By Meher Inayat:
“PatriotismÂ doesn’tÂ mean to hate the people living on the other side of the border, but to love your fellow citizens and to work for their welfare.”
– Dr. Pervez Hoodbouy (Nuclear Physicist)
I would like to add another point to the quote, patriotism also entails creating good feelings towards our nation in the hearts of the people of other nations. By doing this, we are increasing well wishers for our nation and at the same time are showing the country a path that leads to peace and development. When it comes to friendship between India and Pakistan, politics has always taken over the minds of the people that has made the relations feeble more than anything else. Even if we pretend that we don’t have any grudges against each other, there exists something deep inside us that makes us biased towards the other country.
We were left only with two Cs through which both the countries could have been brought together on one platform for promoting peace and friendship, i.e. Cinema and Cricket. These were the only ways that have been free from the intervention of politics, however, from what we have experienced in the past few years, we can infer that politics has been spoiling them in ways like no other.
Cricket is no more a game between the two countries but is a new form of war which is watched live by the whole world. When there is a match between India and Pakistan, it always is a do or die situation otherwise the losing side cannot possibly face their nation. On the other hand, most of the youth tend to have verbal wars on social media that increase the intensity of hatred even in the hearts of the people who are not biased. I often ask myself as to why, even though we are against the policies of our governments, more often than not, we blindly follow the path that they show us. Here, the path means that we are against each other because our politicians are against each other. And then Pakistani players were not allowed in the IPL because of the political situation between the two countries was not stable.
I believe Pakistani players should have been included in the recent IPL as we need to make cricket pure and promote friendship between the two countries in the real sense. Moreover, these are cricketers and are not related to any political party or any other group. We are not supposed to feel threatened by them. If we are dragging politics into cricket then this means that we are insulting the game and eventually, are spoiling the minds of the people, especially the youth. Or maybe we do not really want to have good relations with each other. The fact that they were not included only shows how the conflict has deepened, so much so that we do not even want to interact with each other through a game. This will not spoil the relations between the two countries because sadly, the relation has already crumbled politically.
There is one thing that I have observed, Indians claim that they have tried hard to have good relations with Pakistan but it is Pakistan who wants to harm us. On the other hand, Pakistanis say that, we have pure hearts and we consider Indians as our brothers but it is them who consider us as their enemies. So, there exists a huge misunderstanding between the two countries. For instance, dragging the whole India vs Pakistan debate into the case of Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, who is allegedly under the scanner in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal, is nothing but a ridiculous thing to do.
Pakistan and India, being neighbors and global citizens, will have to work with each other on many platforms and are dependent on each other for many reasons. However, when we will lose the very crucial opportunities for coming closer, then it only means that we do not want to end the conflicts. Moreover, making these opportunities beneficial means coming out of the messy situations that both the countries are facing. For example, India and Pakistan spend a lot of money on defense just in order to protect themselves from each other. If the two didn’t have threats from one another, I am sure that the amount spent on the army could be used for development purposes such as poverty reduction, education, health and others in order to bring prosperity in the regions. On the other hand, a platform will be provided to the countries where they can interact with each other over different areas.
There certainly exists a problem between the two countries which cannot be denied. But do we want to keep this conflict till the end? We need to forget about the past and move forward. We need to be more rational and find the reasons of the problems instead of blaming each other. Furthermore, talking about the recent IPL and the controversies over the Pakistani umpire was in a way missing an opportunity for building a friendly environment. Instances such as this absolutely need to be avoided in the future.