When my grandparents talked about Partition, the focus of their stories was a divide between religious ideals. As much as our rational selves will argue that there were political and economic realities to the divide, generations of Pakistanis and Indians have grown up believing that our differences are as basic as Hindu vs. Muslim. Volumes have been written on what, why, and why not Partition, on both sides of the border.
But we’re not here to talk about Partition. We’re here to recognize that both countries are a reality, they exist; the deed is done. Let our governments quarrel; it’s been a long haul of one step forward and two steps back for them. For the people, however, opportunities to change mindsets abound. From the distance of time, we can stop looking back, stop dwelling on differences, and start focusing on what we have in common.
Let’s start with the tenets of each of our religions: Blessed are the Peacemakers. The line itself is from the Bible; Matthew 5:9—”Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” Both Muslim and Hindu texts have similar references, though, so Indireads felt that this was a wonderful place to begin our journey to Love Across Borders.
Surah Baqarah 11:15—”Do not make mischief in the earth, they say. Verily, we are in fact peacemakers”
Bhagavad Gita—”Without meditation, where is peace? Without peace, where is happiness?”