At Hussainiwala, Ferozepur
- Ramanjit Singh
In my recent visit to Ferozepur, I had the opportunity to visit the Hussainiwala-Ghanda Singh border and watch the border retreat ceremony. Here are some photographs from the visit.
On the Muktsar-Ferozepur link road. A beautiful drive.
On our way to the border, the lush green wheat fields of Ferozepur.
At the border, walking on the land that hasn't changed much since Partition.
Location on the map.
Road to Kasur on the left.
On the Kasur road, walking towards the retreat ceremony location.
At the ceremony.
There was a lot of jingoistic sloganeering (naarey-baazi) on both sides. The mixing of religious and nationalistic slogans from the Pakistani side was telling. Slogans like La iIlaah iIlal lah, Allah o Akbar was mixed in with Pakistan Zindabad and to me it felt more like a religious gathering as I sat and watched from the Indian side. I wondered if there's any delineation between religion and state in Pakistan. Because I didn't see any. Women sat separately and men, mostly wearing salwar kameez, were standing on the other side of the platform.
On the Indian side, people were as loud in their sloganeering. Jai Hind and Hindustan/India Zindabad amidst patriotic songs by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar from loudspeakers at full blast to cancel out the noise from the other side. It was mostly a battle between Indian and Pakistani loudspeakers!
As I sat there watching this spectacle, I kept looking at the birds flying above, criss-crossing the border freely. The Partition continues in us.