Dear friends on the other side of LoC,
Today you are going to celebrate your 72nd Independence Day while we on this side will celebrate it tomorrow. The flags which we hoist every year are a symbol of our pride and patriotism which rises to new heights with the passing of a year. However, instead of celebrating this proud moment together and living in this spirit of freedom, it is quite unfortunate that we have come this far just to organize rallies with slogans against “enemy” and take it as a matter of pride.
The love and respect for the citizens there have been overshadowed by our prejudices and pretenses. We fail to remember the dark part of history which we share together behind this toxic “power show” which is an integral part of our discussions. There is a constant pain which still haunts both of us; the pain of the thousands of innocent souls we lost in the madness which happened during the partition. The cries and sacrifices which have been dumped and forgotten; we don’t find time anymore to acknowledge and remember them.
Our generations got geographically separated into three nations viz. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but I strongly believe that there remains a strong connections of legends, histories, politics and arts which flows in our veins. While, there are strong possibility that we may have different ideologies and religions, yet, none can deny to the fact that we both resemble in many ways till date. There are people who have been injecting the poison of revenge and this we cannot run away from such people on either side of the border. This is the reason, I am writing this letter to express the common love and compassion which we both have inherited from our ancestors.
A couple of years ago, we both hosted the exchange of friendship letters on Independence Day, something which didn’t find its mention in the mainstream media because it was something which wasn’t fuelling their “hyper-nationalism.” Yes, you got me right; media is to blame to quite a large extent in shunning the actual voices of people. Ironically, such people are usually portrayed as the “traitors” who wants to befriend enemy blocking the peace and progress of the nation.
The bitter truth has been that we both have faced equal misery with extensive spending on defense in the pretext of danger from “enemy neighbor.” While the real enemy of illiteracy, poverty, population explosion, climate change and pollution still resides inside us. If we don’t wake up and identify the “correct enemy neighbor”, the time is not far away, when we’ll both be doomed.
The whole idea of the victory of a country by “defeating” the other is nothing but a false sense of security which we both have been given by our respective governments. However, you know this as much as I do that none can claim “success” by “defeating” the other. We may not agree on certain issues and policies but making one’s differences a basis of policies is what we have grown up doing and it is high time we disown them.
We need to encourage each other for better opportunities by collectively raising our voices against the issues which actually matter. The exchange of letters between the students on both the sides was an exceptional idea and I hope, in future, we work out to establish a culture of some such exchanges. The more we talk, the more we would realize that the differences only occur on the world maps, not in our hearts.
Good wishes from India,