Robert Frost in his famous poem Mending Walls writes, “Something is there that does not like a wall”. Here the wall symbolises the divisive forces that separate a nation from nation, a state from state, a city from city, and a village from village but it pains all the more when the walls are erected between the hearts and boundary lines of hatred and enmity are drawn. Owing to the cunning diplomacy of the Britishers and the towering political ambitions of our leaders, one such needless line was drawn in 1947 dividing India into two parts. A Muslim theocratic state Pakistan came into existence and since her inception this hostile neighbour has been at loggerheads with India.
Dwelling at the border town of Ferozepur where we have the international India Pakistan Hussainiwala border, the city finds mention in many books of history due to this focal point. Situated on the banks of the river Sutlej, the place has its own remarkable but gruesome history. When the Indian freedom struggle was in the full swing, and the patriots of the motherland were combating against the atrocities of the barbaric Britishers, a trio emerged on the scene. This trio is today reverently known as S. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. In their attempts to liberate India from the clutches of the Britishers, they had killed the brutal John P. Saunders. Consequently, the British rulers executed them and thereafter threw their half cremated bodies into the river Sutlej at this point in Hussainiwala. Today a large number people gather every evening here to pay their tributes to these three spunky sons of Mother India at their cenotaph.
A sacrosanct monument has been built here to keep the sacred memory of these three great martyrs alive. So strong are the vibes of the place that the eyes of visitors well up with tears and heads are bowed before with a sense of indebtedness. The well maintained BSF museum here showcases the very pistol of Bhagat Singh with which he had killed Saunders. One can also view many original framed handwritten letters by these three patriots, some while they were lodged in jail.
Most of the visitors park their vehicles here and walk the one kilometre distance to behold the breathtaking Retreat Ceremony at the International India Pakistan boundary line. Each individual and vehicle is thoroughly frisked by the BSF with the help of the well trained sniffer dogs. Reaching the line dividing India and Pakistan, affords one a clear view of the throng of people assembled on the other side — our frenemies!
With the setting sun an eerie silence begins to prevail on the Hussainiwala border which is ruptured by the clattering and thunderclap of the heavy metallic boots the BSF soldiers. This thunderous buzz overawes their counterpart, the sound of the Peshawari chappals of the salwar-kurta clad Pakistani Rangers. Their every moment, motion and step exudes a sense of sublime dignity. Eyeballs are locked with eyeballs. The brandishing guns and puffed up chests symbolise their aggression and indomitable spirit to defend the nation. The visit of any individual to this border district remains merely futile if this historic spot is not in the itinerary and those who arrive here are instantly transported into an altogether different world.
The sound of patriotic songs in the air infuses a tremendous feeling of patriotism among the spectators and every action of the BSF heroes is lauded with countless claps. The post on the Pakistan side is named Ganda Singh Wala post. On both the sides of the border, at a distance of 15 feet Indo-Pak national flags are hoisted during the daytime which are lowered every evening during the Retreat Parade with utmost sanctitude.