The turbulent waves
The two nations have a history of ups and downs, now is the time to get stable
DR.MIRZA ASHRAF BEG
Traveling by ship is a novel experience. I was deputed for Hajj duty in 1974. Akbar was a newly built vessel put to the dock to sail first time from Bombay to Jeddah. Because of the ferocious moods of the Arabian Sea the captain decided to delay the sail by two days to avoid some tragedy to the sailing pilgrims for the Holy city of Makkah. So both the boat itself and I had our maiden experience to see how horrifying a sea wave is when you are in the deep seas. No doubt for a Himalayan skier of those days it was thrilling and interesting too. Because of the rough seas we made a seven day journey from Bombay to Jeddah in nine days at an average speed of eighteen knots an hour. On our safe arrival we were welcomed by Mr. Hamid Ali Ansari our present vice president. Mr. Ansari was the deputy consulate in Indian embassy at Jeddah that time.
The present day political trends in India and Pakistan look horrifying for an impartial and unbiased observer who has been a witness to the turbulent waves in both the countries during the past sixty years of painful turmoil in the subcontinent. Pakistan is blaming India for fanning the unrest of its minorities while India is accusing Pakistan for the communal trouble in Assam and north east leading to death and destruction of the properties and human life over there. Unfortunately the trend setters our political leaders in both the countries are at large to add to the damage through their television channels fanning hatred against each other and there is no Gandhi no Nehru no Maulana Azad or no secular Qaidi Azam Jennah in Pakistan. So the boat seems sinking once again like we have seen in 1947. Exporters of war have already reached the Middle East and are knocking on our doors, ‘Rome was burning and Nero was fiddling’. What do you do under the prevailing circumstances except to wake up the civil societies in both the countries and save your ship before it gets washed away through a nuclear catastrophe?
Trust deficit, misunderstandings and communication gaps are prevalent at all the levels in bureaucracy, security forces and the politicians so much so that imaginary infiltration of miscreants from Pakistan and vice versa is being propagated in such a way that minorities in both the countries are feeling unsafe and insecure. One wonders with millions of Muslims living in India and thousands of minorities in Pakistan are we heading to create another Pakistan or Bangladesh and Ram Raj in our neighborhoods. India has been a country of great repute, history and tolerance and has seen its heydays. Its repeated partitions were tailored by the same forces that I said are on our door steps once again.
The fact is our politicians in power and opposition are busy in leg pulling to overthrow each other to usurp power to make hay at the cost of sleepless nights of our nations while our bureaucracies unfortunately are the part of the game. Getting tempted the men in uniform have joined the marathon leading to a trust deficit between the Jawan and his officer while in Pakistan army has always been either a king maker or the king. Army chiefs have accused each other of bribery and fraud and some across the border were accused of drug trafficking and smuggling of contraband goods in foreign countries putting the two great nations to shame and disgrace. At the same time one fails to understand the genesis of communal & secular political organizations and fails to comprehend if the two sets of people are born through different routes and leave this world through some special channels! At the end of the day we fail to realize we are all humans accepting the same god and worshiping him through our own concepts or conviction. There may be a communication gap that can be removed by a dialogue process and understanding each other’s view point through patience and tolerance.
Having said that a question can be asked, ‘Who will bell the cat,’ and the only way out is an interfaith dialogue. Proper use of media is the greatest strength of present day world. Unfortunately our television channels both in India and Pakistan are fanning communal hatred, fascism and nudity day in and day out and our print media has become an advertisement source for commercial agencies to cell their fake goods on exorbitant rates. No doubt it may look difficult to formulate an effective working plan under the prevailing circumstances. The answer is a vibrant civil society. Those who go in the deep seas should also know how to swim too! Best followers have always become the best leaders too. The two nations have followed their leaders all through the sixty years of independence and let the politicians go to the back bench to follow the wisdom now.
Coming back to our turbulent waves we need a new set of trend setters for an interfaith understanding for good neighborly relationship for the betterment of our future generations. The only answers are an interfaith dialogue and let us start it from our schools colleges and universities, so that our new crop is better educated about each other and about others for a better coexistence and a peaceful future. I am reminded of my third day on board the Akbar while we were in deep seas there was a sudden announcement and I was shaken from my deep slumber in my single bed room first class compartment. The loud speaker shouting repeatedly, ‘Baby come back to your cabin we are getting worried for you,’ I too was disturbed and went out in search of the baby and to my shock and surprise the baby was a full grown lady enjoying on the deck unmindful of her husband and family. Nations that stay as babies don’t learn to crawl, never learn to walk too. Now is the time the two nations must learn to run holding each other’s hand for a great marathon ahead.
(The columnist is the author of the book, ‘Kashmir in search of peace.’ Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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