Animosity between India and Pakistan must be buried. And, since the beginning has to be made from one’s home, Gurmeet Singh – a 40-year-old carpenter- has named his two sons – Bharat (India) and Pakistan. It is his way of saying that “we are one” and one family.
Gurmeet lives with his wife and three kids – two sons and a daughter – in a modest home in Maulot town of Punjab, India, located 70km from the India-Pakistan border. His sons – 11-year-old Bharat and 10-year-old Pakistan – are reminder of a throwback era when Partition didn’t happen and both people lived in harmony and peace. It is this overriding emotion that prompted Gurmeet to blur the divide with his loving gesture.
“I abhor hatred,” said Gurmeet, who was born after Partition. However, the anti-Sikh violence that swept India in 1984 is still quite fresh in his mind. He was 10 when his family migrated from Haryana’s Hansi district to Malout.
“I was very young, but I remember hearing about the violence following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The talk of violence all around left an indelible mark on me. Anger does not exist in my body. Forgiveness does,” the National Herald quoted Gurmeet as saying.
“I decided that I should do something to spread love and forgiveness among people, nations and neighbourhoods. So, I named my elder son Bharat and the younger, Pakistan,” he told the daily.