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   Now that the two Germanys have united... (April 10, 1990)

Now that the two Germanys have united, and the two Koreas are about to unite, and the two Vietnams, I think the time is near when the two Indians (or three, if you include Bangladesh with Pakistan) to unite also. I visualise the following scenario:

The movement will start in Pakistan, not in India. It will be people's movement, as it has been all over Eastern Europe, the government will have little to do with it. It will be swept along on a wave of popular enthusiasm and sentiment.

One night, the people of Pakistan will pour across the border into India, and the governments of the two coutries will have little choice but to open the borders. There will be tremedous enthusiasm, brothers meeting uncles, old childhood friends meeting one another, people seeing one another for the first time since the politics and the politicians of the sub-continent separated them.

That will be the beginning. Then change will follow change. The fence along the borders will be brough down, the guards removed, barbeb wire will be sold by yards and inches to souvenir hunters, artistically packed on gift parcels.

After the intial enthusiasm, and shopping sprees in the bazars of Delhi and Lahore, things will ease a little. The politicians will then gather to do their best or worst in the changing circumstance.

People will be allowed to travel and reside in either country. Passports between the two countries will be done away with, and the Pakistan rupee will be brought on par with the Indian rupee.

The Indian prime minister will visit Pakistan. And if Pakistan has a prime minister, duly elected, he will visit India. Meanwhile, the people will start a massive agitation for the reunification of the two countries, or, rather, as it will be known, the unification of India.

Finally, a date for the unification of India will be announced. And the date will arrive. In a poor imitation of Jawaharlal Nehru's speech, the Indian prime minister will declare: At the stroke of midnight, as the clock strickes 12, India will have its tryst with destiny.

And this is not all wishful thinking. If the two Germanys can unite, the two Indias, which share the same language, culture, food, people, can also unite. It will happen in your lifetime. I am hoping it will happen in mine.

 
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