I am my Brother’s Keeper: A Dialogue about South Asian politics

” I’m talking about a moral deficit. I’m talking about an empathy deficit. I’m taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother’s keeper; we are our sister’s keeper; ……. we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny” President-elect Barack Obama


Its after a long time, I am writing about politics. The main reason being the sordid images from Mumbai that trembled everyone around the world taking the already troubled South Asian politics into its lowest ebb ever. As an individual, it really shook me. The degree of planning that went into the most dastardly attacks and the scale of the human casualty along with haughtiness of the politicians shook me and questioned me about what we are all about. It was a disturbing week nevertheless.

As mentioned in the earlier posts, my work for the Cancer Board study has made me obtain lot of newer friends some of them the very ones from Pakistan. Naturally the concern for them was whether India would actually attack Pakistan or not. Your truly was actually having a really good conversation with one of them regarding the matter. The argument from my side was that India hasn’t attacked a country in 5000 years and will never do the step. The opposing argument not only nullified it, but also pointed out that the terrorists were from the Indian part of Punjab and so on. Well as a true Indian, I did get miffed so I decided that it was hightime he got a dose. I replied ” Yea!  Manmohan Singh one night decided to attack Pakistan. Next day he went to his generals, Ok get ready we are going to attack Pakistan now. The generals replied, Sir, attack karne ke liye Pakistan to hain hi nahiin..” It did leave the fellow Pakistani co-worker stumped, nevertheless, the tube-light he was, took time to get the joke. When he actually did, shared a good laugh with us amid cries of bossadi wallah…!

Amidst the tiny mirage of laughter in this insecure times we do have a problem in Pakistan. It was the quintessential North Indian Congress politics that created Pakistan. Everyone from Gandhi to Jinnah had a role to play in the creation of this country. It was a creation of hate where the intellectuals from Lahore and tradesman from Sindh along with the ethnic Baluchis to Pashtuns found their way to this quagmire. Three wars, nuclear tests, IC 814 what do we get, still the status quo doesn’t change. Talk peace and you get Mumbai, talk war and you get the looming nuclear threat, keep quiet and mind your business, you get Kashmir to Kargil. What is the actual problem of this nation called Pakistan ? Hate. What makes them hate us so much? What is in the religion of Islam that actually makes them create Kashmir to Kargil ? It’s this very problem of Pakistan that made me study Islam when I was young. Searching through translations to commentaries, I wasn’t able to find a source for his hatred.

Now, the question is should India go for the onslaught ? Should we go ahead and finish this menace once and for all ? Or watch as the dog of Islamic fundamentalism bite its very master to its certain death ? The question is far complex as in both ways we are going to see the onslaught of the largest refugee displacement ever seen in human history. The Brits who cunningly gave us this gift of the Damocles sword in the form of Pakistan has kept quiet. Only in Barack Obama we see a candid confession that Pakistan is not an ally in terror but the very source of this terror. Why is this terror linked to a religion that actually brought civilization to the Arabs ? The answers are complex. From Taliban to the madrassas everything revolves around the Wahabi form of the religion. Its a pity when young lads go around shooting innocent people in the name of jihad. The hatred that people begin to have about the religion has seen an increase in an exponential manner. What is the solution ? Why are the elites of Karachi and Lahore silent ? What happened to voice of the common man in the country ? How could any country elect someone as corrupt as Zardari as its president or let a rogue agency like ISI run the foreign policy of the country ? What could be the solution ?

I thought about this situation as a very active watcher of Pakistani politics, the politics of the Legharis, Sharifs to Bhuttos. The solution to this impasse is simply military intelligence along with peace and reconciliation. I don’t ascribe to the notion of secret services that creating internal unrest in the country is a solution but nevertheless as part of any solution we need is a strong military intelligence agency first. This puts it in direct confrontation with ISI and should be able to neutralize the ISI, the same way Mossad nullified everything from Black September terrorists to PLO. Violent form of Islam has to be tamed through a more active and tolerant form of the religion through religious intervention, discussion and propagation. Pakistan should be made the Most Favored Nation of India in trade and we should stop the support given to Mohajirs and Baluchis. Its this very fact that has alienated the educated Pakistani people and made them to look down at us with suspicion. Pakistani students should be allowed to study in our universities and made to see the secular fabric of our society. Our politicians should restrain from using Pakistan as a tool to garner votes and like any foreign country, Pakistan should be given respect it deserves. I have always maintained that we erred in supporting the creation of Bangladesh and how the country looks now just supports the very fact. On all levels, we need to have a debate with Pakistan, be it culture, trade, sports to religious discussion. When this happens, the source of this religious hatred will be exposed, the very person from Dawood to Maulana Azhar who ascribe to this inspiration for their various acts will have no standing and naturally will be made to move out. When we can beat them in their own game with intelligence, tolerance, sensitivity and compassion, the war with Pakistan will cease and we shall have a peaceful South Asia that we can always be proud of.


Picture Courtesy:

Image 1: http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2007/0711/postcard_wagah_1130.jpg

Image 2: www.pakistani.it

Published by Tenny Thomas

I have tried to do the best in every circumstance that I have been thrown into. Blogging is one of them.

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