The Wagah Border is the only road crossing between India and Pakistan, a fact quite interesting in itself. Wagah is situated between Amritsar in India and Lahore in Pakistan, at a distance of almost 29km from the city itself. This is where you find the Radcliffe Line, the line dividing India and Pakistan during the partition of India in 1947. It is at the Wagah Border that the lowering of the flags ceremony is conducted, an event where patriotic emotions are on in full display.
Lowering of the flags of India and Pakistan is an event which draws crowds in large numbers including elderly people, children and foreign nationals. The carefully choreographed movements by both the BSF and Pakistan Rangers displays patriotic aggression and is marked by great nationalistic fervor and enthusiasm. Both the BSF and Pakistan Rangers compete in a bid to outdo each other. During the course of the entire event, the air is filled with deafening cries of nationalist slogans.
The ceremony commences with BSF and Pakistani Rangers marching with aggressive steps towards the gates from their respective sides. The gate is then thrown open, following which the soldiers salute each other in a carefully choreographed manner and start lowering the flags. The flags are then folded carefully and carried back to their own respective countries. The highlight of the ceremony occurs when the soldiers return to the border to conduct a final handshake. Once the gates are slammed shut, any further exchanging of glances between the two sides is effectively stopped. At this point, cries of “Jai Hind” and “Pakistan Zindabad” pervade the air.