The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Friday, March 5, 2010

India-Pakistan Border Closing Ceremony: Political High Theater

The tensions between the people in what is now the Muslim nation of Pakistan and Hindus who comprise 95% of the population in India probably precede Great Britain's granting of India's independence in 1947 and their creation of Pakistan by drawing some new lines on a map of the region. Wikipedia notes, "There have been three major wars, one minor war and numerous armed skirmishes between the two countries."

Those tensions continue uabated today. And they play out daily in a highly theatrical fashion in a small border village called Wagah. The Grand Trunk Road runs between the cities of Amritsar, India and Lahore, Pakistan and passes through Wagah. You can see the location of Amritsar on the map above, north of New Delhi; Lahore is just across the border in Pakistan.

When Indian independence came along with the creation of Pakistan, the village Wagah was itself divided. Today, the eastern half of the village remains in India whilst the western half is in Pakistan.

And every night, the border in Wagah is closed with a most unusual ceremony. This is a highly organized and theatrical production that embodies and expresses the continuing hostilities between the two countries. Thanks to my friend Jeanne for sharing this video.

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