awam about the Devil India is and how India is ready to dismantle Pakistan and have its more than 250 million poor, hungry and frustrated people to its its own poor and hungry and create more problems and headaches for itself.
    Then let the public be made to judge.
    I remember visiting the Wagha Border one time and across the line, there was a young family, they waved at me and smiled, even though we did not know and they only knew, I am from the other side. That spoke volumes to me. Average person is much more kind to other person across the border than the powers make it out be.
    Let us unite and make a Desi subcontinent to make people prosper and a happy populace.

  2. What is this blabber? You think everything Paks do is touched with reason and anything India does is bound to be illogical? Take your teachings to the "deep state" and perpetrators of 9/11, 26/11 and countless deaths across the world. Only way out is to disband the Mulla army which masquerades as a civilised force but leaves it dead to rot on the heights of Kargil and in the valleys of mountains along the durand line. This may sound harsh, but look at what happened to Taseer and other chaps who talk reason in the a land which was supposed to honour every faith according to Jinnah.

    • Yes, and also there aren't a 60 million strong population of Dalits who live and are treated like animals amongst humans; not to mention the street corner ultra-sound clinics with abortion tables at the back who have killed 20 million girls since 1980 even before they were born. There are also none of the 14 separatist movements that are simmering in the belly of hindustan. The perpetrators of 9/11 (CIA) and 26/11 (RAW) know that their game is no longer hidden and neither are the dead and alive from Kargil are disowned and refused to be taken back across the border. You need more then please visit http://escapefromindia.wordpress.com/

      • over the top,indians are bloody racists.my cousin once reminded me of his african colleague who works in dubai on how horribily he was treated in his college days in india.how many times he was beaten,how many times humilited in mini bus,how much indian gals hated him and so on.racism is in their blood

        • @care
          What makes you so sure that your cousin's African colleague would get better treatment in Pakistan? We are as racist as Indians, though we cry ourselves hoarse if we get a similar treatment abroad. Hypocrisy prevails all over the Subcontinent -, geographical borders are of little relevance

        • The whole world knows how West Pakistan treated East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) people. You guys openly stated that the Bengalis were inferior because they were dark and short and West Pakistanis were superior because they were the decendents of tall and fair skinned arabs, turks etc. This justified the denial of political rights to the Bengalis in 1971 and massacre of a million of them. And you talk about racism etc.

          Dalits are far better in India then you think. There is a growing breed of Dalit entrepreneurs. Please check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOFOpT3cIgo

          Hindus have come a long way in correcting the biases agasint Dalits. Today in cities and most towns there is no discrimination. In fact Dalits wield more political power in India.

  3. Mr Qizilbash – You are spot on! Excellent article giving a very, very good insight.

    Actually, the anti-Pakistan elite in India at the time of partition (then, mainly represented by the INC) could not explain to themselves, and to the ordinary Indians why they let Pakistan become a reality. What they were, and still are, unable to explain is; why did they not accept the Cabinet Mission Plan (which would have kept a united India) but within a few years accepted a complete partition.

    So, right from 1947, a narrative has been generated by them, which has the following themes;
    1. Pakistan is economically unviable, and will collapse
    2. Pakistan has no industry, and has no capability to manufacture anything
    3. Pakistan o.ly survives on US and other western countries' aid
    4. Pakistan is anyway a tribal, uncivimised backwater, really a part of Afghanistan
    5. Muslims are a troublesome medieval lot, only interested in fighting, loot, plunder
    6. Muslims are not industrious, and have no competence or interest in economic advancement
    7. Hindus are a peaceful, civilised and industrious lot; only interested in their own and everybody's wellbeing and economic progress
    8. India is really a developed country
    9. Pakistan is a good-for-nothing land and part of medieval world
    10. India is better off without those kind of people (Muslims) and land (those comprising Pakistan)
    11. It is just as well that such bad-lands were truncated and exclude from a civilised, modern country
    12. Better to have India become clear and clean from such rabble.
    13. To sacrifice part of Bharat-Mata is a small proce to pay
    14. Hence, it was a great decision to let Pakistan be created!

    IThe Indian politicians, government, media and the robber-barons (Tata, Birla, etc.) Have asidiuously promoted and inculcated this theme into Indian minds right from 1947 … while quietly robbing Indians of their wealth and rights ( in the name of socialism, 'be Indian, buy Indian', nationalism, etc.)

    I have been a regular traveller to India over the last 50 years I have directly engaged with Indians of all political, social, economic, religious backgrounds … and have found this theme to recur in private, social conversations … again … and again and again. This is really unfortunate – both for Indians and for Pakistanis

  4. If Indians wants trade with us and want pakistani not to see them as an enemey state then fix following issue you have created and prove you're friend not enemy
    1947-India violated British India Independence Act and invaded Muslim Majority sates of Kashmir which suppose to join Pakistan as per this pact
    India this illegal Act leads to 1948, 65 & 99 war
    1971—India once again violated UN Charter and interfered in Pakistan and invaded in East Pakistan which leads to 71 War and creation of B’desh.
    1984—India once again violated UNO Charter and invaded line of Control and occupied Pakistan land in Sia Chin Glacier and destroy this beautiful roof top of the world, Indian withdraw it's forces before 1984 position, other wise it'll tiger one more nuclear standoff
    India- violating Indus water treaty and steeling water and building dams on Pakistani rivers
    If you cant fix these issues then you'll be treated enemey state,

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