Managing a ‘complex divorce’

Managing a ‘complex divorce’

Witoubou Newmai

What have India and Pakistan become following what Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre famously christened, their most “complex divorce in history”? The aftermath of the complexities continue to haunt both nations at regular intervals.


The latest is the Pulwama incident. Thousands of editorials and articles have been written about the situation and still counting at great pace; and with every addition of opinion or comment appears a cliché, due to near saturation of idea proliferation. Consequently, there is a general monotony as one reads the newspaper articles and editorials on the issue. What is left to be said at this point of time, is a mystery.


For television viewers, on both sides, it is both appalling as well as entertaining, as most jingoistic anchors compete to drive up the hyperbole. Here in India, an anchor of a TV channel has gone to the extent of proclaiming that “we” no longer have room to listen to peace advocates as “having gone this far, India should not pull back.” To these “illustrious nationalists” as someone had remarked, dialogue or peace initiative is just a “dilution.”


At this juncture, it is prudent to check if anyone is orchestrating or exploiting the charged situation to bolster “case.” Or else, the prevailing situation can slide into some formlessness.


Going back to Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, their seminal book, Freedom at Midnight, presented a succinct glimpse of the peculiarity of the manner in which India and Pakistan parted.


“Never before had anything even remotely like it been attempted…nowhere were there any guidelines, any precedents, any revealing insights from the past to order what was going to be the biggest, the most complex divorce action in history, the break up of a family of 400 million human beings along with the assets and household property they had acquired in centuries of living together on the same piece of earth,” they noted.


Decades down the line after the “most complex divorce action in history,” hyperbole has become the tool for both the countries. After having had fought ‘four wars’ already, and frequent skirmishes, diplomatically as well as allegedly through other methods, another flare-up occurs as the brinkmanship continues.


Amid this sea of ranting and hurling jibes post Pulwama incident, there emerges a faint voice of reason, which we cannot afford to ignore.


The Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) “demands both governments of India and Pakistan to show restraint and avoid any war like situation,” and take up “immediate measures from both sides to de-escalate the situation and de-militarize borders by withdrawing troops to the peace time level”. The PIPFPD “recognizes that failed policies of both India and Pakistan in addressing Kashmir issue is at the core of the problem”.


One should also take note of Kuldip Nayar’s viewpoint when it comes to India and Pakistan relation. In his book, Scoop!, Nayar advocated that Pakistan and India should “agree to create a ‘soft’ border along the ceasefire line, pending a permanent solution…”


The moot of the whole point is thus: making efforts to grow one’s resolve through the employment of hyperbole at times of one’s choosing may no longer considered an adroit move in this conscious world.