Independence Day Greetings for India

Posted on August 15, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, History, People, Photo of the Day
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Adil Najam

Today is August 15.
India’s Independence Day
.

ATP sends all Indians sincere and heartfelt Independence Day greetings and the very best wishes.

On this day I want to share with you some thoughts, and also these two pictures (below) of the Quaid-i-Azam and Gandhi ji together. These are amongst my all-time favorite pictures of two people for each of whom I have the utmost respect. (I know, some of you are surprised. Read on… and, also, the ‘you’ and ‘we’ is all readers – Pakistanis and Indians – but especially Pakistanis because most ATP readers are from Pakistan.)

On the question of partition, I agree wholeheartedly with the stand that one took and disagree with the other. It matters little what I believe on this question, and what I believe today in 2006, 59 years after the fact, matters even less becasue it is now irrelevant to the course that history has taken. But if they were here today to read this, I am very sure that both would understand. And that is exactly what this is about: Understanding.

The reason these pictures are so important to me is that here are two people who disagreed on the India-Pakistan question as much as any two people possibly could, and at the deepest levels. And, yet, here they are; able to stand together and genuinely smile. Disagree, but smile. And ultimately to accept the course that history took; a course, mind you, that neither was particularly happy with. If they could, then why can’t we?

As a Pakistani I am in debt of Mr. Gandhi for the stand he took in trying to halt the horrible carnage that followed partition. Paying the ultimate price for that stand. My understanding is that the very first time ever that the Pakistan flag officially flew at half-mast was at Gandhi ji’s death. All government offices in Paksitan were closed in mourning of Mr. Gandhi’s death.

Mr. Gandhi probably disliked the idea of Pakistan more than any other Indian political leader; because he could not bear seeing his beloved India divided. On that bit, I disagree with him. But, once the deed was done he also recognized that the death and violence which followed was too high a price to pay for that disagreement. So much so that he was willing to put his own life on the line and go on hunger strike to stop the carnage. For that alone, I will always respect and admire him.

As did Mr. Jinnah. Here is the uncharacteristically (for Jinnah) emotional message of condolence he sent:

“I am shocked to learn of the most dastardly attack on the life of Mr. Gandhi, resulting in his death. There can be no controversy in the face of death. Whatever our political differences, he was one of the greatest men produced by the Hindu community, and a leader who commanded their universal confidence and respect. I wish to express my deep sorrow, and sincerely sympathize with the great Hindu community and his family in their bereavement at this momentous, historical and critical juncture so soon after the birth of freedom and freedom for Hindustan and Pakistan. The loss to the Dominion of India is irreparable, and it will be very difficult to fill the vacuum created by the passing away of such a great man at this moment.”

The language he uses is the language of his time, but the grief in unmistakable; as is, I believe, the respect Jinnah had for his long-time adversary. They came to very different conclusions about how to get there, but both wanted a future which did not have constant tension, conflict and distrust. Once Pakistan was created, Mr. Jinnah’s energy and focus was on Pakistan, not India. I have already written recently about Mr. Jinnah’s vision (here) so I will not repeat it. But note that it is Pakistan-centric, not India-focussed. But let me invite you also to revisit the video footage from 1947 that I had posted earlier (here) and also the analysis Bhupinder had done in comparing the first speeches of Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Nehru to their respective countries (here).

I know that I have probably challenged, and violated, the real and constructed sense of histories that the followers of these great men have on either side of the border. If so, I apologize. I could be wrong. I do not wish to rewrite history. They had very real, and very deep, and very profound, and ultimately irreconcilable differences. That we know. But that, exactly, is my point. If, despite those great differences they could come out eventually to accept history as it happened – even when they did not like it (Gandhi, because India was divided; Jinnah, because it was not divided right and gave him a ‘moth-eaten’ Pakistan) … and if they could work towards a vision, each in his own ways, of a future for their people that was stable, secure and without conflict; then why can’t we? If they, who were in the midst of that political moment could actually get past the moment and see larger realities, ever greater priorities of their own people, why can’t we? Of this one thing I am certain, especially on this day, they would have wished us to.

Finally, I know I have probably enflamed the passions of ‘super-patriots’ on both sides of the border. (Even though, for some, these passions seem to be always enraged.) I know that many of you are itching to educate me in all the ways that I am wrong. On how one of these two men was the hero and the other not. I suspect that for some readers (guess which ones!) I am being ‘too Pakistani’; for others (guess again!) ‘not Pakistani enough.’

For all of you, I have only one request. Just for today, please, hold those passions back.

When I was small, my grandmother told me that just as one does not speak ill of the dead at their funeral, one also does not go to someone’s celebrations to rant on them. It is not a South Asian thing to do. That is not our heritage. We are – all of us – a hospitable people, a decent people, a loving people. At least that is what we tell ourselves. So, just for today, let us try to prove it to.

Tomorrow, you can start sending me your hate emails with all those gaalis that I cannot even understand. Today, join me all – Pakistanis and Indians – in wishing India and her people a happy Independence Day and a prosperous future.

42 Comments on “Independence Day Greetings for India”

  1. Sohaib says:
    August 15th, 2006 9:03 am

    You know you’ve arrived when you have a famous actor playing you in a fancy English movie. :p

    Cheers to both!

  2. Naveed says:
    August 15th, 2006 10:02 am

    Brilliantly poignant blog, Adil.

  3. bongdongs says:
    August 15th, 2006 10:54 am

    Thanks Adil, and may the next next 59 years of Indo-Pak relations be better than the first 59.

    A realistic retelling of our shared history will be the first step in that direction.

    Jai Hind! Pakistan Paindabad!

  4. Pervaiz M. Alvi says:
    August 15th, 2006 10:58 am

    Mr. Adil Najam,
    I agree with you. Pakistanis need to be Pakistan-centric and not India-focused. Two different countries, two different nations and two different sets of problems for them respectively. Congratulations to Indians on their Independence day. And hearty wishes for Pakistanis for a prospress progressive future.

  5. ayesha says:
    August 15th, 2006 11:00 am

    Happy Indpendence day indeed!

    Truer words haven’t been spoken, Adil! I wholeheartedly second your entire post, esp this little bit:

    But note that it is Pakistan-centric, not India-focussed.

    The reverse is the greaetst tradegy of our entire history.

  6. August 15th, 2006 11:46 am

    For those who may not have seen this before, here is W.H. Auden’s poetic take on partition:

    Partition

    Unbiased at least he was when he arrived on his mission,
    Having never set eyes on the land he was called to partition
    Between two peoples fanatically at odds,
    With their different diets and incompatible gods.

    “Time,” they had briefed him in London, “is short. It’s too late
    For mutual reconciliation or rational debate:
    The only solution now lies in separation.

    The Viceroy thinks, as you will see from his letter,
    That the less you are seen in his company the better,
    So we’ve arranged to provide you with other accommodation.
    We can give you four judges, two Moslem and two Hindu,
    To consult with, but the final decision must rest with you.”

    Shut up in a lonely mansion, with police night and day
    Patrolling the gardens to keep the assassins away,
    He got down to work, to the task of settling the fate
    Of millions. The maps at his disposal were out of date
    And the Census Returns almost certainly incorrect

    But there was no time to check them, no time to inspect
    Contested areas. The weather was frightfully hot,
    And a bout of dysentery kept him constantly on the trot,
    But in seven weeks it was done, the frontiers decided,
    A continent for better or worse divided.

    The next day he sailed for England, where he could quickly forget
    The case, as a good lawyer must. Return he would not,
    Afraid, as he told his Club, that he might get shot.

    – W. H. Auden

  7. Baraka says:
    August 15th, 2006 1:27 pm

    Happy Independence Day to the fraternal twins, Pakistan & India!

    A beautifully written article (& lovely website). Your sentiment here is so true:

    The reason these pictures are so important to me is that here are two people who disagreed on the India-Pakistan question as much as any two people possibly could, and at the deepest levels. And, yet, here they are; able to stand together and genuinely smile. Disagree, but smile. And ultimately to accept the course that history took; a course, mind you, that neither was particularly happy with. If they could, then why can’t we?

    Often it is useful to look back at history for inspiration.

    Thanks,
    Baraka

  8. Jacob says:
    August 15th, 2006 2:53 pm

    Great post Adil. I think dialogue and people to people links can make a big difference. Reading you post made this Independence day very special for me, thank you.

  9. SKM says:
    August 15th, 2006 3:18 pm

    Adil Can I send you gaalis starting today???????????
    “Can’t we all just get along syndrome…?”"”"”"”"” Unfortunately, the world is not one sweet happy place, we have a lot of history and our forefathers have made a lot of sacrifices for our beloved country, to this point, I can not sing this tune that you wish your readers to follow. Although, with a grain of salt, I can understand your point regarding Gandhi, but Gandhi alone, not his countrymen. As nowadays, Bush states, although (out of context) “freedom has a price” to gain Independence Pakistan and our forefathers have had to go through a lot , today our younger generations don’t realize and value this freedom rather our pseudointellectuals feel we need to hold hands and kiss our fellow neighbor. I mean please give me a break. I don’t suggest we breed hate, but we should remember our history and value and be grateful for having a country and being Pakistani today even with all our shortcomings we have lots of potential and room for improvement and inshallah we shall attain excellence one day. Pakistan Zindabad!

  10. Phil says:
    August 15th, 2006 3:38 pm

    Two men of extreme mettle…! I cant recall the correct couplet, but the second half goes like: Bari Mushkil Say Hota Hai Chaman Main Dedawar Payda. IMO, the pre-partition Chaman had two of them!

    This post greatly emphasises the need for everyone, today, to be a good adversary. And to be a good adversary, it is important to respect your opposition, equally, in the time of strength or in the time of weakness!

    The reason these pictures are so important to me is that here are two people who disagreed on the India-Pakistan question as much as any two people possibly could, and at the deepest levels. And, yet, here they are; able to stand together and genuinely smile. Disagree, but smile. -Genius!

  11. pritam says:
    August 15th, 2006 8:47 pm

    @Jai That was inappropriate and not called for at all given the tone of the original post.
    I found this from Ali Sardar Jafri post at another Pakistani blog (http://razarumi.wordpress.com/)

    Tum aao gulshan-e-Lahore se chaman bardosh,
    Hum aayen subh-e-Banaras ki roshnee le kar
    Himalay ki havaaon ki taazgee le kar
    Aur iske baad yeh poochein ki kaun dushman hai?

    You come the garden of of Lahore laden with flowers,
    We will come bearing the light of a Benares morning
    With fresh breezes from Himalayan heights
    And then, together we can ask, who is the enemy?

  12. Fawad says:
    August 15th, 2006 4:26 pm

    Hazaron saal nargis apni benoori pe roti hai
    Bari mushkil se hota hai chaman main deedawar paida (Iqbal)

    Adil,

    I really like the message and the tenor of this post even if I have diasagreements with some of your opinions. I am an enormous believer in better India-Pakistan relations for the good of both countries. There is no reason that the two countries cannot evolve a healthy relationship which celebrates their shared heritage while maintaining their distinct identities. We have a long way to go and large numbers of skeptics (like Ash and SKM) have to be convinced along the way but it is an imperative for the region and it can be done.

  13. Raza says:
    August 15th, 2006 5:56 pm

    Wishing our neighbours a happy 59th birthday. May the next one bring more in the way of peace, reconciliation, and friendly relations.

  14. Roshan Malik says:
    August 15th, 2006 7:04 pm

    I hope the current and future leadership will be following the steps of Gandhi and Jinnah “able to stand together and genuinely smile”.

    Happy Independence Day to Fellow Indians!!!

  15. August 15th, 2006 7:21 pm

    Thanks for the caravan of posts and comments on your blog past few days.

    It has been been re- assuring to see that beneath the clamour of noises, there exists so much of space for discussion, understanding and compassion between the people of the two countries.

    That the interaction is sometimes noisy and impassionate is probably something that we share and only shows our innate desi-ness !

  16. Ramesh Balakrishnan says:
    August 15th, 2006 7:23 pm

    Adil,

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on Independence Day celebs in India and Pakistan. I think India and Indians need to learn a lot more about Jinnah, the person and not just his politics. We have a long way to go.. But something that Manmohan Singh said in his speech yesterday pretty much sums up how Indians view their immediate neighbourhood and the world at large.

  17. Owais Mughal says:
    August 15th, 2006 7:31 pm

    I want to wish a very happy Indpendence day to our friends in India.

  18. Nasim Zehra says:
    August 15th, 2006 8:02 pm

    Superb piece. Desperately needed wisdom. Simply and powerfully expressed. In what you are doing through this blog Adil there are seeds for the creation of a new Pakistani soul; one that can be sensitive, contemporary, people-centered and wisdom driven.

    We need to surely but gently create the ‘new’ to replace the Pakistani soul long tormented by the follies of the State.

    Keep up the great work !.

  19. shirazi says:
    August 15th, 2006 11:09 pm

    Happy Independence Day to India.

  20. Jai Hind says:
    August 17th, 2006 3:21 am

    so, let me get this right. pakis are just soooo very sensitive that we must not hurt their feelings by telling the truth. sorry pal, that’s not how this works. enjoy your azadi, because ultimately the truth will prevail.

  21. August 16th, 2006 12:05 am

    Happpy Independence day to India!!
    Your post seems very vital and shows the greatness in both the men. Unfortunately for both of us, they both died too soon, else I think if they both were around for atleast 5 more years, our histories would have been very different.

    Maybe Piyare ManMohan Singh should have picked up the history books before making his speech yesterdat and realised the insight Gandhi had when he said ” An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”

    Gandhi was right then and is right now. And Quaid agreed with him then and would agree with now.

  22. Naveed says:
    August 16th, 2006 7:23 am

    thank you ash & jai-hind, We cannot make you convince you on our sincerity but can only extend our hand of friendship. political battles are best left to politicians. atleast let the common man unite or atleast try to understand each other

  23. August 16th, 2006 7:26 am

    an excellent article. wish there were more people who could see things this way from both sides of the border.

    May God protect both the countries.

  24. shankar says:
    August 16th, 2006 7:31 am

    A beautiful post.

    Living in our respective countries, we sometimes find it easier to hate than to understand. There are extremists on both sides, only too willing to claim an eye for an eye. They won’t rest until we are all blind. I am glad there are people like you who are willing to take a step back and celebrate our shared heritage rather than our differences.

    May we see peace and friendship in our lifetime.

  25. riitu says:
    August 16th, 2006 1:56 pm

    hi adil

    azaadi mubaarak !
    i have been coming here since the past few days and i have enjoyed reading your post.

    you may disagree, but somewhere, some part of me hopes that the land of my forefathers and the land that i live in today will someday be one…

  26. August 16th, 2006 2:27 pm

    Riitu, thank you for the greetings and the kind words about ATP.

    On your second point, I fear this discussion could go in all sorts of directions, some of which I hope it does not.

    Over the years as I have interacted with Indians colleagues across the world, including in India over half a dozen trips there, I have realized that the very best-intentioned and the most peace-loving of my colleagues express such the wish out of the very best of intentions. I am assuming you are doing so too. There is a minority that makes the same argument out of less honorable intentions. I think the latter group recognizes but the first dies not just how very deeply hurtful this idea can be to a Pakistani. Especially to Pakistanis like me who have never been anything except a Pakistani, nor want to be. It questions our very being, our existence, our reason to exist. Saying to someone ‘you are a mistake’, ‘you should never have been.’ I can come up with analogies of what this feels like at a personal and a national level, but let me not because I am confident that this was NOT your intention.

    It is amazing to me that every-time I speak of India-Pakistan peace I am confronted with someone suggesting this and assuming that I would, of course, agree because I want peace. This may be where the power off the different interpretations of history we have been taught (officially and unofficially) comes in. For those who view my country and me as mere ‘errors of history’ it may sound simply obvious; to me it is insulting. [My gut sense is that it is a similar type of hurt that many of my Indian friends feel when Pakistanis habitually, and without thinking, call India a 'Hindu country'; when it is clearly not that and has a deep secular identity and a plethora of religious communities, including as many or more Muslims than Pakistan].

    I understand (assume) that your intention was none of the above. And yet, that is the impact of the idea on most Pakistanis. I explain this at length not to attack your idea, but because over the years I have realized that our reaction to this idea and why that reaction is so strong may not be apparent to our friends across the border because the frameworks are very different.

    But, more practically, the fact of the matter is that Pakistan IS. Let’s start the discussion from there rather than going back to a bridge under which too much water has passed or stare at a clock that cannot be turned back. To suggest that we should eventually become one (as in one country) is like suggesting that now that Britain and the US are so very close and chummy, maybe they should merge again and erase the whole 1776 things because they share a language, history, culture, etc. etc. etc… Or maybe Canada or the US should merge… Neither of that is happening, neither is a realistic or desirable proposition, and not is the idea of India and Pakistan becoming one country …. besides [take this as a joke, everyone, please], don’t you already have enough problems in India already that you also want to add 150 million of us to the mix ;-)… also, having two great cricket teams from the subcontinent beats having just one ;-)

    But seriously, my point is that we need to look forward, not back. I look forward to a future where the two countries (actually all countries in the region, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal) can live in harmony, in trust, not interfering in each others affairs, having enough confidence in themselves and in each other to deal with issues through dialogue, allowing for easy and free exchange of travel and trade and ideas and discourse… this is not a world where they will never disagree..  disagreements happen (that’s part of being neighbors), but not every disagreement (even on minor things like billboards and visas for artists) should end up becoming a hate-swap-fest on internet discussion boards, galli matches in the blogsphere, smear campaigns across the web, political finger-pointing and threats, and the inevitable tensions on the border.

    That, I think, can happen. And that will make you feel welcome in the land of your forefathers. My Indian friends who came over to watch the cricket match in Lahore some years ago, certainly did…. and I have too on my many trips to Delhi. In each case, not by all. But by enough not to loose hope.

    Again, I hope you do not feel liek I have attacked your message, or offended you. That was not the intent; if so, I apologize.

  27. Shivam says:
    August 16th, 2006 2:37 pm

    Aur iske baad yeh poochein ki kaun dushman hai?

    Or is it ‘kaun dushman hai’?

    Anyway, thank you for this post. For me, as for many Indians, Independence and Republic Days mean little. Pop patriotism is so passe, though reading this blog, it is clearly in vogue in Pakistan.

  28. August 16th, 2006 6:24 pm

    Adil, your point is well taken, history is a good teacher and we need to go back to learn, and not undo the past. Indians have to learn to accept Pakistan as a fact, and not nostalgia, which is why people to people interaction is important.

    Shivam: I can understand your point about independence meaning little to many Indians. It was the same with the left wing intelligentsia in 1947- see the nazms by Faiz that is oft quoted, and also similar ones by Sahir and the progressives. The nation is a space to be contested, and not given up only to be appropriated by right wing “nationalists”.

    The debate on Pakistaniat on part of the liberal Pakistani intelligentsia, as to some extent demonstrated in the comments in this blog, has also to be seen in the context of the happenings on the West of Pakistan and the need to locate their identity in context of a wider debate on Islam in the modern world.

    In case of Pakistan, in my view, the problem is compounded by years of military rule, and specially during General Zia’s rule, the legitimization of Islamic fundamentalism.

    In India, however, the debate has moved away from nationalism to other spaces- to the question of caste, for example. There is little room to debate on Indian nationalism except in academic arguments. For all practical purposes, in the last two decades, the nationalist space has been appropriated by the Hindutva bandwagon.

    It doesn’t mean that all discourse on nationalism has to be jingoist. Nor does it mean that the space has to be relinquished. It is a space to be struggled for, and constantly redefined.

    And I thought Adil’s initiative in this regard was appropriate on the anniversary of the independence of the two countries- like the twins in Rushdie’s novel, the two are separate but related.

  29. Arjun says:
    August 17th, 2006 12:29 am

    hi Adil,
    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the pictures. About your reply to Ritu, why would you ever think that her comments could even remotely imply that Indians think Pakistan was a mistake. I think thats a wrong perspective and I am terribly pained to hear such words from a Pakistani. My perspective is that the division of Hindustan was a bad idea and I am sad that the British were so unconcerned about the future of the subcontinent after it left their hands. In my mind, they were the true dushman. Though it is unlikely we’ll ever become one again and how much ever we abuse each other we still know we are brothers on the inside. The time shall come soon when we’ll reinforce that bond and march forward like never before.

  30. August 17th, 2006 1:43 am

    Dear Arjun!

    Indeed Adil’s words would have hurt you but think that how adil came up with this statment?Its not only Adil Najam.I myself encountered indians who think Pakistan was a mistake and as I repeatedly say that your own bollywood movies give such impression.But again,indians like you should discourage such looney elements in your society.Pakistan is not part of India anymore and any indian should never dream about confedration(the dream of advani).Noone here like to hate you people either but yes carrying on unpleasent hopes about this land is not really welcomed either.Its absurd that INdians and Pakistan can work together ONLY if land is reunited.How many of EU contries merged the boundaries to comeup with a single currency.Physical boundaries doesnt matter.We shouldnot create boundaries in our heart and this is something which is very uncomfortable for people of both countries

  31. August 17th, 2006 2:47 am

    Dear Arjun, let me thank you for your comment. The civility and grace with which you write means much to me because I am convinced that one of the first steps has to be to rid our voice and vocabulary of the anger and distrust that so permeates most India-Pakistan dialogue. Too many of our compatriots are too willing to turn every discussion into an argument and to assume the very worst intention in whatever the other is saying. It is for this reason that I am doubly sorry if I was unable to be absolutely clear in my intent, and for that I apologize to you and to Riitu.

    I do not believe that the intention of her comment, or of many comments like that from my friends, are at all malicious. Far from it, as I said, I believe that in most cases they are made with the very best of intentions and out of a heartfelt desire for peace. What I was trying to explain was how that sentiment – no matter how well-meaning – translates to the Pakistani ear, and why. I have tried to work for a dialogue across boundaries long enough to realize that the worst fears that I might be tempted to ascribe are very often wrong. By the same token, I have learnt that many things we Pakistanis say, thinking they are benign, end up hurting others deeply. I was only trying to explain why Pakistanis react to that idea ass they do.

    Your comments, and this entire thread in general, has only reinforced my faith that there is room for a civil dialogue and a positive future for all the peoples of our region. There are a few, but only a few, who would wish it not to be so; but we must not let the obnoxiousness and loudness of those voices drown our own.

  32. August 17th, 2006 5:55 am

    @Jai Hind:trolls are never welcomed.Keep trolling anyway.

  33. riitu says:
    August 17th, 2006 7:57 am

    i didnt even remotely think that my utopian world view would stir a hornet’s nest.

    please adil, this is no way meant to tell you that you were not meant to be nor that your existence is a mistake !!

    we go too far back to get in to all that i think.

    i mentioned in the post that you would disagree…but its MY perspective. i felt like sharing it and i did.
    there are pros and cons to what i dream about but i do not think this is the space to go in to those.

    but c’est la vie as the french would say. we live with and manage our realities.
    who knows how our lives would have bene otherwise ?

  34. Ashokamitra says:
    August 17th, 2006 12:32 pm

    Just discovered this excellent site and looking forward to many stimulating reads. I wanted to thank Adil for his generous and thoughtful initiative of wishing Indians well on the occasion of their Independence Day. Blogging carries the real potential of increasing person-to-person contact between ordinary Indians and Pakistanis — and you deserve kudos for recognizing this opportunity. For after all is said and done, an average Indian has very little opportunity of meeting a counterpart from across the border, unless they happen to live outside South Asia (as I do) and such contacts are relatively rare even abroad.

    Regarding riitu’s well-meaning faux-pas about the re-unification of the Indian subcontinent, I can understand how unpleasantly that would jar on Pakistani sensibilities. I’m also a little puzzled that a young person (I don’t know why, but I’m assuming that riitu is young) would even have this notion. Most people of my generation and later, that is, those who were born and raised in independent India, have long taken Pakistan to be a final, accomplished fact and have no desire or interest in an eventual re-uniification. Our only beef with the Partition is that it was such an incomplete job: Pakistan was supposed to be a homeland for subcontinental Muslims, but by the time the dust cleared, huge numbers of Muslims were still left in India. And now we constantly hear about how India has the world’s second largest population of Muslims after Indonesia, raising fears that someday there might have to be yet another Partition, leading to further truncation of our homeland. If they (whoever “they” might be) imposed all this trauma on tens of millions of people, couldn’t they at least have completed the job in one go?

    Best wishes again for the wonderful post.

  35. Ananda says:
    August 17th, 2006 2:37 pm

    I was also surprised that Riitu’s utopian comment generated such response. But I believe AAdil when he says that he is not attacking Riitu’s message but trying to explain the Pakistani reaction to it. It helped me better understand why many Pakistanis do react so strongly to what I have always considered a gesture of peaceful coexistence. And it is good to learn to understand each other’s views. I also agree with Ashokamitra that so most, most, most Indians this is not even an issue. Those who obsess about this are very few, but as someone said they shout out loud. We are very happy with what we have and we just want to exist in peace with everyone around us. It is good to know from this discussion and website that there are those in Pakistan who wish the same. Peace to all.

  36. August 17th, 2006 3:06 pm

    Dear freinds,

    ATP will close comments on this post now. I am very happy to say that this is not becasue the comments being receieved on this are inappropriate. Far from it, my faith in dialogue has been greatly enhanced by the civility and understadning that is evident in the comments on this post.

    Given the intent and occasion of the original post, it is best to close comments on that positive note before trolls try to wreck the memory of this very positive experience (for me). I just wish to thank everyone who has participated in this discussion, and apologize to those who I might have inadvertently offended. The discussion, of course, continues elsewhere on this blog and on the wider WWW, and I hope that you will all continue visiting and interacting

    Adil Najam

    P.S. By way of disclosure, let me say that three (but, surprisingly, only three) comments were blocked from this discussion. Two becasue the system identified the messages as being from known trolls posting repeated messages under assumed, multiple and contradictory identities; one of these becasue it merely spewed abusive language and nothing else; and a third becasue it was purposefully inflammatory.

  37. February 9th, 2007 7:13 am

    [...] Mohamed Ali Jinnah, it seems, was not a “real freedom fighter” and he did “nothing for Islam.” (On Jinnah, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). So says the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). And by what logic does Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his party come to this conclusion? According to the party spokesman: ““Jinnah was not imprisoned during the independence struggle. That is why he did nothing worth remembering.â€

  38. Bijral says:
    August 13th, 2007 7:50 pm

    Thank you so much for these sincere and heartfelt thoughts. I pray all of us on both sides will think like this.

  39. Hassan says:
    August 14th, 2007 1:47 am

    Although, i have been fighting for the independence of my motherland, Kashmir, i must say that Gandhi ji was a great leader and a nice soul in our subcontinent. Also, our peace and ritght to live has been snatched and we are being killed without any discrimination in our homeland, i wish to congratulate to pakistani and Indian people on the occasion of the anniversaries of their indepence day.

    All the best
    Hassan, Srinagar kashmir.

  40. Amit says:
    August 15th, 2007 9:03 am

    Happy independence day Pakistan and India..

    Wish you all the prosperity and glory.Thanks.

  41. Anjali says:
    August 17th, 2007 12:28 pm

    hello Adil,

    Salaam. i greatly appreciate your line of thinking …There are very few people who think so purely for others as well…your blog is really an inspiration to all our comrades from both the countries to join hands and stand together instead of pointing fingers towards each other.. I send my many good wishes and regards to u…God Bless!!.Allah Haafis!!!

  42. ASAD says:
    August 15th, 2009 12:16 am

    Greetings to all across the borders in India. The feelings expressed here are our feelings today also and I know that these are the feelings of most Indians and most Pakistanis. May prosperity be in the future of all in our region.

    Greetings India.

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