Pakistan’s (love) hate affair with India

Published: August 27, 2011

One wonders if there is an overlap between the two cultures. PHOTO: REUTERS

While contemplating the widely proclaimed idea of nations bearing distinct personalities, my thoughts recently forayed into what diagnosis a shrink would have proposed for Pakistan as a ‘person’, considering the events that it has endured. The country’s genesis in the year 1947 as a result of a disturbing, gory and a relentless bloodbath with its Siamese twin (though many would call it our step-brother) left the nation in  an erratic frame of mind.

We can not dispute the fact that there have been numerous skirmishes in Pakistan’s early years with its so-called brother, followed by  a serious scuffle over the ownership rights on Pakistan’s favorite ‘Cashmere sweater’ – a nickname circulating in literary circles these days. Many may remember the same, as a confrontation in which Pakistan got a good thrashing. This, and many other instances, mark an unsettling and belligerent period of relations Pakistan has experienced with India in their chequered course of history.

Now transforming the personality-disorder-inflicted person back to its origins of a proud nation of 170 million, we discover that regardless of the age factor, every individual around loves to hate our neighboring country with a vengeance. This torrid emotion is witnessed particularly in a cricket match confrontation. We behave as if the showdown is not in the stadium but in the battlefield. The fervor and devotion tantamounts to religious zeal, so much so that country’s leadership declares a half day public holiday on account of the world cup. The media spins everyone into utter frenzy branding it as a battle of nerves and what not!

A country we passionately abhor – a sentiment obvious in so many ways – calls for this detestation to manifest across all genres. However, one is simply appalled at the contradiction of behavior in certain areas. We are at loggerheads when it comes to any competition be it sport, academics, corporate platform or any other forum where Pakistan is versus India, but when it comes to Bollywood, we act as if the biggest fan-followers of this multi-billion industry reside only in Pakistan on the world map! We are totally enamored with their silver screen stars. The latest songs are blaring through the headphones of our iPods or CD players, we are dancing to their tunes in our weddings. We await the new releases and queue up for hours just to catch the premier shows as if each is going to be the last one! We can’t help swooning over the Ashs, the Sushs, the Big Bs and the Khans! Iifa and Star Plus awards become an occasion for the family to huddle up in front of the telly, and the next day office conversation revolves around a full running commentary of what who was wearing or not wearing, carrying, dancing and singing!

We don’t want to waste a single opportunity of missing out on an Indian dress designer item should anyone in our immediate or extended circle happen to cross the border. There is a long list of shopping items, particularly reserved for that part, which so doesn’t exhaust, and gets ridiculous to the core including things such as imitation jewelry. Things which are commonly available in our local markets at every furlong!

The madness doesn’t end here; we take so much pride in getting the bridal outfits and trousseau made from the Indian designers. The ten functions as per ‘our’ norms in a typical wedding are inspired by the ‘big brother’ country too! We have even started celebrating the occasion of ‘Holi’ which involves playing with colors, which is fine, but then why the hate? Serious bi-polar disease!

Now come back to the burning passion we sport against the country, fierce competition, larger than life egos, the violent sagas of the Siamese twins, favorite ‘cashmere sweater’ conflict and the overwhelming cricket fever. What a stark contrast!! Are we a confused nation or what? Or do we suffer from a dichotomy of character or has the personality disorder of the country trickled down to every citizen inhabiting in it? As countries do we share a common culture or we never had the originality to create our own version or we conveniently became guilty of plagiarism as far as rituals and practices are concerned.

It seems puzzling to an onlooker but one wonders if there is an overlap between the two cultures. If yes, then why didn’t our culture get transported to that side of the divide? Why haven’t our ‘Meeras’ and ‘Reemas’ taken the lead in making their places in the hearts of Indian youth, or our ‘Shaans’ and ‘Kiran Kahanis’ adorned billboards on their thoroughfares and idiot boxes respectively?

Are the explanations to these anomalies grounded in the pages of history or is it the evolution theory that has gradually brainwashed us into fading the lines of novelty and adopting borrowed practices…

I ask myself why this generation was brought up hating the neighbor, especially if every social and cultural norm of theirs is admired here – is there a collective personality disorder here?


Sirajuddin Aziz

The author is a senior banker with extensive national and international banking experience. He is currently the CEO of a financial institution.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Steven

    I think the author is exagerating the issue a bit. Yes many Pakistanis watch Indian movies as do many other Third World nations because it appeals to the simple feelings and mind set of people in developing countries. That’s why Arabs and Africans also watch Indian movies. However educated Pakistanis and 2nd generation Pakistanis in the West relate little to Bollywood movies and culture. My parents may watch Indian movies for entertainment but to me they have no appeal. I prefer to watch Western movies, either from Hollywood and European films which have more depth and sophistication than your 3 hour ling romance- love- hate- song- love- happy ending Bollywood staple. As for Holi, I don’t think very many Pakistanis celebrate this or Diwali or the festival of Onam! Recommend

  • Rehan

    The “two-nation theory” (as racist and backward as it was) completely collapsed the day Bengalis stood up for their own nation against Pakistan.
    It’s about time we as Pakistanis decide what our future is going to be. We can either accept our Indian heritage, identity, and culture, and open up trade with our giant neighbour for economic benefit, growth and progress; or, we can keep going down the path to Talibanization, Militarization, Arabization, and isolation. Sadly, many Pakistanis are so brainwashed into just hating India just for the sake of hating it, that they will choose the second path almost unconsciously.
    Warm Regards,
    Rehan (a peace-loving Pakistani who has come to embrace his Indian heritage)Recommend

  • som

    good blog. keep it upRecommend

  • Ravi

    Its great that some people in pakistan have returned to the roots.
    But i ask a simple question How many of such people are there in pakistan ?????
    And how the liberated people like you are going to persuade the hate mongers????Recommend

  • tanoli

    i never seen any body celebrating holi oops try again mr writer
    not lot of peoples either knows about fashion desighners of indiano. another wrong shot
    and third most of us even abandon those shadi rasoomath too so please try next time oops.Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    IRONY –

    Of all the good things India has to offer, the one thing Pakistan chose was the worst that comes out of our country – mindless, senseless, frivolous, cheesy BOLLYWOOD!

    Now, I must question the collective intellect of Pakistan!!!Recommend

  • Khurram

    @Sirajuddin Aziz: Sir an excellent write up revealing the very soul of my Nation.

    @Rehan. I am a third generation proud Pakistani and also like yourself take an equal pride in my Indian heritage. We have become a Flawed and Confused Nation because we not only lost our Real Identity but were forced by the Selfish and Shortsighted Ruling Elite to adopt and love something that is completely alien to us. The result of such experimentation and emotional exploitation is in front of us.Recommend

  • N

    “why this generation was brought up hating the neighbor, especially if every social and cultural norm of theirs is admired here – is there a collective personality disorder here?”

    It is not only this generation but every generation since our birth – 1947, that was raised on a healthy diet of hate towards India. Siamese twins we were not. Our founders told us that. We were seperate and unique. We were two nations. That was the theory. The large scale violence (to achieve our goal) drilled the animus in our minds and hearts.

    Nationally and collectively we engaged in revision of our history. We changed our books. We proclaimed a new national narrative. It was steeped in the superiority of Muslims/Islam and the inferiority of others. Hindu was the constant associated with a lesser being. We tagged our Bengali citizens with the H word – the ultimate insult.

    Social and cultural norms, including movies, while watched and practiced did not earn our admiration to the extent that we could discard our hatred. Arab customs and Islam – we started to adopt. Kudahafiz gradually ceded ground to Allahafiz. The Republic became an Islamic Republic. The east most nation of Middle East, we sought to become. To be in South Asia was too much for us. It reminded us of India – not us, as in Pakistan. We wanted to be (and are) ‘not-India’ first, everything else second, Pakistanis last! A very interesting patient we would be for any shrink. The shrink would have to be equally crazy to take us in. Recommend

  • Hello

    @Steven:So you have bcum hybrid,right?Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    There is no better teacher than the lessons of History. To create a dynamic, vibrant and progressive society we need to draw inspiration from great deeds and make sure we avoid the pitfalls. When a country falsifies history for whatever reason or purpose and constrains itself within the confines of a narrow narrative, the going will be tough. If regressive forces cannot be challenged due to imposed restrictions on free speech due to repressive legislation passed, the space and freedom to pursue out of the box solutions to pressing problems is destroyed.
    Today both the State and people are seeing imaginary enemies in every shadow and a sense of persecution is fostered.
    India is only an incidental reference in the topic covered by the author, the issue at the root of the problem is a mindset. We need to learn from the positive experiences of all cultures and it is only possible if diversity is embraced and the belief that any Religion is superior to another is thrown into the garbage bin. The nation has lost its capacity for Love and is in a bear hug with hate and bigotry, inevitably contradictions are inevitable. Recommend

  • Kevin Fernandes

    Hate or love, but there will always be an affair going on between both our nations and no one can change that atleast in the near future.So hopes that it is more of love and less hate.Recommend

  • neel123

    This is precisely because mixing religion with politics is a lethal mix. Pakistan has systematically and efficiently preached hatred and intolerance towards India and the Hindus for generations, through school text books, through the state run media and in the mosques, on daily basis for the last sixty years.Recommend

  • freeman

    Did bangladesh became part of india after independence? no. This is clearly show the two-nation theory was correct. I think people like you have been brainwashed who have limited thinkings. You should check the whole history of pakistan and india before and after independence.

    You should have also read the book Jinnah India-Partition Independence Written by Jaswant singh former Indian Foreign Minister.

    When you talk about the india and Pakistan you should think broadly. I also want to have a good relationship with India as we are neibhours and have quite good potential if we trade together. Both countries economy will thrive. Both countries can be a world economical powers.

    India has never let the Pakistan to complete as a country as they have occupied Kashmir. Indian itself took Kashmir issue in UNITED NATION and promised that they will give Kashmiries right to decide for their own future. India broken this promise.

    If india wants to do business with Pakistan why they do not resolve those issue which are root cause of all these problems in india and Pakistan. They have now also started to block and started to nick Pakistan’s share of water from Kashmir.

    Recently India has also objected and opposed in World trade center regarding European Union special business deals with Pakistan. So Pakistan could be able to do business with European Unions. but as india opposed Pakistan cannot get this special deal.Recommend

  • Raj

    Saaday Baabay Leeka Chumiya, Saanu Matt Ki Auni..Recommend

  • Cynical

    I share your sentiments.Recommend

  • Steven

    @Rehan: Sorry man your comments don’t really wash. I’m a pretty secular Pakistani who wants good relations with India but I do not consider myself Indian at all and I have no desire to embrace Indian “heritage” as you call it. Sure there are some commonalities as neighbours but there is something special about being Pakistani. You forget that the land of Pakistan has its own unique history for a long time. As for Baluchistan and Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa, these provinces could just as easily be part of the Middle East or Central Asia. Sind was called Al Sind in Arab times and was completely independent from from other places.. So people like you in India are just talking about breaking up Pakistan. I hate to say it, even areligious guys like me can’t be friends with your type of Indian who refuses to see Pakistan’s own history and status as a sovereign nation. If you want to live in peace seriously learn to respect your neighbours.Recommend

  • M

    It is interesting that you mention your interest in Hollywood movies. I would argue that the same problem exists with Pakistanis viz a viz the US. The simple folk as you put it align towards Bollywood, and the intellectuals towards Hollywood. The intellectuals wish to go to the US and settle there on the first opportunity. They like living there, and they like there culture. In fact a lot of news anchors on Pakistani news channels, try to have a US accent for their English. They tacitly acknowledge the higher living standards and greater freedoms in the US and yet hate the US with a passion.
    They refuse to recognize that the higher living standards are a direct outcome of greater individual freedoms and greater individual contributions, in short a larger focus on an individual than a society. Asian cultures tend to be group oriented and uphold that as religion or tradition, when in fact this undermining of the individual in favor of the group is what causes the decline of Asiatic societies. For example, a scientist who addresses an issue that might hurt the ‘public sentiment’ is immediately expected to stop. In the US this would happen not at all or very little. So people have the freedom to explore and discover new things and make every one more prosperous.
    Blasphemy laws, extreme mob oriented hate towards one thing, the justification of murder of individuals for vague abstract hurts are all a result of assuming that individuals must always subsume to society. Recommend

  • antony

    I am neither following bollywood nor holi nor any hindi (north india tradition) but stilll bound in my heart as an indian with my own tamil tradition but still feeling as indian in UK interacting with a pakistani cab driver with a big heart …I bet that pakistani cab driver reciprocated his friendliness as a neigbhour and I wish pakistanis one thing ..Stop hating indians as it is a mix of many traditions and languages loosely knit with national identity and would request pakistanis to understand rather than hate ..I am not asking for love but just dont hate and better your own lives..Recommend

  • G. Din

    It must take a lot of guts to own up to your inner feelings in such an #1-enemy-India atmosphere. I commend you for it.Recommend

  • Mani

    Writer may not know or ignored beautifully large fan following of Veena Mailk. Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Rahat Fateh Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali, Adnan Sami Khan, and you name it. Whenever it is style, fashion and glamor both nations stood side by side!! Recommend

  • Faraz (Bangalore)

    In my opinion the shared heritage was never ‘Indian’ in first place. The day Pakistan tried to reject or disown it, it became ‘Indian’. And now Pakistan is reluctant to own back something which was always hers…Ironical…But i feel its never too late…lets own up and be proud of our common (rich and colorful) heritage to make it ‘Indus’ from ‘Indian’…Recommend

  • hx

    two nation theory never collapsed the day bangladesh separated…
    infact it proved its point of two nation theory all again…
    bengalis and rest pakistani’s had nothing in common than religion…
    and dont consider indian culture as supreme…sadly many indians are brainwashed and condemn pakistan jst for the sake of downgrading…indians propose that having good relations with india will benefit pakistan, and hating india would cost pakistan… onnn on ur dreams…talking as if india has the golden status of superpower already..
    pakistani’s dont hate indians…
    for the point of downgrading, indians go beyond a line…
    hina rabbani khar visited india…visit went good,but the cheap comments that flooded on indian media was a pathetic view of india as a whole…cant respect a modern foreign lady and u talk about women in pak?

    im a moderate pakistani..dont hate indians americans or anyone…
    why should we accept indian heritage culture or anything..? we have our own status, culture heritage…enough to keep us going…!Recommend

  • http://Delhi Delhi Belly

    @Rehan: @Author : I cordially welcome this topic and I am not looking at this subject through the prism of “India’s Vistory” in sense of influencing itself upon Pakistan. I see it rather as spark which will hopefully turn into burning question and thinking in minds of our people to really take a step back and ponder on why do we hate each other ? Being Hindu and Muslim as many would suggest is obviously not a factor since India has quite a considerable population of Muslims too. Traditions are same hence the fondness of each other’s tradition. I am hindu by birth but maybe my cosmopolitan upbringing in Bombay in streets of Masjid Bunder where 2/3rd of my neighbors are muslims has ingrained in me a sense of mutual cultural respect with my fellow muslim neighbors and I felt the same mutual respect and sense of harmony from them. So what is different between India and Pakistan ? Answer certainly lies in history. Answer lies in true reasons behind asking out muslim state. We had a best opportunity to make this sun continent a truly diverse and secular republic with people having common background, tradition, sufferings, passion and history live in harmony under one roof. A long shot, an ideal society indeed. Many would have challenged it’s potency and predicted it’s eventual doom, but we have no way to find other wise. We followed this path of breaking the sub continent into pieces and as the current state speaks loudly, we are not doing good. India may have overrun Pakistan in terms of national economy but suffers from chronic corruption and not all it’s citizens able to reap on the countries success. Bangladesh is young, starting to come out of it’s dark past and slowly emerging as a potent market and nation to trade with, Pakistan is marred with terrorism and fight for it’s sovereignty vis a vis USA where the later has become more of a master than a friend.
    So how it would have been if India Pakistan and Bangladesh has been a single nation. Many theory and discussion would suggest that we would have failed, but all this suggestions, theory and discussion will be judging from the current failures as a separate nation. Recommend

  • Kevin Fernandes

    There is no defined national culture or tradition which is exculsive to a particular nation but inculsive in all its citizens in a multicultural country like Pakistan or India.There will always be overlapping in traditions and culture between adjoining regions and nations.For example, I m sure that a Punjabi in Pakistan will have a lot of commonality with Indian Punjab.Same in the case between Sindh and Gujarat-Rajasthan while Pakhtunkhwa will have more common in Afghanistan and Baluchistan in Iran’s Sistan.Recommend

  • Raj

    What about your own media’s opinion about your foreign minister? The Indian media just commented on her attire and sense of fashion. The Pak media was judgemental, branding her ‘un-Islamic’.Recommend

  • maestro

    @narayana murthy:
    Thats bollywood and star tv etc is the only exposure to India a typical Pakistani gets here. They dont anything else about your or other things that India has to offer. Well of course cricket also. Thats the problem that can only really be solved if people were allowed to meet each other regularly – I can tell you things will change dramatically then. Recommend

  • My Name is Khan

    @ freeman – not at all. What logic are you using? Do the 150 million+ Indian Muslims not disprove the Two Nation Theory on a daily basis? Bangladesh’s separation proves that religion itself is not a sufficient reason for creating and holding together a nation. Bangladesh has its own identity around being Bengali. Bengali Muslims and Hindus get along quite well despite the efforts of our Pakistani troops and paramilitaries in inciting ethnic hatred in the 1970s.

    @ Steve – what a truly “Pakistani” name my compatriot. I am Pashtun and please don’t claim that K-P could easily be part of the Middle East. We are not “Indian” and we are not “Arab” but rather a mix of many cultures. I can live with that comfortably. It takes some brain power to be comfortable living in a world where everything is not black and white.

    Our identity was not “Indian” but rather whatever the inhabitants of our lands were. It was only for the creation of Pakistan that we had to make “Indian” be other rather than one component of the many beautiful cultures including Persian that have influenced us. The author makes a brilliant argument that some of the ultra-nationalists completely miss. Indians don’t see us as that different and they are mostly correct. The differences have only arisen out of our desperation to deny one part of the influences in our past. That has left us lacking in identity. Pakistan has massive internal ethnic strife – witness Karachi, Baluchistan, Southern Punjab, etc. Clearly, the “nation of Pakistan” is in question. Perhaps we should stop denying the past and try to create a real identity.Recommend

  • Ran

    Its is a fact that Pakistani media will bend over backwards to please the Indians and so will the Pakistani governments. The problem is the Indians who hate Pakistan. They are psychologically and philosophically against Pakistan. They want to destroy Pakistan at any cost. Recommend

  • Ranjit

    I do not understand the confusion……Pakistan is a muslim nation and its culture is a combination of hindu, budhhist and islamic cultures……..India is a neighboring nation with some similarities in culture…….this is no different than two countries in Europe…….the last I checked, no one in their right minds wants to erase any borders…….

    So what is the fight about?……..the so called hindu-muslim conflict has been shown to be a imaginary construct…….150 million muslims live in India and they are quite happy……not even one muslim has tried to leave India for Pakistan in the past 50 years….India has great relations with all muslims nations as well………so its really time to cut the rhetoric and settle down to productive relations in trade, tourism…….Recommend

  • Sushant

    At least you know the name of Onam! Many people in North & East part of India, dont even know that! Either you have some good no. of Indian friends or you googled about Indian Festivals. Indian Movies are not just Bollywood. & even bollywood offer some great sensitive/ actionflicks other than love hate song romance blah blah blah! Good to know unlike older generation, you treat India differently. Hope, in future, may be 5th generation pakistanis (post 47s) may be able to remove thier hatred towards us & prosper like what we r trying to do! (We too have to go miles, hopefully by sticking to Mahatma Gandhi’s path, we ll achieve it someday pakka, in very near future! Hope, you too, or for that matter people in Pakistan will achieve the same by following Jinnah’s path!!!!!)Recommend

  • Sushant

    Dear Freeman! India’s economy is thrivng! We have become one of the economical power! & We dont even need Pakistan! Any trade between us will only help pakistan. Still we want to! as a more developed Pakistan will have lesser people who would want to be militants & bomb India!
    Its high time you start recognizing Mahatma’s way! Still if you are in your shell, just google/ wiki about Anna Hazare n his acitivities, its impact..Recommend

  • hx


    rather than just advocating indo-pak friendship, and ,kind of, ordering pakistan to forward its hand to india…you all should also work for indo pak friendship within india also…
    u expect pakistan to wipe off the anti india sentiment…whereas leaving anti pak sentiment in india on high level…?
    pakistani’s are not anti india…if india gives a positive response then who are we to reject india? we want friendship with india as much as indians want…

    i didnt watched hina’s personal life and tight jeans pictures unfolding in the pakistani media…only in indian media she was being dealt like fashion minister than foreign minister..Recommend

  • Ravi

    Recently India has also objected and opposed in World trade center regarding European Union special business deals with Pakistan. So Pakistan could be able to do business with European Unions. but as india opposed Pakistan cannot get this special deal.

    Well well well………………..
    Pakistan’s ex girlfriend Bangladesh also opposed the same relaxation to pakistani industries why don’t you go and ask them the real reason?????
    And by the way why do you want the India to reciprocate in a humane way when it doesn’t get any results for that????
    But since you have made a point i would like to clarify the last zillion time that this was not going to help pakistan’s farmers or the displaced people due to floods because most of the cloth industries are run by or backed by feudal lords of pakistan who eventually don’t pay taxes.
    India was not against helping pakistan’s flood displaced people but we were against the methods adopted by EU to help pakistan and because as a matter of fact the money was never going to lead to the real recipients of the aid . Recommend

  • G. Din

    “.150 million muslims live in India and they are quite happy……not even one muslim has tried to leave India for Pakistan in the past 50 years…”
    Wrong! They may not be unhappy, but they certainly are not happy. They are happy now because various secular political parties pamper them as a vote bank. They have no value for their vote or democracy; they just want to live as well as possible at the cost of society at large. Remind yourself that but for those very Muslims, Pakistan would not have even been born. Why they did not migrate to their milieu? They had nothing to offer to Pakistan and would have been reduced to penury in that land. Besides, it is the bounden duty of every good * Muslim to help in helping to convert *dar-ul-harab to dar-ul-Islam. You don’t do that by fleeing the dar-ul-harab Only those who were well-to-do amongst them migrated.
    “India has great relations with all muslims nations as well……”
    Wrong again! Indians like to believe that they have good relations with the Muslim world; Muslim world does not. They do not pass on on any opportunity to embarrass India in a collective manner. Witness the umpteen OIC resolutions or their military and economic help to Pakistan when it attacked India.
    “so its really time to cut the rhetoric and settle down to productive relations in trade, tourism…….”
    Bingo!But only as equals. No concessions, no me-little-brother-you-big -brother-so-be-magnanimous relations. You pays, you gets the goods; you has no money, you takes a hike. Recommend

  • hariharmani

    Pakistan love -hate relationship.Burning mid night oil on things which are very complex problems and offer no way out,it is better not to make things worse.India has managed relation with pakistan reasonably well,given the hurdles,it has not gone over-board.I’m very reserved in my emotions and excersize fair control.India for many mis-steps,does not fall over pakistan,it leaves her pretty alone.Best way,is let the relation develop slowly,more by need than emotion.If ,the parties avoid,kargil,mumbai like events,things will be ok,when all generation of pre-partition die of natural death,may be another 25 years.By wishful thinking like ‘aman ki asha’,we are twins,cousin has not helped in last64 years,see all american support in aid and military arms has not made Uncle Sam,any loved in pakistan.It was based on wrong assumption,like house of cards it collepsed,it is no ones fault,sand domes do not withstand strong waves.Heard story about Don and the windmill?Hindu/muslims rift is real in the mind of one party,that is good enough,the other trying to disprove is fighting with windmill.I like realist,not idealist,they have no clue,I feel saddened for people who express their feelings like Rahen,who get clobbered by people who have no use for sentiments.In reality,some one of south india expressed,he has little affinity with a punjabi or north indian than a taxi driver from pakistan,he truely hit nail on the head,India and Indian itself a misnomer,it is a lose term,which binds most people who currently live in the geograpic land mass which got for lack of better name India/Hindu?hindustan,we are essentially “sanathan’that is ‘eternal’.I trust and hope we remain so,dispite effort to divide us.Pakistani and Pakistan,if it help you,hate us or love us,we desire “NEITHER”,it suits us fine regardless,we hope we do not hate you in return,that’s all I can ask the people of india.I write,to ease the pain of suffering,make love possible,evil understandable and justice desirable,some one said.Recommend

  • Hatim

    My aunt can’t find an apartment in Mumbai because she is Muslim. An Indian MP had the same problem. Still want to become an Indian?Recommend

  • Ranjit

    ‘Muslim to help in helping to convert *dar-ul-harab to dar-ul-Islam. You don’t do that by fleeing the dar-ul-harab’
    G.Din saab, with all due respect, these are outdated sentiments…….Islam is not a recent religion in India……it has been around for 1000 years or more……..if Ghaznavi, Ghori and Aurangzeb could not establish dar-ul-Islam, why put the responsibility of that on poor Indian muslims who are just trying to lead their lives peacefully?…….and, by the way, they are free to preach and convert in India……..we are a free country where everyone has the freedom to practice and propagate their faith……if someone likes Islam and converts, that is just fine……people like you need to stop hating others so much…….at the end of the day, we are all here temporarily for a few years and will return back to the dust…….

    ‘Wrong! They may not be unhappy, but they certainly are not happy’
    Sirjee, you need to travel to India and see for yourself…….hindu-muslim relations have improved dramatically from what it was in 1947 and what you may have heard from your elders…………there are 150 million muslims in India………how many have started jihad or suicide bombings?………if they were unhappy, would they just sit by idly?…..and dont think that they do not have any courage…….the cousins of Indian muslims are the Muhajirs in Karachi………the Muhajirs are really unhappy in Pakistan and you can see that in the ethnic war they are fighting just for their survival…….even today Express Tribune writes about how people in Karachi are killing each other based only on ethnicity, not even religion and putting body parts in sacks………that is the most Unislamic thing imaginable…….that is why Muhajirs have armed themselves……but muslims in India have not done that……..also do you hear about suicide bombs in Mosques in India?……..never…….on the other hand, hindus go to dargahs like Ajmer Sharif or Nizamuddin and pray with their compatriots……..

    ‘Indians like to believe that they have good relations with the Muslim world’
    My friend, go to the Islamic world and you will see that professional jobs, IT, backoffice are run by Indians……..Indians are considered honest, hard working and well educated………has the OIC or any Islamic nation stepped in to fight in Kashmir?…….do they care about it like they care about Palestine?……no way……..even in Afghanistan, ordinary Afghans like Indians……..we have earned the respect of the Islamic world by our deeds, not by rhetoric…..

    This is not to say that we dont have our faults…..the Gujarats, the riots etc……but India is changing rapidly, very rapidly in fact……and yes, we will pay in full for anything that we trade with you…….Inshallah, we have plenty of money these days…..:-)Recommend

  • Anglofile

    Hatred is a powerful weapon and keeps, unwise, in particular, alive in perpetuation.India and Pakistan have squandered their precious limited resources on destroying old bridges rather than building new ones.This has enriched global ‘ military industrial complex’ and their stooges within and without their borders to amass wealth at the cost of welfare of their peoples.It has hugely retarded their democratic and economic growth.

    It is high time now to realise their follies and ensuing poverty trap that is the end result of such follies.Recommend

  • rehmat

    “It seems puzzling to an onlooker but one wonders if there is an overlap between the two cultures. If yes, then why didn’t our culture get transported to that side of the divide?”

    Maybe Reema and Meea have not but Rahr Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam and Shafqat Amant Ali have made a mark i India.
    The PTV serials in the 70s and 80s like Dhoop Kiare, Tanhaiyan, Ankahi etc. were also big hits in India.

    If a Pakistani entertainment product is as nice or better than Indian product, ti will succeed not otherwise.Recommend

  • Fathima Afridi

    I wonder why all the people think that way,why do people think the two nations have the same culture and same language??According to me,PAKISTAN has a variety of cultures namely pashthoon,balochi,sindhi and punjabi and different languages and out of all these cultures only punjabis have their roots in india and only they can understand hindi language and culture,in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa many people cant understand punjabi even,let alone hindi,punjabis are the only ones who migrated from india,all the other cultures were independant people who willingly joined hands with Pakistan just because of Islam that is the strongest bond which binds people irrespective of their origin and will keep Pakistan together and in love forever Inshaallah we are way different than indians in all matters of life be it religion,language and culture,we have our own unique identity and we are proud of that,and mr author about holi and diwaali etc,i have never witnessed any such thing,may be you are the only one to celebrate diwali etcRecommend

  • A.

    we shouldnt HATE any country.
    but in all honestly, i have ZERO desire to identify myself as indian. yes, pakistani and indian culture are veyr similar. yes, pakistan at tiems emulates india. but really? pakistan was created to be separate from india, as a muslim state, because clearly muslims and non muslims ie hindus, christians, and so on, couldnt live peacefully together. thus, pakistan was created. we should accept that we have indian heritage but we should also accept our ‘new’ identity as pakistanis, and work on improving it :)Recommend

  • Homa

    Bravo to Rehan! Welcome home, oh child of Mother India.Recommend

  • Rahul Singh

    @freeman: If Bangladesh doesn’t merge with India it does not mean that two nation theory was correct. If you compare situation of India and Pakistan today you will get your answer. India has become a major global power whereas Pakistan is struggling to survive because its own contradictions. Reputation of Pakistan is that of a a producer and exporter of terrorists and even your all weather friend China has accepted that.Recommend

  • Rahul Singh

    @hx: by your argument there should be dozens divisions of Pakistan because except religion there is little similarity among different parts of PakistanRecommend

  • SKChadha

    What do my Pak brothers think?…..

    “Kya Hameny Sarhad Ke Par Se Aane Wali Hawaon Main Apne Watan Ki Mitti Ki Khushboo Nahin Aati?”

    We still admire the remembrance of our elders about the land of our roots left across the border. Frankly, our families left Pakistan 64 years back, but our cultural and linguistic roots still remind us of the places to which our forefathers belonged. We have nothing left in Pakistan and I was born in India. Still, at times I think of visiting the land of my forefathers. I feel envy when Musharraf, Manmohan Singh or Advani visit their homeland. I don’t know when we will get this chance.

    May be a selfish thought but please liberalize tourism, trade and cultural exchanges (minus terrorism) for normal citizenry on both sides.Recommend

  • sid

    i totally agree… when i went to thailand everyone who figured i was pakistani got excited and started asking me whether or not i had seen insert name here (bollywood movie). I know people from Russia to Africa to Turkey who know more about bollywood than me. If pakistanis watch more indian movies than other nationalities it’s just because it’s entertainment in a language we can understand. Why do the upper class/2nd generation pakis watch more Hollywood… because they can understand it without struggling and its 10x better. personally, india to my family is just a bad memory and the only thing we really appreciate about it is what OUR ancestors (turks, afghan mughals, muhammad bin qasim/arabs) brought to india… not the indian cultures themselves i know that sounds arrogant but i am sure a lot of pakistanis know where i am coming from.Recommend

  • sid

    religion over culture. pride in culture or choosing it over religion flaws one’s iman. i am all for world peace but first we need to focus on gaining the support of our fellow muslim nations during these trying times and then worry about india’s feelings about us. talibanization isn’t necessary but muslimization ftwRecommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Pakistanis are confused…always have been.
    “We hate USA because it treats Muslims badly. Now excuse me while I go to the US embassy begging for an immigration visa.”
    “I hate India! But do get me a ticket for this fit Bollywood movie that just came out!”
    “We treat our minorities very well. Now, let’s all send flowers to Qadri on Valentine Day.”
    We need to stop making fools of ourselves. Select a stance and stick to it!Recommend

  • Faisal

    After reading the article and skimming through comments posted by various writers it seems that theme of the article has been misconstrued especially considering the fact that assimilations stated by quite a few respondents have been limited to our Bollywood euphoria, the inspirations in matrimonial as well as other rituals and traits inspired from across the border.

    The million dollar question in the opinion of this scribe relates to our “dichotomy of character” which has been articulately expressed in the course of the article. Although, it would not be an easy task to abhor such rhetoric as gliding through our history we have had divergence of opinions on almost all matters. In stark contrast the harmony exhibited by our neighbor in their matters of national interest are typical as their mass communication channels (i.e print & electronic) is far more conscious of this responsibility if a comparison is made in such intricate matters. However, the situation on our side of border is quite contrary, since in hot pursuit of breaking news first it seems that this obligation i.e to uphold the national interest supreme is compromised many a times.

    Therefore, it is high time to acknowledge the core issues and take trajectory which alleviates all historic inherent problems that we have lived with since independence. This in turn can help avoid bi-polarity and any traits associated with behavioral disorders associated with us by independent bystanders as a nation. One remedy which comes to mind is to try accepting each other’s accomplishments which can be helpful in transfer of not only knowledge & know how but much more. Lastly there should be no hesitation in challenging the status quo and taking this great leap for making this world a better place in general & the two countries in particular. The rest is left on evloution your thought processes…… Recommend

  • haroon khalid

    The author has touched upon the biggest contradiction we have been witnessing since our childhoods. One of the reasons for admiring Hindi Cinema and music is the relative vaccuum in these areas in our country. We need to nurture our own talent and create our own art but unfortunately talent seems to be in extremely short supply these days.

    The Indians by the way have also been in the habit of falling in love with our art ( like T.V. plays of good old PTV days) and musicians. Banks like Strings, Ali Zafar, Ali Haider Shafqat Amanat, Rahat Fateh Ali, have all made it big in India. They have worshipped Imran many times more than we were ever able to worship Sachin.

    I guess the collective personality disorder exists across the border in equal measure..Recommend

  • divyasmiles

    Holi is a hindu festival celebrated for the burning of demoness Holika by Lord Vishnu .Even in India only hindus celebrate it.Recommend

  • vishwa

    It is not just your aunt, look at hindu in pakistan, can he able to get piece of land/appartment in muslim dominated locality. no certainly not, we are from the same race but saparated by religion in the form of nation. Most people here expressed their loved, hate and affection towards each other but… we missed the bus during 1947. you cannot revert the same,
    Jinnha was right so he divided the nation on two nation theory on the basis of Hindus and muslim. but still I found so many hearts on the
    other part of border feels and to be proud of their Heritage, culture and race., but the Race has directly involved
    with heritate and culture and that culture is binded by religion, here I am not advocating being Muslim you people should accept other religion points of view but on the same line
    I am asking how good you being fellow muslim but still struggling to adjust Arabism, coz you know your root or heritage is not from Arabs but from sub continent.
    due to religion you made saparation but culturally, regionaly, mentally you cannot able to saparate even after 1000 years. you might say china is your friendly country but
    you cannot adopt their culture even. so Heritate, culture are the basic elements of human race, irrespective of religion. coz religion is man made but heritate and cultures are god madeRecommend

  • ashok sai

    This reminds me, one of NFP’s article about ZH, where he was caught watching STAR TV, ha ha…Recommend

  • vishwa


    I agree with you, Indian Muslim blended with Indian culture, and recently I received a pic where in a muslim couple riding on Bajaj Scooter holding their baby decorated in Lord Krishna suite., Wow thats India. culturally and with heritate no one can saparate Indians from their roots . Ironically the Pic was taken at Ahmadabad, Gujarat.Recommend

  • Ashaar

    The writer has very timely brought up this subject.In my opinion he has reflected not only on the hypocrisy in our culture but also on a mindset which conducts itself based only on preconceived notions.

    No matter how hard we try to vindicate ourselves but all of us have been shown a mirror. A mirror which tells us that we only criticise, assess and judge till its about others.The moment we become a beneficiary, all those comments and stringent standards on which others were being evaluated, simply evaporate as if they were never there. We need to understand that India is a reality, where they are a nation consisting of 1 billion Indians as against us, a nation of 180 million anti indians.

    We badly need clarity as pointed out by Mr. Aziz. The individuals and nations who lack clarity are condemned to obscurity.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @ Ranjit
    Nice written man but ground reallties are diffrent to what u saying i have a friend from indian punjab area of Ludhiana he told me how the poors are in india and he just bought
    a land in muslim are of U.P and how misserable living standerd they live in i really feel
    sorry for that and i hope new wealth do change the life of ordernary indians which seems
    not very much and second thing about peoples mentallity of indo pak is rigid since day one
    drawn on reliegous line look at partotion time in 1947 i was not even born that time but i
    read in books look it our mind set whole eastern punjab was in flames except maler kotla
    in ludhiana dist its amaze me all the peoples were dying had a same reliegen what maler
    kotla peoples had but look at there mind set ( note: now some body will start telling me
    the story of there guru sons so please i know those story and that why i am writing this)
    mind set of indian peoples and one more thing what we have in pakistan happening its also
    some out siders force on us its not native and yeah please please forget what forfathers were and what they were doing it is there deeds we need freedom of thinking in the way
    we can write our future and forget past i hope so i hope so man Inshaallah.Recommend

  • Muhammad Azfar Ahsan

    Excellent write-up Mr. Aziz. Commendable.Recommend

  • nah

    two nation theory hurt indian muslims most.Recommend

  • EoH

    Though I think that partition was inevitable in the light of the mindset of certain Hindu leaders including Gandhi. Well, if Congress would have agreed to the reservation of 1/3rd of the seats for minorities in all provinces then Pakistan wouldn’t have been carved out of India but Congress didn’t bow to the rightful stance of the All India Muslim League.

    Here I want to correct a misconception. AIML stance was not for just Muslims. Jinnah was demanding 1/3rd of quota in Hindu majority provinces for Muslim minorities and was giving the same to Hindu minorities in Muslim dominated provinces such as Punjab, Bengal and Sindh. So this was a totally just demand.

    How do we happen to hate India so much when our everything is nothing but Indian? The answer is our Establishment that deemed that they want to remain lords over these poor people, they need to keep them in constant fear. So what they did was that they sowed hatred between two countries.

    Biggest idiotic leader was Zia ul Haq who not only created militants but equated Hindus with Kafirs of Mecca and gave impression that he was assigned with divine mission and Army is basically the rightful and Islamic lord over the masses. It is Zia ul Haq’s fault.

    I totally agree with author that we just need to think more rationally. Slogans like “Delhi k Lal Qilay pe Jhanda Lehrayen ge” and “Islamabad Fatah Kar k wahan Aiwan e Saddar pe Tricolor lehrayen ge” are stupid and just imaginative that too idiotic one!

    India and Pakistan are two brothers born of same mother Hindustan. So, it’s fine if you live in two different homes but your mother is one (see your languages and cultures including food)… It is very fine that you had been fighting before like every normal human being. Now it is time to bury the hatchet and embrace each other….

    Pakistan India Dosti ZindabadRecommend

  • mind control


    Sind was called Al Sind in Arab times and was completely independent from from other places.

    I think you need a crash course in History.
    Actually the residents of the area identified the area with a mighty river and used the Sanskrit word for ocean ‘Sindhu’ to describe their land. Arabs pronounced this as Al Hind (refer to Al Beruni pl). And the Europeans further changed it to Ind-Indus-Indica-India. I do not know what is meant by Sind being ‘completely independent from other places’. Sind itself is a Sanskrit word which was the language of the residents of India , who were also called Al Hindi and later Hindu. If you are implying that Sind was independent of Hindus/Budhists, you could not be more wrong.Recommend

  • Maria

    I live in Canada and I have friends who are Arab, Indian, African and European backgrounds but I insist that people respect my unique Pakistani heritage. My Indian friends hate it when I note that a lot of their culture is similar to Sri Lankan culture. The Iranians don’t like Arab culture mixed in with theirs etc. As for me, I don’t like being mixed up with Arab, Afghan or Indian identity and I find people here respect me more when I speak up for who I am. My mother looks more Central Asian and my father could easily be confused with an Iranian because we come from Peshawar and North Pakistan but we always insist on being of Pakistani background. It doesn’t mean we dislike anyone else but we take pride in our own history. I feel sorry for those Pakistanis who don’t get this.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    This is a spectacular article that deserves a lot more attention than it’s currently receiving. All slogan-chanting, India-hating nationalists should read this….if they can indeed read.Recommend

  • Amjad

    @Faraz Talat: I don’t know if it’s spectacular but I am as Pakistani as the next guy. I don;t consider myself anti Indian but just pro Pakistani but we can’t be friends with India until they learn to see Pakistan as a sovereign neighbour. I agree with Ms. Afridi’s comment that some people are closed minded and only see those people in Pakistan who are close to Indian border, the people closer to Iran and Afghanistan can just as easily be with them. This is the danger of ignoring the different cultures of Pakistan. So if some people in Karachi think that Indian and Pakistani culture is the same since they migrated and have relatives in India, they are mistaken about the majority. This is disrespectful and can lead to Baluchistan joining Iran and KPK joining Afghanistan- so you want half the country to leave just because some people like you like India and Sri Lanka?Recommend

  • KD

    @Kevin Fernandes:

    I agree. Common culture and language are stronger bond than religion. In the USA I being Gujarati Hindu find it easier to socialize with Gujarati speaking Muslims of Pakistan than Tamil speaking Hindus of India. Recommend

  • KD

    I believe Muslim couple remembers the massacre carried out by Modi’s men and try to blend in with Hindus with Lord Krishna’s suite!!!


  • Ronny

    @Kevin Fernandes:
    there might be lots in common , but the common cause will be missing.Socialising and being patriotic are two entirely different things ..and thats when the punjabi and the tamilian will see eye to eye.Country and not culture or religon will be the true binding factor.Recommend

  • Revathy

    so ,during a india pakistan cricket match will u be socialising with the gujarati speaking lot from pakistan or supporting/cheering india with the tamilian from down south.??True relationship is one which stems from those who have a common cause and patriotism is the fundamental feature of that.All other relationship is just passing..socialising is also a passing realationship!!Recommend

  • KD


    Of course I will socialize with Tamils and Pakistanis and support the team that plays well and makes the game exciting and entertaining to watch. I do not believe in “False’ Patriotism.
    (False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel (Politicians). Patriotism is defined as consistent loyalty of country including questioning her policies and not supporting Pathetic Indian team playing against EnglandRecommend

  • pundit

    Well interesting article.

    Every country needs some kind of glue to keep it one…in case of Pakistan that was supposed to be ISLAM.
    With muslims killing muslims…that glue fell apart in no time.
    So India hatred was instead adopted to be a glue…a glue that was applied with passion.
    However with improved communication ( internet et al) its difficult to believe in the concept of Indians as devils.

    The Pakistani superiority complex ( we muslims ruled over India for over a thousand years..) is actually an inverted inferiority complex!

    So Pakistan is continually in search of a glue………hopefully it finds that in science technology and its tremendous artistic , musical and literary heritage.

    Learning Chinese unfortunately does not provide the glue!Recommend

  • revamp

    can i show u a number of muslims who have appartments in mumbai?Recommend

  • anm27890

    india itself is mix of many culture, we are a cultural melting pot of various comunities of the worldRecommend