July 20, 2007
Pakistan … anything can happen here anytime. Heroes are reduced to zero in an instant; rulers are forced to pack up; suicide attackers can play havoc with people’s lives; judges are rendered non-functional; intelligence agencies could harass top judges; government servants could embezzle millions of rupees; mosques could challenge the writ of state; state kidnaps its own citizen; artists receive life threats for their art; CD shop are blamed for corrupting morality, proclaimed offenders hold public offices; political parties take whole cities hostage; political leaders change their loyalties overnight; military topples government anytime; terrorist roam around more freely than the law enforcers; journalists receive bullets for writing truth; television channels could be forced to suspend transmission; those responsible for the country’s breakup are let off, prime minister’s brother is shot dead by police in encounter ……….
Imagine, is all this possible anywhere else in the world?
Khalil Gibran words sound prophetic if we see them in the backdrop of the contemporary Pakistan.
Pity the Nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion;
Pity the Nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
And that deems the glittering conqueror beautiful;
Pity the Nation that raises not its voice,
Save where it walks in a funeral,
And will rebel not save when its neck is laid;
Between the sword and the block;
Pity the Nation that whose sages are dumb with years,
And whose strong men are yet in the cradles;
Pity the Nation divided into fragments,
Each fragment deeming itself a nation.
January 8, 2007
A nation is a living entity and has a collective psyche, mind or character. Different nations and cultures behave differently according to their compositions under identical conditions. Sometimes back I came across an op-ed piece in one of our dailies where the columnist complained the lack of awareness about the national character or mind in Pakistan. Yesterday I came across a very interesting formula which the author calls “A Pseudo Scientific Formula” to know the character of a nation and here I am sharing the formula with you.
Borrowing the author words, “Let “R” stand for a sense of reality (or realism), “D” for dreams (or idealism), “H” for a sense of humor and … “S” for sensitivity. As we can’t invent words like “humoride” or “humorate” after the fashion of Chemistry, we may put it thus: 3 grains of Realism, 2 grains of idealism, 2 grains of humor and 1 grains of sensitivity makes an Englishman.”
R3 D2 H2 S1 = the English
R2 D3 H3 S3 = the French
R3 D3 H2 S2 = the Americans
R3 D4 H1 S2 = the Germans
R2 D4 H1 S1 = the Russians
R2 D3 H1 S1 = the Japanese
R4 D1 H3 S3 = the Chinese
So what makes a Pakistani?
Note: “4” stand for abnormally high, “3” for high,”2” for fair and “1” for low.
November 24, 2006
21st November is the death anniversary of the Dr. Abdus Salam (1926-96) the only Noble Laureate of Pakistan who brought home this prestigious award for his work in theoretical physics in 1979.
Every year this day comes and goes by but no one bothers to remember the man who brought international recognition to Pakistan. If our ruling elites have ostracized him because they didn’t want to offend the fundamentalists in the country by remembering him for he belonged to Ahmadi community. What about our media which also considered it to be of no worth to dedicate some space to the only Noble laureate of Pakistan.
Quoting an editorial of Daily Times on the day “after the great scientist was buried in Chenab Nagar, his tombstone said ‘Abdus Salam the First Muslim Nobel Laureate’. Needless to say, the police arrived with a magistrate and rubbed off the ‘Muslim’ part of the katba. Now the tombstone says: Abdus Salam the First Nobel Laureate.” Bulleh Shah perhaps said for such occasions:
Crows swoop on hawks,
Sparrows do eagles stalk,
Strange are the times!
The founder of the nation Qauid-e-Azam in his inauguration speech to Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947 said that “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State…. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”.
Let us for a moment overcome the wall of bigotry and think what we are doing to our heroes. He is one of least remembered Pakistani because he belonged to a sect which was declared non- Muslim by the Parliament. Why don’t we take humans according to their personal worth and genius instead of weighing their belief and faith? If in this country moral and intellectual dwarfs can be hailed as the saviors, then what is wrong in paying him his overdue homage? Belief in humanity and love for fellow human beings is the sign of enlightenment and rationality, quoting again Bulleh Shah:
I am free, my mind is free,
I am neither a sick person nor a physician
Neither a believer nor an infidel
Nor a mullah or syed
In the fourteen spheres I walk in freedom
I can be imprisoned nowhere.