Understanding India–Pakistan Relations: Memory Keeps Getting in the Way of History

Date01 June 2019
Published date01 June 2019
DOI10.1177/0973598418804289
Subject MatterArticles
Article
1
Doctoral Candidate, MMAJ-Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New
Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Manzoor Ahmad, MMAJ-Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi,
Delhi 110025, India.
E-mail: manzoor.turabi@gmail.com
Understanding
India–Pakistan
Relations: Memory
Keeps Getting in the
Way of History
Manzoor Ahmad1
Abstract
This article aims to highlight the reasons behind the historical animosity
between India and Pakistan, and its continuation for last seven decades
by examining the role of ideologues who shaped the national identity
discourse of two communities—Hindus and Muslims—before and after
the Partition. To understand the present protracted conflict, probing
the pre-Partition clash of narratives is indispensable. The Islamic imagery
and Hindu symbolism used by the two communities were exclusionary
and based on ‘othering’ which not only thwarted the vision of inclusive
nationalism but also generated more animosity and distrust, and severely
antagonized the relationship in the post-Partition period. However, this
article argues that despite the deep-rooted animosity and distrust there
is still scope for re-imagination and reconciliation. For that, both the
countries need to transcend the sediments of the past memories and
adopt a more pragmatic approach to resolve the long-standing issues
that have been weighing them down for decades.
Keywords
National identity, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, conflict, the Partition.
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
23(1) 69–80, 2019
2019 Jadavpur University
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DOI: 10.1177/0973598418804289
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