ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

India and Pakistan: a primer on the similarities and differences

Updated on March 21, 2013

Two Birds of a Feather or Apples and Oranges?

"India" and "Pakistan" are often used in the same sentence and the two nations are often compared to each other. While they did at one time form a single country, to compare the two now is like comparing the proverbial apples to oranges. The territory of what is now Bangladesh also formed part of that single country.

India is several times larger than Pakistan in both land area and population. True, the two countries are rivals in many respects and neighbors as well -- that may account for them both being referred to in the same sentence. However, India is a predominantly Hindu country whose religious traditions bear a greater similarity to countries further east. Pakistan is a Muslim country whose religion is shared by countries to its west.

India has a very significant Muslim minority and that it where the similarities to Pakistan begin. Although there are many shades of gray, it is possible to generalize that Hindus use the Hindi language and Muslims use Urdu. The Hindi and Urdu languages are mutually intelligible to a great extent. The grammar and syntax of the languages differ little on a colloquial level. This mutually intelligible language is called Hindustani.

The differences come up when the speech becomes less colloquial and more refined. Hindi will borrow more words of Sanskrit derivation while Urdu will utilize a Persianate vocabulary. Hindi is of course written using the Devanagari writing system, the script that Sanskrit is written in. Urdu is written in a version of the Arabic script. So from there do some of the causes of the rivalry arise: Sanskritized Hindi and Persianized Urdu create a language barrier that exacerbates the religious divide.

The Hindu religion is an ancient tradition that predates Islam by several thousand years. Indian religious concepts spread to the countries of East Asia primarily through Buddhism. Abrahamic religious traditions were spread to many countries through Islam. So in this light, to use phrases such as "India and Pakistan," "Indians and Pakistanis" is like comparing apples and oranges. Fortunately, we are lately hearing a lot more "India and China." And "Pakistan and Afghanistan" rarely goes without mention in the news these days.

That is not to say India and Pakistan do not have many things in common. It is all a matter of seeing what you want to see. If you want to see similarities, you will find them. If you look for differences, you will find them too. India and Pakistan shared a common history for over a thousand years. It is just that in recent memory the history of the subcontinent has been altered. In partitioning off chunks of its land both to the west and east that had Muslim majorities, the resultant nation in the center of the subcontinent now has a decidedly Hindu character.

There are both centripetal and centrifugal forces at work. One is unifying and one is dividing. Based on an analysis of recent history, the forces of division appear to be winning. India and Pakistan will not be uniting anytime soon. That is the present trend.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      M.Hamza Asim 

      4 years ago

      Pakistan Zindabad

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)