It seems there is another planet across the Wagah border. Even worse! Indians too aspire for establishing link with aliens. The movie ‘PK’ is a manifestation of the imagination. Yet people on either sides of the border have only been taught all along to hate each other. Mainstream media, inspired by political strategists, play a great role in keeping up the enmity. Even Bollywood plays a great role. Barring exceptions like ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ there are hundreds of films, although the number is declining, made on the theme of enmity with Pakistan, showing how villainous the latter is.
Of late, prime minister Narendra Modi has been on an offensive against Pakistan, declaring the latter the only nation promoting terror in the region, and needs to be isolated and sanctioned. He was right going by adamant attitude of the Pakistani establishment on the issue of Kashmir and it sympathy, not to speak about aid, to violent elements in the ‘disputed’ region. Pakistan government might have its own reasons too. There is no doubt violent elements need to be curbed. Perhaps, common people of Pakistan like Indians are on the ‘same page’ on the issue. But their way of looking at the Kashmir issue might be different. It’s the ruling class, the mainstream media, and other interest groups that always want to show paint the whole country, both India and Pakistan, with the same brush.
The fights between the countries – four wars already fought – have always been decided by the ruling class. It’s not evident if the people of any of the country have gained anything out of the wars. Yet the country means its people and land, not only those ruling it. Why should it be termed as war between India and Pakistan and not between the governments of both the countries? Why should we say India slams Pakistan and not Indian government slams Pakistan? Politicians while making statements should always use a caveat that he or she is not saying about the people living in the other country but its leader, government or any agency, terrorist group etc. The common people may not be willing to be party to the statement. As those Bollywood cinemas showing Pakistan as bad guy has few takers nowadays, let’s hope to hear positive stories promoting bonhomie between the nations, which got separated just seven decades ago.
(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on September 9, 2016)