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Renuka Shahane’s Facebook post on Indo-Pak relations will get you thinking

In her latest post, Renuka Shanae addresses the questions about India and Pakistan relations that many Indians have in their minds.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published:October 17, 2016 6:40 pm
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Of late, Renuka Shahane, the beautiful actress known for her role in Hum Aapke Hain Koun has been quite active on social media, using the space to comment on socially and politically important issues. Previously, her posts have addressed the Salman Khan rape comment, Irom Sharmila’s grit and France’s burkini ban, creating quite a buzz each time.

In her latest post, Shahane pointed out some important issues that the world and India has been dealing with. Of course, Donald Trump’s mention makes it to the post! She calls Trump out for his statement in a recent interview that he would like to see India and Pakistan to get along with each other, and gives him a fitting reply.

She moves on to talk about issues closer home — that of India and Pakistan. In a single post, the 50-year-old actress raises questions that are plaguing many, especially about the neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan. This comes when the country stands divided on opinion about any exchange between both nations, with Karan Johar’s latest Ae Dil Hai Mushkil facing the most heat, with people protesting its release because it stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. She raises the question that should the prey of “nationalism” be only cultural exchanges, when industrialists and big business houses should also show their solidarity with the martyrs.

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Read the full text of Shahane’s post here.

“Donald Trump said in an interview yesterday that he would really like India & Pakistan to get along. Before I comment on this I’d really like to see Trump getting along with Hillary, with Mexicans, with African Americans, with Muslims, with all those who oppose his views. When it comes to advice it’s so easy & simple to give but to take it becomes so difficult isn’t it?
So let’s talk India-Pakistan. How exactly are we supposed to get along? Have we ever educated ourselves on both sides about getting along? Are we taught virtues of Pakistan in our textbooks as school students. Ever since I remember, even before the terrorism sponsored by Pakistan in Punjab & then in Kashmir we had fought and won two wars against Pakistan. How does one establish a ‘friendly’ attitude with a country we’ve fought wars with? Diplomatically we’ve kept on meeting for years & years & yet our Samjhauta had to face a Kargil. So many soldiers have been martyred all these years & yet diplomacy, trade & business continues. When PM Modi invited Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony & subsequently his famous ‘biryani’ detour, all of us hailed it as a master stroke in diplomacy thinking that finally, we’ll start getting along.
Instead we got Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Uri. It is sickening! Was that diplomatic detour just so that some industrialist gets a better deal in Pakistan ( as I’ve heard from the grapevine….but then all grapevines have sour grapes these days so you never know). If there are certain Indian businesses & businessman thriving in Pakistan would they be considered anti-national now by the greatest nationalists on Newshour?
Will all the political parties who have demanded that no Pakistani actors be allowed to work in India, make a noise about them too? In fact why has that not happened? Would they ask for a ban on these businesses? After all if Karan Johar is asked to sacrifice the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, shouldn’t business houses and Industrialists also show solidarity with the soldiers who’ve lost their lives?
Is our “nationalism” about soft targets to lynch?
Does it have to do with our sheer helplessness & inability to stop cross border terrorism?
The Centre announced yesterday that the Govt will not stop giving visas to Pakistani actors to come & work in India.
As a consequence, is our Govt anti-national?
I for one have no hesitation in saying that there should be no exchanges of Art & Culture between the two countries till things become normal. Because I feel these exchanges are random & determined more by commercial aspects rather than a vision of bridging the trust gap between the two countries. More often than not people who want peace on both sides are the one’s who invite each other. Its like convincing the convinced! But it never percolates to those who do not want peace. These exchanges don’t help overcome the hate that most people on both sides have for each other. This hate that has started at the school level is very difficult to eradicate with random acts of cultural exchange.
Effective peace can only be brought out politically. If politicians have the will to bring about peace.
Meanwhile Army jawan Sepoy Sudhees Kumar lost his life at the LOC yesterday.
We cannot afford these colossal losses of lives. We need to desperately get along with our neighbours. But we can’t do that when the whole country has been brought to an anti Pakistan pitch & fervour. Our political representatives need to get rid of being in perpetual election mode & come together, sort out a plan & start anew with a diplomacy about Pakistan where everyone agrees. Unless the Left, Right & Centre come together to agree on a national policy vis-a-vis Pakistan we will be directionless, make no headway & our jawaans will continue to lose their precious lives. If we hate each other within our country, we will never be able to get rid of the hate outside.
If we look at Pakistan like Hamlet, ” I will trust as I will adders fang’d” then be prepared for many Rosencrantzs & Guildensterns to die.
Our soldiers will be martyred again & again much more because our politicians can’t rise above their politics rather than any other reason.
Shouldn’t we expect them to practice what they preach?
Shouldn’t we expect them to be truly nationalistic?
With all the religious leaders in our country shouldn’t we send them all to the border to try & bring about peace religiously? They will do us all a big service if they can stop our soldiers from losing their lives don’t you think?
When all religions practice & extol the virtues of peace, why can’t the religious heads practice that religion?
What stops them from “getting along”?
So first step is to get along with each other.
Second step, the policy vis-a-vis our neighbours has to be determined by our Govt with a consolidated political will.
Third step, cultural, literal, business & sports exchanges developed by the Govts of both countries. These can then happen without fear of repercussions ( aka Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Fourth step, rewriting the History books on both sides
Er… stopped reading at the first step?
That pretty much sums up the problem then!
Does anybody want peace?”

This is the Facebook post.

Shahane’s post has mostly garnered a lot of positive reaction. Many lauded her for pointing out the difference between trade relations and cultural exchanges between the two countries. “What you said is absolutely correct .. Industries is a different joint compared to Art and cultural activities . Which joins the dot to every corner of the country Pakistan and India,” one user commented; “I personally do not agree with the non-percolation of culture part Between the two countries….Anyway, i oppose it because ‘IT IS ART FOR GODSAKE’ how did we come to forget that ??? If we oppose this then we have to oppose ask the jumpa lahiris and salman rushdis in the world… are we really going to do that ? Where is our objective judgement to see art for itself and to criticise and praise it fit what it is and not for anything else but that?!?! If we want to show our undying vote for our soilders lets do that by showing respect to their families… lets vote to make our policies protecting their interests stronger. What use is it to ban a film?” wrote another.

Much like Shahane’s previous posts, this one too has generated a lot of debate, and is being shared widely.