We’d like to believe we’re not a generation that’s seen war or its aftermath. That we’re the generation that grew up in a quiet country that only recently, and very slowly, went rabid. A genocide here, a stoning there, and before our very eyes, our country suddenly turned into a fundamentalist one.
But that isn’t entirely true. The truth is, it’s because we’ve been in a state of war with each other that Pakistan came to be. We’ve been fighting amongst ourselves so long now that even seventy years after we ended up tearing the nation three ways, we still continue to fight.
One such victim was Sarabjit Singh, a farmer whose single biggest mistake seems to have been that his village is located on the Indo-Pak border. One drunken night he strayed across the border into Pakistan, got arrested, was tried for espionage and terrorism, and sentenced to death. After numerous pleas, his death sentence was commuted to a life sentence. Sarabjit spent 22 years in a Pakistani prison and died at the hands of fellow inmates in 2013.
Dalbir may have failed, but maybe, just maybe, her story might change the way things are. Maybe we’ll finally start talking about the stuff that matters. Maybe this movie will spark a debate so loud that both governments will have to listen, and no more Sarabjits will have to spend their lives in prison only because they happen to live where the war is being waged.