Ruffling feathers for a cockfight

Mirza Shahnawaz Agha

A cockfight is preceded by teasing the bird to a point of anguish such that when let loose it would attack with vicious finality. Do or die is the sentiment that is gleefully watched by spectators most of whom have bets on the outcome. Individuals and societies that are teased to a point of anguish are no different. Human history is fraught with examples where men have fought aimlessly in wars that have had hidden agendas and perpetrators. These men preferred death to the continued monotony of suffering that they were subjected to.
In the case of India and Pakistan, and the post partition era, we seem both caught into a cockfight not quite of our choosing. I wish it was personal though but it is not. There is a hidden agenda and a hidden perpetrator. The bets are certainly on, and the stakes are re-currently petty. After all, the cockfight is a bloody game of the poor and for them. On the ground are two anguished birds, vicious and charged to kill without a clue, why are they so blood thirsty.
Seventy years down the road and we haven’t found peace. Are we fighting for real estate, additional territory, strategic positioning or simply because we are devoid of rationale and social maturity to come to terms. The reason for the partition was our inability to co-exist within a religious divide where the Hindus were in a majority. This stood to reason as the Hindus could never govern themselves in centuries and would mess up their opportunity by a hate syndrome, which is what we are seeing today.
In contemporary history, India has been ruled from 1193, the times of Muhammad Ghori of the Ghori Sultanate that ruled for 97 years; followed by the Khiljis from 1290 who ruled for 30 years; followed by The Thughlaqs from 1320 who ruled for 94 years; followed yet again by the Sayeds from 1414 for 37 years; and then, The Lodhis from 1451 for 75 years; followed by the Mughals from 1526 for 4 years; followed by the Sooris from 1539 for 16 years; and then again by the Moghuls from 1555 for 315 years; and finally , the Brits from 1858 to 1947; who ruled for 89 years.
The Muslims ruled India for 764 years and the partition really was a great relief as it offered peace for coexistence. The Hindus and Muslims could live apart as good supportive neighbours keeping the wolves and pirates out. This is what has to be considered even today where the divide respecting human life and not territory should determine the partitioned boundaries. On the ideology of Pakistan rests the liberation of Muslims in India and this time around on the basis of land and property ownership that each is entitled to by way of birthright. I write this for the protection of the sub-continent from continued alien initiatives that still loom over both countries to rob this rich land by the economic disablement of the populations.
The cockfight has to be reversed for its meaning and purpose as it has little to offer by way of gain for the fighting birds. We must {both} know what is best for our populations and must display exemplary maturity by burying the cudgel. The rudimentary method to establish supremacy one over the other by military might is really ridiculous when we are not militarily self-sufficient and more we have a large portion of our populations that are below the red line for poverty. We are witness to the outcome of wars for various economies and are also living with countries peddling military hardware to keep their economies afloat at our cost. The question is our need to follow them and be abettors in the crime, or exit the dragnet.
The people and their selected servants the politicians have to be mandated to turn their attention to the future of civilized coexistence in place of what the proverbial West prods them to indulge in. There is no loss or gain when it comes to territorial demarcations and certainly there is no such thing as the respectability of a nation state in forcefully occupying land as it represents prestige or the Biblical declaration of sorts. It is prestigious in the unified uprightness of nations to first consider the human right to live and peacefully which makes them first world and not in the military might to subdue, pillage, kill and rob people for economic reasons.
The vision of a beautiful dawn between the Hindus and Muslims of the sub-continent can be a harbinger of peace the world over where the doctrines of the pirates can become the rudimentary past. We need to remember that prior to the sub-continent being colonized the region did not have beggars and there was no shortage of food. There was peace and we need to revert to just that peace to develop exercising free will and independence. The key to economic gain is based on labour and not on land. This is the long and short of the wisdom the politicians need to understand. The line of control is judicious equity. I rest my case.
— The writer is an entrepreneur and author based in Karachi.

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