On the affordability of enemies

Ruchir Joshi in Telegraph:

… Karamat Ali […] visited Calcutta recently and spoke at the Pakistan-India Forum meeting at the Book Fair. In a speech full of huge good sense, he made one point that startled me. In the north of the subcontinent, on both sides of the border, there is the term and concept of a dushmandar admi, meaning a man who has proper enemies, a man, therefore, of some substance, because a man who has made no enemies is obviously someone who has no wealth and no power. Now, who can afford to maintain and service the enmity between India and Pakistan? Who can puff up their chest and be proud of this enmity? Who needs to work up the masses to populate this feud? Clearly, only the people of power and wealth on both sides. “When a working-class Bangladeshi strives to get a work permit to come and work in Karachi as a labourer, he doesn’t remember what our army did to his country. Because he can’t afford to. No one earning two dollars a day or less can afford to have enemies, and that’s most of the people in our subcontinent.”


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