New Delhi, July 12: "Love thy neighbour", goes the famous saying. Talk about India and Pakistan relationship--just flip the popular phrase--"hate thy neighbour"--and you will get the answer to the never-ending political animosity between the two neighbouring countries for the last seven decades.
While incurable peaceniks from both the sides of the borders have always sung love notes, eulogising about their shared history, culture and heritage, it's the politicians of both the nations who have long run their careers over India, Pakistan dushmani (hostility--both the countries have fought four wars since 1947 and are currently engaged in border skirmishes on a regular basis).
In the heart of the conflict lies Kashmir, but a soul searching will tell you that the ongoing tussle between the two countries serves the political class of both India and Pakistan very well.
Those who believe India and Pakistan are staunch enemies after the umbilical cord between them were cut by the bloody partition of 1947, just look at the similarities between the two nations.
India and Pakistan are so similar that even their politicians behave in the same manner (remember corruption--both the countries have some of the most corrupt politicians in the world).
Come election or a politician facing existential crisis, don't be surprised if leaders of both the nations start screaming, "India, India..." or "Pakistan, Pakistan..." (depending on which side of the border they are on).
Of late in India (since we are from the country and in all fairness it is better to concentrate on our own affairs then poking nose in our neighbour's-- where the general elections are scheduled on July 25), Pakistan has become that invisible hand that drives the politics of the country to a great extent.
By now, the leaders and supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government have told their political opponents and so-called "anti-nationals" and "urban naxals" to "go to Pakistan" so many times that the nation has almost turned deaf.
Now, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, whose lessons in English are far more impactful than his 'mis'governance as a member of Parliament, has warned that if the ruling BJP wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections once again, then the saffron party will turn India into a "Hindu Pakistan".
The Lok Sabha MP alleged that the BJP will write a new Constitution which will pave the way for a nation, much like Pakistan, where rights of minorities are not respected.
"If they (the BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha our democratic Constitution as we understand it will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the Constitution of India and write a new one," Tharoor said at an event in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on Wednesday.
"That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan and that isn't what Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for," he added.
While after attaining freedom from the British Raj, India embraced secularism giving equal rights to all to practice their religion without any fear, Pakistan became an Islamic republic.
Over the years, the minorities in Pakistan--be it Hindus, Sikhs or Christians-- have almost been exterminated, thanks to the growing radicalism and terrorism, well-backed by democratically-elected successive governments and the army of the country.
In India, when it comes to religion, it is tricky. Almost all the political parties have used "religion" as a tool to divide and rule (a lesson well-learnt from the colonial era, which today's politicians are not ready to leave aside easily as it pays huge dividends).
If the Congress does "Muslim appeasement", then the BJP is infamous for its politics of hatred towards the minorities (especially the Muslims). Several top BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh--the ideological wing of the saffron party--leaders have minced no words in espousing the cause of Hindu Rashtra (India as a Hindu nation).
In the last four years of the Narendra Modi regime, we have witnessed how Muslims have been pushed further to the corner because of mob lynching, love jihad, ghar wapsi and beef ban.
Now, again coming back to our political class' hatred towards the enemy nation, every time a neta (leader) raises the fear of Pakistan, they try to paint the country as a worst place on the earth where the Muslims live.
Politicians cutting across party lines paint all Pakistanis with the same brush--they are poor, illiterate and terrorists and thus they are all bad and vile. It has become an Indian psyche--a superiority complex--that we are a nation far superior than Pakistan--be it in the field of cricket, realm of science or human development index.
Tharoor suffers from the same phobia--Pakistan--which has afflicted the BJP leaders too.
It's not difficult to see why Tharoor did not say India will become a "Hindu America", where President Donald Trump is also happily fanning the fear of the minority taking over the "land of everybody's dreams".