IV /2018

Not surprising, therefore, that caravans of Sikh pilgrims from across the world, and more so from neighboring India, are anxious to visit Pakistan and reconnect with their history. This has not always been popular with India’s political bureaucracy. They see these visitors (largely Sikh) as possible enemies of India fraternising with Pakistan – the enemy du jour. The ethos, cuisine, and language that collectively define all Punjabis, Sikhs, Muslims or Hindus, stoke the politicallydriven suspicious mind and spills out onto society.

Description

India and Pakistan remind me of a couple that have lived together for a lifetime and more. But they have also grown weary of each other. When the British left the Indian subcontinent the main body of land (largely the northwest territory of Punjab, also Bengal in the East) was divided into India and Pakistan. This fragmentation 71 years ago of a people with shared ethos – land, language culture, cuisine and music – was cataclysmic. They plundered and killed each other in 1947 as perhaps only Biblical brothers do, and they have waged war on each other thrice along with many a smaller skirmish to sustain their hatred of each other. Keep in mind also that both India and Pakistan are now nuclear powers.

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