To Be Or Not To Be

A common farmer goes out for a stroll and perhaps he is under influence of alcohol, so cannot figure out whether the path which is he following leads to his fields or to another nation, rather another life.

In the shortest possible manner, the above paragraph describes the story of Sarabjit Singh, which most of us know today as the Indian prisoner in the Kot Lakhpat Jail in our neighboring nation: Lahore, Pakistan.

Actually this is not something new, there are hundreds perhaps thousands of such unaware “travellers” who are blissfully oblivious of the dangers that await them for infinite amount of time just in case they happen to trip across the border line which separates the nations which were one till 1947.

It is still fortunate that Sarabjit Singh at least has so much public and media attention, which may not be a substitute for the pain and suffering that he and his family is undergoing, but it certainly must be a great mental and moral support whereas many such cases go unnoticed where the person never comes back and no one even knows what happens in the end.

As we write this article today, it has been reported that Sarabjit is critical and having severe head injuries. We just hope and Pray that he is hale and hearty again, even though that wont end his troubles but will rekindle hope for everyone concerned.

The Bigger Question

The bigger question related to this case, rather such cases, is pretty straightforward. Normally people living near the borders are pretty simple, humble and not that well read and educated as their urban counterparts. This is not a rule, yet logically one would assume that given the tough living conditions and the lack of full amenities at such places, generally only those people who are close to nature and not much bound into the intricacies of metro life reside.

Moreover when you stay close to someone or something, you tend to take it for granted, so a person passing near the border line every day as a routine affair would possibly lack the caution of an “outsider”

It is difficult to imagine that the people in these areas will have any deep understanding of the legal complexities involved in case they get into any such situation.

Hence there should be a special arrangement at these areas where the people who are residing very close to border areas and are not too suspicious are handed back “on-the-spot” after noting their identities if required later. This could put a stop to the huge huge price a person has to pay to stray across the national line unintentionally.

Yet the ground reality seems the opposite where such people are used by the security forces and the political setup to implicate such victims for their own political gains.

At the bottom of this problem still lies the same age old seed of enmity which was sowed during the Indo-Pak division. Of course practically speaking the two nations cannot rejoin again like say the two former German nations, still it would be in the best interests of humanity if the line dividing the states does not divide the hearts and there are treaties for mutual cooperation in such matters.

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