‘Go to Pakistan’! Do Indian politicians think ‘Pakistan’ is a dustbin?

Bunches of unwanted Indians are being sent off to Pakistan pretty often nowadays. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has conveniently asked all Indians who want to eat beef in the face of a beef ban in Maharashtra to go to Pakistan (“or Arab countries or any other part of world where it is available”). In April this year, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad requested (for the umpteenth time) all such Indians to go to Pakistan who do not agree with their policy of Hindus reproducing vehemently so that they can outnumber Muslims and correct the demographic balance. Whatever the reason for the banishment, I am baffled by this business of sending the unwanted to Pakistan!

Instead of permitting dissent and strengthening the idea of India among a wider audience, the right wing is threatening to send all naysayers to a 'Pakistan' that I suspect is a dark place in their imagination and not really the country next door!

Instead of permitting dissent and strengthening the idea of India among a wider audience, the right wing is threatening to send all naysayers to a ‘Pakistan’ that I suspect is a dark place in their imagination and not really the country next door!

When we were little children and the two Indo Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 were still relatively fresh in people’s memory, Pakistan was a regular butt of children’s (everyone’s actually) jokes in India. The toilet was, in a twisted form of jest, commonly referred to as Pakistan. Every time someone suffered flatulence, they were asked to go to Pakistan!

I must have sniggered at this as a kid, but I’m no longer amused. Is Pakistan some sort of dustbin that is willing to take in unwanted and ostracized Indians, whether beef lovers or Muslims, ‘seculars’ or liberals? Or is Pakistan the name of something quite different in the heads of the extreme right? A place where the unwanted can simply disappear into? An equivalent of the Nazi gas chamber?

This rhetoric about Pakistan has to be explained. If any Indian who questions the Hindu right wing has to be banished, then they must spell out what they mean by such a banishment? Is the threat of Pakistan simply intended to silence dissent, a sort of replay of the Partition that will strike horror in the hearts of Indians and make us question where our loyalties lie and in the process make the naysayers appreciate India more? Or is it a more sinister threat than that?

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About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on June 1, 2015, in Politics & Citizenship and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. It’s ridiculous what politicians tell and i hope they listen to what they speak.

  2. So agree…Pakistan seems to be the 21st century equivalent to the Madagascar dream for all right wingers to make dissent in any form invisible. They need to know, we are not going anywhere. We have our brand of proud patriotism and Hinduism which they seem to have forgotten – one which allows plurality, beef and alcohol consumption, rights to all sections of the population including women and homosexuals, and the right to assert a different point of view. I feel stricken that the most tolerant and pluralistic philosophy of the world (I wont even call it religion, as that word itself is restrictive for what Hinduism is about) is being laid siege by a group of people who claim to be its protectors. Please leave my Hinduism, one of the most beautiful thought systems of the world, the most progressive, as embodied in the Upanishads and the Geeta alone!

  1. Pingback: Mr Modi, the critics are the ones you should be talking to | ramblinginthecity

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