A reflection for India and Pakistan Independence Day, 14 and 15 August
The greatest evil that has beset India and Pakistan since independence is the animosity between Muslims and Hindus. Three wars between India and Pakistan, the dispute over Kashmir, the Ayodhya dispute and its bloody consequences have brought death and suffering to thousands. Poverty remains. Ashutosh Vardhana, a Hindu writer living in England, refers to the century-old Franco-German animosity which led to many bloody wars, but was brought to an end by the creation of the Common Market and the European Union and created unprecedented prosperity in Europe. He proposes that India and Pakistan should work towards a similar economic union and focus on prosperity rather than religion and patriotism. The Kashmir problem and its terrorism would simply melt away.
It is necessary to dream the impossible to make it come true. For almost 100 years Indian independence was such a dream. But some great people not only dreamt it but patiently worked for it. That's why on 14 and 15 July 1947 (for Pakistan and India respectively) it turned into reality.
No man is an island. India and Pakistan were now free of British rule but not of each other, of world markets, of American and Russian aid (many strings attached), of 'religious' agitators in both communities, of selfish and wicked individuals, of incompetence, ignorance, bigotry, corruption and poverty.
Our worst enemy has been communalism, deep-seated distrust and animosity between Hindus and Muslims, and in certain directions even contempt.