It's time Pakistan ensured reel bonhomie moved into real life
India's goodwill and its forgiving nature is exemplified by the Bajrangi Bhaijaan who protects the lost child from the crevasses of frosty ties.analysis Updated: Jul 21, 2015 09:22 IST
Amid the Eid bonhomie, while Bajrangi Bhaijaan was busy reuniting Munni with her parents across the border, Pakistani troops continued to violate the ceasefire and target civilians on the other side of the Line of Control.
Indian and Pakistani border guards decided to do away with the ritual of exchanging sweets on Eid this year because of bitter realities such as the firing on the border and the Pakistan claim of shooting down an Indian "spy drone" (which Pakistan's all-weather ally China later said was a Chinese-made pilotless aircraft and other reports suggested it is used by Pakistani police since it is available off the shelf at $1,200 apiece).
The "reel life" exploits of Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Salman Khan) in the new film, in many ways, mirror the real life views and attitudes of Indians over the years.
Capt Saurabh Kalia of the Indian Army was tortured and killed at the hands of Pakistani troops during the 1999 Kargil conflict. Pakistan is yet to fix responsibility or take any action for this horrific act. However, Pakistan's unclaimed soldiers were given a decent burial in accordance with Islamic rites on Indian soil during the conflict.
In the entertainment business, most talented Pakistani artistes enjoy fame in India, where they are welcomed with open arms. Indian singers and entertainers, on the other hand, usually face several hurdles in performing on the other side.
Pakistanis avail our medical services too. About two months ago, doctors at a hospital in Mumbai saved the life of a Pakistani heart patient suffering from five blood vessel blockages. The patient reportedly chose India for his treatment because we're "open-hearted".
Though legends such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali and Abida Parveen are above all boundaries, the politics of closure supersedes all socio-cultural dynamics every time a soldier or a civilian is killed.
Nearly 170 people were killed in India's financial hub in 2008 when Ajmal Kasab and nine more Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan went on the rampage in Mumbai for three days. The smoke billowing out of the Taj Mahal reflected the gloom that was in the hearts of Indians.
Nearly seven years after the attacks, Indians have not forgotten or forgiven those who let loose the terrorists on Mumbai.
Indians jawans and civilians continue to be killed in reality while goodwill gestures apparently happen only on the silver screen.
India's goodwill and its forgiving nature is exemplified by the Bajrangi Bhaijaan who protects the lost child from the crevasses of frosty ties. It is now time for Pakistan to ensure the bonhomie of the silver screen moves into real life.
(The views expressed by the writer are personal. She tweets as @shilpyb)
First Published: Jul 20, 2015 19:10 IST