For the past over seven decades, “Pakistan” village in Bihar has been serving as the symbol of love and communal harmony between the citizens of the two countries, but now this village will no longer exist. Annoyed residents from this village, located in the Purnia district of Bihar, have petitioned the authorities to change the name of this village and rename it as “Birsa Nagar” saying that the name of their village has filled bitterness in their lives.
The logic behind their request is strange! According to the villagers, the moment they reveal their identity, the others start debating about the “nuisance” of Pakistan as their own issues get pushed to the background. Also, they are often addressed as “Pakistanis” while they had nothing to do with Pakistan, they claimed.
“We are caught in a peculiar situation nowadays. The moment we reveal our identity, there starts a different kind of debate. Rather than looking into our issues, the people start debating the strained relations between India and Pakistan while our own problems take back seat. We are very upset and don’t want to be known as the residents of Pakistan,” said Guru Besara, a resident of this village.
Another villager said the ongoing activities of Pakistan had anguished them a lot and they don’t want to be known by the very name. “We are very upset at being addressed as Pakistanis. We don’t want to be identified like this. We are Indians,” he added.
Anguished villagers have now submitted a petition to the local district magistrate Rahul Kumar who has assured to look into their grievance. The villagers petitioned the district magistrate after the local village court endorsed their demand and recommended changing the name of the village. “The villagers had requested for the name change and keeping in view their sentiments, Gram Kutchery has recommended for change in the name of the village,” local Sarpanch Vipin Chaudhary told the media.
Interestingly, Pakistan village doesn’t have any Muslim population nor it has any mosque located there. Rather, it is dominated by tribal villagers. According to the villagers, “Pakistan” was named in the memory of Muslim villagers who migrated in 1947 to what was then known as East Pakistan. This part is now known as Bangladesh. They say “Pakistan” was once a symbol of love between the people of two nations, but now this symbol of love would be erased soon from people’s memories and government’s records too.