Can this global crisis bring the twin states close !

Greater Kashmir

A deeply rooted rivalry between the two nations reminds me of the very famous and story of Leo Tolstoy “ A Spark Neglected Burns the House”. This particular story revolves round the two themes – hatred and humbleness.  The first part of the story deals with the theme of  hatred that led the two families into catastrophic situation. In this part of the story, the author’s noble intention is to teach us the lessons of the horrible consequence of hatred, arrogance and egotism. The second indispensable theme is humility that ultimately saves both the families from the problems. Every sensitive reader while reading the final part of this story takes a sigh of relief and is excited about its happy ending as both the families finally  reconcile, throw away hatred and make firm affirmation that they would lead a peaceful life. But unfortunately, the two neighboring countries – Indian and Pakistan, even sharing the common history pre-Independence believe in the philosophy of hatred. But the ground reality is that the common masses from either side who became the most effected entities want an end to this rivalry and rigidity as early as possible.

The recent initiative taken by the Indian Prime Minister by conducting the video conference of SAARC nations to chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus, is a case in point. During this meaningful deliberation on this grave issue, the representatives of the SAARC countries came out with valuable suggestions. Though the Pakistani’s response to the proposal came late, but the presence of Pakistani’s minister of state for health Zafar Mirza infused a new ray of hope. Let us hope that these two countries India, Pakistan show the  political maturity  and place the previous grudges or grievance aside;  try to restore the sustainable relationship based on mutual respect, and think peace just for the sake of the coming generations who are eagerly waiting for a new dawn.

The situation that emerged by this deadly creature – Coronavirus – is a big concern for all of us. But it is also an agreed fact that developing countries like India, Pakistan have numerous other social, economical problem like poverty, malnutrition, poor health condition, high infant mortality rate etc. The difference is that this deadly coronavirus occurred suddenly showing its drastic impact within a short span of time where as the aforementioned problems have been consuming numerous lives from either side since decades. This animosity forces them to  spend more on military budget that ultimately puts a heavy burden on the general public.

If the present political establishment can’t bridge the gap, let the new political thinkers or scientists be given a genuine space in politics so that they give new direction, and  also sort out the ways to  reconstruct new thoughts based on the philosophy of  love, mutual understanding,  tolerance and  humility. It would be pathetic if these two countries don’t show any willingness to extend their corporation in this hour of grief. We used to say,  “Angry relatives, neighbors, or friends reunite  either on happy occasion or in the hour of grief”; It will be in the interest of the entire region if these two states join hands together. Enough is enough!  Remember, “You can change  friends but not neighbors” .

Haroon Rashid Bhat is a teacher- Zone Ganderbal