By Syeda Mazhar
The Pakistan Resolution was passed in 1940, which was based on the Two Nation Theory presented by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. This was when Muslims officially declared that they were a separate nation and that the formation of a homeland was based on ‘religion’ and not ‘language and ethnicity’. Muslims and Hindus had been living within the same boundaries since hundreds of years, and the presenting of Pakistan Resolution was a declaration that Muslims of the Sub Continent had realized that their religion needed a separated homeland in order to be safeguarded.
The emergence of Pakistan on the world map took place in 1947, and ever since Pakistan has been independent, India has not accepted its formation. India does not believe that a country should be made on the basis or religion, and that there isn’t much difference between the cultures of the two nations. Time and again we see the Indian media bringing up the topic regarding the ‘same culture’, basing it on food, language and dresses. The Pakistanis however know that the reasons for a separate country go deeper than just skin tone; it is about religious freedom and religious identity, as Islam is not just a collection of festivals, it is a lifestyle.
Indian media subtly gives the message of the subcontinent being one nation as a whole; foundation of which being the similar culture. However Indian actions speak the opposite. As per the recent development, Pakistani artist Ghulam Ali was not allowed to perform in India. Although the performance was anything but political, and the audience would have been mere commoners in pursuit of entertainment; under the pressure from Shiv Sena the artist was not allowed to perform.
Another act of defiance by the Indian Shiv Sena was evident when a book launching ceremony for Khursheed Kasuri in India was threatened. The sponsor for the ceremony, Mr. Sundheendra Kulkarni was attacked by the Shiv Sena workers. He was harassed and his face was painted blacked for merely sponsoring a book launch. Citing Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism as the reason, they ‘threatened’ to disrupt the ceremony if it was not canceled; which itself is not only an act of terror but also a dichotomy of the ‘we are one’ ideology often preached by the Indian media.
The sad reality remains that the Indian media earns billions each year from Pakistan only. Indian movies are premiered in the Pakistani cinemas very efficiently and Pakistani viewership is also increasing with time. Not only are the banners and billboards all over the big cities, some influential and major Pakistani channels also promote Indian cinema. Indian cinema gives subconscious messages of there not being much difference between the two countries and two cultures; however the Muslims in India were beaten to death
for being ‘suspected’ for eating meat. These actions of intolerance prove exactly why Sir Syed and Quaid e Azam were insightful enough to demand a separate country. Modi’s administration in India is not much different from the Congress Rule in 1935. During the Congress Rule 1935 the Muslims were sidelined and their Islamic beliefs were not respected at all. Slaughtering of cows was banned and Muslim children were harassed in schools. Today in 2015, the circumstances in India are no different. Although Muslims have been settled there since hundreds of years, they are still made to feel alien and treated as intruders in the Hindustan.
India is no more diplomatic towards Muslims as it was in 1935, and this includes in terms of media and entertainment as well. Just few months ago it was reported that Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan, Pakistani actors, who are working in India on a few projects, were targeted by Shiv Sena. They were told that they are not welcome in India. They were told that they will not be allowed to promote their movies in Maharashtra. Akshay Bardapurkar, their senior spokesperson is reported to have said that no Pakistani cricketer or actor will be allowed to perform on the Maharashtra soil.
Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar also had to shorten their visit in India and return to Pakistan, reason being the threats from Shiv Sena. Besides that, as previously mentioned, Ghulam Ali’s concert was also cancelled. Atif Aslam and Mekaal Hasan Band were also not allowed to perform in India due to security threats. All these events make one question if Indian government even considers what Indian media preaches about no cultural differences.
In 1944 Jinnah said:
“We maintain and hold that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a nation of hundred million and what is more, we are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportions, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and tradition, and aptitude and ambitions. In short, we have our own outlook on life and of life”.
The country, Pakistan, was not made on the basis of flavors in food and colors of the skin, it is a land with diverse culture, but the one thing that unites them is Islam. It is the lifestyle that differentiates us from them. We need to understand the strategies behind their movies and dramas. They cover a large percentage of Pakistani entertainment and are often promoted by Pakistani channels. We need to say NO to Indian media and get closer to our own roots. Pakistani paper and electronic media need to form a campaign and promote their own movies instead of movies across the border; as our country is also rich in talent and creativity.