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Who are we? We are Pakistanis and Indians. What do we love to do? We love to fight with each other. And we don’t even need a special occasion. Do we need a new Space to fight? Well, we don’t mind. The more, the merrier.

Enter Twitter’s Spaces, a new audio chatroom to ‘voice’ our hidden voices.

Here, the pretence is to love each other, what you call “understand” each other, but guess what, two minutes into the chatroom and everything becomes India vs Pakistan. This is where the next World War will begin and all of us will be evaporated from the face of Twitter universe.

Not that the days of fighting in the YouTube comments section, Facebook posts or Twitter replies are over — all of that is still going on. But Space is like your desi roadside accident crowd, where two men ram their motorbikes into each other and 100 gather just to see kya chal raha hai.

There are speakers, then there are listeners, but who even wants to listen when to have the last word here means the end of the world, literally. This is not your mohalla committee meeting, folks. This is the United Nation of India and Pakistan. In this space, the participants take themselves so seriously as if what they voice next will make or break your country.


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Space for heated discussions

There are heated discussions echoing Twitter Spaces: from India threatening to repeat surgical strikes to Pakistanis worried about India’s vaccine discrimination on the basis of caste. Passions run so high that the speakers forget their own government is yet to purchase vaccines. Then there is talk around Akhand Bharat — how eventually all of us will become one big family again. How fun would Space be then. There are those on the mission to capture India with Ghazwa-e-Hind and of course to hoist the Pakistani flag on Lal Qila.

IMF’s prediction of India’s GDP to rise 11.5 per cent and Pakistan’s at 1.5 per cent is nothing but the world conspiring against Pakistan, speakers believe.

The biggest concern, of trade resumption between India and Pakistan, leads to a bigger discussion but takes a U-turn to nowhere. Maybe, both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa should try out Space and see where it goes. It is just a suggestion by the Space agents. Nuke talk? Of course everyone by now in Space has built their nukes and we, as mere viewers, should be worried. You would think it was missed but no it wasn’t, the dreams of Kashmir banega Pakistan have moved from our mentions to the Space. Thank god, for the small mercies.

These Space agents don’t shy away from taking up burning issues; they love to discuss matters of their neighbours but not their own. One Pakistani persisted that women empowerment in her country was way more than in India. This on a day when the prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan blamed the rise in sexual violence against women on “increasing obscenity”, human rights groups calling the PM a “rape apologist” and a far-right newspaper Daily Ummat calling women protesters randian (whores). Religious minorities? You know better which direction that went in.


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Muqabala sakht, time kam

In Space, there comes a point when everyone starts talking over each other and no one knows (or even cares) what is being said. In that moment, all that I am reminded of is our primetime news shows, both in India and Pakistan, where all guests are yelling but we miss a news anchor who could yell more and win the match. Sigh. Space agents need an Arnab Goswami.

During the course of this rather brain-blowing audio chat, we are told multiple times how Spaces is a step in the right direction, just a little left of Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon. Don’t ask how. Not to forget that everyone claims they are present in the space-and-time for peace, except their high decibel debates (if you can call them that) suggest otherwise. This is the new and improved Aman ki Asha, where everyone wants aman but we see no asha. But don’t mind, things can always change.

After every few minutes, the host and the speakers remind the lesser mortals, the listeners, that if used positively with conviction and devotion, Space will bring about a real change. This is exactly how we all convince ourselves when we endlessly roam online shopping apps, add things to our carts but never buy them. That’s the only real change.

The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.

Edited by Anurag Chaubey

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4 COMMENTS

  1. WHEN I TRY TO GET INTO DIFFERENT WAYS YOUTUBE BLOCK ME FOR NO REASON. THEY CAN INSULT ANY RELIGION. NO MATTER WHAT IT COST. BUT IN RETALIATION WHEN I GIVE THEM AN ANSWER FROM DIFFERENT SOURCES THEY BLOCK ME. SINCE FROM LAST YEAR THEY BLOCK ME. I WILL NOT APOLOGISE TO THEM. FIRST THEY APOLOGISE TO ME FOR WHAT COMMENTS THEY USE ON MY RELIGION. THEN I WILL APPOLOGISE. OTHERWISE YOUTUBE T SERIES CAN GO TO HELL.

  2. She writes with an engaging style. Quite enjoyable feature, though the sarcasm sometimes falls flat.

  3. Twitter has been suppressing the voice of Hindus on its platform by deleting tweets and restricting users. So many Indians have left Twitter for other social media platforms.

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