Wagah is the only road border crossing between Pakistan and India, and lies on the Grand Trunk Road between the cities of Amritsar,Punjab,India and Lahore,Punjab and Pakistan. Wagah, named Wahga in Pakistan, is a village through which the controversial Radcliffe Line, the boundary demarcation line dividing India and Pakistan upon the partition of  India, was drawn. The village was divided by independence in 1947. Today, the eastern half of the village remains in the Republic of India while the western half is in Pakistan.

It is particularly known for the elaborate wagah border ceremony that happens at the border gate before sunset each day.

The wagah check-point is about midway between the cities of Lahore and Amritsar in India, each about 25 Kilometer away, on the only road link between the Two neighbors, here the boarders is marked in white as it cuts across the historic grand trunk road (gtr). The road has been closed for years now at wagah by two metal gates, one on each country’s side, the two flag posts are located contiguous to the boundary line between the two gates. Traditionally the flag-lowering ceremony has been a display of macho and mutual hatred by the border security force on each side, through animosity has been toned down in recent years, as the guards muster on each side and crowds on both sides waves their respective flags, the air resonates with nationalistic slogans, including “Pakistan Zindabad” and “Jai hind”. Then, at appointment time, both gates are thrown open, the border troops take giant exaggerated steps towards the flag posts and stamp the ground vigorously with their boots their den enamor and facial expression signifies determination, defiance, even hostility. After the flag lowering, the two gates are shut with a loud clang, as if to signify a determination that each country will remain shut to the other. Among the Indian and Pakistani crowds the ceremony seems to arouse tangled emotions, a mix of sadness, hostility, curiosity and perhaps a yearning to connect. At the end of the ceremony each day, the crowds on both sides flock near the boundary fence and peer intently and curiously at the other side. What unspoken emotions, what forces in the conscious and the subconscious propel them to do so?


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