It is not patriotism, dummy


If you’ve followed the tit-for-tat escalation of India and Pakistan recently, resulting from growing public protest in Kashmir territory, further aggravated by the media, patriotism on both sides of the border got reinvigorated. Thanks to the hate-mongering leadership of India, equally reciprocated by the ultra-nationalists of Pakistan.

If patriotism is genuine, here are simple litmus test questions to prove that:

  1. 1. Would you throw garbage outside the perceived boundary of your own property (house) or a car or shop or office? Meaning, as if outside your property is enemy territory (not your country). Keep it littered, dusty and insanitary, it doesn’t matter me but my country folks.
  2. Given a chance, would you flee out of country for good? Majority of the population would probably. Because we aren’t ready for sacrificing our personal or family life, at the expense of correcting issues of the country.
  3. You cheat everyone everyday, as if they’re your enemy and not Pakistani. You hike prices during Ramazan (holy month), for your fellow nationals, that you boast to die for. Because actually you don’t give a damn about the people.
  4. You ignore open gutters daily, step on newly carpeted or cemented road, steal street lights and don’t care a bit about public property (which is Pakistan’s property), because it does not belong to you or any other person but Pakistan. And Pakistan mean nothing to you, you let it be.
  5. You can check our true patriotism, by looking at the condition of government buildings and everything that they use. Their punctuality at work, sense of public service and not doing your job are typical behavior. You consider government job as a free money without doing any work, because you think there’s no one at loss except the country paying you the salary or the damage done is only to Pakistan. Pakistan’s property or money means free property, because we don’t give a damn about Pakistan.
  6. You vote your feudal lords, in fear of poverty, prosecution and hunger, or you vote based on racism to support your community, disregarding the fact how much that helped the politicians destroy the country. So, without education, we’ve lost our patriotism as well.

I know there are some good, educated and patriotic people left in Pakistan, but majority seems a sad case. So, when majority chants jingoistic slogans in favor of Pakistan and against India, that doesn’t make me feel any happier but scared. Because I know, it’s not driven by the love of your country, but the hate and revenge against others. The most patriotic people would be our army-men, because they can’t survive without it.

That’s why I’m not moved by any such empty rhetoric on either side of the border, trying to rally public hate in the guise of patriotism. It’s same old tactic of hate and fear to garner public support for wars on both sides of the borders. Read my other post (India and Pakistan – War Hysteria), how poor these two countries are and how much they spend on defense for the past 6 decades instead.

Probably, it’s just as they say: ‘Dash bakhth ka nasha’?  (from hindi movie)

Education! Education, first, not even patriotism.

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India Pakistan war hysteria


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I don’t like the way media terms India as enemy (‘dushman’) and Pakistan likewise (by the Indian media).  Let’s find where did this enmity started and who wants to keep it that way.

Origin: 

If I try to simplify the history, the enmity began with the struggle for freedom in Hindustan, by Muslims and Hindus separately. Many incidents of fighting among the passionate freedom movements happened, which eventually resulted in large scale communal riots and killings (mostly because of misunderstanding and emotional sentiments). During partition, it was further aggravated by a large scale injustice in the division of land and resources among the two countries, while India and Pakistan were created. Many Muslims were left behind in India, while many Hindus got stuck in Pakistan.  Both countries accepted to such division eventually, except Kashmir, which remained disputed. That was later followed by full-scale wars till 2-3 decades to follow. Kashmir became the catalyst to keep the war hysteria active till today.

Current State: 

You’d ask:

If we had to fight on like this, why was the need in the first place, to make India and Pakistan as separate countries?

The idea to have a separate country, was coined under the aegis of two-nation theory, because Hindus and Muslims have different faiths and lifestyles and it was not easy for ordinary Muslim and hindu residents of Hindustan, to live together while practicing their faith with freedom. But this enmity which has followed after 60 years of separation of borders, does not make any sense.

Psychological Reasons:

Both of the countries’ leaders made it as their ego and into a national pride, to compete with each other in almost every front. With the advent of cold-war era, our fighting also transformed into secret battles and conspiracies against each other. Take an example of Kashmir issue. None of us, dared to solve it, as it could mean compromising on national pride, if somehow one forgo something to the other country. Nobody cares about the people’s plight against the oppression, in Kashmir. We fight just like kids, as we do tit-for-tat. One side finds a hearsay that one of their soldier is killed by the enemy at the border, the other side next day kills two of their soldiers and it has continued on, till 60 plus years. Yes, it is as simple as that, if you think about it.

Financial & Geo-Political Reasons:

There are some who directly or indirectly benefit from this hate/fighting between us. Obvious one is the Armed Forces in both countries, they enjoy elitist position in both countries. Of course, there are external parties as well, who are benefiting from this infighting in the sub-continent. US, UK, France, Russia, China and Israel are some of the major contributors of arms sale to India and Pakistan respectively, where our governments spend most of our fortune (hard earned money of the people) on armed forces, which is in billions of dollars. Both India and Pakistan fall within top 15 highest importer of defence equipments in the world.

What! I thought we are the poor nations ? Yes, but Pakistan spends $7 billion (2012) and India $46 billion (2012) in defense yearly. Compare that with their poverty level, where 33% of Indians live under $2 a day, that’s a whopping 363 million (363,000,000) people, while 22% in Pakistan, that’s again 39 million (39, 000, 000) people.

Country

Defense Spending (2012)

People dying of Hunger (Living on $2 a day)

India

$46,000,000,000

363,000,000

Pakistan

$7,000,000,000

39,000,000

Also note what other countries are spending in defense:  US $711 billion, China $143 billion, Russia $71 billion, UK $63 billion and France $62 billion per year (2012). So, it’s not just us, the hysteria is worldwide phenomena as well. Then there are countries with vested geopolitical interest in South Asian region, so they provide aid, equipment or make sanctions etc. to promote their interests.

Solution:

Did we not learn anything from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who forgave the person who has killed Hamzah (RA), who was his beloved uncle. After killing him, she opened his chest and torn his liver and heart into pieces, but when she came to Muhammad (pbuh) to embrace Islam, he did not say anything but forgave her.

Did we forget how he forgave people, to end centuries old blood feuds and animosity.

Both of our religions (Islam and Hinduism) does not have any provision to kill the people of other faith. So, all this hate, fighting, murders and conspiracies are against the teachings of our respective religions. We are not supposed to have a malign thought about others in our mind. We are not supposed to harm anyone, hurt their feelings. There’s no concept of nationalism or countries in Islam or pride for that matter, is highly discouraged. There’s only one nation as Muslim ummah and one identify as Muslim.

Because of our ignorance about all these teachings, it’s so easy for us, to fall prey to the external forces, who fuel us to hate each other for the slightest misunderstanding. Remember the recent incidents at our borders and how the media and thus the people got enraged against each other. Such language and hate would only strengthened the need for defence on both sides of the border. India is far more bigger and mightier in scale and they are much more smart in many respects than Pakistan, but when it comes to this fighting, it’s no different than Pakistan or Pakistan’s government and its leaders. The world is laughing at us, when in this age, we fight for trivial reasons.

Conclusion:

Both are wasting their energies in hate in futile – destruction. Time to accept our differences and our realities. There is no point in fighting, well, that’s not a rocket science. Any one side can be smart and take the precedence in making a goodwill gesture and forgive all previous acts of other (no matter if proven or not) and embrace with clear heart. It’s time to move on cordially.

Sources:

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