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A tale of 1 country: Brothers in arms

I stand at my balcony and watch the unfortunate (no not unfortunate) events unfold 2 floors down. Dadi (grandmother) has fallen to the ground and is crying, my mother has a face of steel, its frozen into a blank stare; I know this state, I have seen it before, she is controlling herself showing a brave and proud wife to the world. She is helping dadi. Uncle keeps pointing past the gate and is shouting something at dada (grandfather). Dada has just locked the gate and is walking back to the house.

Past the gate I can see a group of people all clad in white, surrounding something lying on the ground covered with a white cloth. My governess Shobhadi stands next to me holding me, afraid that I'll run downstairs into the scene unfolding. She and and the servants have been given strict orders that I can not be allowed downstairs. Dada thinks I do not understand what is happening, he thinks I cannot comprehend what is going on, but I do.

The year is 1940, my name is Sandip, I'm 10 years old. I think My father just died.

Yes, I'm sure of whats happening. I know enough of the alphabets, I read and understood the headlines in the New India Post today morning, I also saw my father's name mentioned. I do not know my father. Dada said he died 6 years ago in an accident, but from what I've understood from overhearing my mother's and dadi's discussions, my father is.. no, was..  a patriot and joined the independence movement. He strictly instructed my mother not to leave the house or go against my dada, he couldn't force the 2 of us to live like refugees nor could he bear to take me away from my dada. Father loved and respected his family, and most of all my english loving dada.

I look down at the unfolding scene trying to understand what I feel. Am I sad or am I indifferent?? I don't know what to feel.

I look down and see the huge crowd shouting and screaming angry slogans ready to kill and be killed. Bapu, standing a few paces away from me, he raises his hand and the crowd falls silent as they listen to his voice, hear what he says and they calm down. In those last few days, Calcutta was the only peaceful city in the country.

The date is 14th August 1947, I'm at my best friend Ornob's place where Bapu is staying. Ornob's sister and my love interest Deepa stands next to me hugging my hand. I feel the tension and uncertainty radiate from her. Ornob, standing inbetween me and Bapu, looks at me and says "Sandip, do you see what's happening here? The English have broken our India into 2 so that we and now our brothers the Pakistanis can never unite against the west. They have divided us such that we can never outdo the west". I nod as I see the sadness in Ornob's eyes, we are all sad to witness this unfortunate event. Brothers have been separated and pitted against each other. I'm afraid the results of the day's events will reverberate across generations.

The date is 29th March 2011, all I hear about is the upcoming cricket match between India and Pakistan. My grandson Abhiroop, keeps on about how "India will win and destroy the Pakis!". I look at him and try to tell him that we are brothers, one nation divided artificially into 2 by the west who till today plan and scheme and foster the hatred such that we can't unite. There is a photo of Pakistani tourists in the newspaper today. They have come to see the match. Standing beside Indians, they look like us and we look like them. We all dress the same way, look the same way, talk the same way. Yet, we hate each other's guts and keep fighting and bickering over trivial matters. Kashmir, a sensitive issue for the countries, but will the issue exist if Pakistan and India united and became 1 country? Pakistan wants Kashmir and India wants Kashmir. If we are 1 country we both get Kashmir!

I look forward to the day when we can unite as brothers, India and Pakistan should take the step forward, dissolve both the countries and make it into one big nation of peaceful people who work towards each other's betterment, Hindus mixing and matching with Muslims and Muslims with Hindus; like it was before the partitions, like it was before the English came to this land, like it was in ancient times, like it should be.

But instead these children they fight and bicker and waste their energies. People want to split up states, like India was split up. My question is what will you get by doing that? Independence? Like India and Pakistan? We have been fighting each other ever since. If we had solved our problems and become one we would not have wasted so many resources fighting each other but would have developed our economies and homes, eradicated poverty, illiteracy, infanticide and so many deseases! Isn't that better than fighting?

Imagine the Pakistani and Indian cricket team as one. SO much talent! We can easily become the best team / nation in the world. A beacon, a bright and shining light, a model for the world to follow.

WHERE the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

-> SJ

*Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental


Renu said…
I wouldnt wish us to be its we face so much of strife in our country.

looks like you are still living in 47, but I can never forget mumbai blast,26/11 and what they did to our young captains in kargil war.
Sushant said…
Renu, 1st of let me thank u for the comment.

2ndly, no I'm not living in '47 i'm very much in 2011. I know how the world is carved, how the world functions.

Seeing the photos of the Pakistani tourists in the paper did make me realize that we r essentially one people artificially divided into 2.

We cannot club the terrorist attacks on the Pakistani public as a whole. It wouldn't be fair to blame the whole country because of a small percentage of wayward people, as it wouldn't be fair to blame the all the Hindus in India for the stupidity of the right-wing Hindu extremists and the Hindu Mujahideen.

Also we have to note that the whole terrorist idea and the islamic fundamentals started with the fight for Kashmir and the hatred carried down from the events of the partition.

All the celebrating and jeering of Pakistanis yesterday after the match was uncalled for. Yes, the terrorists have done horrific things and India has suffered but again thats a small portion of the Pakistani populace.

The wars the spite between our 2 countries is all about Kashmir and the blood that was shed during partitions. If, hypothetically, we remove these 2 issues from the scenario then what are we left with? I come back to my point, the same people divided into 2.

And I re-assert, If we 2 countries can come together, we can show the world a new leader and a land full of peace and love.
Tushar Mangl said…
Point is, can we ever remove the line of partition? And become a consolidated country?
Renu said…
But the problem is that their official machinery spews venom and they instigate our country few people may be on the wrong side, but govt is not involved, but their ISI and govt . both are involved in bringing destruction to us...its not some people doing something..its organised crime supported by their officials.
Anonymous said…
Wow, this piece is so in tune with the piece I wrote in my blog today.

Interesting blog you have here.
Anonymous said…
Hands of to your father. He died for our country. I think that, on small age itself you had faced many problems. No words to speak.......
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Zeba said…
Ah well. Life and times..
mamatha said…
I appreciate your interest towards sharing the useful stuffs. Great work you guys are doing,thanks.
Forum hosting
Varada said…
Pak Government should act on this India has done its part..... Now it seems this is a dream which will never come true... English are smart and we the dumb...

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