I hope I don’t offend the ultra-sensitive patriots (and more importantly, the ultra-fanatic fundamentalists), but I cannot help commenting on this. The following questions / opinions have started to come up too frequently in various intellect(chawal) conversations and it’s about time that we got hold of ourselves.
1. The two-nation theory did not make sense and we would have been in a much better shape had we stayed in United India.
2. What is the logic behind killing so many animals on Eid-ul-Azha? Isn’t it a barbaric tradition?
3. Why do we give Iqbal so much respect? He was just a drunk man writing verses that we later made such a big deal of.
Out of respect for all those sensitive souls I mentioned above, among other reasons, I would not quote any more since I am sure you get the idea. It is immensely disturbing to see our youth carry such serious doubts in their hearts. So here is what Ludicrates (the non-existent Geek philosopher) says about all this. Nations have certain traditions, beliefs and ideologies that bind them together. Somewhere along the way, members of the nation stop giving much importance to the rationale behind these traditions, beliefs and ideologies and simply continue to repeat the rituals associated with them. Perhaps they feel that since everyone is following the rituals, there is no need for any logic. Consequently, their children inherit a hollow action without any idea of its logic or substance and as soon as the nation hits hard times and starts to lose its self-esteem, such questions begin to arise and since hardly anyone remembers the answer, the minds asking such questions develop an erroneous complex of being the enlightened ones. In the end, we are only left with people who follow these notions because they are not smart enough to question them or those who stop following them because they have no intention of finding the answers. So, we have a nation comprised almost entirely of the stupid acting stupidly and the smart acting stupidly.
Now, Ludicrates always talked nonsense. So, here is what I have to say. My advice to people who have these questions is simple.
1. Take pride in what you are and stop feeling apologetic for being a Muslim or a Pakistani. This is essential to get the above ideologies and beliefs into perspective.
2. Research. Try to find the answers to these questions from the almost infinite databases available to you. But research with the faith that the answer does exist somewhere. Seek and you shall find.
3. Realize that such statements without any sort of knowledge behind them could be fatal for our already tottering nation and by asking such questions and not helping find the answer you are simply providing your enemies with more firepower.
4. And finally, if you are one of those who just talk such nonsense because you think it makes you sound smart and different, stop doing that. Or..go to hell.
Three Blind Mice
See how they run. See how they run
They all ran after the bookie’s cash
Who had them caught red-handed in a flash
And now their repo has come to trash
The three blind mice!
I know I know, this is bad humor, I just couldn’t resist it. My heart goes out to the three boys and it is impossible to imagine the distress, embarrassment and that sinking feeling they must be experiencing. It is always fun to do something wrong, especially if it pays handsomely, but it is never fun to get caught. As always, the opinion in our country is divided and also as usual, the media is having a ball with all the anger against these players, pitted against all those conspiracy theories. So, I won’t comment on any of that stuff.
The only thing I am interested in is the fact that ever since our players were caught (or trapped, depending on which school of thought you subscribe to), there has been a call for stricter checks on the activities of cricketers. Especially after the sentencing, these calls have reached an obsessive pitch. It seems likely that this incident would result in some major shifts in the way the sport and specifically its ethical and moral side is handled in Pakistan.
I just wish we become a little proactive and stop waking up only after we are jerked out of our slumber by such insulting events. So, have we learnt our lesson? Or will we have to wait till three of our politicians, three bureaucrats, three media personalities, three lawyers, three judges etc. are ‘trapped’ in a conspiracy, caught red-handed in a foreign land, forced to admit their mistakes with tearful eyes in front of a European judge and handed a jail sentence in some other country before we wake up with a start and begin our animated discussion that something needs to be done?
Imran Khan has succeeded in instilling hope in the depressed and hopeless people of Pakistan who are now looking towards him to rescue them from the mess this nation is in. In the past month or so, however, a number of questions have been raised on his party’s ability to actually deliver. Recently, his opponents have been given new opportunities to criticize him, some of his supporters have started feeling that unsure taste in their mouths and those still undecided and skeptical have become even more undecided and skeptical. But what’s the big issue? Let’s take a look at the major problems people have with PTI.
1. Imran’s new recruits are the same old faces who have been associated with numerous previous governments and share at least some of the responsibility for where Pakistan is now. People fear that in the presence of these men and their vested interests, PTI would not be able to bring the reforms Khan has been promising for so long.
2. People like Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Javed Hashmi have been political opponents for a long time and people doubt whether they would be able to forget their differences and sincerely join hands for a common cause.
3. Imran has been making tall claims for years now but there are doubts on whether he has the plan and mechanism to come good when the time comes.
4. PTI’s supporters are perceived to be a non-serious bunch who throng to rallies as they would go to a concert or a cricket match but come election day, it is generally believed that such huge jalsa numbers might not translate into votes.
5. It is strongly suspected that PTI’s sudden rise has been orchestrated by the ‘Agencies’ and hence, if it comes to power, the party might not be able to freely implement the reforms it has been announcing. Some even dread that PTI might only be able to come into power with the support of other so-called establishment parties like MQM and PML(Q).
Now, Imran Khan and his party have been vehemently denying all these allegations and they are beginning to sound more and more like, well…….everyone else. So, I have just a few suggestions for PTI that might help put an end to all the above questions. What if
1. Shah Mehmood Qureshi announces publicly that he fully supports a tax on agricultural income to increase the country’s revenue and would also work for the reduction of feudal power and enlightenment of the serfs all over the country, including Multan. Similar statements by others to show that their vested interests are not as important as the country’s future, would help.
2. Javed Hashmi and Shah Mehmood Qureshi have a press conference and explain that they are willing to help each other’s campaigns and have no problems whatsoever.
3. Imran Khan explains in detail some, if not all, of his plans so that we can be assured that they exist. And if he actually has a plan for the complete eradication of corruption in 90 days, why not disclose it. I mean why not also give the current government a chance to implement it if they want. That would eliminate corruption even before the elections. Why keep it secret?
4. PTI holds its next big jalsa in March on the same day when Pakistan and India’s cricket teams play each other in the Asia Cup. The attendance at the Jalsa would prove that PTI’s supporters are serious and know that the future of the country and the Insaf revolution are the most important things right now.
5. Imran Khan himself should give at least one statement saying that if the army or the MQM or the judiciary or any agency or bureaucracy acts in any manner which is harmful for the country or unjust or corrupt, PTI would oppose them. Such a statement might help remove the impression that he cannot speak a word about these powers.
I am waiting for such steps. Until then, Imran just seems to be going down the same path as others have gone before. What scares me is this. Many have ruined Pakistan because of their bad intentions. Imran might just do the same with good intentions. But what difference does that make for a normal Pakistani? Anyway, I pray that does not happen and PTI turns out to be what we are all expecting it to be.