By Farman Nawaz (Pakistan Hindu Post)
The partition of India is one of the nightmares that became a reality. Our history is written in such a way that it is very difficult to teach it avoiding the hatred against Hindus. Its main theme is based on enmity of Hindus. Telling truth to the students can put question mark on your patriotism and nationalism. It is always a risk to explain the events in such a way that students can get to the truth. The information given in these books has got the shape equivalent to religious beliefs. Opposing these information can even confuse your religious status.
It is always very difficult for me as a social studies teacher to explain this horrible truth to my students, not because that I do not love Pakistan but because that I will have to teach them hatred against Hindus – our neighbors. Moreover, after explaining every thing in detail, it is again very difficult to tell them that do not write these facts in examination. Because I have experienced it when my two papers at master’s level were fail for writing these bitter facts.
Our society is religious in nature. Every new idea is first of all judged by the common people according to their limited religious knowledge. If it fits in their sphere of religious knowledge so well and good but if it is a little bit different then it is not even rejected but rather the people who discuss it are labeled Infidels.
However teaching social studies, I have found such techniques that help me to express my views safely and smoothly. My aim is always to promote such viewpoint that can lead to create positive attitude towards regional countries. I emphasis on those aspects of religion and politics that can promote harmony among nations and saying no to violence.
The syllabus and information given in Pakistan study books are in such a way that the students are hypnotized by the idea that Hindus were the usurpers of Muslims’ rights in united India. Muslims were kicked out from the services. After telling these information my first question from my students is “Have you ever met with a person who is working in the Middle Eastern states?” Mostly our people go to these countries for earning money so our people have a lot of information. Then I ask them that what these people tell you about job opportunities and different nationalities?” My students answer that our people are mostly laborers and Indians mostly do office work. Then my next question is ‘why we are not protesting against this cruelty’. Our Arab brethren will surely listen to us. My students are of the opinion that it is not logical because Indians are good in education that is why they get these jobs. But as their minds are hypnotized so they can not think that the same was the case before partition but at that time but instead of competing with Hindus, we protested and divided the India. Survival of the fittest is the rule of the world but we ran away from that competition so still we are not fit. Was that logical decision? And if that decision was logical, so we must appreciate Bengalis for their struggle for rights and now Balochis too deserve appreciation.
We must think over this reality that now the same Hindus are employing Muslims in India and Muslims are employing Hindus in Arab States. Indian Film industry is mainly based on Muslims and now a days Muslim singers from Pakistan are their main playback singers. We must ask ourselves the reasons of this amalgamation.
The next objection from students is that Hindus were working for the domination of their Hindu culture that is why Muslims were forced to think about separate state. But they do not think that now in a separate country we are watching Indian Channels and we have never heard that any Muslim child is converted to Hinduism and started worshiping idols.
My students has another objection that why I always criticize my own nation. I tell them that criticizing one’s own nation is purely Islamic. Because Hazrat Jafar Tayar, in the court of Najashi – a Christian ruler, mainly criticized the culture and policies of his own nation – the Quresh.
Regarding the question that why Indians are there in Afghanistan, I always tell my students that where there you will see America in this region, you also see Indians or Chinese to neutralize the imperialistic designs of the US.
As compared to Christians, Hindus (our neighbors) are so defamed here in Pakistan that it does not matter what arguments and reasons you collect for speaking and writing in favor of India, people hesitate to believe you. It seems to them an unlawful, sinful, and immoral act. Blaming and opposing India is a very easy technique to make your statement authentic, accepted, and popular.
In the midst of such people, it is extremely difficult to create space for your articles in the leading newspapers. In addition, on local level the people consider you a traitor. However, this dust of mistrust will definitely get away one day. Aman Ki Asha is good endeavor but it is an effort on a limited scale. Common Pakistanis living in the remote areas are still unaware of it.
Indian entertainment media should also play a part in this regard because common people are mostly attached with these channels. Sorry to say but these channels only promote religious ceremonies and culture of Hinduism. If we look at the media of our democratic and secular neighbor in the East, one will never believe that it is the media of a secular state. In their every drama serial, you will see the actors and actresses worshiping plants and idols and performing many other religious rituals. Its ok we don’t hate their religion and religious practices but our people think that it is just a show off or propagation of Hinduism. Our younger generation is exposed to it. This was the threat, which was propagated by our religious circles before partition. They were of the opinion that very soon Muslims will loose their identity in united India. If Indians feel that by this way they can trim down the hatreds for Hindus in Muslim society so they are breathing in fool’s paradise. Only their open-mindedness towards Pakistan can change the psyche of our youth.
There are some facts in our history that we cannot justify and it destroys our efforts for Aman Ki Asha. But now Indians should behave in such a way that can give us strength and legitimacy here in Pakistan to work for peace in the region. Especially those Indians, which have taken the risk to work in Afghanistan, can do a lot in this respect. They can guide their government to frame such policies that lead to harmony between the warring neighbors. Only sincere efforts can bring prosperity and peace in the region. We can and surely we will work for the positive image of India here in Pakistan but Indians will too have to come forward with some agenda to get closer to Pakistanis.