How Pakistan is not India

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The first thing that automatically clicks in our mind is “Muslims versus Hindus” when comparing India and Pakistan.

pakistan-indiaIn the same spirit, Indians’ first thought is terrorism when they hear the name Pakistan. Both mentalities are clear from the media reports across the borders. We have been consistently told by the stalwarts of Pakistani nationalism in complicity with the religious fanatics that Hindus are our worst enemies.

In the same vein Indians are told by their media that Pakistan rears, nourishes and grooms terrorism and militancy. The recent cases of an alleged Indian spy in Pakistan named Sarabjeet Singh whose death and consequent retaliation by elements in India attacking a Pakistani prisoner in gaol are just two examples.

In Pakistan an Indian hand is always pictured behind the unending ills of society whereas Indians are taught that Pakistan is an illegitimate country born out of hatred and religious bias. The Pakistani “right” is always in search of negative news about India and Indians. Similarly the Indian media looks for bad news from Pakistan.

They report Pakistan in a dramatized way which may be called everything but journalism. Even the Indian cinema depicts Pakistanis as people of the medieval ages. In Pakistan, it is often lamented that the society is under the onslaught of “Indian culture,” but at the same time our spurious TV channels run Indian movies’ song in prime time news bulletins and do not lose a moment to make a mockery of the politicians with Bollywood songs playing in the background. There are these any many other paradoxes in Pak-India relations and interactions.

Pakistanis and Indians share the same cultural origin; and they don’t even differ in physique, environment and civilization legacy.

Politically and socially there are plenty of areas where India did better than Pakistan. First and foremost is the process of democracy. India has consistently followed that while Pakistan has lingered between democracy and dictatorship since the partition; and is unfortunately still uncertain about the fate of the incumbent democracy in the country.

Constitutionally Pakistan lags far behind India in fulfilling the international norms. In India any citizen can be the country’s president but in Pakistan the door to this highest position is closed on non-Muslims. Our constitution even plays the role of a puritan declaring its citizens as non-Muslims.

Socially Pakistan is now more radical, and is looking up to past for redemption.

Extremism, fundamentalism and terrorism has festered in Pakistan whereas India’s democracy provides better posterity. One may argue international politics has a role in what has happened in Pakistan owing to the geopolitical position of the country but we shouldn’t forget that many of the ills we have are the logical outcomes of the deeds done by our too short-sighted leaders.

And perhaps the starkest reality is the laxity infused in our blood which has rendered our society too polarized to stand against the atrocities done either by the state actors or the so-called non-state actors. Unfortunately we have a history of violence but of no rightful and peaceful protest. The outrage by the society on human rights violation, even killing of people in Pakistan proves too short and minimal while in India they have a history of peaceful but persevered protest. They have Gandhi behind this way of safeguarding one’s rights while we do have an armed way to that end.

For instance, the recent outrage by the civil society of India against a gang rape in New Delhi has proved  how much democracy has empowered and disciplined Indians to secure their civil liberties. In Pakistan polio workers are killed and we see no anger from the society; people adhering to different beliefs are murdered and there is complete silence; and above all political leaders are killed but the society never protests peacefully. Yet when there is outrage nationwide in Pakistan it never ends without violence. The Yaum-e-Ishq’s uncontrolled and criminal outrage last year is just one example.

Pakistan has now to decide whether it has to learn from India or hate it more; and the former has also to think to change the way Pakistan is demonized there. Unless and until there is drastic change in the mindset in both the societies the Aman Ki Asha (urge for peace) will remain a dream.

Zubair Torwali is a researcher, linguist and human rights activist. Born and raised in Bahrain Swat, Pakistan, he heads the Institute for Education and Development, a civil society organization working for the conservation of cultural, lingual and natural heritage among the linguistic communities in north Pakistan. Zubair was recently awarded the Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali Award of Teachers and Education in Emergencies. Read other articles by Zubair.

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  • Anil

    Superb Article. Excellent research…
    I would say pakis need to invest more on education than anything else.
    They need to understand mankind is above all the religion.
    I wish pakis can change their direction.

    • Wallis

      change direction what? do you understand humanity?What happens with minorities in India?More than 1000 muslims were massacred in Gujrat Province of India and your police was standing their doing nothing, what happened with christians and sikhs?

      • ramesh

        even in US people are killed because of their religion and race..these things are unavoidable in a country like india…

        • Wallis

          Stop comparing yourself with US ok, I have lived in US myself, it is a 1st world country, their is no such attacks on religion their. What happens in India is at political level .

          • Ali

            just check the number of minorities in Pakistan in 1947 and now and compare that fact with India.. the facts speak for themselves.. U have slaughtered already all the minority hindus in pakistan to know what a religious tension is like and how sometimes because of bullshit leaders ( myth preachers ) things unfortunately go out of hands..
            u dont know minority tension and al because u dont have any.. U have already killed all and the rest are just awaiting their fate

            We have Madrasas and also minority institutions which take only Muslims in admission but Hindus dont have any hindu specific school or college… there ar 22% muslims in india living their life with dignity ( except some minor areas where tensions are there which happens everywhere )…

          • KA

            there is no excuse of any such kind of attacks whether it happens in India or anywhere else in the world. At least we Indians have the courage and mentality to accept the problem rather than living in denial.

            Also you have no right or intelligence to tell us to stop comparing our self with other nations. The way that you replied demonstrates how much civilized you are.

            More importantly, even Modi has changed the way that he is projecting himself as he clearly knows being secular is the only that he can accepted by the Indian mass.

          • Prranjal Shrivaastav

            stop fooling yr self with that 1st world myth, the attacks on non locals are a part of every community and religion. especially yr’s, super intolerant and violent towards every non muslim. u think pakistan is suffering? huh! that;s the way islamis have been living for centuries under severe islamic laws. that’s not suffering. it’s the aftermath of following islam blindly. now just becoz u see people enjoying everywhere around u taht u feel pakistan is suffering but in reality that’s the true face of islam, it’s proper islamic living, being a failed nation of the 21st century. this is why top 15 failed nations are all islamic.

          • SPD

            Why shall we compare India with US? whats there to compare with US? The country is run by the Indians. Indians are there in US everywhere in every field. Be it medical ,engineering, research..Indians are all there. Did u ever live in US??? doesn’t sound like though…Also u seem to lack knowledge..u sound like jack of all trades, master of none…get ur facts right before you argue

          • Badepapa

            And kindly stop comparing yourself with India. You have other options like “bangladesh”, Nepal etc etc. India is too far ahead. And if you don’t work hard enough Bangladesh might be something out of sight too.

      • sheron

        Yes Muslims were killed in Gujarat. Gujarat is near Pakistan and got its bad influence

        • Wallis

          Sheron ,why do you have to blame everything on Pakistan?
          If Pakistan is responsible for almost everything that happens in India ,then why Pakistan itself is suffering the most?

          • Badepapa

            Remember Osama? Every Tom Dick and Harry is found in Pakistan. Now please don’t start that we are a good state. Not only India but the world is fedup of that fake “good boy self proclaimed mindset”. Pakistan is suffering the most because you wont accept what all is written in the post above is right.

      • nishant mehta

        I think you are exaggerating, i am gujrati. and i have many muslim friends. You are forgetting the fact that similarly Hindus too died. It was not out of hatred but due to situation that arised that time. I dont want to go into details of it as most pakistani would just refute anything good said or infavor of india. But remember, it was sudden outburst. After that its been over an decade and not even a single riot has occured in Gujarat. Infact all are equally prospering.
        In-sharp contrast to that, Pakistan has systematically and with complete understanding eliminated all minorities to verge of extinction.
        I can still show many many Jain and Hindu temples governed or handled by muslims and Mosque built right within temple complex and still not a single incident reported in centuries. This is what Indian culture is all about.

      • tara

        no one is talking about the condition of minorities in Pakistan . they had to forcefully accept islam if they dont they are killed, womans are raped,tortured then what about them ….Indian minorities are far better than themm

      • Prranjal Shrivaastav

        muslims, be them in India or pskiatsn or where ever on the Earth, they are always at unrest. there’s no issue with those Christians who live peacefully in India and ofcourse not with sikhs who are peace luving. but those who are troublemakers will be treated the way they call for. muslims are super violent, so look up in the world news how every non muslim country literally hates muslims and India is no exception. the 1000 muslims in Gujarat burned 1000 Hindus alive prior to that massacre. i mean letting the muslim leftovers stay back in India was our biggest mistakes ever.

      • baburo

        As expected, you are also one of the ignorant Pakis. In India a Muslim can become and had been the president of India. Leading Bollywood actors are Muslims. Prominent cricket players were and are Muslims. What was hindu population in pakistan in 1947, and what is it now ? Please check. And compare it to how much muslims have prospered in India and how much have they contributed for the progress of this Great Nation. I am sure you will be embarrassed.

      • Sunil Patel

        what happened to pakistani hindus and christians…. from 30 pc to 7 pc. silent ethnic cleansing… muslim population in india increased…. no indian muslim wants to join pakistan

  • Karan Kapoor

    very nice article both the nations are having same problems and they focus on the education india have improvement in education sector then pakistan pakistan give more attention on the education if they want to inhibit the terrorism and extremism so this very useful of peace Further

  • parth

    Its unfortunate in Gujarat, muslims killed in 2002, but after that, it never happened, now muslims are living peacefully; sicks living peacefully in delhi; but in Pakistan Muslims kills muslims; every day blast happens; why? muslim vs muslim; muslim force hindu girls to marry muslims why?

    • anti-religion

      why should we care about Muslims killed in Gujarat?.. people forget that Hindus were killed too!! The Muslims always only think about themselves.. that is why they are always behind in everything.

      JUST a few weeks ago so many innocent Christians were blown up ( and these were not even people who were rioting on the streets! just peaceful Christians gathered at a place).. and all these PAKIS can do is talk about an incident THIRTEEN YEARS AGO, where BOTH Hindus and Muslims were killed.

      Why were so many hundreds of Hindus also killed in that riot? For me, as a Hindu, that question is more important than the death of a group of people who love the enemy. Nobody is asking why so many Hindus were killed in our own “Hindustan”. Shame shame shame!!

  • Puneet Oxford

    Excellent article Mr. Zubair Torwali. Wrote it from a neutral point of view. I agree to many facts mentioned here. I wish to see India & Pak having a better relation in the future

  • ramesh

    good article..there are pakistanis who think constructively too..its a NEWS for indians too..!! invest terrorism money in education..u can become a developed nation..PAKISTAN has that potential..but u(pakistanis) dont understand that..

  • Piyush

    excellent article
    You are one of the few people in pakistan who understand that india is not their real enemy. The enemy is taliban, I hope india and pakistan can join hands against our real enemy
    hindustan jinda bad
    pakistan jinda bad
    taliban murda bad

  • vishnusharma

    Do Pakistanis have the guts to gather in the thousands and protest against the killing of Shias or Polio workers in the city of Karachi ?

    Do they ? Can they organize such protests using SMS and seek censure of such acts such as killing of minorities or health workers ?

    No they cannot ! Because they do not have the guts to protest against what is wrong with their society

  • Rm

    Mujhe aapka article bohot acha laga
    … n I think k jaise hum Hindu n Muslim friend sath me rhke hr pal enjoy krte hai vaisehe. India or Pakistan sathme rh k aage badhe….. or koi common man ladna or jhagadna pas and nhi krta change vo musalman ho ya hindhu.. sab logo ko bhadkaya jata hai… or jin logo ko koi jam nhi that vo…. raste pe uttar k bhaki log ka nuksan krte hai…. bus in desho me education ki kmi hai… agr 2no mulk eksath hojayege to koi mulk bharat or Pakistan k samne khada hone se pahle sochega…..

  • Prranjal Shrivaastav

    please don’t compare yourselves to India while trying to show that ill mentality has been as trait of both the sides. in pakistan it’s always had been terrorism to India (though recently the whole world was included), which has been quite obvious in Mumbai local attacks, Pune German bakery attacks, Mumbai Taj hotel Attacks, blasts in Narendra Modi’s declamation during addressal to the people of Bihar, Assam blasts, Kerala nlasts, Delhi blasts etc.. all have direct links to pakistan. apart from that most of such links have been provided to us by interpol, KGB, Mossad and CIA, all pointing to pakistan with hard evident. even that >90% world wide terrorism all hail from pakistan. ever since pakistan has become a synonym for terror and a terrorist production factory, the drones have become the national bird of pakistan. u know why India is ahead of u, becoz we are taught nothing of our past with u. how u snatched away a part of our motherland. and even though we won all the 5 wars against u, it’s never taught to us in the school. the basic education in India is way better than the best available in pakistan . so stop comparing yr silly self to us in hope of gathering some importance for thyself, cuz pakistan is not important.

  • SPD

    A good article and well-researched too…

  • Elliot Shayle

    Considering Pakistan is a self described ‘Muslim homeland’ it’s not *entirely* unreasonable that you might close the door to a non Muslim Pakistani. Islam is part of Pakistan’s cultural identity, so it could be argued that a Muslim should take the job of president.

    Besides, Pakistan’s like 99% Muslim anyway, chances are that nobody non Muslim was gonna get that far anyway.

  • Aravind Rajasekar Thangamani

    It is the media creating such feelings of hatred against each other. But the people are same on both side.

  • VR

    The day Pakistan returns Dawood Ibrahim and the day they the India centeric terror plotters (i.e. Saeed) put behind bar, the day Pakistan punish 26/11 master minds, Indians will start changing the perception about Pakistanis. While India has shown the world concrete proof of Pakistan or Pakistanis organized involvement, Pakistan has nothing to show as proof of India’s involvement in anything terror in Pakistan, not because of Pakistan’s incompetence, because there is none exist. Let Pakistani text books change their Hindu hating curriculam first. Like the author mentioned, Indian elephant moves slowly but persistenly, the same applies when it comes to defending the country. Unless Pakistan wakes-up and changes it’s ways, the elephant will remember every pin prick and return it slowly and steadly. It does not ahve to be in the same kind, but will hurt nevertheless.

  • baburo

    First of all, it is a fact that Pakistan is the center of Global terrorism. Osama was found there !!! Do you need any other proof. Plus its home to jihadist groups Let, JuD, Taliban, HuJI, JeM .. Their dream of carving Kashmir out of India is not a possibility, which they need to understand. If they continue to struggle on Kashmir issue, they will surely fall behind 50 years in terms of Economy, Social stability etc.

  • naren

    Pak bhuke nango di country hai, people having no self respect, always asking america n saudi for money

  • Samrudhi

    A some what honest article. I would like to mention here that i do not see much mention of Pakistan In our media here unless there is a reason to discuss Pakistan, like when there is a dignitary visiting, or some thing happening on our borders etc. I have not seen any debates on television (I follow only the most popular news channels) just for the sake of discussing Pakistan. On the contrary if i go to youtube, i see India is a serious discussion topic in Pakistan and that does not need to be due to any specific reason. Most of what i see is people gathering on TV on the pretext of debate and shouting down India for all XYZ reasons which mostly has religious tinge to it. We in India do not discuss Pakistan for it being a Muslim nation or anything related to religion. We discuss Pakistan because its a difficult neighbor with numerous problems posing to India and its peace and development. India is least interested in internal issues of Pakistan as long as it doesn’t cause a spillage in the border.

  • ashis

    the best thing for India is to remain nonreactive to the pakis.no enemity with and also no freinship and no buisness with them.totally cut off.let them live their own way and lets gaurd our borders and no visas for pakis.