There’s is some kind of emotional association between India and Pakistan not only because of the burning issue of Kashmir but due to the accidentally famous tea dialogue which says: “The tea is fantastic”. Two famous military incidents made tea something beyond an ordinary drink for the people of these countries.
Pakistan and India have been at loggerheads ever since the partition. Both have fought several wars with each other followed by ceasefire agreements as well. Yet both the countries and their populations consider themselves as a sole superpower against each other and have so many times eliminated each other at least in the verbal spate; sometimes through social media and sometimes via mainstream communication.
The tea is fantastic
Both nations have so many pressing issues to deal with internally as well as externally. Kashmir, a territory that is most widely regarded as paradise on Earth is the next level bone of contention between both countries. There’s is a sort of emotional connection between the two not only because of the burning issue of Kashmir but due to the accidentally famous tea dialogue which says: “The tea is fantastic”.
Infamous tea encounters
Two famous military incidents made the tea something beyond an ordinary drink. It happened in February 2019 that two Indian military planes entered the premises of Pakistan in violation of its airspace. It was then the Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured.
Abhinandan acknowledged that he had been treated well in Pakistan. It was him who gave Pakistan the infamous line “the tea is fantastic” Abhinandan also praised the professional skills of Pakistani forces.
Ahinanadan praised the tea that he’d in Pakistan. I hope you like the tea?” the officer of the Pakistan army asked him, to which Abhinandan replied that: “The tea is fantastic, thank you.” However, he was later freed as a gesture of peace on March 1 but the public on both sides still hasn’t gotten over the tea.
Another tea temptation had been there between the two neighbors in the early hours of September 6, 1965. When India initiated an unannounced military offensive against Pakistan. It has been reported that at that time General Jayanto Nath Chaudhry had gone too far in his imagination and desired to have tea at Lahore Gymkhana.
He was referring to conquer the territory within Pakistan so that he’d be able to have tea at the conquered land. However, that dream of General Jayanto was soon shattered by brave Pakistani troops. Tashkent Declaration concluded that territorial misadventure.
The most unfortunate thing was the tremendous loss of life in the event of the 1965 war. Some 2,862 Indian soldiers were killed; Pakistan lost 5,800 brave-soldiers, according to an account of BBC.
How tea made its way to India and Pakistan?
It is recounted that tea made its way to the Indian sub-continent in the 1830s when the first tea estates were established in the Indian state of Assam, using tea plants brought from China. Chinese Emperor Shen Nung is believed to have discovered the tea when he was sitting beneath a tree whilst his servant boiled drinking water when some leaves from the tree blew into the water.
Shen decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created. Another narration reflects that Shen Nung accidentally poisoned himself and was near death, but a leaf from a nearby tea plant fell into his mouth and revived him.
It is, perhaps, the highest time for the two nations to turn to tea diplomacy instead of conflict. The letter by Mr.Modi at this year’s Pakistan Day can serve as a moot point. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a letter to his Pakistani counterpart, saying he desires cordial relations with Pakistan. Pakistan Day commemorates a resolution passed on March 23, 1940, when the subcontinent was under British colonial rule.
From frequent border conflicts to water-issues, from the pressing issue of Kashmir to the extremely cold Siachen issue; it is high time for both countries to give go to bilateral talks under the pretext of ‘tea diplomacy’. After all, it’s the longstanding dialogue that solved the inexplicable issue of partition in 1947. No one should underestimate the importance of multilateral dialogue in doing away with the long-drawn-out conflict.
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