The Fight for Freedom


68 Years on and the Struggle to Belong is Passed on to British Asians

Migration to the UK from South Asia by both Pakistanis and Indians, in the last 60’s and has carried on to this day. Come 14th and 15th August, millions of people across the globe will be celebrating the independence of both countries, including people from the UK. For those Asians living in the UK, it is an opportunity to celebrate their dual nationalities. However, both the Indian and Pakistani communities are stuck in a time-lapse of a very fragile relationship with each other.

The memory of independence is to some extent overshadowed by the horrors of Partition that followed. There is undoubtedly a bond between British and Indian cultures, and in many cases the British Asian community would find it difficult to define themselves as belonging to one or the other – especially the younger generation, who have often never even travelled to India or Pakistan. However, 68 years after the partition, the struggle of a place to belong and the freedom to express love to two different countries has been passed on to British Asians. Can the next generation forget the hate that its ancestors had for each other? United in a sport, which only hosts the top eight countries in the world, can the next generation of British Asians come together and banish the spirit which their ancestors have left behind, one of distrust and suspicion, and can they forge a friendship in an environment which they are so often moulded by fear of doubt?

Saniya Bhutta – Pakistani
I don’t think anyone at this point looks at India as the “enemy” since we’ve discovered a bunch of enemies within. People on the streets have wisened up to the media and now we know better. Other than that, I believe I speak for most Pakistanis when I say we’ve been hearing such great things about India, that we cant help sincerely wishing you all the success. Hopefully in the future, our countries will have leaders who will stop drumming political propaganda into our minds. 

Arsalan Javed ShiekhPakistani
Well I’m 35 so not sure if I qualify as “young” anymore. In general the fear and loathing has decreased tremendously since the 80’s where it was pumped up by Zia Ul Haq (who is generally considered to have been a bad idea). But it is a mixed love and hate relationship. 

Protik Roychowdhury – Indian
I’m Indian but I have to say this. I have, in various phases of my life, been in touch with Pakistanis of various ages. I encountered them when they came to India for certain reasons, and I again encountered a lot of Pakistanis in the UK. By and large, I have not met one Pakistani person that I disagreed with, maybe that’s because every Pakistani I met has had a more liberalised outlook on life (educated, or if in UK, then looking for a better life). However, within that subset, I have found them to be warm hearted and very welcoming to an Indian (read, me). 

Kundan Krishna Indian

I am an Indian entrepreneur and have travelled all over the world, previously as a part of my job and then later for our business interests. I have also been to Karachi and Lahore a couple of times. 

Pakistanis are very friendly and seldom follow the rule book. I had someone that welcomed and escorted me from my Jet all the way to the hotel, gently taking care of all custom formalities, immigration questions, also introducing me to some of the people he knew all the way. 

Never have I enjoyed this level of hospitality anywhere else, including my own people here in India.


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