Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”. True. If only it were streamlined and would never reach a point of melancholic saturation. A point where one feels the need to abandon all the pensiveness and move to a place in life which does not thrive on cognition. The current chain of events around the world, does make one wonder if such a place can be reached.
As we grow up, our perspectives change incessantly. First we believe in a man who lives in North Pole, rides over our houses and delivers presents through our chimneys. Then, we believe, there is a Howard Roark amongst us. Soon, this belief changes to hope. When we are young, we think a lot about notions like truth, happiness, idea of love, even life. We grasp all this and move on. A part of this moving on starts with getting the small glimpses of reality, lingering between our still unadulterated world view. And then we reach a certain point in our lives , when nothing seem to make sense. Left brain completely takes over its counterpart. I feel I have reached that point.
Centuries of history and civilizations seem to be a farce. We have not gotten much ahead, or so it seems. When a 11-year-old victim of a sex crime is accused of provoking the offenders, there is something horribly wrong with the world we live in. When not one but multiple people try to find humour in one of the worst calamities of our time, it is clear that only our bodies have evolved and passed the era of hominids. When tyrants still exist and live amongst us, have the power to create havoc and play with lives. Notions of truth, fairness and humanity cease to exist. I would like to resort to faith, if you will, in such times. But that door closed on my face when we chose to decide that marriage can only be between a man and a woman but it’s okay to have pedophiles serve our churches and temples.
I know, I am not the only one who feels this way. There are many of us trying to escape the pangs of helplessness. An occasional Robert Downy Jr. flick is usually effective. Dark chocolate can do wonders as well. The world is just going to hell or the New England’s winter is finally getting me. I sure hope it’s the latter.
One fifth of Pakistan has been affected by the devastating floods, worst calamity in 80 years. Its leaders are constantly SOS-ing the international community for aid. India offered 5 million USD, they refused. US intervened, they reluctantly accepted. Looks like a bad soap opera’s plot to me. Except, real people are dying here, real children are going hungry and without shelter. This can be confusing to any bystander, how can a country afford to do this in such a dire situation? Well, this is just not any country we are talking about, its India and Pakistan. Ours is a different story….
India and Pakistan went their separate ways in 1947. At least in theory. Pakistan started its journey as an Islamic nation (headed by a man who himself was an agnostic). India chose to remain a secular nation. This is a classic example of political ambition taking precedence over reality. Both Jinnah and Nehru were agitating and preparing to exercise the power for years and this was their chance. The problem was, there could only be one leader. They found a convenient scapegoat in religion. This was the advent of what would be the tremulous history of the two nations.
The nations separated, people remained the same. Partition was the ugliest picture of pain, misery and death possible. The atrocities committed during that time can easily dwarf Rwanda. 2 million people were killed in the communal riots and many more lost their homes. Memories of ghost trains have been haunting generations of Indians and Pakistanis. This is where we come from, this is how we started..
The memories of this gruesome start got etched in the hearts of people of both the countries and manifested itself as this deep rooted animosity, which constantly gets fueled by the perpetual conflict over Kashmir. India and Pakistan have fought 3 wars since independence and can easily be called the epicenter of the next international war. Both the nations being nuclear powers. There have been many failed attempts of reconciliation, but this is a stalemate. No one wants to go one step farther than the other. Is there a solution that can work for both the countries?
3 wars have taught us that military is not the solution. Talks and goodwill are great in theory but haven’t been proved fruitful so far, nevertheless , there should be constant dialogue between the two countries and more importantly between the people. The only solution that seems practical enough is to increase the trade and commerce between the two nations. Let both benefit from each other. We can take the example of France and Germany after world war II, how they intertwined there economies so that the war became impossible. It is not as easy as it looks for us in theory but this can be a start. If we look objectively at our situation and try to find ways to improve it, it is possible we can prevent history from repeating itself.
Our geographical location bounds us to stay together, there is no escape. The only thing we can escape from is our history. As they say, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.