Saturday, July 14, 2001

So much for India’s mehman nawazi!
Fasih Ahmed

IT is a common belief that when God will get sick and tired of his ‘superior’ creations on earth and will desire a change (hopefully for the better), he will summon His angels to blow the conch and finally announce Dooms Day. Thereafter will commence the arduous process of judgement that will decide who gets what: Heaven (swarg/jannat) or Hell (nark/dozakh).

SKETCH BY SANDEEP JOSHISurmising that change from earthly ways will be the main criterion for such resettlement, hopefully Indians will surely find a berth in Heaven en masse. One may ask why? Well, simply because they have seen enough of Hell on this dear earth, courtesy their utmost desire to profess sharafat all the time and always, even with those who have continued to clobber them.

Take the case of Pervez Musharraf, CEO of Pakistan Inc, the friendly neighbour who has so humbly been extended an invitation to visit the land of his birth this month. To dine and feast against the backdrop of gunfire in Kashmir. And meet his old nanny living somewhere in the claustrophobic bylanes of Daryaganj to tell her that he still has much to learn from her.


No, there is no wicked diplomacy in this whole affair. It is pure and simple darya dili (large- heartedness) being shown to a Daryaganj progeny. It certainly is besides the point that some two summers back, he had sent his vanguard to Kargil, simply for the heck of it or perhaps for a picnic without an invitation.

The collective sharafat of India demands that one should simply forget the elementary issues of state-sponsored terrorism, attempts to destabilise our country, the goings on in Jammu and Kashmir, the killing of an innocent passenger on board a hijacked Indian Airlines aircraft at Kandahar, provision of safe havens to the killers, gory massacre of innocent pilgrims to Amarnath or the militarily unethical act of mutilating dead Indian soldiers in Turtuk (Kargil). The list is almost endless. On the contrary, is it not gracious on the part of Indians to spread a red carpet in honour of the very same person whose palms are soiled with Indian blood?

But the intention this time is to talk. Politely request him with folded hands to kindly mend his ways and stop being cynical if that be fine with him. In any case nothing is being forced on him. Indians never force anything upon anyone. Instead, all they do, when the pain becomes unbearable, is to send out sweet tidings to the perpetrator and shower upon him (the entire family included) an overdose of mehman nawazi. If he still does not yield, well there is always another day and another time: Mera dar khula hai, khula hi rahega, tumhare liye.

Even the Indian Army Chief echoes similar sentiments. How very Indian of him to be endorsing, if not personally extending, such hospitality. I must be a fool not to understand that such are the demands of protocol that need to be met by a civilised state. Did I hear someone lament that similar protocol did not exist when our own Premier took a bus ride to Lahore! Now, to question others’ impropriety certainly is against our teachings. God will take care of that on the Day of Judgement.

So, relax all you folks for the time being and wait for your free ticket to Heaven. Until then just pray that there doesn’t exist yet another Line of Control (LoC) to contend with, this time between Heaven and Hell! Amen.