Independence Day Greetings for India

Posted on August 15, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations
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Adil Najam

Today is August 15. India’s Independence Day.

As we have done every year (here and here), we send all Indians sincere and heartfelt Independence Day Greetings and the very best wishes. We pray for a peaceful and prosperous future for both countries. May our futures be defined by friendship, mutual respect, and prosperity.

In 2006 we had expressed similar sentiments by presenting some pictures from the past. In 2007 we shared images that expressed these sentiments in the present. Today, our thoughts are focussed on the future. Rightly so, because the future of India-Pakistan relations looks more uncertain on this day today than it did on this day in 2006 or 2007.

There are grave reservations on both sides of the border about which way things are going, and why. All the more reason then to pray for peace, justice, goodwill, and friendship. All these sentiments become much more meaningful, and much more difficult to believe in, when things are bad than when they are not. None of them can ever become reality unless there is real commitment to them from all sides. And that is why it is all the more important today to reaffirm that commitment.

The picture we have used in this post today may not, at first, seem as poignant as the ones we have used before (here and here). But it is deeply meaningful. This AP news photo shows Pakistani Brigadier Qaiser Khan Tareen (L) presenting sweets to Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Deputy Inspector General Mohammad Aquil (C) and Commander H.S. Dhillon (R) during a ceremony at the Pakistan-India border at Wagah on August 14, 2008. At its face this is just a ritual, a tradition, and no more. Maybe it is. But it is important than even in these tough times the ritual is not forsaken. Not yet.

The smiles on their faces may not be as large or as sincere as one might have wanted, but these men in uniforms seem to be saying that today is not the day to point fingers, it is a day to wish for a better tomorrow. All we want to say is exactly the same.

Tomorrow matters. And actions on both sides of the border today will determine what our tomorrows will look like. Our shared goal must be to create a tomorrow that is peaceful. A tomorrow that is just. A tomorrow that is friendly. A tomorrow that is prosperous. For both of us.

23 responses to “Independence Day Greetings for India”

  1. Akshaye says:

    “Now how come you folks have problem with the Kashmiri Freedom Fighters?”

    The answer is that we have equal problems with Kashmiri, Naxal and LTTE freedom fighters. Same as China has problems with Tibetian Buddhist and Xinjiang Muslim freedom fighters and you guys have your own share of Baloch and NWFP freedom fighters.

  2. Humayun says:

    My prayers are also for peace and peaceful resolution of differences.

  3. S.M. Dixit says:

    Thank you for these wonderful wishes. They are heartfelt and mean a lot. I am myself very worried about the situation which after being better for some years is getting worse because of the mess that my government is making in Kashmir. I hope this land issue will be resolved satisfactorily soon and things will improve.

  4. Qudsia says:

    I also join my prayers for peace, justice, friendship and mutual respect in all of South Asia. And for all of humanity. Greetings to Indian friends on this day.

  5. HUSSAIN says:

    I join Adil Najam in wishing India a Happy Independence Day. There are obviously people are on the two sides who are still caught up in teh old ways of looking at each other with suspicion. But really what both people want is respect for themselves and teh ability to move on. Those who wish to reverse teh events of long ago through whatever means can keep wishing on. But the future is really with the future. I wish for a good future for Pakistan, for India, for our region and for the world.

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