Why We Are Still Harboring The Angst Of Partition


Once upon a time, there were two women, who shared the same roof and were both blessed with an infant son each. One day, one of the boys was smothered while sleeping, and there was a fight between the two ladies regarding the living son. Both claimed that they were the true mothers, hence unable to reach a conclusion, they went up to King Solomon for a judgment. After much required deliberation, the King called for a sword to be brought before him, and he fathomed about a fair solution that involved splitting the baby in half. Upon hearing the terrible verdict, the true mother cried out, asking the King to spare the life of her boy, than divide it amongst the two of them. It was then that the King declared the mother who cried out was indeed the true mother, than the one who was ready to indulge in the claimed ‘fair act’.

However, in the real and practical world, it didn’t turn out like this. The baby that was once a united India was split in two- India and Pakistan.

It was in 1947, when from a colony we evolved into a free nation, or two. There were new waves of freedom, socialism, inclusion, gender-equity, and the entire India rejoiced with the prospect of new found freedom, and also with the prospect of finally being an Indian devoid of any supremacy reigning over them.

At the stroke of midnight, India awoke to life and freedom, but it also awoke to strengthened hate and disregard for other communities. The hate is ingrained so deep, it almost seems like a tradition, being passed from one generation to another. The British came and implemented divide and rule, but they also went the same way. India was never the same, the division not only hampered life, but also hampered the respect people had for each other, and bought the worst face of humanity.

Till now, India and Pakistan are still harboring the notions of hatred and dislike, which is increasingly getting darkened with every meet they conduct or every tweet they share. It is the perfect story of two brothers gone hostile and violent.

Many learned sages say the answer for everything is in the past. However, what can one do when the past is the present and soon will be the future?

When partition took place, the hostility was for many to witness. The worst affected would be the states of then Punjab and Kolkata. There was looting, incessant burning of people, gang rapes, attacks on children, people getting cut in half by swords, and many such acts highlighting towards the intense hatred that gripped both the nations, rather communities.

Many families were uprooted, and had to change places, but who knew the hate and destruction they faced would be engraved in the minds of the coming generation, with the same intense feelings, if not more?

The tales and stories of partition were sung like ballads, with both of the nations, attacking each other over the civil riots that were the bloodiest we have ever seen. Till now, we prejudice against people as per their religion. Here in India, where being Muslim is labelled as Pakistani, I am sure the very opposite would happen in Pakistan. After all, the two ‘brothers’ shared the same ideology.

Funnily enough, when fighting for independence, all such communities aligned themselves as Indians, fighting for its honour and autonomy, but they all turned conflicted when parted apart. Today, both of these nations are independent and sovereign in its nature, but why should they still remain enemies?

The wounds only get healed when they are let go of, constantly exposing the wound would further pain it.

Did we forget the humanitarian preaching of our father of the nation, M.K. Gandhi, in jest of just accumulating him in the paper form? If separated, can’t we at least keep the peace within in our country and move on from what the ancestors of both the community did to each other in the past? Why can’t we have the collective identity of being an Indian and a Pakistani respectively, instead of weighing a person by the religion?

From the first day we have been fighting the wrong enemy. The enemy isn’t India or Pakistan. Our common enemy is religion which dictates upon us division and partition, and many a times, violence.  

Yugansha Malhotra

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The Viewspaper