Entering India with Eyes Wide Open

by Aanya F Niaz

They say it’s a taboo to go to India. For Pakistani citizens, that is. It’s a dangerous world and those Indian eyes can most certainly recognize the difference of my brown skin tone and dark eyes, and of course, dark hair – Yes, the same features as Indian themselves boast. What a world of fury we live in. They make us curious and rebellious by saying NO to visiting India. Animosity with our neighboring country, which by the way, is progressing on a daily basis, is a nation whose too clever, with a negative connotation of course, for us Pakistani’s to visit, absorb, observe and certainly not “learn from.” Many Pakistani’s refuse to follow the Western model of modernization, civilization and industrialization. At the same time, these Pakistani’s do absolutely nothing to discover, or create their own identity of progress. What a pickle, would you not agree?

I intend on stepping on Indian grounds very soon. With curiosity in my mind, a microscope of genuine interest of our shared history, mutual interests and experiences of hundreds of years under the Mughal and British eras, with a flavor for real Indian butter chicken and most of all, an admiration for their dedication to rising to the standards of the world, and mostly setting their own standards for the world. Pakistani’s: it’s time to wake up. If we can only learn from our accelerating in development, literacy and higher education neighbors, and deem them as “former” enemies and future “friends”, we can begin a positively challenging, but most adaptable institutions of progress as I mentioned earlier, India and Pakistan share not only cultures, traditions and understand vocally spoken Urdu and Hindi, but can use this most similar foundation to reflect upon each other’s achievements and delve into the challenge of becoming the world’s most sought after South Asian countries.

Shall we, begin then?

I will be providing historical back ground, substantiated by specific reasons of why I have chosen Indian models of education as progressive and most significantly, why we can learn from India and help them learn from us.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming essays on this subject.