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    This is something I feel strongly about. Initially, as a child, I wished that the Indian and Pakistani
    cricket teams were one. We had Sunil Gavaskar and they had Imran Khan. Who could beat us ? Then,
    as I grew up, I realised that the idea could embrace more than just the cricket teams.

    The fertile fields of Punjab would be one and so would Kashmir. We wouldn't pour billions into
    protecting ourselves from the other. The two countries would not be a pawn in the hands of super
    powers. Our cricket and hockey teams would be awesome. There would be fewer Hindu-Muslim riots
    because the population would be evenly balanced. Balance of power brings stability. (Kannan Anand
    disagrees. He thinks it will create more harm than good.) Economically, I would expect a stronger
    nation. We would play an important role internationally. For a change, the world would listen to us than
    tell us if we should sign that Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or not.

    The major hurdle to all this : politicans. It doesnt serve their interests to propound this. After all, they
    might lose the formidable illiterate vote bank. (Vijay agrees. He is all for unfication.) Someone, in
    reply to my posting, had said, "..we will have to kill the politicans first.." A bit radical, but yes ! thats
    the general idea.

    Responses from USENET Postings

    I received a tremondous response, both in the form of personal emails and postings to USENET
    groups such as soc.culture.indian, soc.culture.bengali, soc.culture.pakistan etc., when I first mooted
    the idea. Here, take a look at the responses.

    Kannan Anand explains the rivalry between the two nations as an effort to vindicate the stand taken
    by them 50 yrs ago. Dismissing the unfication effort as an "experiment" and a "dream," he says that
    for now, he will settle for peace between the two nations.

    Shoumyo Dasgupta wondered about uniting Bangladesh with India and Pakistan. He pointed out that
    the recent spate of nationalism in Bangladesh may be a difficult hurdle to overcome. He also stressed
    that the latent hatred and suspicions in the minds of all concerned, Indian's, Pakistani's and
    Bangladeshi's needs to be first addressed (Rishi Agarwal said the same). He contends that if they
    interacted socially more often, the wall of distrust can be broken.

    Along similar lines, Aslam commented that a federation of nations which included India, Pakistan and
    Bangladesh was the only solution to the problems we have. All regions should have autonomy with
    only defense and foreign affairs being delegated to the federal authorities.

    Mohammed Khan cited incidents of bigotry on both sides. He hoped that just like Germany, the
    sub-continent would one day be re-united. He contends that no religion permits killings and we should
    be human when we interact with each other. Sukumar Chaudhuri also wished that the sub-continent
    was united, as did Jagadish, who requires that the animosity be first eliminated. Raja V. looks forward
    to the day when the subcontinent would be called United States of South Asia. According to him, the
    unification would counterbalance China, control drug smuggling and reduce scare of nuclear weapons.

    Tejas pointed out that both India and Pakistan have been mean to each other (I agree, Tejas) and
    contends that that is one of the main reasons why the people of both countries hate each other. Before
    we strive for unification, Tejas says, we must work to engender a spirit of love and brotherhood.

    Avnish used his experience as a past President of the Indian Student Association at his school to
    indicate the inherent difficulty in uniting Indians and Pakistanis. According to him, the two cultures are
    very similar and hence he fails to understand the bigotry. Farrukh Azfar disagrees. He maintains that
    the cultures of the two countries are very different. He points out that even though Austria and
    Germany, though not very different, exist as separate nations. He wishes that India would recognize
    Pakistan's nationhood and stop trying to bring about unification.

    Yousef commented along similar lines. He says the culture of the two countries is and has been
    different from about 2nd century AD. He however concedes that the cultures are similar in the border
    areas. According to him, India is the land beyond Indus. He is willing to give up Kashmir to India if
    that would mean ending "futile rivalry". He wants both countries to respect the others border and
    concentrate solely on their development. He says, "Two neighbors that are really secure in their
    borders will achieve development a lot more rapidly, than one large country with many of it's
    components attempting to break away".

    Danny Radhakrishnan however disagrees. He says that if culture where the criteria then we would
    have seen 10-15 countries rather than just India and Pakistan.

    Ratnendra Pandey reminds us that the division of the sub-continent took place for communal reasons
    and hence until the communal issues are settled, reunification will not work. He also points out that the
    division along religious lines did not work as Muslims have been killing Muslims in Pakistan.

    Said C.J. Srinivas, "I couldn't agree with you more....when Germany could, why can't we??" Germany
    understandably was in everybody's mind. Shaheen Tonse compared the German situation to our
    situation. Economic disparity between India and Pakistan is more pronounced than was between the
    two Germany's-with India being the poorer of the two. This, he says, will lead the average Pakistani to
    think that the merger will be a big liabilty with nothing in it for them. Nayab echoed the sentiment by
    saying that Pakistan was better off and should not merge.

    Vasanth Kothnur thinks political unification will be difficult to implement due to the bigotry on both
    sides. A priority, he says, is to reduce the tension on the borders and eliminate wasteful military
    expenditure. He thinks the two nations should go for economic unification. A first step for the nations
    is to be more friendly.

    Ashfaq is not very optimistic about the unification either. He thinks the extremist political groups
    present on both sides will create problems. The two countries hence need to solve their internal
    problems before thinking of unification. Salma also thought that the two countries are better off as
    separate entities for several reasons. Jamal wants an economic unification first. We have differences
    he says, but we also have a lot of similarities.

    Taheer is against unification because he does not trust the Hindus in India to treat the Muslims well.
    He cites the Babri-Masjid incident as an example. Along similar lines, Deb Chatterjee maintains that
    Islam preaches hatred and hence any idea of unification is noble but lacks pragmatism. Calling Jinnah
    far sighted, the son of an Indian immigrant, Collins does't want unification because Pakistanis are well
    off economically than India. Besides, he also doesn't trust Indians.

    Kabeer Punjabi, born in un-divided India, says that only the Muslims were asked on their opinion
    regarding the creation of Pakistan and does not understand why the majority of Muslims who voted
    for the creation of Pakistan chose to stay in India. He recalls the pain of partition and mentions his
    Sikh friend who underwent the same.
    (P.S : I can understand Kabir. I was born in divided India, so to speak, and didn't see the partition, but
    Khushwant Singh's "Train to Pakistan" did a good job in recanting the horror.)

    chk out his guestbook...alot of interestin comments

    A bend in da road is not da end of da road

    India and Pakistan can never be one country the best we can hope for is for each to stay on their side of the border.


      They wont b stayin on their sides untill da conflicts regarding land are resolved...and i don c those beein resolved in da near future...

      A bend in da road is not da end of da road

      [This message has been edited by AMMARS (edited August 14, 2000).]


        AMMARS, I hope you are a kid under 10.Things have been steadily going bad between the two countries.
        They were reasonably friendly in the beginning, if only because the decision makers on both sides knew each other and worked together in the freedom movement.

        Something like a social revolution has to come about for the countries to be friendly again.
        As far as I am concerned a stable and prosperous Pakistan is in our interest, provided all the outstanding issues are settled to our satisfaction


          It is a stupid idea and only punjabis are obsessed with it. anyone south of vindhyas and east of lucknow does not give a damn about pakistan and has never understood delhite's obsession with it. We better build relations with singapore, taiwan, malasia as there is large south indian community there and build on those relations rather than wasting time on pakistan.


            It seems to be a childhood fantasy for some people, I think India by itself has many problems and we do not need 140 million more ;-)


              Originally posted by ZZ:
              It is a stupid idea and only punjabis are obsessed with it. anyone south of vindhyas and east of lucknow does not give a damn about pakistan and has never understood delhite's obsession with it.
              The only reason Punjabis think about Pakistan is because of the homeland they lost...they don't care for Pakistan as such. Large portion of Delhi is made of people originally from Pakistan and they miss their land that was taken away from them. The other parts of India with the exception of Bengal were not divided. I agree with you that we should concentrate on other countries and forget about Pakistan....I think Pakistan is somehow more attached to India then India is to them....they will try very hard and will make it difficult for us to forget them.


                Yes I think its a totally stupid idea and potentially dangerous one. Our culture and ideology is different from Pakistan and we can never be together nor should we try to come together as one (in the geographical sense). Punjabis are however free to develop "brotherly relations" with Pakistanis (Kuldip Nayyar can lead the pack) but please donot speak for the rest of India !



                  I agree with you that it is potentially dangerous 'Nayar' doesn't in way or form speak for Punjabis.....Very few Punjabis with exception of religious groups have ever visited Pakistan, although lot of Pakistanis regularly come to India. Punjabis I know don't want to do anything with Pakistan, because they suffered the most during 1947.


                    There are very few academic types who float this idea of some kind of unification once in a while mostly knowing there is no feasibility of that happening.
                    What Bengalis, Sindhi, Kashmiris and Punjabis think about people accross the broder can no way be compared to what people east of Luckhnow or south of Vindheya feel. For someone south of Lukhnow Pakistan might be just another country somewhere near Afghansitan which is understandable but for Punjabis, Kashmiris and Sindhis it is not the same. They share a common history,language and heritage that goes a long way. Same goes for Bengalis.
                    How a brotherly bond between Punjabis can exist or develop when rest of the country sees it as a threat to them. I have very little hope of such a brotherly relationship at a massive level ever coming to existence as it does not suit Delhi and Islamabad. The enemity between two countries will continue for a long time to come as it is in the political interest of political elites as well as of religious majorities of both countries.


                      On one hand Rani says ill of Nayyaar speaking for all Punjabis on the other hand she herself speaks for all Punjabis.


                        Ammars argues that

                        >The major hurdle to all this (the unification of India and Pakistan) : politicans. It doesnt serve their interests to propound this<

                        I would vehmently oppose this. Pakistani and Indian society still relies on religion far too much. Religious leaders, who are more often than not bigots, narrow minded, extreme, irrational and uncompromising are the major hurdle for all progress in both of these nations. They have only their interests at heart.

                        This is why disunity has occured and this is it will remain. Progress must prevail and hence I would say 'KILL THE MULLAHS'

                        Respectfully Yours,

                        The Godfather


                          But these days we're talking about a "federal structure" aren't we ? So there's nothing wrong in Punjabis developing good relations with Pakistanis as they share a common culture, but we don't share that culture. As Indians we have a different ideology and that can't be doubted. I don't know how many of you have had Bengali friends but their feelings are nothing like the feelings that Indian Punjabis have towards Pakistanis. I have found Bengalis as indifferent towards Pakistan as any other Indian and some of them tend to be hostile towards Bangladesh because of the illegal immigrant problem -- so donot club Punjabis and Bengalis together.
                          Its easy to say that it suits Delhi and Islamabad to keep the people apart but the fact is that while governments at Delhi have gone overboard while trying to project the "one culture" argument, governments in Islamabad vociferously reject it saying that such language is symbolic of "Indian hegemonistic designs". So while its perfectly natural for Punjabis to feel affinity towards Pakistanis, they should remember that most Pakistanis donot accept these "common culture" and "one people" arguments. They have defined their nationhood based on religion think of themselves more a part of Central Asia than the subcontinent.



                            I know of your love for punjabi muslims and hate for can continue with your brotherly feelings...I speak for Urban Punjabis ...I am not trying to represent your are welcome to do so. You can go and live in Pakistan it is great way to develop true brotherly feelings, nobody in Delhi will stop you.

                            [This message has been edited by Rani (edited August 14, 2000).]



                              >>I have found Bengalis as indifferent towards Pakistan as any other Indian <<

                              Most of the Punjabis I talk to are very indifferent as any other India. Except Punjabi language there is very little similarity between Pakistani and Indian Punjabis, the lifestyle the treatment of women and religious practices are entirely different ....... You don't see many Punjabis on this forum trying to promote brotherhood, Chan is an exception.