Ever since the fateful years of the 1940s, when religious, ideological and political differences split India into two tumultuous halves, the subcontinent has not known lasting peace. These two halves have warred over and over again as Pakistan and India have been at each other’s throats.
And now, the warfare has shifted from the physical type to the mental type. The psyche of people has been so ingrained with hate for the other half that the two halves don’t even recognize the fact that they were once part of a single entity.
They identify as two different peoples and fail to recognize their commonality, sometimes going as far as to regret it.
And with this hate comes a sense of competition, which is fine but only till a certain extent. And unfortunately, this limit has now been crossed.
We have now fallen into this irritating and self-destructive habit of comparing ourselves with Pakistan. Every aspect of India, whether it be in terms of growth or resources or even cricket, is brought out and analyzed under a microscope.
And for some people, the line in the sand is drawn at “But we are better than Pakistan”.
Now the question, as always is: Why?
Why do we satisfy ourselves with being better than our misguided neighbor? Why do we feel that we have achieved something by being better than a country that has achieved nothing more than spiteful, hateful and short-term goals?
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Well, the answer cannot be explained without hurting a few sentiments. Because as my mom used to say, “Sach kadwa hota Hai”, i.e., the truth is always bitter.
The fact is that like after a bad breakup, we are still not over Pakistan, a bad example considering I just called India and Pakistan brothers. A kind of a Game of Thrones situation going on if Jaime and Tyrion were at each other. I digress.
The reality is that Indians have always had a mental block against Pakistanis, blaming them for the atrocities of the partition and the socio-economic consequences of it. This, combined with the subsequent hostilities, mostly started by Pakistan, has for the lack of a better word, “irritated” Indians.
Radical elements have sabotaged any and all peace efforts from either side. But since Indians blame the entire Pakistani entity, the entire Pakistani identity is considered hostile.
And since the Pakistani and Indian identities evolved from a singular one, a sense of competition is bound to exist, a sense to one-up the other.
From the Indians to show the Pakistanis that they are better off without them and that it was a mistake to leave and from the Pakistanis to show India that this renegade country can hold its own, the competition doesn’t stop.
It is because of this inherent need for competition that we are where we are now, with people ceasing their efforts as soon as they are better than Pakistan, with any and all arguments about sensitive stuff ending when people realize that they are better than Pakistan, even though clearly, they are in the wrong. With ethical and humanitarian issues being sidelined as Pakistan is worse off.
Well, of course, they are worse off. The decades we spent in developing, they spent in furthering sectarian violence and sticking on to petty issues that should have been buried long, long ago.
Where we have gone ahead and achieved many great things, they have not. The reality is this. No matter what anyone says. They have the resources, the support too but they have not done anything with it.
On an economic, social, political scale, we have fared much better. But we must not stop here. Our efforts must not cease now that we have shown that we are better than our stuck-up little brother.
Being better than them is nothing to be proud of. The policies that our founding fathers put in place combined with the efforts of the people has propelled us to this stage but now WE must propel it further.
And this, for sure is not going to happen if we think that we are simply better than one country and stop our efforts being satisfied that the race is over.
My boy, there are many, many to go.
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