Ever since Pakistan was born at the time of partition, relations between the neighboring countries are known to be that of enmity and hatred. And this bitterness is continuing despite the fact that both the countries have emerged from one larger nation.
But in a small town in Muktsar district of Punjab, there are a Bharat and Pakistan who share a cordial brotherly relationship. This happened because Gurmeet Singh named his sons Bharat and Pakistan.
When Gurmeet Singh’s elder son was born, he named him Bharat. He is now 12 years old. Two years later, when Singh had another son, he named him Pakistan on the suggestion of a friend. Initially Singh’s family was not happy with his decision but eventually, everyone agreed and his younger son was called Pakistan Singh.
Since India got independent in 1947, Gurmeet Singh’s family has faced the wrath of communal hatred twice. Once in 1947 itself when his grandparents had to shift from Pakistan to Hansi (Haryana). Then, his family again got targeted during the massacre of 1984 when he was just 11 years old. At that time, his father had to struggle a lot to start life afresh as his family shifted from Hansi to Malout (Punjab).
Now 47-years old, Gurmeet Singh runs a shop named Bharat Pakistan Wood Works, on the Fazilka-Delhi national highway. The Tribune India quotes him saying,
I hate violence. Our family has seen conflicts between the two countries and the idea of naming my sons Bharat and Pakistan is to see the two nations share bonhomie. Naming my kids did not go down well with some people, who warned me that Pakistanis would abduct my son. Some said it was wrong to name a child Pakistan in our country. Even cops had come to my shop, which I opened about two years ago and asked me to remove the word Pakistan from the hoarding installed outside. Once I told them the idea behind this, they returned.
Gurmeet faced a lot of opposition on naming his younger son Pakistan, not only in his family, but also from his neighborhood, and the school administration where he wanted to admit his son. He tried his best to convince the school authorities but they insisted on a name change and hence Gurmeet Singh had to rename Pakistan as Karandeep. However, at his home, neighborhood and by his friends, Karandeep is still called by the name Pakistan.