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From peacenik to a fatalist July 28, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in geo-politics, india, life.

I accidentally came across this post – A message for our times.

An excerpt here that comes from someone whose family was directly affected by the events :

my mind keeps saying it is time to look a “paki” in the eye and feel our real feelings. we are one people, torn asunder, still bleeding. time to heal. time to be intelligent and strong. not with guns. but with ourselves.
once upon a time there was undivided india. today we are pakistan, india, bangladesh. three nations, could one day be three great nations. if we are truly independent india, let’s free ourselves of our baggage. here’s to all of us.

I left behind a comment ; the comments section is moderated and I am not sure if it will show up etc. I am therefore reproducing my comments to that post here.

I do feel sorry for the tragedies that have beset you in your personal life but I must add something else too.

There hasnt been a single time in history where there has been no conflict/war in some part of the world. As long as there is scarcity of resources, as long as there are different ideologies, there will be conflict. Very sad but mostly true.

How many nations do we know that have the diversity that we in India have and at this scale ? Liberal western style democracy presupposes certain homogeneity in demographics and a certain standard of living ( most importantly educated liberal mindset) – everywhere else it has failed – except in India. ( Even America is largely christian and of European descent and doesnt have the baggage of a few thousand years as India does – 150 years after slavery abolition and 40 years post-segregation the African-Americans who are still struggling …but hopefully they will be better off in a few decades )

That we have managed to live as a nation with unfavorable demographics and so much potential for unrest and mischief is one of the wonders of this century. Nobody in 1947 even gave us a chance. I see dark days ahead if nothing much changes.

Yes, I have gone from a peacenik ( 14 months ago ) to being a fatalist after Madrid, London, Delhi, several times in Egypt, Varanasi, Bangalore and Bombay. And a very angry one at that. I am posting this comment here – one that puts on record my pessimism – hoping that I can return sometime later to find that I am wrong. I am not worried about 140 million Indian muslims; I am worried about 140 million people who are largely uneducated and who are refusing to reform, who are attracted by distant causes before attending to their own problems at home and of a neighbour who couldnt be a happier witness to this.

140 million people of any religion or mixture of them showing these symptoms are a cause for concern.



1. Aswin Cletus D'Souza - July 28, 2006

I loved the article about the pain of the Partition. It was very well written. But I do believe that the Partition was the best thing to happen.

There might be a couple of stray incidents once in every year when 200 people get killed. But one needs only to look at Iraq now to see how many people can get killed with sectarian violence.

Even with the Hindus and Muslims separated out into two separate countries, we have Ayodhyas and Godhras arising every now and then. I can only imagine what would’ve happened if the entire population of pakistan and bangladesh were also part of Hindusthan.

Every war in this world has been a war of religion or ideology. If there were majority christian states or majority muslim states in india, believe me, there would be wars in India.

The only reason 25-30 states in india are co-existing peacefully is because the majority is Hinduism everywhere.

2. Sharath Rao - July 28, 2006

i agree aswin.

there was a time I thought otherwise. Now I think the partition was a surgical failure or rather surgically incomplete.

3. aquarianalien - July 29, 2006

yea “surgically incomplete” ..maybe Kashmir should have been part of the majority muslim nation .. it would have been a lot better if partition hadn’t happened in the first place..we are all the same underneath it all, you know some time in the not too distant future we will reach a point when Hindus may not be the majority in India, then what ???do we split up again??

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