Decades back veteran actors Dilip Kumar (of India) and Nadeem (of Pakistan) –in two different black & white movies pointified respectively the inequity and inequalities in their countries (two neighbors in South Asia) –the narratives are similar and relevant even today.
The two-nation states were born in August 1947 out of Jinnah’s two-nations theory. His campaign was pegged on Hindus and Muslims historically being two different nations needing separate nation-states, as the British Empire unraveled post-World War II.
Decades later, the telling tales in India and Kashmir on PM Modi’s watch proved Jinnah was right and his theory stands validated. Having said so, the two countries’ struggle to mitigate their internal dysfunctionalisms (some are similar, some little different) remain a work in progress.
Both embraced in the 90s open economy binaries and focused on monetizing their huge consumer base and made consumerism fodder for growth –however, the trickle down effects were hardly discernible for lack of social-value additions in the mix.
The pandemic sand-papered their growth optics.
If the handling of COVID-19 by the two neighbors is any yardstick, the bigger neighbor’s (India) score is an amber. For the smaller neighbor, the situation within may be a yellow ocher and more than just a neighborhood watch.
Video clips curated by Irshad Salim, Islamabad