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Showcasing vanity at Wagah

Much before the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan can agree on a solution to Kashmir problem, converting Siachen into a peace park , concluding a no war pact or even improving trade relations, could they not begin by taking a few small steps that make us think of each other as any two normal decent neighbors. Each day as the flags are lowered at the Wagah border, Indian and Pakistani guards high-kick and stamp their feet in a vulgar display of aggression, anger and animosity. This has no resemblance to the dignified parade that is otherwise a part of their routine.

Why do the two neighbors need to enact mutual hatred as a symbol of their national pride? Why do they need to use uncouth bellicosity as a tool for teaching patriotism? Why can they not lower their flags with peace and dignity? Is it too much to ask the two Prime Ministers to come to a small and simple agreement – the two sides will henceforth discontinue this disgusting display of belligerent posturing and will perform the flag lowering ceremony in a friendly and respectful manner. The highly choreographed drama of vanity and bravado adds little to our own self-respect. Can we not do without it?

4th Nov. 2014