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Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times:
Few things annoy me as much as the claim often advanced by well-meaning but woolly- headed (and usually Punjabi) liberals to the effect that when it comes to India and Pakistan, "We’re all the same people, yaar."
This may have been true once upon a time. Before 1947, Pakistan was part of undivided India and you could claim that Punjabis from West Punjab (what is now Pakistan) were as Indian as, say, Tamils from Madras.
But time has a way of moving on. And while the gap between our Punjabis (from east Punjab which is now the only Punjab left in India) and our Tamils may actually have narrowed, thanks to improved communications, shared popular culture and greater physical mobility, the gap between Indians and Pakistanis has now widened to the extent that we are no longer the same people in any significant sense.
This was brought home to me most clearly by two major events over the last few weeks.
Without taking anything away from his broader point, the "fear of attracting religious prejudice" was not really the reason why Yusuf Khan changed his name to Dilip Kumar (and it was not in the "In the early days of independent India" but at least 3-4 years before that -- and the story is better told in Lord Meghnath Desai's biography)