A personal note on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence.

By Khalid Umar

I was born 14 years after the Indian partition, in the part of Punjab which got demarcated into West Pakistan. The place of birth happened to be just a few kilometres from the Fazilka border near Pakpattan.

At the first breadth of my life, the country I was born into was ruled by a military dictator, General Ayub Khan. Throughout my life in Pakistan, at every important milestone, it was another dictator.

In Primary school, it was Gen Yahya Khan, at matriculation, Gen. ZiaulHaq had taken over. When completed university it was still Zialulhaq going strong. When I left Pakistan, General Musharraf was the president in uniform.

I, since childhood, never felt close to the land I was born into. I empathised with the people but not the land. I always considered Pakistan a manufactured fallacy; a land captured by the military, mullah and judiciary for their plunder who create the facade of democracy to fool the world.

Nationhood to me was the shared music, history, stories, food, recipes, folklore, dance, festivals, basant, Punjabi, dress, lassi, saag, Lata, Rafi & Kishore, Akash vani, Radio Ceylon Farmaishi program & it was Hindustan that was the nation which came natural to me.

The khaki uniform was a symbol of oppression. What the Pakistani butchers did in Bengal in 1971 has always remained a scar on my soul & what they have been doing in Baluchistan, Waziristan and the rest of the country to the minorities is a continuing pain in my heart to carry.

Had it not been an accident of geolocation of birth, my heart and soul has always resonated with the Indic civilisational history.

The religion of Arabia never ever felt close to me. I could never find any spiritually, peace or solace in a mosque. These places of worship just felt so alien to me. The scripture, creed, prayers, fasting were so far away from my spirit which never accepted it.

Pakistan is slave of its own false history & myopic narrative thrust in the name of protecting Islam and hatred of India.

I don’t think that with the havoc the junta has played with the nation, there is any chance of Pakistan to prosper and survive as a normal state. The hatred, inferiority complex, militancy, extremism, stunted growth is now part of its DNA. The cancer in its body politic has metastasised and it will fall victim to its own self; sooner or later.

In this backdrop, I never felt citizen of a free country. I never felt any euphoria of a Azaadi celebration in any August of my life. I believe India is on track to becoming a developed and prosperous nation by the time the nation will celebrate its 100 years of Azaadi.

I join the Indian Government initiative of Har Ghar Tiranga 🇮🇳 by hoisting a flag on this 75th anniversary of independence of the nation I am a proud civilisational member in thought, ethos and DNA as well.