Freedom and flooding

A difficult agreement created Pakistan 63 years ago. The “land of the pure” was partitioned off from India and both nations became independent — Pakistan on August 14, 1947 and India a day later.

Though it split India apart, we were finally free. No more British Empire. No more second-class citizenry.

That’s why today should have been like any other August 14. Joyful. Celebratory. Patriotic.

Instead, Pakistanis will be surrounded by the misery created by torrential monsoons. Walls of water have drowned everything. The mighty Indus flows bloated — in some areas, it has swollen to 20 kilometers in width.

“Poor Pakistan. It can’t catch a break,” said a friend of mine in Kolkata, referring to a the awful earthquake, political crisis and militancy, which mars the landscape with violence every day.

She wondered what might have happened if Pakistan had never been split off from India.

Hypothesizing on the course of history, is ultimately, useless, but I thought about how things might have been different. Or not.

Nothing would have changed the cresting of the Indus this week. Nothing would have changed the water pouring from the skies.

My thoughts this day are with the people of Pakistan, separated from me by history, but not in soul. And I hope India will temper its own celebrations on August 15 and pause to reflect the terrible suffering of its neighbor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: