Golden Reunion


The heartwarming video of two elderly brothers holding each other in a tight embrace, tears streaming from their eyes from Kartarpur is a bittersweet reminder of how love eventually finds its way. Quite expectedly, Sikhs from far and wide have found this as a commendable development ensuing from reopening the corridor being hailed as one of reunions.
For families separated at partition, the last 74 years have been nothing short of a tragedy where they continue to mourn their loved ones with no knowledge of whether they are even alive. Amid narrowing distances (thank you, Facebook) and rare hankering for people-to-people contacts, a few were able to find closure.
But for every estranged sibling breaking down in a sweet hug and friends magically bumping into each other, there are hundreds of others still pinning hope at a reunion someday. And as the pre-partition generation is fastly taking these dreams to graves, the likelihood of people taking up the shovels to tear down this wall of hate is similarly paring down.
Since the two countries are always planning to wipe the floor with the so-called enemy, it is no use singing the tunes of peace and harmony. When the writing on New Delhi’s walls scream anti-Muslim banter, expecting breakthroughs is akin to weaving castles in the skies.
However, sometimes small gestures can go a considerable way in smoothing the path (God knows, relations as complex as Pakistan-India would need how many million more miracles?). Still, it can only be hoped that dialogue finally tunnels its way through because the people living on both sides have played enough of tag-thy-Dushman.
At the risk of sounding too controversial, no one expects us to wake up one day and wipe out the border. For, we may have grown out from a single rich branch and our cultures, traditions and palates may be eerily similar but this is not Germany and there is no Helmut Kohl. What we should aim for is overcoming the hawkish clasp that dominates the discourse on both sides. Pakistan has already returned fishermen and fallen-down pilots, and might still extend an olive branch if need be. Whether Indians wish to move beyond a long-drawn-out, bloodied chapter is for them to tell and the world to see.