To That Neighbour I Have Never Met – We Need To Talk

Posted by Veena Shankar in History, Human Rights, Politics, Specials
February 9, 2018

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

We need to talk – you and I – without anybody prying over our conversation. We need to talk about this border that separates us. About our history texts tarnished with lies to suit the privileged and powerful few of our nations. About how our hands were entwined so intricately with each other’s that when they tried to tear us apart, we didn’t have the time to let go. Now we have a knot-shaped entangled mass of fingers lining our border; some are scarred, some bleeding.

I know that you have lost loved ones on your side of the border. So have I. Maybe that is why as greedy hands of power try to pull us apart, tangling the knots even further; I refuse to play an active role in freeing my fingers away from you. How can I? We are family.

They tell me that it is a fight of religion. They tell me that my country hates yours and your country hates mine. I find that ridiculous. Aren’t we all individuals with our minds and opinions? Generalising an entire nation to such an extent would be just showcasing ignorance. Differences of opinion can occur. It isn’t a crime. Waging war, however, isn’t the solution.
We were victims of a crude plan of power hungry men willing to risk anything to come to power. Even today, this hatred is being fed to us consciously by countries who benefit from this war. You see it too, don’t you?
While my country hikes it’s defence budget every year to get ready to fight you when the time comes; poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and lack of adequate healthcare remain the pressing issues that we’re yet to combat. I am sure that you have your own set of hurdles in your country.
Nevertheless, here I am; extending a hand of friendship, silencing the voices around me that want to instil fear. They feed on our hatred, you see.
But I find that my hand is already in yours, entwined as one at our border. They have buried it under years of bloodshed and hatred, but I can feel my fingers holding onto yours. Can you?

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