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United Versus Unified

It is widely believed that children are like pieces of white paper, available for anything to be written on, because their brains have not been occupied by too much knowledge, and are always ready to accept new things. In her 1693 publication ‘Some Thoughts concerning Education‘, Margaret J M Ezell mentioned that “a child’s mind must be educated before s/he is instructed, that the true purpose of education is the cultivation of the intellect, rather than an accumulation of facts.” Later, English Philosopher John Locke opined that the ideal education would instill a strong moral sense. In particular, a child should be taught virtue, wisdom, breeding, and learning, he added.

The scenario has definitely changed in the last 400 years, and Modern States have started influencing the thought process of children across the globe. Pakistan is not an exception to this. The South Asian nation recently created a video, in which the Pakistani children shared their plans of what they would do after conquering neighbouring India.

Surprisingly, the Pakistani children actually want an Akhand Bharat (Unified India), a unified Indian Subcontinent, which posits that modern-day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar is one nation. Interestingly, the call for creation of the Unified India has often been raised by Hindu nationalist organisations in India, such as the Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sena, Hindu Sena, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The concept of Akhand Bharat

Even before the Independence of India in 1947, Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi advocated for Unified India, a proposition that Mohandas Karamchand Mahatma Gandhi agreed with, believing that “as Britain wanted to retain her Empire by pursuing a policy of Divide and Rule, Hindu-Muslim unity could not be achieved as long as the British were there.” Furthermore, Mazhar Ali Khan wrote that “the Khan brothers [were] determined to fight for Unified India, and challenged the Muslim League to fight the issue out before the electorate of the Province.” On October 7-8, 1944, Radha Kumud Mukherjee presided over the Akhand Hindustan Leaders Conference in (New) Delhi.

However, there is a difference between the concept of Unified India, as described by the Pakistani children and the Indian nationalists. When an Indian journalist asked several Pakistani children to tell about their aspirations after the Pakistan Army conquered India, the majority of them expressed their aspirations of a Unified India, but in the veil of a Caliphate Establishment. One of them reportedly told the Indian journalist: “We, the HINDS, the people on the east of (S)HIND River as Persians named us, are essentially a part of HINDUSTAN (or India).” It may be noted that Sindh is also a province of Pakistan.

Pakistani children

Later, the journalist, who wished to remain anonymous, stressed that people on both sides of the border actually wanted to visit and recollect each other’s land and values, in spite of their different political and religious beliefs. In a different manner, the people of both Pakistan and India want the unification of the two neighbouring countries. Although the revelation made by the journalist is an interesting one, political experts are of the opinion that it would not be possible for Pakistan and India to become one State, unlike Germany. They believe that religion is still influencing the relations between the two South Asian neighbours, as the Colonial British rulers had divided the Indian Subcontinent on the basis of religion. The Britons had triggered hatred between the Muslims and the Hindus in order to serve their own vested interests; and unfortunately, both the Pakistanis and the Indians are yet to come out of this trap.

In spite of all these, the people of the two countries still share similar experience, emotion, culture, food habits, and so on.

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