Can India and Pakistan live in Peace

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The curtain has finally rung down on this current phase of history, at least by explosion of nuclear bombs by both India and Pakistan, and their experimentation with the long range missiles and of satellites that will hit the moon.
In this age of terrifying, lethal gadgets which have supplanted so swiftly the old one, the first great aggressive war, if it should come, will be launched by suicidal little madmen pressing an electronic button. Such a war will not last long and none will ever follow it. There will be no conquerors and no conquests, but only the charred bones of the dead on an uninhabited subcontinent. Should this be our fate?

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CAN INDIA AND PAKISTAN LIVE IN PEACE

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by Nayyar Hashmey

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Hinduism in Pakistan is viewed more in a political sense than religious, an approach that has turned both Islam and Hinduism into adversaries. The politicization of two great faiths in the subcontinent is goaded in the pages of history ever since partition of India and beyond.

The Afghan King Mahmud of Ghazni in Pakistan is acclaimed more as a hero than a foreign intruder. His famous saying to Hindu priests while plundering the wealth of Somnath, when the former offered him as much money and gold as he wished but to spare the idols kept in the temple. To their appeal quipped Mahmud, “Am a destroyer and not dealer of idols”. This slogan for a long time after creation of Pakistan has been a rallying cry for the Pakistanis to develop a wave of hate against Hinduism.

While delving into this particular part of history, I came to observe that Mahmud though a Muslim was not the monarch who was determined to destroy Hinduism or spread Islam, like typical imperialist he accepted retributions from conquered peoples and then went back to Ghazni in Afghanistan. The basic aim of Mahmud like any other ruler of the ilk was to retain the largest piece from the cake, the “Gold Bird” called India (here India is synonymous with the South Asian subcontinent). Had he been a Mujahid as most of our Pakistani writers portray and believe, he should have tried to convert Hindus to the fold of Islam, which he did not – not because he was a liberal Muslim but because of his desire to amass the Indian wealth and expand his empire. Like most of the rulers who invaded the subcontinent, he either accepted reparations from Hindu rulers in the subcontinent or demanded abject obedience; in other words slavish statehood for the conquered people and the lands.

Contrary to Mahmud and quite ironically the local Muslim rulers who established themselves in the soil of this subcontinent like certain Afghan and Mughal rulers in the later day periods, the sad fact of history is that the Hindu’s too never accepted even those local Muslim rulers as their own (vis-à-vis the Hindu rulers) a very sad fact indeed, which created a wedge between the Hindus and the Muslims as separate and distinct identities. Then there were incidents in history like Shiva ji stabbing Afzal Khan in the back while he was invited at a dinner by the Maratha leader. Incidents like these exacerbated the gulf between Muslims and Hindus still wider.

model1200632990It’s in backdrop of such incidents that relations between the Hindus and Muslims always remain tense, creating a perpetual atmosphere of rivalry between the two giants of the subcontinent, rivalry which with every passing day is getting more serious, more vitriolic thus turning the subcontinent  into a flashpoint.

No wonder then that both India and Pakistan even till this day see themselves as arch enemies.

After three successive wars we have come back to square one. There still are many religious extremists on both sides of the sub continental divide, who every now and then start sabre rattling, crying for a war obliviating the very fact that both are nuclear powers.

“I lived through the whole war,” Thucydides remarks in his History of the Peloponnesian war, one of the greatest works of history ever written, “being of an age to comprehend events and giving my attention to them in order to know the exact truth about them”.

I personally find it extremely difficult and not always possible to learn the exact truth about the enmity between the two neighbours who have fought three successive wars in our recent history. The avalanche of history books do throw further light on road to the stark truth, which otherwise would not have been possible, but its very vastness can often be confusing for in all human records and testimony there are bound to be baffling contradictions.

No doubt my own prejudices, which inevitably spring from my experience and make-up, creep thorough while I write these lines.

I detest totalitarian dictatorships in principle and come to loathe the ones we have had in our country and watched their ugly assaults upon the very noble and human spirit of Pakistan. Nevertheless in this approach I try to be severely objective, letting the facts speak for themselves. No incidents, scenes or quotations stem from the imagination; all are based either on documents, the testimony of eye witnesses or writers’ own personal accounts and observations.

My interpretations, I have no doubt, will be disputed by many. That is inevitable, since no man’s opinions are infallible. Those that I have ventured here in order to add clarity and depth to this narrative are merely the best I could come by from the evidence and from what knowledge and experience I have had.

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Pervaiz Musharraf should probably be the last of the generals-conqueror in the tradition of Ayub, Yahya, and Ziaul Haque, or for that matter the democratically elected president and prime minister of India to start a war between two giants of the subcontinent. The curtain has however rung down on that phase of the history, at least by explosion of nuclear bombs by both, and their experimentation with the long range missiles and of satellites that could hit the moon.

In this new age of terrifying, lethal gadgets, which have supplanted so swiftly the old one, the first great aggressive war, if it should come, will be launched by suicidal little madmen pressing an electronic button. Such a war will not last long and none will ever follow it. There will be no conquerors and no conquests, but only the charred bones of the dead on an uninhabited subcontinent. Should this be our fate?

Photo Credits: 1st on top: All Things Pakistan, 2nd on right www.indyarocks.com and 3rd at bottom left www.gulfnews.com

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22 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Wonders of Pakistan […]

  2. […] Original post by Wonders of Pakistan […]

  3. Our leaders knew that Muslims and Hindus can’t live together in peace, that’s why they demanded a homeland for Muslims. I don’t know why you ppl want peace with India when they kill, burn Muslims alive.

    For a lasting peace in rhe sub-continent, War is the only solution, coz once India is wiped out and taken over by Pakistan (INSHALLAH) then there won’t be any problems

    • What u r thinking man what is this ‘To take over INDIA’! What r u telling, that we burn the Muslims, don’t talk about that, forget it man. What about us. U required special place we gave u. Don’t u think the fight is over and I think u don’t know that at the time of division of India into Indo-Pak, the remaining Muslims Pak dint accept then we gave them place to live in India. U live ur life man and we live our life. Make your country No.1 if u have such mind. War is no solution. Who are you, if all Indians gathered at the border and piss on you all will drown. Think well b4 u talk. I believe we are bhai-bhai. Why we fight, we are relatives. Because of war ur people will die and ours…I can’t even think of that. If we come together we will be badshah in da world then what is America, China, Japan.. We will rule da countries…think like this…be practical.
      They know that so they are not giving the burn water..
      I m an Indian and proud to be.. I love Pakistanis, they r talented peoples and their 2nd home INDIA.

    • HAHAHAHA, I’m laughing from down man…..well Pakistan wiping out India….wwwwwwwwwoooow

      That is why entire world says Pakistanis have no brain.
      Well we are secular country and for good relations with world we are letting you guys do what you are doing under the cover.
      Once we decide to invade your country it is not even a matter of week to destroy you guys.

      Still you dream invading India after losing three wars to us?

      Lakhs of your soldiers were arrested during East Pakistan changing into Bangladesh when we helped Bangladeshis and hunted your soldiers like dogs.
      During war in Kargil, you guys were kicked out of Kargil and you’re the then prime minister was to run to America to ask India stopping the war as you didn’t even have enough gas to survive for a week.

      So mind your business otherwise your will burn your ***

  4. Three successive wars between India and Pakistan did not solve any problem but they did contribute to exacerbate the hatred between peoples of two countries.
    Plz go through the last para of my post which precisely touches the present scenario likely to be the case in case of a war between India and Pakistan.
    This doesn’t mean that by asking for peace, we do away with our sovereignty, progress and development, rather we will strengthen our development through collaboration instead of aggrandizement.

  5. […] Can India and Pakistan live in Peace There still are many religious extremists on both sides of the sub continental divide, who every now and then start sabre rattling, crying for a war obliviating the very fact that both are nuclear powers. “I lived through the whole war … […]

  6. Ironical that Pakistani Muslims want to take over India as well, many times bigger than Pakistan, when they are yet to know how to manage and run the country.
    I am in awe that people suggest a war to bring peace. Wow! If war could have been a solution, we have had enough of them.
    We need to get out of the distorted history of our text books and start reading. There is a lot that we share with the people on other side of the border and there are many reasons we can live together, hands in hands, in peace, being on opposite side of the border.
    None of us would be able to prosper until we quit spending half of our annual budget on these horrifying nukes and conventional weapons which are destined to ruin all of us. I am shudder at the very idea how suicidal people have become on both sides of the border. True that insanity knows no borders.
    I recommend watching ‘Indian and Pakistan: Under the Nuclear Shadow’ by Eqbal Ahmad Foundation (and/or Pervez Hoodbhoy) available on Youtube if reading is too difficult.

  7. Good post. Landed here from Google Images. Was hunting for a pic related to unwanted hand-me-down legacies that we pass on to our kids on both sides of the border! 🙂 Yes, we need to move out of history books now. Btw, really liked the sentiments expressed by ALE-Xpressed above. I believe the common man of both nations just want to live in peace with each other… like good neighbors. We just haven’t figured out a way yet how to make it possible! 🙂

  8. War is an unavoidble evil .War has been an integral part of human history .So what has changed that we can realize peace everywhere in the world!.The dawn of information age and environmental imbalance is the real challenge .Can this challenge push the humanity away from the war .A greater degree of investment will be required to create an awareness that how these challenges can lead us towards peace OR war.

    • @Tewari
      I only know war is a great racket. It throws humans into cannons for no fault of theirs, a general or two are acclaimed, the leaders, the zeroes turn heroes overnight and the cost is paid by lacs of people some in khaki some in civil, all slaughtered in the name of patriotism. The politicians, the generals and the juggernauts of the military industry machine benefit from this or any other war. They did it, are doing now and so will they do in future war/s as well.

  9. Well Shivaji didn’t back stab Afzal Khan but Afzal khan had taken supari to kill Shivaji. He invited him to dinner to kill him and it was during the dinner that in the name of hug, Afzal a giant in size, squeezed the Maharaj to kill and that is the time Shiva ji Maharaj stabbed Afzal Khan. It was not back stabbing, not at all.
    Let’s not change history.
    Shiva ji was a great warrior who fought for his nation when Hindus were either killed or converted under the edge of knife by Muslim rulers.

  10. Now the entire region seems to be caught in war esp. Pakistan which has to fight on two fronts, one on its western border & the other one on the east. THE GREAT WAR is on and will continue. Till what time and to which end…..All remains embedded in the womb of future.

  11. salam

  12. ?

  13. Aren’t we Pakistanis descendants of same Hindus who were converted to Islam by force. Isn’t it a shame for us that we rever the evil Mughals, the Turks, Arabs etc. who sought massacres here. When will we wake up? It’s evident from the history that all Muslims of today are converted Muslims.
    We demonstrated our potential best when we were Hindus and were called the Golden Bird.

    • You take it wrong:

      1. All Pakistanis are neither the descendents of Hindus nor are they converts from Hinduism. Many amongst us trace their ancestory to Muslims from different other regions such as Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, Mngolia, Middle East etc.

      2. There are Muslims amongst us who converted to Islam not because of some force but who got motivated through the efforts of Sufi saints and poets who were a practical embodiment of Islam through their practices, which were a beautiful blend of Islamic thought and the local culture and practices.

      3. Had Muslims been converted through sword, there would not have been such a vast majority of the Hindus in the subcontinent. The American setllers terminated the indigenous Red Indians by force and today, there in the US, you don’t see the Red Indian any more. Minor ommunities though do exist there which have no role whatsoever in theAmerican mainstream. Had Muslim rulers practiced the same way the Amercan setllers did in the USA, the non Muslims whould have fared the same fate as those of the Red Indians.

      By saying this I do not wish to affirm that the Muslim rulers in the sbsontinent were saints. No, no, not at all. Theydid not interfere much with the faith of the majority of the people, because they were first the kings and then the Muslims. For them to retain their kingdoms and dynasties was more importanrt than their faith.

      To say one is best when one is Hindu is a highly racist and prejudiced comment. Its neither the faith , nor any other conviction that solely determines the character and quality of a human being. There can be bad, timid, cowardly Hindus as there will be such similar Mislims too. There are good Hindus and good Muslims as well. So instead of compartmentalising the people into Hindus and Muslims, better see the Hindus, Muslims and all other faiths as human beings. That’s the primary and principal approach. What do they practice as their faith is secondary.

  14. […] Can India and Pakistan live in Peace 2. 1947, Freedom At Midnight, The Pain 3. 1947, Agony and Ecstasy : Amrita’s Wailing over […]

  15. The present situation in Pakistan is a famous saying about people who try to dig graves for others die in the same grave themselves!! Indian hinduism defined the word karma, which is still not understood by most people in the world , because the rest of the world has been wrongly followed the belief of heaven and hell, releasing many from the accountability of their actions in the here and now, while karma holds you to your actions in the present and tells of how you are responsible for your future generations getting tied to your actions….Islam has killed millions in its quest to spread it ideaology, and today the followers of islam are never at peace of mind, and true progress, both spiritual amd material, evades them because of their own karma, and without the askance of forgiveness and grace in their actions, islam will slowly become the monster that deserves to be wiped out off the face of this planet…all indications warn of this fact….no matter what you say or read and what promises you have been made…if your actions are murderous…the outcome will only be a likewise return on your own innocents…no matter what kind of god you believe in…because your people have not understood true god….you only are filled in hate for others ways of worshipping instead of understanding the essence of it all.,..Islam is doomed

  16. […] 1. Can India and Pakistan live in Peace […]

  17. […]  1. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION – ITS NOW IRAN 2. Spending America into ruin 3. Obama talking peace, dropping bombs – in Pakistan 4. Its Great Game once again – now in Pakistan 5. The World doesn’t have a Pakistan nukes problem … It has a David Albright problem 6. Strategic Planning for Pakistan’s nukes….. 7. The Case of the Missing H-Bomb  8. Living With Nuclear Weapons 9. Can India and Pakistan live in Peace […]

  18. My dear, author! So you want to say that all invaders were graduates from Oxford, Harward and from many such renown universities and they came with bouquets! But they had the same school of thought which is followed by the Taliban.


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