18 May 2010

Four Wars...And Counting

 Recently, my brother - in - law and I were having a casual chat about everything under the sun, when he said: Canada and U.S have the longest undefended border in the world.

That, along with facts like you cannot lick your own elbow (Seriously, you cannot,) were tucked away in the Trivia section of my brain, until he said something else as well. "Look at us, fighting between the border of India and Pakistan."

Naturally, I replied the same way any Indian or Pakistani is expected to reply. "But its different in our case," I said, hesitantly.

"Why?" He asked. "Canada and U.S. have been living side by side for decades, if not centuries. And they don't have a problem. Why should we? In fact, till about 60 years ago, we were one country."

I came home after that, and stumbled across an interesting fact. 80% of Indian Defence budget is spent on Kashmir.

Think about that. The British, as a parting gift to our sub-continent, dissected us into two countries, simply by drawing borders on a map. And ever since, we've fought three major wars, one minor war and numerous armed skirmishes between ourselves.

The Canadians and Americans have left their borders unarmed, and in the process, saved countless billions that were used for infrastructue, healthcare and education. What did Indians and Pakistanis do till date? We've stockpiled nuclear weapons, amassed troops, slaughtered civilians, and presently, still continue to suffer from poverty and hunger.

A friend of mine, on hearing this, thought what would've happened if we were never split into two nations. "Imagine our cricket team!" He exclaimed.

Forget winning World Cup after World Cup. If we could just stop fighting to death for a moment, we might actually live better lives. On both sides of the border...

This post has been written with Indian and Pakistani readers as the subjects - hence the use of 'we'. Others are more than welcome to read and comment, ofcourse! And to all those concerned, Laptop Diary has not turned political. This is just a thought, that's all. Let me know what you think....

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  1. I think the reason is that though we talk about love and neighbourly brotherhood and all, within our hearts is a deep mistrust of each other's methods towards peace...only time will bring us closer- and the job of unity starts with the new generation which will bury the differences of the old :)

  2. Normally, Time is the best healer...
    But in this case, even THAT doesn't work...
    Nice thought Musthafa....

  3. even though this is well written the issue you have put forth is something we can only pity but not act against..just like the other one million problems india has..this will be brought up..heatedly debated...a peace conference will be adjourned..and sooner than you know..it will dissolve like nothing ever happened..but why sound cynical right?once again..u have given us food for thought..
    let us just hope that if things do not get better between the two countries..well..it should jus not get any worse..

  4. these ppl will never give up their egos unless one destroys the other....only solution is to make more effort by the government to share the message of brotherhood we had a century back..

  5. I wish we never divided! mere boundary lines can cause such great damage! Indeed, it's very true and sad! Just thinkin of the possibilties of how it would have been if we were united, as one! I would have thought that something like the World Wars would have taught us a lesson...there is a reason those stories made it into our history books!! War, is nothing but a waste of money and human lives, for nothing.
    I just hope that someday, we get to be the same country.
    some day, that we have the same cricket team.
    because we all are one. It's when minds are united, boundaries melt.
    beautiful post.

  6. Well, interesting piece of trivial there. If the politicians were to have even half the common sense of sane people they would've realized the blunder a long time ago.
    Good post, made me think :)

  7. if we had statemen, we have only politicians u see... there begins and ends all the difference...

    between, the Niagra forms part of the border I guess, wishful thinking, a niagra would have done it, even the British wouldn't draw lines on it!!

  8. Indeed. If we could live together as true brothers once again, we would no longer be poor. We might even become more rich than USA. Good post Musthafa! Sometimes, we do have to think over our politics. Is what we are doing correct? Couldn't we be more constructive?

  9. I blame history and bias. From a non-Indian, non-Pakistani point of view, these elements will indubitably keep the younger generations from holding back their fires.

    Indian history textbooks blame Pakistan and Jinnah for the tumultuous partition, when actually the Brits are to blame. Apparently, Pakistan starts all the wars. That Kashmiris may actually be interested in an independent state is completely ignored by Indians. Plus, there are countless Bollywood movies that celebrate Indian heroism over Pakistani wickedness.

    The younger generation will wind up o different from the older ones because of what's being hammered into their heads.

    I don't know what the Pakistanis teach their kids, but this is all that I've observed whilst among Indians.

    No offence.

  10. Here's an example: http://cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com/

    This isn't freedom of speech. It's offensive.

  11. It depends partly on your job but all soldiers have to prepare to separate from their family and friends. Then there are the weather conditions - hot as hell in Iraq and cold in the mountains of Afghanistan.

  12. I'm in the Infantry and our job sucks - escorting convoys while wondering if an IED is going to go off or a sniper is going to get a lucky shot in. Either that or we are on patrol among the local populace wondering what is going to happen and who the good and bad guys are.