By Justice Markandey Katju, former Judge, Supreme Court of India
Aman ki Asha is a campaign launched jointly by two large media houses, the Jang Group of Pakistan and the Times of India Group of India, whose aim is to improve relations between India and Pakistan, and help secure peace in the region. It runs a portal amankiasha.com
While ostensibly its aim seems laudable, and indeed it has done some good work by promoting some people to people contact between Indians and Pakistanis, which helps to some extent in dispelling the notion that people living on the other side of the border are devils, nevertheless in my opinion its basic approach is flawed, and in fact it serves to deceive people. Let me explain.
The very notion that there can be good relations between India and Pakistan is fallacious, and betrays ignorance of basic historical realities.
First of all, there can be improvement of relations between two countries. But if there are not two but just one country ( India ), where is the question of the country improving relations with itself ?
In my opinion, India and Pakistan ( and Bangladesh ) are really one country, sharing the same culture, and were one since Mughal times. Partition in 1947 was a historical British swindle, on the basis of the bogus two nation theory ( that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations ), which was the culmination of the nefarious British divide and rule policy of making Hindus and Muslims fight each other ( see BN Pande’s ‘ History in the service of Imperialism ‘ online ). Pakistan is a fake, artificial country ( see my articles ‘ The Truth about Pakistan ‘ and ‘ The Truth about Partition ‘ online as well as on my blog Satyam Bruyat ). It is really part of India, only temporarily separated, but is bound to be reunited with it, like West and East Germany or North and South Vietnam ( though that will take time because those who divided us will not let us easily reunite ).
There were two purposes for dividing India (1) United India should not emerge as a modern industrial giant like China, and thus become a big rival to Western industries. This can be ensured by continuing to fuel religious hatred and making the two parts of India fight with each other (2) The sub continent should be a big market for foreign arms ( India is the biggest purchaser of foreign arms in the world ).
Pakistan was created artificially as a theocratic state so that there is hostility, not good relations, between India and Pakistan, thus ensuring that the above two objects in partitioning India remain fulfilled.
Secondly, if there are genuinely good relations between India and Pakistan, the very raison d’être of Pakistan will cease. For instance, if free trade is allowed between the two, India and Pakistan will become one economic unit, and this will soon be followed by political unity ( for political unity is based on economic unity ).
So until Partition is nullified, and we reunite under a secular government, there will never be good relations or genuine peace. Whenever there will be an effort for peace, it will soon be followed by hostility. Thus Prime Minister Vajpayee’s bus trip to Lahore was followed by the Kargil war, and the opening of the Kartarpur corridor was followed by recrimination on both sides.
So to talk of ‘improving’ relations between India and Pakistan, as Aman ki Asha does, is living in a fools’ paradise. In fact, as said earlier, it amounts to deceiving people by creating a false impression that relations can genuinely be improved.
Our aim must be to reunite India under a secular government which does not tolerate religious extremism, whether Hindu or Muslim, and rapidly industrialises and modernises the country. That alone will ensure a high standard of living and decent lives for our people, which must be our national goal.
Many people ask how we can reunite when there is so much hatred ? My answer is that this hatred is artificially created. In fact when Indians go to Pakistan they are overwhelmed by the love and hospitality they receive, and the same happens when Pakistanis come to India.
Others ask by what modalities can we reunite. My answer is that I do not know, but at this stage we need not worry about that, but only need to spread the idea of reunification. The modalities will be worked out later.
Victor Hugo said that there is one thing more powerful than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. The idea of Indo-Pak ( and Bangladesh ) reunification is an idea whose time has come