Justice Markandey Katju-
A Pakistani lady Ayesha Tariq, who is an assistant professor of English Literature in a college in Lahore, sent me a Facebook message which started a Facebook chat reproduced below:
AT: Sir, this is the comment I read by some Indian named Vijay Sinha on YouTube under a video clip of Imran Khan. I quote: “If Pakistan initiates a war against India, then Indian tanks emblazoned with the Temgha of Hulago Khan will roll across Pakistan after we have launched 15 nuclear FIRST strikes taking out key cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad… killing 150 million people in 15 minutes. Lahore is too close to the Indian border and will probably be spared but 1 million Indian troops and paramilitary forces will enter the city with a vengeance and subject it to the same fate as Berlin was by Soviet troops in 1945. The river Ravi will be clogged with the bodies of every male in Lahore. And Lahore’s women can kiss goodbye to their chastity, virginity, and religion at the same time.”
And you talk about reunification of India. On a daily basis, we come across such hatred from literate Indians, that’s a pity. You will not find any anglicized Pakistani talking such rubbish. I am an educationist in Lahore, I can tell you that parhay likhay people here are concerned about the people of Kashmir and not the land. If it would have been possible to separate people from the land in any simple arrangement, we common Pakistanis would have preferred to take in the people and leave the land.
MK: I agree with you that this man spoke rubbish. If you see my views in indianreunificationassociation.co.in I advocate voluntary, peaceful reunification, as of West and East Germany in 1990. We must patiently explain to the people of India and Pakistan that we are really one nation, and were one since Mughal times. Partition was a historical British swindle on the basis of the bogus two-nation theory, and was a culmination of the wicked British divide-and-rule policy which came into existence after the British suppressed the Great Mutiny of 1857 in which Hindus and Muslims fought together against the British (see my article ‘The Truth about Pakistan’ online).
The alleged hatred between us was artificially created by vested interests, which is proved by the fact that when Indians go to Pakistan they are overwhelmed by the love and hospitality they receive, and the same happens when Pakistanis come to India. We are one nation and are bound to reunite one day, though that will take time, maybe 10-15 years from now. Till then we must patiently explain this to our people, and that is what Indian Reunification Association (IRA) has been doing (see Mission Statement and Addresses to the Indian Nation on indianreunificationassociation.co.in) and if you are convinced, please join us in our sacred mission.
I repeat we are against forcible or military reunification, and in favor of a voluntary, peaceful one. In reunified India everyone will have the freedom to his religion, but religious bigotry and extremism will not be tolerated and will be crushed with an iron hand. Reunified India will be led by modern-minded, selfless, patriotic persons who will rapidly industrialize the country.
AT: Sir, a year ago, my son who was merely five years old at that time asked me, ‘Mama, is India our enemy?’ I told him that India is not an enemy, we were together once but we do not get along much now because of the Kashmir dispute. He asked, ‘What is Kashmir?’ I told him that it’s a place, a piece of land. He said, ‘Why can we not divide it between the two?’ I told him that it is already sort of divided but both parties want the whole of it. He said, ‘I have an idea, we can share it without dividing it.’ I was surprised at the way his innocent mind worked. Just a few days back, he again said to me, ‘Mama, my friends in class were saying that India is our enemy.’ And I was so enraged because of the loud-mouthed Indians seen everywhere on social media that I answered, ‘Yes, India is our enemy.’
MK: Since India and Pakistan are really one nation, how can they be enemies of each other? Can your left hand be an enemy of your right hand?
AT: Sir, but religion has divided us. You are an atheist, you do not realize the gravity of religious sentiments felt by both Hindus and Muslims.
MK: I believe all religions are superstitions, and the truth lies in science. However, I am also a strong supporter of religious freedom.
AT: Sir, I believe India and Pakistan should start by forming a block like the EU for their common interests and move toward removing religious fanaticism first. There is a lot of distrust. Politicians exploit the situation for their political goals.
MK: As regards the Partition of India, this was a historical British swindle on the basis of the bogus two-nation theory. If religion is the basis of a nation then no nation can survive. UK should be partitioned into a dozen countries, since it has Protestants (of several varieties, e.g. Anglicans in England, Presbyterians in Scotland, etc), Roman Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, etc. Same with USA, France, Germany, etc. No nation can survive in this manner.
AT: The sane voices from both countries should try to snub the hate narrative and create space for mutual cooperation.
MK: Your mistake is that you call them two countries, whereas they are one, only temporarily separated by the British, using their agents Gandhi and Jinnah (see my blogs on them on my blog Satyam Bruyat), but which are bound to reunite one day.
AT: Sir, I will try to read everything you recommend here.
MK: Begin by reading ‘History in the Service of Imperialism’ by BN Pande online. Then read my article ‘The Truth about Pakistan’ online. Thereafter read the Mission Statement and Addresses to the Indian Nation on indianreunificationassociation.co.in. When you read ‘History in the Service of Imperialism’, you will realize that after suppressing the Mutiny of 1857 a deliberate policy of divide and rule came from London to the British authorities in India. There was no Hindu-Muslim hatred before 1857. It was artificially created by the British, using their Indian agents.
AT: That may be true but the question is: how to root out this poison tree now? Every day we nurture it with hate speeches and abuses. We have come far away from 1857.
MK: Almost all Muslim rulers in India, e.g. the Mughals (except Aurangzeb), nawabs, etc used to participate in Holi, Diwali and other Hindu festivals, and Hindus used to participate in Eid and Muharram.
AT: I wish that could happen again now. Respecting someone’s religion does not rob you of your faith, it indeed turns you into a better Muslim or better Hindu.
MK: It is the sacred duty of IRA to explain to the people of India and Pakistan that we have been fooled into thinking we are each other’s enemies, when in fact we are one, share the same culture, and were one since Mughal times. By patiently explaining this we will be giving antidotes to neutralize the communal poison which was injected by vested interests into our body politic. We have to keep giving doses of such antidotes for maybe 10-15 years, because the poison was injected continuously from 1857.
AT: Great thinking. Your zeal for this philosophy is laudable.
MK: IRA represents the truth, and truth has great power. You may not accept it today because it is new, and new ideas often shock, e.g, Copernicus’s heliocentric theory (that the earth goes the sun instead of vice versa, the geocentric theory). This theory was for a long period fiercely condemned, as it was against the Bible, and Galileo was almost burned at the stake for propagating it. But because it represented the truth, it ultimately triumphed throughout the world.
AT: Let’s hope the truth will prevail.
MK: Our idea, that India and Pakistan (and Bangladesh) are one country and must reunite under a secular government represents the truth. As Victor Hugo said, ‘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 Indian reunification is an idea whose time has come, though it will take many years of patient work for its implementation.
AT: I will study this idea in detail, inshallah.
MK: We need enlightened people like you in IRA, Ayesha, and also others. We may be a small minority today, but we are confident our ranks will rapidly grow (since we represent the truth) and our cause will triumph one day.
AT: If I will join your camp then I will not like to look back and for this to happen I will have to study it from all perspectives. Give me some time, sir.
MK: Of course. Take all the time you want. In Sanskrit (which by the way is as much your language as Urdu is mine, though you may be unaware of it) it is said ‘Satyamev Jayate’ which means the truth ultimately triumphs.
AT: Yup. Satyamev Jayate.
MK: My god! I have really made a Pakistani speak Sanskrit! First victory to IRA!
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.]