I’m still proudly ghairatmand

Published: May 13, 2012
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The writer holds a Master’s degree in political science from National University of Singapore and has worked as an associate sub-editor for The Express Tribune.

The writer holds a Master’s degree in political science from National University of Singapore and has worked as an associate sub-editor for The Express Tribune.

This article is in response to Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy’s piece titled “Let us become — proudly — bayghairat” published in this newspaper on May 6. The writer believes that dangerous appeals to honour — an anachronistic concept originating from herding societies — have historically made nations pave the way for their own doom. But modern nations, with beliefs in reason and science, are able to make more practical decisions that ensure their progress and well-being.

It is contradicting that the examples Dr Hoodbhoy gives to justify the dangerous ‘tribal’ notion of honour are of the most modern societies of their times. Nazi Germany was vastly industrialised and urbanised with a very high literacy rate and a thriving civil society. The Germans were no bunch of herders existing in the pre-Newtonian era. In fact, in Nazi Germany, so firm was the faith in science that the system of racial eugenics, designed for justifying the superiority of the Aryan race and achieving racial purity, was promulgated under the garb of  ‘scientific truth’. Similarly, Japan was one of the earliest nations to modernise and prior to WWII, had undisputedly become a ‘mass society’ with strongly rooted modern values of individualism, materialism and efficiency.

So, why is it that such modern nations deliberately treaded the path of ruin because of their supposedly ‘backward’ notion of honour? It might be easier for Zaid Hamid and Imran Khan to rouse the gullible ‘traditional’ masses of Pakistan by invoking their ghairat but why did such a strategy work so effectively in the most literate and developed of nations?

Even if we accept Dr Hoodbhoy’s viewpoint, his examples imply that human values won’t suddenly disappear as traditional societies transition into modern ones. Ideas like honour, love, and jealousy reflect the essence of humanity but are often relegated to the domain of sentimentality and irrationality by science. And they will not just be supplanted by rational cost-benefit considerations as we move away from what Dr Hoodbhoy terms tribalism.

Moreover, Dr Hoodbhoy appears to discount the possibility that a distinction between empty talk of sacred norms, like honour, by manipulative politicians and their actual strategic motives can exist. Deducing by his logic, then, the US intervened in Afghanistan and Iraq during the new millennium not for strategic interests but for the sake of bestowing freedom and liberty to the local population. And more than a decade later, we are perfectly aware of the rampant destruction of life and property that American presence has inflicted on both countries — all of which befell, according to Dr Hoodbhoy’s rationale, at the behest of normative considerations.

So, if the nuclear physicist is quick to curse honour for giving nations the pain of war, will he also denounce liberal values of liberty and freedom —‘fruits of the modern world’— for such rampant devastation and death? But alas! In today’s age, when writers often consider modernity an elixir, it’s rather easy to blame traditional notions like honour and religion for causing widespread suffering. Yet, to do the same for liberal values is considered absurd. For the lack of a convincing argument to do otherwise, I will hang onto my ghairat — at least, for now.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (121)

  • abdullah
    May 13, 2012 - 10:18PM

    very good

    Recommend

  • from lahore
    May 13, 2012 - 10:23PM

    this is a great piece. A coherent and hard hitting argument!

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  • DILU
    May 13, 2012 - 10:23PM

    Very well written.

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  • A real Bloch
    May 13, 2012 - 10:24PM

    Great article!! The last thing this nation needs is demoralization. I recently gone through a Russian former agent–> the road to destruction of nation goes from –>disinformation–>demoralization–>anarchism. So if you can demoralize the nation you can destroy her fabric.

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  • May 13, 2012 - 10:25PM

    Honour & Ghairat doesn’t stop any person or nation from development.
    In fact if one happens to read the oath of office of the American (or other developed nations) military & civil officials; the most emphasized thing is “Honour”. Watch their movies; the depiction is always of their moral superiority (along technological one) where the Yankee hero always strives for honour, personal as well as national.
    So I basically agree with the writer. Lovely piece & Kudos.

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  • َAgha Ali
    May 13, 2012 - 10:29PM

    excellent piece

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  • Nadir
    May 13, 2012 - 10:32PM

    How did things turn out for the Nazi’s and the fascist Japanese?

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  • kaalchakra
    May 13, 2012 - 10:33PM

    Fantastic arguments. I couldn’t make head or tail of them, which makes them even better. What is indisputable is that without the ghairat, there would be no Pakistan. Let’s keep ghairat bulund as always.

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  • zeeshan sheikh
    May 13, 2012 - 10:33PM

    great work! there is still hope in this society who can give ‘logical’ answers to people like hoodbhoy

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  • Checkmate
    May 13, 2012 - 10:35PM

    I think the writer has not properly understand the main them of Mr. Hoodbhoy ‘s article. She needs to reread the article and compare the situation of Nazi Germany with today ‘s Pakistan.

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  • usman
    May 13, 2012 - 10:45PM

    dear author u have missed the mark by a distance.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 13, 2012 - 10:56PM

    Really nice piece to read thank u maam and this Ghairath animal is hard to find in west…Recommend

  • From India
    May 13, 2012 - 11:06PM

    I chanced upon this article. With repect (he he) – I fail to see the point of this article. ET needs to look closely at its talent pool

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  • Sajid
    May 13, 2012 - 11:09PM

    Dear Author, you have responded to a rock by throwing a brick.
    Unconvincing arguments, try again.

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  • Belal
    May 13, 2012 - 11:10PM

    Amazing article Maria! Spot on.

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  • faraz
    May 13, 2012 - 11:11PM

    This is what Hoodbhoy wrote:

    “Anthropologists tell us that honour is a concept that originated in herding societies because a tribal man’s animals and women were protected from other tribesmen by a code of honour. But then, as tribes amalgamated and merged into the larger stream of civilisation, differing notions of honour led to strife.”

    And the example he gave of “larger stream of civilization” was Nazi Germany and Japan. Re-read the article.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 13, 2012 - 11:17PM

    From India

    May be you need to look closely. The talent pool and their arguments look mighty fine to me.

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  • from lahore
    May 13, 2012 - 11:27PM

    @ faraz

    Umm, I think you need to read Hoodbhoy’s article yourself. The excerpt you have quoted actually contradicts his own argument on so many levels (if honour is so tribal a notion then why did it hold sway in such modern and scientific societies?)

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  • Falcon
    May 13, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Maria – Great work. I think feeling of honor is a deep underlying current of most of the nations that have risen and fallen. Rather than questioning it, we should channel it constructively. Same sense of honor can be used to incite a war or rebuilding the nation from ashes, the choice is ours.

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  • Checkmate
    May 13, 2012 - 11:34PM

    It hold sway because states deliberately creat and manipulate massess for thier evil designs

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  • BlackJack
    May 13, 2012 - 11:41PM

    This is a well written article – although it turns Prof Hoodbhoy’s article upside down to provide a fitting rebuttal. There is no reference in the Prof’s article to any loss of strategic intent or vision in nations that do not make policy decisions based on concepts like honor; nor does is state that once you move away from a ghairat-based tunnel vision, you become altruistic and take decisions for the global good. Germany and Japan invoked honor because they considered themselves superior races that were destined to rule (and sold this to their people) – this has nothing to do with their level of industrialization or level of social development. Similarly there is an assumption that certain decisions need to be taken in the interest of the nation’s honor (and have been taken in the past – ref let us eat grass); unfortunately most of these decisions have pulled Pakistan’s equity further down in the comity of nations – bringing it dishonor and ignominy instead.

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  • Taimur Arbab
    May 13, 2012 - 11:45PM

    Excellent article…keep up the good work…an apt response to the prophets of modernity

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  • faraz
    May 13, 2012 - 11:48PM

    @ from lahore

    That’s the purpose of the article; tribal notions of honour shouldn’t hold sway in modern and scientific societies!

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  • Asif
    May 13, 2012 - 11:53PM

    Excellent article and spot on. This the way to argue with these so called liberals.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    May 13, 2012 - 11:57PM

    Our ghairat or free money takes us to go out and get master’s in political science to Singapore if one cannot afford USA. Is there any comparable institute in Pakistan? I am sure a lot and may be better but is dishonorable to get education from own country and to be called made in Pakistan!!!
    Our ghairat and hypocrisy leads us to raise slogans against USA in evening and then next day to be in que for USA visa!!
    Our ghairat tells us not to accept certificate or prize from USA diplomat and then get admission in USA.

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  • Khan Jr
    May 14, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Author regards Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan as examples of modernity then she ought to have studied history rather than political science, a subject which in a state-controlled country such as Singapore would not merit absolute freedom of thought the subject necessarily requires.

    Modernity, as seen in present day Europe, means, for example, that Germany and France have decided to forgoe their hundreds of years of bitter enmity (which took the lives of millions for the sake of ‘national honour’ or absurd”national ghairat”.

    Hoodbhoy made his point rather well. Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    May 14, 2012 - 12:20AM

    @Anonymous,
    Cant u say this way sir, Our Genrals, Fuedals, Rich bissnismen, they all talk ghairath in public
    gathering, to factory workers, to poor kissans but there families childrens lived raised in west
    they are real bey ghairath who made us slave of arab and westren countries they need to be removed Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 14, 2012 - 12:37AM

    @Anonymous:
    ……….and our ghairat tells us to remain anonymous.

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  • Deb
    May 14, 2012 - 1:13AM

    @Maria Waqar

    I most sincerely pray to allmighty, that you always remain proudly ghairatmand.In the long run it will bring immense benefits to the rest of the world.

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  • Rapid
    May 14, 2012 - 1:36AM

    Argument for argument`s sake. In my opinion this is a totally nonsensical article.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 1:50AM

    @From India:

    “I chanced upon this article. With repect (he he) – I fail to see the point of this article. ET needs to look closely at its talent pool”

    You need to be “Ghairatmand” in order to see the author’s point. Fondness of the Indian commentators for Dr. Hoodbhoy is not an enigma.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 2:53AM

    @Checkmate:

    “I think the writer has not properly understand the main them of Mr. Hoodbhoy ‘s article. She needs to reread the article and compare the situation of Nazi Germany with today ‘s Pakistan.”

    The situation in Pakistan is totally different than that of Nazi Germany in a least two ways. 1) Pakistan do not intend to attack any country, much less the whole world as Nazis intended 2) Pakistan’s emphasis on nationalism and patriotism is defensive in nature against a much larger hostile neighbor.

    Even if, for a moment, we consider that the situation is identical, how by becoming flatly “Bayghairat” solve the problem? Does “Bayghairti” enhance the individual and collective wisdom or somehow spontaneously make the problems go away rather than by fixing the mistakes in strategy and approach.

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  • Anonymous
    May 14, 2012 - 3:03AM

    The writer seems to be so obsessed with the term ‘gheirat’ which is defined so well by Parvez Hoodboy, “for the herders of goats and camels, or those who live in unpoliceable mountainous areas”. It is ones free choice ‘to be a human or not to be’. In my opinion the term has no meaning in the time we live in. One has to be believe in evolution theory not on dogmas to understand ‘Let us become- proudly begheyrat’. The statement fit in post-structural period which is so dynamic and complex but still offers a lot to human spirit. If one is still proudly ghairatmand today then it is like opting for being a slave not a human who is born to discover and enjoy the word and beyond.

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  • leila rage
    May 14, 2012 - 3:05AM

    @maria (the author):

    I think you fail to release that what mr. Hoodhboy was referring to was the EXTREME and EXCESSIVE belief in & reinforcement of tribal notions of honour and ghairat which are often the cause of injustice. For instance, why is honour killing committed? To salvage so called “honour”. Why are women stripped and paraded by panchayats? To punish them for being “dishonourable”. Why do we become blindly patriotic and ignore & deny our problems as a nation? All in the name of so called honour and ghairat.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 3:14AM

    @faraz:

    “This is what Hoodbhoy wrote:
    “Anthropologists tell us that honour is a concept that originated in herding societies because a tribal man’s animals and women were protected from other tribesmen by a code of honour. But then, as tribes amalgamated and merged into the larger stream of civilisation, differing notions of honour led to strife.”
    And the example he gave of “larger stream of civilization” was Nazi Germany and Japan. Re-read the article.”

    My only question to you or any other supporter of the idea of “Proudly Baighairat” is:

    Did Germany and Japan give up their national or individual honor and flatly became “Bayghairat”?

    What is “Bayghairti” a kind of magical wand with which a nation can solve any and all of her problems. Why not the USA use this magical tool to protect her national security instead of spending trillions on wars and weapons.

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  • Kafir
    May 14, 2012 - 3:15AM

    I love you Maria. Pakistan needs more and more folks like you to hasten the process, we are already past threshold. Islamic supremacy based gairat is awesome slippery slope , once you start riding it there is no look back.
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  • Shehzad Shah
    May 14, 2012 - 3:15AM

    My apologies to the author if this disjointed & confused piece is the handiwork of ET’s over-eager copy editors. As it is, its a complete misunderstanding of Hoodhboy’s main argument. He is not claiming that modern states cannot succumb to notions of honour. His point is that by doing so, states tend to shoot themselves in the foot; hence the examples of Nazi Germany & Fascist Japan. Of course, leaders who stoke up passions built around honour normally have deeper motives such as greater power for themselves or even just to secure their weakening authority. Hoodbhoy’s point is that whatever the real motivation, appeals to national honour reduce strategic options & tend to lock states onto a rigid pathway, always detrimental to the states real interests in the long-term.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 3:50AM

    @Falcon:

    “Maria – Great work. I think feeling of honor is a deep underlying current of most of the nations that have risen and fallen. Rather than questioning it, we should channel it constructively. Same sense of honor can be used to incite a war or rebuilding the nation from ashes, the choice is ours.”

    Perfect narrative. Honor, dignity, bravery, honesty, love, and altruism are the most noble characteristics of a good human being, does not matter if he belongs to a herding tribe or a cultured urbane society. These, by nature, are complimentary traits. Take one out, the others will automatically follow.

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  • Saadia
    May 14, 2012 - 4:05AM

    Wow. for someone with a political science degree you have NO CLUE how fascism comes about (regardless of having a modern society or not), and fascism and the extreme right are strongly connected to ideas of honor and ghairat.
    And this rubbish that you and may writes like you keep spewing, calling liberty “Modern” and “western”, will keep marginalizing any constructive move towards the creation of a rights based society led by the demands of its people rather than the push of its traditions. Liberalism is as much a value as conservatism is and relevant to Pakistanis. Islam itself was a liberal response to traditional conservative tribalisms, as the renaissance was to the dark ages, as Bhutto was to martial law, as Aung San Sui Kyi is to military jauntas, as sufism is to puritanicalism, as co-ed schools are to the separation of genders, as working wage earning pakistani woman is to a 20 year old wife with 3 children, as “ghairat” is to “beghairat”. Writers like you box liberals and traditionalists and ignore context and need.
    SERIOUSLY? A Masters in Political Science?!Recommend

  • Human
    May 14, 2012 - 4:09AM

    Good work, but to under-stand Hood, one need to understand the ground realities.

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  • Irfan
    May 14, 2012 - 4:25AM

    Good, Good V. Good. Mr. Hoodhboy puts most of the blame on tribal societies. To him I said, justice, Law, Compassion, along with honor also exist in Tribal societies. To be honest I see lack of Justice, Compassion and Tolerance in these so called modern societies. Learn to love your own culture please or else you will b nothing but a coconut with a dark skin and trying to act like a Gora. Plz I must say this I have all the respect in the world for Mr Hoodhboybut I respectfully disagree with his analysis. Ms Maria Well done it was a knock out Champ.

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  • @plarkin
    May 14, 2012 - 5:09AM

    A very succinct way of demonstrating that Hoodhboy is a Ph.D and you’re not.

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  • Mir Agha
    May 14, 2012 - 5:51AM

    It’s funny, leftist reactionaries appealing to emotinalism in “liberal values”, “international isolation”, “science”, “democracy”. None of them could define any of those terms, and if one was to follow or be afraid of any of those terms, the leftists would be the biggest hypocrites. The pseudo-intellectualism displayed by the likes of hoodbhoy invariably end up with self-satisfied rhetoric about the troica of the Muslim Brotherhood, Imran Khan and Taliban. Then they’re surprised as to why people associate them with zionists and neocon apologists. Both are wrong, but this is natural when two reactionaries banter endlessly. Being overly concerned about what certain others think is never healthy. And if it is, it is even more pertinent to worry about what others in your own country think – first. Such lack of logic ends up with a physicists who has done nothing in the field of physics and makes due with demagoguery.

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  • Kataria
    May 14, 2012 - 6:07AM

    Hoodbhoy’s small mind links being socially leftist with development and prosperity. America didn’t get to where it is today because of gay marriage, it got there because of a protestant/christian work ethic. China too with its state-driven society. Linking ideas that are muturally exclusive tells more about the persons’ ideological bent than it does about the facts.

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  • Muhammad Younus Raja
    May 14, 2012 - 6:16AM

    Ghairat does mean sense of honour or dignity,shame,modesty,bashfulness or mannerism in an individual, society,or Nation being transformed from Charactered Leadership ruling the masses to be build the disciplined and prosperous Nation.The prosperity is the only guarantee of maintaining Ghairat or sense of honour and dignity.If the ruling elites or so-called Leadership of the Nation itself is free from this valuable spirit or essence and be ready to be available to sell it its own Ghairat along with 180 million oppressed and exploited masses of Pakistan starving to death versus Dollars what can be expected from this Non-scientific debate which has nothing to do with reality.Ghairat is a product which is saleable,having its cost which depends upon individual cadre and starts from a piece of bread,in hundred,thousand,million,billion,and trillion.Is it Ghairat to be bagged and bowed before its Master at the cost of sovereignty and independence of the State and its Nuclear assets(?) ……If some one is found of Ghairat should go and see in Turkish,Malaysian, Japan’s and Chine’s whose motto’s are self-reliance living within their own resources.

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  • Discostu
    May 14, 2012 - 7:49AM

    Sorry, this was the equivalent of a physics high school student trying to take on Stephen Hawkings. It’s pretty obvious who lost. Someone needs to reread the social contract that existed in prewar Germany and Japan.

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  • Umer Rasheed
    May 14, 2012 - 8:16AM

    A much needed reply to the anti-conservative who hides behind liberalism. Well done.

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  • MF Hussain
    May 14, 2012 - 9:11AM

    It was honor that led the Germans and the Japanese to war, modernity does not necessarily equate to a reason and logic based society, the opposite is however true. Get your facts straight before putting your foot in your mounth. In typical desi fashion your lack of logic and knowledge lead you to the wrong conclusions!!!

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  • psuedo
    May 14, 2012 - 9:21AM

    @plarkin

    Dr. Hoodbhoy is a phd in nuclear physics. And that’s NOT what he was talking about in his piece.

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  • Faisal
    May 14, 2012 - 9:24AM

    I don’t understand the sense of this debate. Honour is felt by all human beings wherever they may be. It is the reason why nations resisted oppressors in the first place, to maintain their self respect, dignity and fundamental rights against the idea that they have no right to them.
    The basis problem is that ghairat is correlated with honour killings, acid attacks and all sorts of criminal acts in our country, and then afterwards we directly translate it the english word ‘honour’. We then proceed to attack ‘honour’ with the same fervour we condemn honour killings etc. It just confuses and makes the whole discussion useless.
    Nazis has there own distorted version of their nations’ honour, but those resisted also had their own interpretation of what honour meant and accordingly fought till the death for it.

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  • PatrickG
    May 14, 2012 - 9:47AM

    @Saadia! Yours should really be the only response anyone need read to this confused and misleading piece of writing. Kudos!

    @plarkin: LMAO! Wilde would be proud!

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  • Truth
    May 14, 2012 - 10:01AM

    I still buy Dr. Hoodbhoy’s argument…..We need to touch our feet on the ground..instead making tall claims…..Our ghiarat is already cross the stakes and still we show the stiffness….For God sake…we have show mental flexibility…..

    I guess, Maria could not catch the essence of Dr. Hoodbhoy…

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  • May 14, 2012 - 10:02AM

    “Yet, to do the same for liberal values is considered absurd.” Agreed…

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  • Muhammad Saleem Usmani
    May 14, 2012 - 10:33AM

    Excellent and factual article…By the way, Dr Hoodbhoy is not a nuclear physicist. His publications, scarce as they are, are on other topics than nuclear.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 10:40AM

    @Author:

    I express my gratitude for writing such a befitting response and appreciate the fact that you stood for and wrote for something that is right, and not for the number of “Recommend” clicks. God bless you.Recommend

  • Top notch
    May 14, 2012 - 10:48AM

    Excellent article. Totally knocked out Hoodbhoy :)

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  • sidjeen
    May 14, 2012 - 10:57AM

    very childish arguments considering that the issue that Dr Hoodbhoy raised was of such an important matter the problem that our nation have is that every one who studied abroad thinks of him/herself as an intellectual

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  • Farah
    May 14, 2012 - 10:57AM

    @Anonymous: Absolutely! Always good to read rational comments as they are generally rare.

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  • A well-wisher
    May 14, 2012 - 11:21AM

    Is it me or does the logic in this argument make little sense? What are you arguing here?
    From what I understand of you article, you’re saying that (i) ghairat and honor are characteristics of society that have been independent of technological and social progress (ii) the American invaded other nations on the pretext of liberal ideas such as “freedom” and “liberty”. How does this belittle Dr Hoodbhoy’s argument at all?? And the Americans are a bad, bad example here. George Bush Jr dropped the word “honor” in his speeches more frequently than he dropped bombs on places. I don’t know how you’ve made the Americans a representative of “liberal” values. Your last paragraph contains SO many unqualified assumptions that I almost pulled my hair out. Mind-boggling article really.

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  • Hashmat Ali
    May 14, 2012 - 11:24AM

    A very well written, well versed and elegant piece of writing but there was no need to go in conflict with Dr.Hoodbhoy’s article. May be you take interest in reading the feedback. I would suggest you reread the article and then read yours. Your knowledge and understanding is better but here you have failed to grab the idea of Professor.
    He actually criticised our leadership that they are just handing over a term ghairat to the nation rather than doing something tangible and material for the people. His theme is a type of advice for the nation to stop listening to these fake leaders and to stop being exploited by their ghairat cry rather to ask them with tolerance about your actual rights as a nation.
    He didn’t tell you to let go of your actual self respect but to stop falling for those we call leaders nowadays.
    May you be in peace.

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  • Batool
    May 14, 2012 - 11:27AM

    Love, love, love the clarity of your arguments! You need to write more, Maria.

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  • Furqan
    May 14, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Dear Writer… An argument for you… Ghairat birgade example is Pakistan’s Situation (the decayed living standards for most us)…. Liberalism (or separation of religion and ghairatism from governance) example Malaysia (if i dare not talk about much of the western world)

    The examples are right in front of you but despite whatever anyone says or shows to you, you are still not gonna see.

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  • Awais
    May 14, 2012 - 11:58AM

    i thin author is wrong to portray honour as basic human value.

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  • Pakibudha
    May 14, 2012 - 12:23PM

    Very well said/given your opinion about Ghairat It is a pity that nowadays scientist have started to talk about things which they have not been trained to do.All the things that are abstract are not understood by any scientist whose thinking has been conditioned to add and subtract and multiply and divide and get an answer, So we should not get annoyed by the article from Dr Hoodbhoy who is a respected Pakistani he has every right to put in his views as he has been given a birthright to be Free by the Creator oops I don’t think there is a place for Creator in Science, here every thing is by chance and spontaneous creation but not something called a Higher Power, or as is Fashionable nowadays The Force (for post Star wars Generation)

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  • May 14, 2012 - 12:25PM

    Audacious writer..! Well the topic is really inspiring..

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  • yasir
    May 14, 2012 - 12:26PM

    thats y i come to this site brilliant article both of thm …. well done guysss

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  • Gulab Khan
    May 14, 2012 - 1:26PM

    The writer has completely misunderstood and misrepresented Dr. Hoodbhoy’s article and infact has tried to malign it by interpreting the term ‘honor’ in ways that do not relate to the context of the article. Its not good scholarship to misquote a scholarly article like the one by Dr. Pervaiz’s. She needs to go back to it, re-read the article and see the meaning of the term ‘Bayghairati’ in the context in which Dr. Sahib has used it. Good try though to come to limelight. Only by opposing the heavier of the argument can one gain some petty attention!

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  • Sarmad
    May 14, 2012 - 2:30PM

    I think this is very irrelevant to what Dr. Hoodbhoy was trying to express. The lady has changed the scope and made her scoop. Reference to the context is changed.

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  • Hunter Punter
    May 14, 2012 - 2:33PM

    What “Honour” is there in being branded a terrorism sponsoring nation and being isolated in the world?
    What “honour” in acts such killings of women/acid attacks/rape and muders as part of religious bigotry?
    What “honour” in bombing schools and asking girls to stop studies?
    Liberal socities create honour out of positive achievments benefitting the country, and not in showing bravado based on religious extremism.
    Defending double dealing cannot be a countrys honour.

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  • R.A
    May 14, 2012 - 2:39PM

    I hope you do not support killing for ghairat
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  • Sadaf
    May 14, 2012 - 3:16PM

    Can’t make head or tail of this argument! Recommend

  • May 14, 2012 - 3:18PM

    The author said: “Ideas like honour, love, and jealousy reflect the essence of humanity but are often relegated to the domain of sentimentality and irrationality by science.”

    What nonsense! In case you are ignorant about what science says or does not say about something, then please humbly accept it. Don’t claim something that is not true. Science does not call love etc as “sentimental” or “irrational”. Science does not take a normative position on any of these issues. They are well understood within the bounds of the natural world.

    Siddharth,
    Editor, InPEC

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 3:32PM

    @MF Hussain:

    “It was honor that led the Germans and the Japanese to war…….”

    It was the arrogance and pride in their race that took the Germans, and Japanese aligned with them, to war with the rest of the world. I guess you need to look the meaning of “honor” against the words of arrogance and pride in a good English dictionary.

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  • badsha
    May 14, 2012 - 3:48PM

    folks! lets not discuss about the education of Dr. Hoodbhai and Ms. Maria Waqar. Please comment only on content.

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  • DAMDAM
    May 14, 2012 - 4:08PM

    Yes , its the liberals that slaughter the innocent, promote misogyny and get petro dollars ehh. I am sure in 2 years time Ghairt will be used to drive cars and to produce energy.

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  • Zeta
    May 14, 2012 - 4:33PM

    Excellent Article Maria.

    Don’t listen to these neo-liberals. I am and i will always be a proud ghairatmand man

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  • Hassan Khan
    May 14, 2012 - 4:35PM

    Shabaaaa!

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 4:36PM

    @Hunter Punter:

    “Liberal socities create honour out of positive achievments benefitting the country,”

    You mean to say that liberal societies are “proudly bayghairat” to begin with before having any achievements and only then create honor out of their achievements.

    “and not in showing bravado based on religious extremism.”

    Might is right. When Christian (USA & West) or Hindu (India) extremists do the terrorism either on state level or individually, there are thousands of justifications and when some misguided and manipulated Muslims do the same, the whole nation is held responsible. Ask some Pakistanis and see how many support terrorism or extremism.

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  • ZP
    May 14, 2012 - 4:50PM

    @Saadia,

    What a total hubris. How do you decide Pakistan needs “constructive move towards the creation of a rights based society led by the demands of its people rather than the push of its traditions”?
    Are you confused why the author wrote this piece? Why do you need to attack her academic qualification? Is this piece about the origin of Fascism? The central theses of the author are these:

    ” the writer [ie.Hoodbhoy] believes that dangerous appeals to honour — an anachronistic concept originating from herding societies — have historically made nations pave the way for their own doom. But modern nations, with beliefs in reason and science, are able to make more practical decisions that ensure their progress and well-being.”

    Her arguments cited the examples of modern nation states which we now termed as “fascist” and “right wing” as examples of states using science to generate mayhem. One could extend such labels to NATO/USA which despite their “liberal” and “left wing aura” are driven by “honor” and “ghairat” when it comes to their foreign policies. Here for you the context.Recommend

  • faraz
    May 14, 2012 - 5:11PM

    @Lala Gee

    In terms of tribal concept of honor, of course Germany and Japan became beghairat after the war. Konrad Adenauer, the chancellor of Germany, and most of German population fully supported the presence of US army on German land. Konrad even refused the idea of merger with East Germany. Very few people talked of merger of East and West Germany until the last few years of the Cold war. You won’t see a German complaining against US bases on their land. Similarly Japan allowed US to construct long term military bases. Similarly the entire NATO countries are beghairat because they had nothing to do with 911 but their armies are in Afghanistan.

    US invasion of Iraq is not related to national honor but strategic interests. But US invasion of Afghanistan definitely had elements of national honor. Regardless of the history of Afghan resistance, US expanded its aims of war which should have been restricted to destruction of Al-Qaeda. US expanded counter terrorism efforts to anti-Taliban counterinsurgency which was a blunder.

    What Hoodbhoy termed beghairat is cool and rational cost and benefit analysis of national interests.

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  • ZP
    May 14, 2012 - 5:18PM

    @Siddarth,

    “What nonsense! In case you are ignorant about what science says or does not say about something, then please humbly accept it. Don’t claim something that is not true. Science does not call love etc as “sentimental” or “irrational”. Science does not take a normative position on any of these issues. They are well understood within the bounds of the natural world.
    Siddharth,
    Editor, InPEC”

    Science, whatever the crap it stands for or means, is constantly trying to take a “normative position” in explaining love. It considers love as a product of “an evolutionary society” in search of partners to procreate and pass genes. Science tries to rationalize the existence of “love” by using scientific tools and vocabularies. It took that position because of its limited boundary and because it is handicapped when it comes to studying emotion: it would not be able to grasp “love” without resorting to proxies.

    What the author meant is that Science inability to study emotion, renegades complex subjects such as “love”, “jealously” as being devoid of reasons and hence “irrational” and “sentimental”.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    May 14, 2012 - 5:29PM

    There goes every rational impulse to have survived our evolutionary journey.

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  • ZP
    May 14, 2012 - 5:48PM

    @Faraz,

    “What Hoodbhoy termed beghairat is cool and rational cost and benefit analysis of national interests.”

    What is “cool” and what is “rational”? Who decide this? Pakistani society believe fighting for Kashmir or against US imperialism is a “cool” and “rational” thing to do just like a nation with $14 trillion in debt is eager to wage war on terror. What made Pakistanis’ rationale less rational than others?The beards? The burkha?

    While Germans might have show less resistance against US military bases, the Japanese and Filipinos embraced honors and nationalism in resisting these bases. Germans lost their nationalism and honor post-war because of what they did to Jews (and others). It was unthinkable to believe in German nationalism for the very fear it would drag Germans back to Nazi time. But when it comes to the Turks, Germans sure know how to embrace honor and nationalism.

    Finally, Hoodbhoy view Pakistanis as “irrational people” untouched by the reality. That is why he penned the previous piece. He has been sounding like that for a long time. Liberals, Indians and leftist adore him because they share the same prejudice he does to Pakistanis.

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  • Bader
    May 14, 2012 - 5:58PM

    Excellent Response

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  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 6:11PM

    @faraz:

    “What Hoodbhoy termed beghairat is cool and rational cost and benefit analysis of national interests.”

    I wrote about half a dozen of replies exactly explaining the same thing, but unfortunately ET moderator didn’t like them. I tried even twice but in vain. So, here I most simply ask:

    How the honor (ghairat) is an anti-thesis of human intelligence, wisdom, skill, and tact; the main qualities required for solving any problem at national and international level. Cannot one maintain his honor (like China, Malaysia, Turkey) and yet be successful. How by becoming flatly bayghairat can solve any problem especially created by greed, brutality, and malevolence. Or, cannot we do the “cool and rational cost and benefit analysis of national interests” without becoming “proudly bayghairat”.

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  • May 14, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Dear madam, With all due respect I beg to disagree with you. Please consider that when mass hysteria is whipped up the education and reason become totally redundant. The truth is that Germans neither were nor are pure Aryans. It was a myth garnered to whip frenzy. Similarly Emperor Hirohito was not divine and was as human as all of us. Germany and Japan had joined the war in search of Asian markets for their expanding industry,to fight inflation and not Ghairat. Today the war on Russians by Americans, in which Pakistan got entangled, was also built on a hype of Islam is in danger and Jihad was launched to save Islam. In the noises of passion Reason and science take back seat and history has proved that such frenzy raised in the name of ghairat or what ever you call it leads to destruction and doom. Please have another look at the article by Mr. Hoodhboy. It is better to forget the frenzy of ghairat that leads fathers and brothers to kill their beloved daughters or sisters. OR in the name of ghairat commit mass murders. The truth is neither the people of Pakistan are Arabs or have any claim on the Arab victory of Europe. But this untruth is being sold openly like the myth sold in India that Hindus are children of pure Aryans or Muslims of India have come from outside.

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  • Usama
    May 14, 2012 - 6:36PM

    This makes absolutely no sense. The author relies on arguing upon definitive grounds about what modern societies actually entail and what honor means for societies. I highly doubt Prof. Hoodhbhoy would defend Nazi Germany’s war-mongering in the name of honor, but I also doubt that Nazi Germany was what he meant when he said ‘modern societies’ given that that was several decades ago. Further, I’m pretty sure Prof. Hoodhbhoy wouldn’t argue that Western liberal states such as the US don’t fall prey to rhetoric about their ‘honor’ and the place of the US in the world – this almost certainly is still taking place in the Republican GOP debates.

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  • rhea
    May 14, 2012 - 6:42PM

    while discussing honour, ghairat, liberalism etc., we tend to forget that the meaning of all these terms are society bound and their interpretations differ in societies. by comparing the nazi concept of honour with the pakistani concept, we r invariably claiming that they are one and the same. bt we forget that the social and political realities of prewar germany and present day pakistan are different.
    for my part, i believe that we need to think out of the box, whether we are so called conservative, ghairatmand, liberals or the self procliamed beghairats. all these concepts have multiple shades of meanings some of which may be beneficial for society and some may cause harm. and more important than that is the consideration how particular slogans are used in societies. if ghairat leads to deaths and suffering of the innocent, then we are better off with it and if beghairat leads to lack of national dignity and then lets dispense with it. it is sad how we fight like animals over our respective political ideals and their self created onterpretations. we never get tired of finger pointing. if hoodbouy is targeted coz he dared to come out and talk about society instead of keeping limited to physics, then we have to pint an punish the common man working in the lowest job coz that person also comments and talks abt politics even if they have no real idea of political scenarios. and similarly one could disagree with maria’s (the author) interpretation, bt we cant find fault with her just coz she dared to disagree!!!

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  • ashar
    May 14, 2012 - 7:16PM

    First of all this should be realized that honour and ghairat are not interchangeable words. Honour is not the correct translation of ghairat. Let me put it in scientific way, since the debate was started by a scientist, just like we have static and dynamic quantities in mechanics, Honour is an static quantity while the other is dynamic.

    To achieve and maintain honour you need ghairat working behind it. Because if you lose honour then there is no question of having or not having ghairat, it is only be-ghairati that is left behind and it was because of this be-gharati that the honour was lost.

    It is the ghairat by virtue of which you prepare yourself as a country for every untoward incident from any corner of the world and to keep your enemies at a distance because of your ability to respond and you lose your entire honour when a phone call makes you a part of the game planned to kill your own people in the name of war on terror.Recommend

  • Tahir Ali
    May 14, 2012 - 7:37PM

    A befitting response to Hoodbhoy’s article. Well done Maria, your generation is our hope and that is the reason it is being targeted by those serving a foreign agenda to convert Pakistan into a ‘pliant’ state. A physically defeated nation can always come up but a psychologically defeated nation is destined to oblivion. Japan and Germany re-emerged as great nations even after defeat in WW II because they are ghairatmund nations.

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  • Chulbul Pandey
    May 14, 2012 - 8:24PM

    @Author: I’m still proudly ghairatmand

    Maria ji, you might have misunderstanding the Professor’s article slightly (to say politely). Women routinely get killed by their families in the name of ghairat. War/hatred drums are beaten openly… again in the name of ghairat. Ghairat has become nothing but a false pride in current times. I fully see Professor’s point of view and I do not subscribe to the prevailing “ghairat” practiced in the society.

    I am very proud of being a Baigharat, in that sense!

    @Lala Gee: Fondness of the Indian commentators for Dr. Hoodbhoy is not an enigma.

    Lala ji, I am one of those Indian commentators. I find Professor Hoodbhoy to be an excellent source of unbiased outlook with an eye towards the future. You are free to call me a Baigharat :)
    Sincerely.!

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  • mast
    May 14, 2012 - 8:24PM

    I don’t understand one thing, why compare Pakistan in any shape or form with western countries? There is no comparison of the national and social issues of a third world backward country like Pakistan which is still confused on its national identity (other than of course the Islam which is also vague) with the countries which are actually nations based on culture, race and creed and with common understanding of what nationalism actually mean rather than religiousim (not actually a word, but just trying convey a point) that Pakistani are so proud of.

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  • elementary
    May 14, 2012 - 8:35PM

    I think Ghairat means diffrent things to different people.It seems to encompass several emotions/concepts : Rage,anger,denial, stubbornness, (inflated) self esteem etc.

    If you were to tell me that I am weaker and less intelligent than you I must feel anger and outrage towards you and should vociferously deny the claim otherwise I amBaigharat : Not withstanding the fact that you were actually stating the fact.It is this inflated egoistic attitude towrds self and heroes of the nation,that is fascism.
    As individual aswell as nation one should have clear idea of one’s strength and weaknesses,accepting your weakness is not beghairti but first step towards eliminating it.

    Facts are best dealt rationally,rather than with extremes of emotions.

    Other than a realistic self esteem I am not prepared to accept that Ghairat is a positive emotion and serves any useful purpose.

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  • Suresh
    May 14, 2012 - 9:46PM

    It all boils down to Ghairathmand in what! It is all about prioratising the ghairathness depending on current status and future needs of the society. What all HB said was, there is no use of the so called Ghairathmandness as being practiced in Pakistan, and it better be without it. The author, instead of taking the drift of HB’s article, is gone on long verbose on gharathness itself, without offering her own solution to the burning problems of the country by making use of her proud ghairatmandness. Precisely this situation is what HB discussed in his article.

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  • sameer
    May 14, 2012 - 9:48PM

    @Saadia Great response, almost poetic. and your examples are all “non western”. Three thumbs up YOU SHOULD WRITE!Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    May 14, 2012 - 10:14PM

    @Suresh:

    “The author, instead of taking the drift of HB’s article, is gone on long verbose on gharathness itself, without offering her own solution to the burning problems of the country by making use of her proud ghairatmandness. Precisely this situation is what HB discussed in his article.”

    Becoming “bayghairat”, as suggested by HB, is also not a solution either. As @Falcon: commented “Rather than questioning it, we should channel it constructively. Same sense of honor can be used to incite a war or rebuilding the nation from ashes, the choice is ours.”

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  • Ahmed
    May 14, 2012 - 10:23PM

    Proud to be ghairat brigaidi. still

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  • Thank You
    May 14, 2012 - 10:59PM

    While I am in complete agreement with the broader concept and relevance of Ghairat.
    I would like to make a humble point that, Ghairat needs to be cultivated and built upon on accomplishments/achievements which seem relevant to the world at large…

    It is not that a scientific mind can’t come up with some morphed idea of pride/superiority/Ghairat. Eugenics was endorsed by some off the most prominent thinkers and scientists not only in Germany but across Europe.

    But, any concept that leads to suffering and a below quality life for a large number of people. Needs a reality check sooner than later.

    I think Dr Pervez was pointing to that direction. But you Maam decided to create a diversion.

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  • Tipukhan
    May 14, 2012 - 11:03PM

    I think I understand the message you tried to convey. But either way, I will always agree that whether you’re an individual or a nation, without self-respect, or ‘ghairat’, you will be nothing. Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq were probably the cleverest and cunningest men of their time. But hey, they were proudly beghairat, sold the honor of Muslims to the British and gave us a hundred years of slavery. And then look at Tipu Sultan and Siraj ud Dawla, they were ghairatmand and brilliant generals, but were deceived by the British. Who today is remembered as a Shaheed and a Lion and who is remembered as a traitor and a coward?
    Before teaching our children skill, we must teach them morals to use that skill. Ghairat is an ideology on which we made Pakistan. Ghairat is an ideology on which a person has the ability to take a stand on any issue. Ghairat is the concept which gives even the the tiny water drop the value of a sea.
    So before these liberal fascists who base their policies on the mood of America teach us what to do with our ghairat, let us first look at where they stand as citizens of the nation. Most of them do not even agree with the basis of Pakistan, the two nation theory.

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  • Zain
    May 14, 2012 - 11:25PM

    great counter

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  • Lala Gee
    May 15, 2012 - 12:24AM

    @Saadia:

    “Wow. for someone with a political science degree you have NO CLUE how fascism comes about (regardless of having a modern society or not), and fascism and the extreme right are strongly connected to ideas of honor and ghairat….Islam itself was a liberal response to traditional conservative tribalisms, as the renaissance was to the dark ages, as Bhutto was to martial law, …… as “ghairat” is to “beghairat”.”

    I’m sure you, unlike Hoodbhoy, hold a degree in Political Science, but I wonder why you chose to articulate blemished rhetoric instead of offering genuine counter arguments supporting the idea of “proud beghairati” proposed by Hoodbhoy. Even though, the fascism may exploit the noble sentiment of honor, the mere act of misuse does not qualify it for void as the distorted interpretation of Islam used by terrorists does not renege Islam as a religion. Moreover, neither Hoodbhoy nor you explained the most important and pertinent question how the absence of honor (beghairti) is tantamount to and alternative for wisdom, skill, and diplomacy required for solving problems at national and international levels. Can one not have honor (be a ghairatmand) and yet be prudent, apt, and tactful. How “ghairat” is an anti-thesis of human intelligence? Further, as you yourself said, “ghairat” is a response to “beghairat”, how opting for the later is a wise move.

    P.S.: Bhutto was Martial Law Administrator for a short time.

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  • GK
    May 15, 2012 - 2:19AM

    @Anonymous:
    True

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  • yasi
    May 15, 2012 - 2:35AM

    Dear auther u are looking Hoodboy’s essay from 180 degree angle.. u should first understand that thoroughly.

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  • Dr Shaista
    May 15, 2012 - 3:41AM

    @Sajid: she has given the facts and evidences in this article.very well study.

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  • Rana Shabbir
    May 15, 2012 - 5:40AM

    Article based on fiction unlike article written by PH. Emotions cannot take this country anywhere. Talk sense & logic.

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  • Prometheus
    May 15, 2012 - 10:08AM

    Define honour.

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  • Uza Syed
    May 15, 2012 - 7:19PM

    Too much of pride and too much of “Ghairat” —– a very lethal combination! No wonder, Pakistan always seesm to be struggling for its due and decent place in the comity of nations and normally civilized society.

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  • Hasan
    May 15, 2012 - 8:06PM

    Would the author also care to define ghairat? We can then try to come to some closure, whether to be or not to be ghairamand – as the author would want us to be. Maybe I have missed that in the article, pardon my ineptidtude in that case and point me in the right direction.

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  • mudassar nawaz
    May 15, 2012 - 8:24PM

    an exce;;ent one to read.i always get disappointed by reading these so called liberal extremists,but dint know how to answer them,but,today i have got an idea how argument and logic answers!

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  • danish
    May 15, 2012 - 9:41PM

    its up to the peoples wishes what thay think and how they want to change the society. maria is right . we should stnad for our rights and pride. Recommend

  • Faisal Saeed
    May 16, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Hail Hail…agreed!!

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  • AS
    May 16, 2012 - 9:31PM

    I’m kicking myself for having wasted 5 minutes reading this.

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  • Hadi Ansari
    May 16, 2012 - 10:53PM

    There is nothing fictional in Dr Hoodbhoy’s article.He has taken pain to describe thought process of the nation and how easily they are exploited by the politicians.The media for reasons best known to them extend helping hand to these politicians.
    The first paragraph of Dr Hoodbhoy’s article is the heart and soul of the entire write up,which it would appear did not receive the due attention of Ms Waqar.

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  • Shazia Nawaz
    May 17, 2012 - 3:43AM

    Maira probably does not know herself what she is trying to say. This is totally inability to comprehend and it is not limited to Maria. Majority in Pakistan are like this. This is total inability of critical thinking.

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  • sufi
    May 17, 2012 - 9:42AM

    Great Job Maria!

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  • sunder khan
    May 18, 2012 - 8:22PM

    Unfortunately, Maria Waqar has taken Hood Bhai’s wonky article too seriously. There are contradictions within his own thoughts which are obvious from the examples he has quoted. Our society is a mix of liberalism and traditionalism. Tribal version of honour has nothing to with our ideology. Being a Muslim country we must stick to our Islamic teachings while staying in step with the rest of world. Ghairat is a relative term which may vary from one society to the other. But in our religion there are guidelines on the subject which are universal in nature and are practiced in one form or the other by the majority of the people living on the planet earth.

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  • Shahid
    May 20, 2012 - 12:10AM

    @Anonymous:

    Too childish arguments

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  • ZK
    May 22, 2012 - 3:00PM

    Nazi German and Japanese fought World War II only to generate market becasue at that time only British and French colonies exist and no one can trade in these colonies. World War II decolonise the world. After that world become open market. I strongly agree with Hoodbhoy.

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  • Saqib
    May 22, 2012 - 8:33PM

    I have read both of the articles; and yes I totally agree with you. I also commented on Hoodbhoy’s article but my comment never got approved.
    A really nice reply and yes ‘I am also proudly ghairat-mand’

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  • Dr Khalil
    Jun 23, 2012 - 12:21PM

    so be it!!

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  • Kamran
    Jun 23, 2012 - 1:41PM

    beautifully written!

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