Wagah – The only road border crossing between Pakistan and India, and which also lies on the grandtrunk road between the cities of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan and Amritsar, Punjab, India. A feeling of fear instils in our heart when the name “Wagah border” hits our ears.
What reaction can you expect from a ten year old school going child, if talked about Wagah border? Well we generally don’t think of talking to a small child about this, thinking he/she might be ignorant of such a place. But I got an opportunity to grab a viewpoint of a child (my sister’s son-10 year old to be precise). On being asked “Mamu, which is that one place you yearn to go ,if given an opportunity”. I replied Wagah border.
The surprising incredulity on his face made me think for a second “did I say something stupid”? He came forward with a reply; if you go there, you’ll die. Either some army person on either side will shoot you or someone would carry a bomb in his pocket and blow himselfup along with you.
I couldn’t stop laughing for a minute or so over his puerile thinking, but then very soon I realised that this is what is getting into the head of the children of our country, and where are they getting it from; the media, parents, or educations in schools? Whatever it may be, acertain amount of truth lies in such thinking, no matter how much we deny it.
Truth may not always be true. I mean what is true for me may not be true for many others just as what is good for you may not be good for me. And we can accept this statement as true, but there are certain truths , that are truth for all. A definite amount of truth lies in fact that the attack near the Wagah border conveys two things. First, those who have pledged to give their life for Jihad, do not want normalisation of relations between the two countries. Second, they want the Fidayeen’s writ to run, after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
The Fundamentalist have desecrate Islamic ideology and practice a unique form of Islam, which they believe will lead to obliteration of the Kafir. They simply are opposed to having a peaceful settlement with Hindu-majority India, because they believe their ideology is superior to others.
Have we thought that why Taliban’s aggression is directed towards Pakistan even though it’s a Muslim country?
The only reason could be that it’s not Islamic enough in their eyes and inferior compared to their form of ideology. Even South Waziristan in North-west Pakistan has faced the tyranny. The condition of Islamabad, when Fundamentalists had established their regime cannot be forgotten. Men were forced to grow beards and women to wear burqhas. Females had no right to education, music was seen as an advancement towards Westernization. Science had no place in the curriculum, and every liberal thought was considered Anti-Islamic.
Today, Pakistan stands shaken in the same situation in the Northern part of Waziristan. Tribal lords have captured the territory under their personal barony to follow their ideology of Islam. Even the Pakistani army is being challenged and suppressed. This is one problem which Pakistani’s can get over if they start revolting. Though it may take some time but the famous saying fits in this context “It’s never too late”.
If we think of Pakistan on a broader perspective and sideline this issue for a while, we come up with Pakistan’s primary problem of growth of Talibans within the country itself. Even the army is believed to be influenced by the Fundamentalists thinking. Growing beards and going to mosques has become a mandatory fashion for the youngsters. Subjects like Islamic studies which has been made compulsory, brainwashes students to cultivate fanaticism and hatred towards other communities. People have lately become fanatical in their outlook and the primary reason is the lack of economic development because of which people have gone out of track.
One wonders, how Pakistan which was once a liberal Muslim country, has turned into a country which takes pride in its fanaticism. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan wanted the state to be secular, but he lacked persuasion and integrity, when after partition he said that religion cannot be mixed with politics and that the people of subcontinent were Indians and Pakistanis, not Hindus and Muslims.
Wagah- commonly called as border which stands in the form of a wall to draw a line between the two countries cannot be compared to the Berlin wall that will be demolished one fine day. The roots of this wall is so firm and strong, that its next to impossible to shake it and make it a direct midway passage between India and Pakistan. After 60 odd years of Independence, the border still seems bedridden. August 14-15, when the two countries were born is still seen as a ray of hope for equanimity, as people living in border towns assemble there and light candles in the midnight though the area is under curfews.
The sound of clap is only possible if two hands meet, but Jamaat-e-Islam is totally opposed to the idea of friendship though there were people raising slogans last year Hindi-Pak Zindabad. The stepping stone can only be stepped if there is hope of any positive outcome.
Hope lies in dreams in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality and we can only hope that someday there would be a combined Independence day celebration for both the countries. Gandhiji once said “If India is divided , she will be lost forever. Therefore if India is to remain undivided, Hindus and Muslims must live together in brotherly love, not in hostile camps organised either for defensive action or retaliation.” The country was partitioned, not the people, not the religion.
Every Muslim will have a Hindu name if he goes back far enough in his family history. Every Muslim is merely a Hindu who has accepted Islam. That does not create nationality. If India claims to be secular, it has to be from every heart and therefore a soft corner for Hindutva should disappear and must be given a second thought.
Every individual shall look into their heart and ask a question to themselves “Are we or are we not responsible for the suicide bombing in Wagah-Attari border?