A Line in the Sand - Original Writing
A line. A simple, one-dimensional mark. It may be the edge of a
square, the shortest distance between two points, or markings on the
road. Lines, gentlemen, are boring yet useful tools in life. Right?
Wrong! There is one line I would like to tell you about. If you were
seen stepping over this line, it would result in your death on the
spot, no questions asked. This is a line drawn in the sand. This line
has caused the largest population movement ever witnessed by
humankind. Upon construction of this line, 3.5 million people had to
move from one side and 5 million from the other. There are estimates
that more that 20 million people were left homeless after the
construction of this line. Who said lines were boring, not me!
However, it runs deeper than that. Not only did people have to move,
more than one million people were butchered on the construction of
this line. The positioning of this line has been the cause of three
wars: three bloody brutal wars. Now can I ask you, who in the right
mind would make such a line as this? They would have to be mighty
inhuman to draw a line that would kill a million people. But in the
end, all they had done, was to draw a line in the sand, just a line in
sand…nothing more, nothing less
So where do you think this line is? Between Israel and Palestine…no
Between North and South Korea…no. Between the former north and South
Vietnam,…wrong again. The line, gentlemen was drawn in the state of
Punjab, in 1947, in what was then undivided British India. The line
created and separated Pakistan from India. Ancient India, which gave
us modern numbering system, which gave us steel, which gave us
surgery, was destroyed by a line in the sand. Culture and
civilisations spanning thousands of years were split apart by a line
in the sand. A country was shattered….shattered by a line in the sand.
Fifty-five years on and the trade of insults from leader to leader
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