India & I

Published: May 23, 2012
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The author is a Lincoln’s Inn barrister practising in Islamabad and holds a degree in Economics and Literature from Bryn Mawr College, US

The author is a Lincoln’s Inn barrister practising in Islamabad and holds a degree in Economics and Literature from Bryn Mawr College, US

“Come on, India’s not as bad as all that. Other side of the earth, if you like, but we stick to the same old moon.” — EM Forster, A Passage to India

 

“What do you think of opening up trade with India?” I was asked casually earlier this week. Even as I collected my thoughts to give a coherent and balanced answer to this evidently loaded question, the conversation moved on to the eternal dilemma of India’s designs against Pakistan’s sovereignty which had to be balanced with Pakistan’s need to peacefully coexist with its neighbours in order to realise its own potential. Even though I was spared the immediate necessity of answering, the question remained in my mind and forced me to consider not only my position on the issue of trade but also my general feelings towards India.

When had I first become aware of India? Had I realised its existence when my first Holy Quran teacher had explained, in response to my precocious questioning, that the word kafir meant Hindu? Or was it when my grandfather shared with us his stories of Partition in a voice hushed with nostalgia and unmistakable pain? Or was it when my mother sang old Indian songs rather than lullabies to help us sleep? The diverse nature of my recollections merely confirmed my suspicion that whatever its origin, my relationship with India was long-standing, intricate and an integral part of my earliest psychological makeup.

I seem to recall being told as a child that India was the ‘other’ that had threatened our existence and our Muslim values and, therefore, it was in our best interest to have parted from it. I failed to understand, however, that if India was indeed so alien, why did I find myself admiring the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid as a 10-year-old child visiting India for the first time, and believing them to be my very own and rightful inheritance? Why did I find so much in common with the Indians I met then and later at college? Why did old Indian melodies and songs speak to my heart above all other music and poetry?

It was at college that I realised that my problem was not with India after all but with the all-encompassing and to me, agenda-driven affection that certain Indians threatened to engulf me with. I resented being told that Partition was a tragedy and a mistake because that sentiment challenged my legitimacy as a Pakistani. However, I also quickly realised that to feel resentment at the expression of such sentiments was a sign of personal weakness and insecurity. If I were confident in myself, if I understood what it meant to be a Pakistani and could define myself completely, without any reference to India, then these words would cease to threaten me.

When I scouted around for a better understanding of what it may mean to be a Pakistani, I was told that our adherence to Islam was our hallmark. The assertion first seemed flawed when I thought of all the countless non-Muslim Pakistanis — Christians, Parsis and Hindus — that I had known throughout my life and later, the Baloch, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Mohajirs, all Muslims, took turns to passionately demand separate homelands on the ground that they were separate nations. Clearly, hiding behind the banner of Islam was not sufficient to hold together the diverse strands of our Pakistani identity.

In my mind, it is imperative for the purpose of healing our national wounds to make peace with our past even if it lies across the border and to allow culture, as well as religion, to commingle into an identity, which is at once unique and authentic to our reality. Does this mean that I support the opening up of trade with India? Yes. Because I feel that trade, rather than political posturing, will allow travel and individual interaction, which in turn will become an important source of healing. And for the sceptics who may still worry about Indian dominance, I have only to say, if we know and are proud of who we are, we need not be afraid of becoming someone else.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (100)

  • Omar the ambassadorial of peace
    May 23, 2012 - 12:25AM

    Amazing Article but the question stands taht what do they think of us …most Indians just label us with terrorists even if we are being peaceful with them and this i have seen on many blogs of pak- indo relationship .Basically what im trying to say is that there should be peace and reconciliation on both sides and BOTH medias have to be proactive not only pakistan’s.

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  • Ali tanoli
    May 23, 2012 - 12:59AM

    True indeed what u said maam we look ,eat, wear, talk, like indians but we are pakistani we hate india but love indi movies may be that was pre partition may be the reason is SRK, Aamir khan, Mohad Rafi, Dalip Kumar, Nergis but why not we can watch english movies we like and love to read write english lang this is not ours either why hate for hindus only did not we loved to rule india did not we love to know about each others why we hate hindus but love the monuments of mughals we are amazing creatures on earth we do what ever we say
    atleast we say this others dont.

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  • Saqib Syed
    May 23, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Keeping good relations with neighbors is indeed a noble idea. But these days, it has become a fashion among literate Pakistani circles to reflect pro Indian thoughts. It reminds me of the time when it was a fashion to portray as a socialist to prove yourself an educated person.

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  • 3rdRockfromtheSun
    May 23, 2012 - 1:26AM

    Agree with you – the the key is : “…I have only to say, if we know and are proud of who we are, we need not be afraid of becoming someone else.” – So do you know who you are?
    Like it or not, the two countries share a long common history – the earliest settlements in the region are recorded at around 4000 yrs old, while the divergence is less than 70 yrs, Rather than acknowledging the commonality of art & culture, cuisine, race, religion (there are as many Muslims in India as there are in Pakistan) and building on that to define who you are – you have tried to portray yourselves as the “Un Indians” : that you are descendents of Arabs/Turks, and that civilization only began here with the advent of the first Islamic invaders from the West. Your text books promote a false sense of superiority based on your religion and your “Arab/Turk race” and promote a culture of looking down on the “Hindu baniyas” – which is meant to represent all Indians (read today’s column on Pakistan’s xenophobia).
    Brought up on such a vitriolic education, it is but natural that most Pakistanis are programmed to think of India and Indians are “the eternal enemy”.
    Be proud of your origins – define yourselves as who you “are”; and not as who you “aren’t”.

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  • BlackJack
    May 23, 2012 - 1:26AM

    Very well written. Indians have a tendency to tell Pakistanis that we are one people, because we do not see religion as the primary criterion for identity; on the other hand, Pakistan was created on the basis of religion, and so never the twain shall meet. Bluntly put, the Akhand Bharat theory has no takers in India because it is not possible to have a unified India without including Pakistanis; we don’t want them as compatriots because they want to mold everyone else in their own chosen image – and this is the very anti-thesis of what India (as a concept) stands for today, no doubt still work-in-progress. We need to accept that we are very different people now and still find a way to live together in this region in relative peace and harmony.

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  • Hella
    May 23, 2012 - 2:02AM

    Whatever the Indians, you met in your college days, told you no longer holds true. Now most Indians thank their stars that partition happened. Soon they will appreciate Jinnah more then Gandhi and Nehru.

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  • Arindom
    May 23, 2012 - 2:12AM

    All this confusion around : “who is a Pakistani” will continue as long as you try to be an ‘Arab’ and imagine yourself in Middle East!

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  • Prakash Viswanathan
    May 23, 2012 - 2:22AM

    I admire your courage, confidence and command over the language. I am an Indian and I always thought that the partition was a big mistake, however, if I put myself in the shoes of Jinnah and others, I can totally understand why its inevitable. We cannot forget the history, but we can heal the past. We can maintain our own identity, but still be cousins. I would hate to call myself an Indian, if India ever tried to invade or dominate Pakistan and I feel the same way that a lay man in Pakistan does not feel the way they have been told by political elites of both country.

    Heartfelt Thank you

    Prakash

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  • Cynical
    May 23, 2012 - 2:49AM

    @Ambe Darr
    Admirable honesty and clarity of vision; a breath of fresh air. You made my day.

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  • Ejaaz
    May 23, 2012 - 2:52AM

    Who is a Pakistani? Are the non-sunnis of Pakistan, Pakistanis? The very mild and reasonable exposition here clearly suggests that they are not. Panjabi kids are not taught in panjabi although it is now beyond argument that the best language to teach kids is in their “mother tongue”. Why? Why should we care what Indians thinks of us? Ask any Indian these days and they will tell you without hesitancy that Muhammad Ali Jinnah did the biggest favor to the Indians. Indian democracy would not have been able to take off with all the Mullahs of Pakistan and Bangladesh inside India. The muslim population of the area of British India is over 45% at present, and India would have been an Islamic state instead of a democratic secular state. The communal fighting would have been endless and a lot more people would have died than the number that died in 1947.

    Most Pakistanis do not want to retain close cultural ties to India. We rather become more middle eastern. We are closer to Iran and Turkey than to India. The gulf between Pakistan and India is only growing and will keep growing as the years go by.

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  • a_writer
    May 23, 2012 - 3:16AM

    I don’t understand why so many writers talk about trade or MFN and warm relations in the same breath! India and Pakistan have the capacity to trade all they want without shaking each others hand, once. Take, for example, trade between China and India. It is booming but you would hardly find an Indian or a Chinese citizen going ‘gaga’ about mutual friendship. The two countries couldn’t care less about each other except those relating to security concerns.
    India-China trade relations should be the model for India-Pakistan trade and economic relations. Buy/sell what the each side wants but keep each other’s nose out of everything else.

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  • Kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 3:52AM

    Here is why Pakistan’s good relations with India and with Hindus are not possible. The bitter truth.

    (1) Hindus hate Muslims for historical reasons.
    (2) Hindus are not just people. They have caste system. They also hate Muslims for for opposing caste, or for having escaped caste oppression.
    (3) Hindus are not honest and moral people, unlike Muslims. They don’t have fixed, definite morality.
    (4) They worship stones and indulge in shirk. There is no way they can be true friends of Muslims who are duty-bound to oppose idolatry and shirk.

    As evidence, I present three cases:

    (1) Sir Syed once viewed Hindus and Muslims like his two eyes. He ended up realizing his mistake and worked to keep Muslims safe from the Congress.
    (2) Allama Iqbal once wrote sare jahan se acchha. He then realized his error and changed his songs.
    (3) The Great Quaid was called the Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity. Hindu behavior so deeply and thoroughly disappointed him that he saw no choice but to ask for Pakistan.

    If that is not enough, consider the behavior of Hindus today. They call Muslims terrorists. They call Islam the religion of terrorism. The more you want to be friendly with them the more they insist on blaming Pakistan.
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  • Babloo
    May 23, 2012 - 4:44AM

    You wrote “I resented being told that Partition was a tragedy and a mistake because that sentiment challenged my legitimacy as a Pakistani. ”
    Okay, how about if I told you, “Given how the politics of Muslim majority states has developed , majority of Indians today are happy and grateful partition happened”
    Does that now make you very happy ? Hope it does.

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  • MilesToGo
    May 23, 2012 - 5:43AM

    I am tired of saying this now –

    Word ‘hindu’ comes from ‘sindhu’ which is also the origin of the word ‘sindhi’.

    India comes from indus and indus comes again from sindhu, sindhu meaning river/water body in sanskrit, representing the river sindhu or river indus which is in pakistan.

    If anything pakistani sindhis are original hindus and indians…

    MilesToGo

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  • geeko
    May 23, 2012 - 6:25AM

    @Hella:
    True, seeing Pakistan’s image nowadays (whereas the balance was more in Pakistan’s favour in the previous decades, esp. before the 90s), not a lot of Indians really dance on the “Aman Ki Asha” tune.
    Now that every-thing’s going bleaker for Pakistanis (as compared to “shining India”), they miraculously rediscover their Indian roots.- if Pakistan wasn’t in such situation, they wuoldn’t have bothered either, and I do believe that this emotional pre-Partition sauce’s becoming annoying, and we should move on, have normal(ized) relations without going into the irrational narratives.

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  • Zeeshan
    May 23, 2012 - 7:10AM

    Watch as Indians pat her back by saying she is courageous and speaking truth to the brainwashed Pakistanis.

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  • Babloo
    May 23, 2012 - 7:16AM

    @kaalchakra,
    Thanks to Mr. Jinnah who created a country just for people like you.

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  • Rafi Ka Deewana
    May 23, 2012 - 7:37AM

    Amber – I love your write up, but its Kaalchakra who steals the show.

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  • Zalim singh
    May 23, 2012 - 7:51AM

    @ Kaalchakra

    you need some serious medical help.

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  • AFPAK
    May 23, 2012 - 7:54AM

    @Kaalchakra:

    My response to your comment is directly from the mouth of Hassan Nissar, a writer and intellectual of Pakistan. (I hope ET readers will forgive me if they think my post below is an insult to all Pakistanis). He says:

    Pakistanis are the only people who lie not only to others but also to themselves.

    Pakistanis need genetic postmortem by some genetic engineers to know what is wrong with us, why we live in the myth of 1000 of rules

    A vast majority of the Pakistanis are incapable of thinking rationally because of their brainwashing by Jehadi narrative and hate-based school curriculum. Their brainwashed thinking does not allow them to discriminate between right and wrong. Their mindset and national narrative is hostility towards India, more specifically Hindus.

    Hasan Nissar, in my opinion, is like a photographer, not a painter. He shows the true picture of current Pakistan rather painting a rosy picture to deceive others and himself.

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  • Zeta
    May 23, 2012 - 8:15AM

    @Kaalchakra:
    Well said bro

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  • Babloo
    May 23, 2012 - 8:19AM

    @Milestogo, research by brillian Pakistani scientists have shown that people underwent genetic mutation when they abondoned the religion of the ancestors and adopted the religion of the invaders. Can that explain the present situation ?

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  • sarita talwai
    May 23, 2012 - 8:28AM

    Dear Amber, I read your piece with great interest because I am a keen observer of Indo-Pak goings-on.I am happy that you felt a kinship towards the Taj Mahal etc.Of course I would have been happier if you also appreciated the other aspects of India that were areligious or non- islamic.If everything is seen through the prism of religion things tend to get distorted and discoloured.Your text books echo this and continue the cycle of hatred and animosity.I would love to read an article about India without the words Religion,Bania, Caste, Partition and Gujarat.We hope we are inching forward from our turbulent past and we hope India is represented by words like Peace, prosperity, unity and progress.I wish the same for Pakistan.

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  • Ali
    May 23, 2012 - 8:53AM

    Basically we need to get ourselves upright, take some action on terrorism, claim back authority in FATA and Waziristan. Only then should we worry about our sovereignity.

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  • Ali
    May 23, 2012 - 9:01AM

    @KaalChakra: Perhaps those were the reasons we partitioned, but now that we are different nations, coexistance is possible very easily. Indians can label us as terrorists and fanatics just as you label them. But now thhat we are different countries we can diplomatically ignore these issues.

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  • Eww
    May 23, 2012 - 9:22AM

    Gosh, some people really are obsessed with Pakistan, and their hatred for Pakistan, it seems, is obvious to everyone else but themselves.

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  • AD
    May 23, 2012 - 9:27AM

    Dear Amber Darr & all Pakistanies,
    Come back.Lets undo the partition.

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  • rsk
    May 23, 2012 - 9:33AM

    @Omar the ambassadorial of peace:

    I suggest. Visit India and walk through any street and speak to any person and see if there is an anger against Pakistan. The flame of enemity between the nations is maintained by few polititians.

    But i must say that when it comes to Cricket. the rivalry is seen every where. But then thats just the game and thats healthy.

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  • Indian
    May 23, 2012 - 9:33AM

    @Kaalchakra:
    (1) Hindus hate Muslims for historical reasons.
    (2) Hindus are not just people. They have caste system. They also hate Muslims for for opposing caste, or for having escaped caste oppression.
    (3) Hindus are not honest and moral people, unlike Muslims. They don’t have fixed, definite morality.
    (4) They worship stones and indulge in shirk. There is no way they can be true friends of Muslims who are duty-bound to oppose idolatry and shirk.

    I think you are a topper in your class in Pakistan Studies. Good for you, bad for your country…

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  • Californian
    May 23, 2012 - 9:34AM

    There is a simple explanation for the hatred of India. It is to justify the formation of Pakistan.

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  • Arya
    May 23, 2012 - 9:43AM

    If I were confident in myself, if I understood what it meant to be a Pakistani and could define myself completely, without any reference to India, then these words would cease to threaten me.

    Very much true, Remove India and Pakistan from the sentence, then it will hold true for every aspects of life.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 23, 2012 - 9:46AM

    @Kaalchakra: 64 yrs of hate and war and look where both of us are ? More of the same and we get to the stone age . Just a thought. I am 63 lived most of my life but feel sorry for the next generations.

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  • OS
    May 23, 2012 - 9:49AM

    The problem with coming to terms with our Indian heritage and identity is that it rejects all the carefully calculated efforts to Arabise and Talibanise Pakistan. It would also raise questions about having such a well-fed and glorious army, which has won us so many conquests (after all it is in our textbooks so it must be true). The Three M’s of Pakistan (i.e. Military, Media and Mullah) will not know what hit them or where they can shout slogans of ghairat. The Pakistani narrative has been to desperately construct an identity, any identity (be it Arab, Taliban, Muslim, Jihadi, Islamic, Ethnic, even Chinese!) so long as it is not Indian. Even after 60 years this ‘Project Pakistan’ is struggling to come terms with the fact that no matter how many beards we grow or ‘Ramadans instead of Ramzans’ we observe, we will always retain our Indian identity. The question is, what is so wrong with that?

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  • A reader
    May 23, 2012 - 9:52AM

    As an Indian, I admire the writers thoughts and at the same time am appalled by my compatriots who think Partition was a “favor”, thinking simply because there would have been more muslims, things would have been worse. I disagree. The muslims who had left for Pakistan had been among the most well to do. Had they stayed, they would have been able to lead their communities and had been as successful as other communities in the nation. By leaving, the Muslims left behind had to start from scratch, in terms of economic standing.

    Partition remains a tragedy. Can we go back to undivided India? No, perhaps not, but we can reach brotherhood. It is something both sides should strive for lest we want to live in this ridiculous cold war forever, led by the jingoistic buffoons on either side, their views aired out by some among the comments here.

    I salute you, Amber Darr.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 23, 2012 - 9:57AM

    @Rafi Ka Deewana: Apparently you hate India but love our Rafi.Dont u think there is something wrong. I love IK , Wasim, Shafqat ,Hassan Nissar and i dont hate Pakstan.

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  • hisar
    May 23, 2012 - 10:04AM

    go back few generations and 90% of pakistanis will find their grandfathers as hindus who were forcefully converted to islam by a group of barbarian invaders from middle east who looted this land of its wealth time and again. Dont forget that for thousand of years, this piece of land and our forefathers were great enlightened hindus / buddhists / jains much much earlier than our arab brothers who were nothing but desert wanderers who lived by sword instead of peace.

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  • Indian
    May 23, 2012 - 10:09AM

    Sometimes I just laugh at people who stay in sindh and punjab but love to hate India. Isn’t this funny?

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  • prashant
    May 23, 2012 - 10:34AM

    why did I find myself admiring the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid as a 10-year-old child visiting India for the first time, and believing them to be my very own and rightful inheritance?

    What about pre Islamic heritage of India? Is it not rightfully yours? What about Ajanta or Ellora? What about Halebid or Belur? They are not part of your heritage? This selective picking of heritage on religious basis is what created Pakistan. Please donot add your own to it. Try to reduce theses biases.

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  • AK
    May 23, 2012 - 10:58AM

    A great read! Very well written! Being a non-muslim I have always been an advocate of religious unity, which is reflected in your blog.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 23, 2012 - 11:00AM

    @AFPAK: Hassan Nissar is the best of Pakistan , unfortunately he writes only in Urdu which i can not read but i follow him on youtube he is great.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 11:16AM

    A reader

    You seem like a good man who reminds me of my dear brother Beej – a seller of illegal poppy seeds on the side and a very high thinker from the state of Bihar. He too has a good enough heart to sorely miss Pakistani Muslims and the smarts to realize that Muslim leaders had been working toward peace, progress, prosperity and brotherhood of all – a record that except for the shenanigans of Gandhi, Nehru, and Patel, would have enabled them to play very positive roles in an undivided India. Unfortunately, most Indians do not think take him seriously because they suspect him of consuming too many poppy seeds himself.

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  • AFPAK
    May 23, 2012 - 11:26AM

    @Zalim singh:

    I disagree that Kaalchakra needs any medical help. He is a normal Jehadi.

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  • Shyam
    May 23, 2012 - 12:07PM

    As I have said before, Partition was the best thing that happened to India, it allowed us to build one long fence

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  • Dr v n Srivastava
    May 23, 2012 - 12:12PM

    It is not muslims who ruled India ,but Afghans,Mughals, just British later. Most of you were Hindus before.maybe some of you have their blood in you you dont look like a Arab or Afghan Don’t forget your anciant history , it was land where Upinishad were written where Buddhism flourished till uncivilised invadad your county looted yr land took away your precious things.

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  • SB Puri
    May 23, 2012 - 12:15PM

    Look at Partition from the broader perspective of world affairs. A united India would have been one of the major powers today.

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  • RS
    May 23, 2012 - 12:34PM

    In response to your closing statement.. “if we know and are proud of who we are, we need not be afraid of becoming someone else.”

    What if – we don’t know who we are – and – there is no “we” to know at all, at first place? May be that “we” was artificial and did never exist?

    Can you make peace with that? Have you been able to make peace with that?

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  • Tony Singh
    May 23, 2012 - 12:35PM

    @Zeta:
    @Kaalchakra:
    Mr kaalchakra you are indeed caught in a time warp (i.e. Kalchakra). I am sure there are many shrinks in Pakistan who will bring you out of it. Please pay a visit to them.
    And what you got to say about Pakistanis who are not muslims? Are they not Pakistanis. Do you doubt their integrity or their patriotism or both.
    You talk of Mr. Jinnah. Can you honestly say that people like you would regard Mr. Jinnah a true Pakistani had he been alive today? The answer is a big no. He was against all that Pakistan is today.
    And lastly, no one is going to respect your religion if you are not going to respect others.
    Take Mr. Zeta along with you. He too needs a shrink.

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  • Indian
    May 23, 2012 - 12:49PM

    @kaalchakra: I know hindu bashing is allow on ET but just one question why do you have a hindu name? Choose islamic one so that you can crush India and bash the hindus.

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  • Indian
    May 23, 2012 - 12:56PM

    @hisar: Don’t talk about pakistani forefathers, It’s against the idiology of pakistan. Let them say that they were non-hindus, non–jains, non-buddhist or from planet moon. This suites their national interest.

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  • Arya
    May 23, 2012 - 12:58PM

    All over the world, human societies find salvation through their own heritage, even though they may imitate others for sometime. Except few, like Australians or Americans all have their own heritage thousands of years old. But, Pakistanis live in deprivation of their own glorious past. Infact they are sitting on very treasure that India cherishes. It looks really sad when they live in borrowed culture, choose Arabs for inspiration, glorify Arabic as a great language, plant dates tree brought all the way from Arabia. I do not deny greatness of these like many other world cultures, but it should never supersede our own culture.

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  • David Smith
    May 23, 2012 - 1:02PM

    @Kaalchakra.
    You’ve got them fooled, really fooled. Well done.

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  • akash
    May 23, 2012 - 1:58PM

    I think the author should also take some time & visit Harappa, Mohenjodaro & Taxila too. A study on pre Islamic heritage of India, like that of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka the great, Gupta Dynasty etc would be a great help.I would also add Muhammad bin Qasim conquest of the Sindh and Punjab regions along the Indus River around 700 AD to the list.

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  • kmkhan
    May 23, 2012 - 2:57PM

    @kaalchakra Bravo man,perfect analysis, it just blows up their brain.

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  • akash
    May 23, 2012 - 3:41PM

    Indonesia is a great example. Susilo yudhyano is muslim leader of Indonesia. Sukarno putri was Hindu leader of Indonsia. Imaam Samudra is great relgious teacher in Indonesia. They follow islam but keep their hindu cultural identity. Islamic republic of Indonesia has Garuda airline, Ramayana is the national folklore. Sita, laxman are common muslim names in Indonesia. Why Pakistanis follow the same.

    I have reservation on the mindset of people who wanted to create pakistan.If Martin luthar king would have followed Jinah saab instead of Gandhiji then he might have demanded a separate state for black people in US instead of fighing for equal rights.

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  • Pakistani
    May 23, 2012 - 4:23PM

    lame justifications of ‘us” belonging to india. Enduring the historical monuments & bollywood movies is another story but living among the people you separated because of certain issues is entirely different.
    Do the trade but donot trade the sentiments

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 23, 2012 - 4:48PM

    @Kaalchakra Bhai,
    What happening in karachi and who are 10% who controls all pakistan wealth they are not Hindus and your Big fuedals and Army waley are not Hindu faith or sikh peoples either
    and Mardan Laxmi market doing better busniss because they honest Hindu busnisman and truth is we have god gifted land but wasted by few Badmash muslims and thats a reason we
    are Batakhray hai nager nager for few Rupees to feed our families.

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  • Arya
    May 23, 2012 - 5:09PM

    @akash

    Initially when I saw Lord Ganesh idols in Indonesia, I thought they have simply kept it for artistic or antique value of it or even to please Indian tourists. But finally when I saw Ganesh image in their currency notes itself, it made all sense to me!

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 5:57PM

    Akash, Arya

    It’s clear that you Hindus know very little about Indonesia or about Islam. And, no, if you are speaking of megawati sukarnoputri, she was NOT a Hindu.

    When I see such ignorance of Islam, it (perhaps the only thing that) makes me weep.

    Anyways, believe what you will, so long as you don’t misunderstand Pakistan, I am ok with it for now.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 6:09PM

    Ali Tanoli

    Just because we sometimes have a few disagreements within family we don’t need to ignore the difference between family and foes.

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  • akash
    May 23, 2012 - 6:10PM

    @Arya:
    Excellent..Thanks for the Info.

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  • akash
    May 23, 2012 - 6:16PM

    @kaalchakra:
    OK..OK.My mistake.I accept. Megawati sukarnoputri, she was NOT a Hindu.
    I cant believe my comments made you weep..:)
    I understand Pakistan, I respect Pakistan. But you need to understand the context of my argument.
    One should respect & feel proud of the civilisation,heritage, people & their culture of the land from where he/she belongs to , rather than his/her religion.
    Religion should be like innerwear – worn on the inside.Its only use should be to protect your inside part/soul.Nothing more,nothing less.It has no place in politics/governance etc.
    I think Pakistan was quite moderate before US & Saudi Arab started dumping weapons & petro-dollars to counter Communism through extremism.They found Pakistan under Zia a perfect lunch pad.A propaganda team of mullhas & extremist groups distorted history & used Islam as a tool to create a false sense of Islamic pride among the youth so that they get motivated & do whatever they are told to do.I hope you are not a product of that propaganda.
    Now times have changed.
    IN EVERY ERA KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH FINDS THE WAY OVER .. LIES AND NONSENSE ..

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  • John B
    May 23, 2012 - 6:28PM

    All that the author is wishing for, PAK had once and rejected it all.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 6:33PM

    What you wrote merely displays your ignorance

    Islam in Pakistan did not begin with Zia. Anyone who tells you so is merely misleading you. From your perspective, Zia ‘used’ Islam, just like everyone else.Recommend

  • akash
    May 23, 2012 - 6:44PM

    @kaalchakra:
    I did not say Islam in Pakistan did begin with Zia. I said it was a moderate state before Zia.
    Zia turned it in to Islamic republic.He made Pakistan intolerable and contributed to the radicalization of the country.
    Muslim rule in the subcontinent began in 712 CE when the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab in modern day Pakistan, setting the stage for several successive invasions from Central Asia between the 10th and 15th centuries CE, leading to the formation of Muslim empires in the Indian subcontinent such as the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire.

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  • Rafi Ka Deewana
    May 23, 2012 - 6:46PM

    @jagjit sidhoo: “@Rafi Ka Deewana: Apparently you hate India”

    “Kaalchakra steals the show” was a sarcastic remark I made! Didn’t know how else to respond to his ‘baseless’ comment.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 7:00PM

    Akash

    All right. How about Z A Bhutto? Did he contribute to the religious radicalization of Pakistan?

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  • Ilyas Khan
    May 23, 2012 - 7:40PM

    Hmmn…as an Indian I would think why should Pakistani people, in a state of war with themselves, have easy travel access to India, in fact any access at all? After all, the billion-dollar razor-wire electrified fence with minefields behind is not an idle investment: No matter what we say about ‘no border lines’, it is a permanent fact. Trade, especially one way exports to a dumping market of 180-million plus, is another matter!Recommend

  • akash
    May 23, 2012 - 7:56PM

    @kaalchakra:
    OK.I agree..He passed some law declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims & it made the life of that sect miserable in Pakistan.It was terrible.
    Ahmadis are suffering because of the religious intolerance by rest of the sect in Pakistan.
    But..Why this intolerance?
    The problem lies in the society where the priorities people place for religion over other things.
    I think these are minor points on the whole issue which i said earlier…One should respect & feel proud of the civilisation,heritage, people & their culture of the land from where he/she belongs to ,rather than his/her religion.
    I agree on your point everyone uses Islam in Pakistan..But i think Zia used it on a broader scale.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 8:40PM

    “But I think Zia used it on a broader scale”

    You don’t give up easily, do you, Akash? :)

    Whenever human beings have a power in their hands, they use it according to the intersection of their interest (which is a function of time and place) and their opportunity. Demonizing Zia or Mullahs or some other bagaboo of a single individual or group is the least productive way of understanding Pakistan’s (or for that matter, any other society’s) inner dynamics.Recommend

  • Indian
    May 23, 2012 - 8:42PM

    @Kaalchakra:
    Now some facts about your Qaid:
    Jinnah was born in Karachi on 23rd December 1876. He belonged to the small Khojha Community. His forefathers were Hindu vaisyas of KathiaWar in Gujarat. Jinnah’s grandfather became a Muslim and they left KathiaWar to settle at Karachi.

    http://www.preservearticles.com/2011090212615/complete-biography-of-mohammed-ali-jinnah-1876-1948.html

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  • akash
    May 23, 2012 - 9:21PM

    @kaalchakra:
    There have been numerous instances when human beings have a power in their hands, they use it according to the intersection of people;s interest (which is a function of time and place) & use the opportunity to serve the mankind.
    I dont view Pakistan in the prism of Zia or Mullahs or some other bagaboo of a single individual or group.The productive way of understanding Pakistan’s (or for that matter, any other society’s) inner dynamics.is through the series of events in history that have shaped the society & that’s what i was trying to decipher by saying
    1.Martin luthar king would have followed Jinah saab instead of Gandhiji then he might have demanded a separate state for black people in US instead of fighing for equal rights.
    2.Pakistan was quite moderate before US & Saudi Arab started dumping weapons & petro-dollars to counter Communism through extremism.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 9:34PM

    Akash

    The main point you seem to want to make is “Pakistan was quite moderate before US & Saudi Arab started dumping weapons & petro-dollars to counter Communism through extremism.”

    To my mind, Pakistan is still a very moderate place. Be that as it may, let’s take up your assertion.

    Was Pakistan not quite a moderate place between the time when US & Saudi Arab started dumping weapons & petro-dollars and 9/11 when Pakistan was forced to join the War on Terror, read Islam?

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  • Indian
    May 23, 2012 - 9:45PM

    @kaalchakra: It seems that you belong to ET web-desk team. because reply to all your points are removed. Anyway what do you mean by moderate islam in pakistan? Does bashing to other religions included init? or does it believes religion is personal thing?

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  • kaalchakra
    May 23, 2012 - 10:00PM

    Indian bhai

    Believe me, if you possibly can, no other discussion forum has ever censored, withheld, modified, edited my comments the way ET does constantly. Each forum has a set of goals, and their politices reflect those goals. Learn to live with them. May be you have nothing intelligent to say that the ET team helps you by not letting you make a fool of yourself.

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  • Amber Darr
    May 23, 2012 - 10:43PM

    I just want all the commentators to know that I read your comments avidly, but refrain from adding to them because I have had my say and it is now your turn. I have taken on board the criticisms and the commendations and am grateful for both. Mostly, I have enjoyed the lively debate. It merely shows that the fire still burns on both sides. Thank you for making this piece a success.

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  • moonjely sony
    May 23, 2012 - 11:08PM

    @Kaalchakra: hey ,we Indians do not write about Pakistanis very often, also we are not concerned very much.it is Pakistanis who write every day about India. this clearly shows your frustration again and again.After every coward attack on India, the country became more stronger than before.during kargil, our prime minister never went to Clinton.But nawaz Sharif was told by Clinton what india needs.Your, all whether friend china send your ministers empty handed. Saudi Arabia too send your ministers empty handed.BY WRITING ABOUT INDIA ON EVERY PAKISTANI NEWSPAPERS ON DAILY BASIS, CLEARLY SHOWS HOW MUCH YOU PEOPLE CONCERNED ABOUT INDIA’S RISING. Never heard in life , “During pilgrimage” some one talks and play politics.Was it really pilgrimage ? or back door diplomacy.By writing on daily basis you make Pakistan laughing stuff.

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  • Mahi
    May 23, 2012 - 11:40PM

    @3rdRockfromtheSun:
    Whoa dude,you know us MORE than WE know ourselves, gotta agree with MOST of what you said but there are two things I need to clear.

    1)@text books,have you read any?since I didn’t read/see anything said we’re superior in terms of religion and looking down to Hindu banyas etc!

    2)We DO NOT(just as you said MOST of us believe or think)India as our eternal enemy,we value our independence but we do not hate India,we rather wish to have a friendly relationship with India.

    @Author nicely put upthumbs up

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  • akash
    May 24, 2012 - 12:21AM

    @kaalchakra:
    Pakistan is no more a moderate place,Just accept it..else..you are in denial….no one can help you.
    My point has always been One should respect & feel proud of the civilisation,heritage, people & their culture of the land from where he/she belongs to ,rather than his/her religion.

    You have been fooled once with this.Don’t drag yourself to the call of Jihad again.

    Pakistan not quite a moderate place between the time when US & Saudi Arab started dumping weapons & petro-dollars and 9/11 when Pakistan was forced to join the War on Terror, read Islam?
    I think you are saying Pakistan was forced to join war on terror even if it was a moderate place.
    I don’t blame a normal Pakistani for this.But you need to ask yourself this.Why it is happening.
    Frankly tell me..Why should i read Islam?

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  • Indian
    May 24, 2012 - 12:39AM

    @Amber Darr:
    Please don’t refrain from pragmatism. The Subcontinent needs it desperately. Anyways good work..

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 24, 2012 - 1:56AM

    @akash,
    They made innocent muslims fool on name of jihad and when Russia left they were all crimnals.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 24, 2012 - 6:04AM

    @Pakistani:”Do the trade but donot trade the sentiments” I welcome the change, engage to the extent you are comfortable.

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  • MilesToGo
    May 24, 2012 - 7:03AM

    Sindhi/hindi is an unislamic word.Recommend

  • arjun
    May 24, 2012 - 8:04AM

    @kaalchakra:
    however loud you shout or write: the fact is your ilk have lost the war against a nation that gave birth to 6 great religions. Lets hope not that India turns to religious arrogance the way Pakistan has acted with its version of religion from middleeast. The consequences will be bad. Despite teaching school kids religion, you could not change the country to islamic citadel. Its India thats greater than islam or any religion because it was India that gave birth to many religions. Civilisation is not religion: because civilisation gives birth to religions and concepts: unfortunately muslims seem to have enormous confusion in this aspect. You cannot wage a war against civilisation with a mere religion and expect to win. You will not. Its Indian ocean not islamic ocean and that Indian ocean is bigger than islamic world put together.

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  • akash
    May 24, 2012 - 9:30AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    I think when Russians left,these people should have been de-weaponized & deradicalized.
    Instead they were used to gain strategic depth in neighboring countries(Taliban in Afghanistan & insurgents in Kashmir).
    When Taliban got stronghold in Afghanistan, they harbor Osama & rest is as you know it.

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  • jay
    May 24, 2012 - 2:25PM

    Most Indians do not think that Partition was a big mistake. I think that most now realize that India was saved from fanaticism by the Partition.

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  • Mahmood Saeed
    May 24, 2012 - 4:51PM

    The hatred is rooted in

    One fine morning, transfer of resources agreed under the Petition Plan stopped. To this day that money, those items of military hardware, railway equipment etc have not been elivered to Pakistan
    Another fine morning electricity jst stopped flowing in the grid from Bharat to Pakistan
    -Then, one fine morning water stopped flowing to Pakistan in the canals originating from headworks in Bharat
    Then Jnagadh and Hyderabad were annexed in violation of agreed principles
    Then the sshock of annexing Kashmir and the many unfuulfilled promises for its resoltions made bilaterally, multilaterally and in the UN
    Then the intrigue which gave birth to Bangladesh
    And so the list can go on and on

    How can you trust????

    *

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  • Mate
    May 24, 2012 - 5:38PM

    The author’s feelings seems to be contradictory to the spirit of this article.. I quote “t was at college that I realised that my problem was not with India after all but with the all-encompassing and to me, agenda-driven affection that certain Indians threatened to engulf me with” … I think the problem is not with the “all encompassing and agenda driving affection”.. but with the author which seems to think it that way..

    Partition should be treated as a tragedy .. not because it led to the creation of two countries but the pogrom that insued..

    A lot of water has flowed beneath the bridge since then. The problem is not with India not recognizing the creation of Pakistan.. It is Pakistan not coming with terms with the creation of Pakistan.. Hence it seems to justify Pakistan by being everything that is anti India.. the education system, the foreign policy etc.

    Pakistan has to find its reason for being .. or create a reason for being if it does not have one.. only then it will be comfortable in its own skin and not be a headache for the world!

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 24, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @Mahmood Saeed: I can make a equally long list but are we to ever get over this childish behaviour of lists and trading charges and think of developement

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  • Ali Tanoli,
    May 24, 2012 - 7:07PM

    I have seen one funny thing after partition peoples who Migrated like Urdu U.P, Bihar, Dehli
    Bhopal, Hyderabad and Punjabis from Dehli to Lahore are not as much anti indian than native
    landers of Punjab, Sindh, Pakhtun, Baluch i never get it why this happend.Recommend

  • Deb
    May 24, 2012 - 9:09PM

    @Mahmood Saeed

    That list of yours is a mix of half truth and utter lies.
    Where did you read history of the sub continent? I think I already know, but still want to hear it from you.

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  • Naresh
    May 24, 2012 - 10:28PM

    @Ejaaz Ji :
    .
    On May 23, 2012 – 2:52AM you stated :
    .
    The muslim population of the area of British India is over 45% at present, and India would have been an Islamic state instead of a democratic secular state.
    .
    Please note that at the Time of Partition the Muslim Population of UNDIVIDED INDIA was about 23 to 24 Per Cent.
    .
    The situation now is as follows :
    .
    Populations :
    .
    India………..: Total 1,250 Million——— Muslims : 200 Million
    .
    Pakistan……: Total 0,200 Million——— Muslims : 195 Million
    .
    Bangladesh. : Total 0,160 Million ——– Muslims : 150 Million
    .
    Total : Population : 1,610 Million
    .
    Total Muslims……. : 0,545 Million
    .
    Percentage of Muslims in India + Pakistan + Bangladesh : About 34 Percent
    .
    This should help you to “correct” your Data!
    .
    Cheers

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  • Ali Tanoli,
    May 24, 2012 - 11:18PM

    @Naresh
    Present population of Muslims in india is like that
    Pakistan 200 Millions
    India 200 Millions
    Bangla D, 200 Millions,
    so its gonna be 600 millions …Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 25, 2012 - 5:25AM

    @Ali Tanoli,: You forget you have some minorities.

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  • pmbm
    May 25, 2012 - 6:41AM

    If hindus were forced to convert, not many would remain, same for Spain ,no catholic would have been left, just as no muslim was left after The Spanish Inquisition.

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  • May 25, 2012 - 5:05PM

    I think the we need to more connected online between Indians and Pakistanis and start collaborating and working together in the fields of education and business – those who have spent decades finding fault in their neighbours and promoting intolerance are fading and we should not fear them!

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  • Deb
    May 25, 2012 - 8:24PM

    @Mohammed Abbasi

    I am with you on this.Two thumbs up!
    Cynics and skeptics shouldn’t be allowed to win the day, never ever.

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  • Mahmood Saeed
    May 26, 2012 - 2:20AM

    @Jagjeet and @Deb

    I am 74 years old. Educated in the UK and have a Ph.D. from one of the finest institutions in theworld. I am a witness to what I have written in the list and I have been a and remain an avid reader.

    I note your insinuations which are born of ignorance and inability to accept truth……………….a very common Bharati trait.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    May 26, 2012 - 7:50AM

    @Mahmood Saeed:”I can make a equally long list but are we to ever get over this childish behaviour of lists and trading charges and think of development” Considering u are 74yrs old i withdraw the word childish however i stick to the rest of what i have said. Please think peace , development and prosperity for our people. 64yrs of the present mindset has got us no where. We are still POOR & HUNGRY which is not acceptable to me . This is not what i want to give to my future generations i am 63.

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  • Ashutosh Deshmukh
    Jun 5, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Very well written Ambar. @kaalchakra thanks for sharing your views. Thanks Almighty that people like you are diminishing in numbers. You please do keep living in past but let the new generation taste fruits of success.No doubt partition was tough phase for millions of either side but time has healed sorrow and miseries.
    When i interact with young Pakistanis and Indians i feel good that they do not believe what they were taught for years. I see a great future for Indo-Pakistani friendship. Thanks again Ambar for initiating a healthy discussion.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Jun 5, 2012 - 6:10PM

    @kaalchakra: ” a seller of illegal poppy seeds on the side and a very high thinker” do you not see the contradiction Recommend

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