Allah ki marzi

Published: September 24, 2010

Amongst the incredible amount of topics that need to be written upon in these days of non-stop news on the smutty doings of our politicos and the establishment in general is one of the many ignored matters which is steadily dragging Pakistan backwards. In an account of visits to the many relief camps set up for the flood affectees was this alarming sentence: “Almost all women around 30 years of age are either pregnant or carrying an infant and have a minimum [yes, a minimum] of three offspring in tow.”

But it is not so with only the poorest of the poor, who are the sole ones badly hit by the unprecedented floods and silently suffering whilst the government makes noises and remains on its backside. This is the situation all over the country. The mass of illiterate, ignorant and deprived have little to do but proliferate and no government since the heady days of the first martial law has seen fit to tackle the problem of population growth — it is not on their lists of priorities and besides, since all have been in thrall to the religious right the phrases ‘population control’ or ‘family planning’ have been treated almost as four-letter words. A newspaper hawker who prowls Karachi’s Bath Island area has eight children with another on the way. When asked how can he possibly afford to even feed them properly, let alone educate them, his answer: Allah ki marzi.’ With such an attitude it will indeed need a revolution to get any message across.

Anyhow, Ayub Khan, who managed for a while to do a few good things, instigated a family planning programme and had it working to a fair degree, although then the population had not reached dangerous limits. West Pakistan in 1961 had a population of 43 million. The country has now reached 180 million, which is no joke considering the state of the nation. Governments have pussy-footed around whilst the population has exploded, whilst the poverty line has steadily risen and whilst economically the country has slowly sunk. There is no department that deals with population control and family planning in any serious form — the ministry that should be doing so is coyly named the ministry of population welfare, which is quite a different matter. The nervousness exhibited by the establishment, political and military, towards the mullah/maulvi fraternity, which never manages to assert itself in elections, is not understandable.

Neither the prime minister nor the president nor any of their minions have voiced any concern on the subject of the dangerous population growth. They are too occupied fighting conspiracies, imagined or real. With the wild daily talk of ‘change’ one says he has no objection to an ‘in-house’ change — whatever that may signify — and the other maintains that either he completes his turn or will be carried off in an ambulance. They should not get so het up about the overworked rumour mills as in all probability there is no one insane enough to want to take on the mess they both have managed to make. The head of the MQM may talk about revolution but with the Allah ki marzi mindset that prevails the awam are not about to stir themselves?

The disturbing news is the killing of two more journalists in the lawless wasteland that is the rechristened K-P province. Mujeebur Rehman Siddique of the Urdu Daily Pakistan was shot in Dargai on September 15 as he was leaving a mosque. Two days earlier Misri Khan of Ausaf and Mashriq was gunned down in Hangu. Seven journalists have been murdered since April, in the line of duty. The murders remain ignored and unsolved by the government. Allah ki marzi?

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • faraz
    Sep 25, 2010 - 12:15AM

    I know a janitor who didnt marry because he thought he wont be able to financially support the family; his standard of living is much higher than his co-workers. Impressive isnt it.Recommend

  • Talha
    Sep 25, 2010 - 5:30AM

    The way Pakistanis utter such phrases as ‘Allak ki marzi’, not only demeans and negates the value of religion but also show us to be a mentally handicapped lot.Recommend

  • Sep 25, 2010 - 5:40AM

    Whoa. That was BOLD. Well done Ma’am.

    We as a nation, are ideologically religious or may I take the liberty to say superstitious. We have got to include Allah ki marzi, Allah ka azaab and Allah ki raza in everything. We like to sit hands on hands and wait for Allh (swt) to do the miracle. Mr Roy puts rightly in one of his songs ” Kuch na kar kuch na kar tu sub kuch Allah pay chor dey.”Recommend

  • parvez
    Sep 25, 2010 - 1:33PM

    As in Bangladesh the population issue should be tackled by first getting the mullah’s on board and they then spread the word from the local mosque. This requires planning, coercive strategy and the will to do the right thing.
    A very relevant article, I hope the concerned people at least read it.Recommend

  • rehan
    Sep 25, 2010 - 1:38PM

    MQM Head and talking of REVOLTION??…well you said it better.., this also will be Allah ki marzi if it happens!!Recommend

  • Sep 25, 2010 - 1:47PM

    Very bold one….The sms spreading things and msgs like ,,,we are doomed azzab is there,,,make me sick……….dont we believe in existentialism? Of course no one knows his or her destiny, but leaving everything to Almighty,,doesnt make any sense…..That makes us 100% handicapped……..Recommend

  • Sep 25, 2010 - 5:36PM

    Brilliant article! Recommend

  • shy
    Sep 25, 2010 - 5:46PM
  • Kamran
    Sep 25, 2010 - 6:57PM

    This will hit those where it hurts most. The exaggeratedly religious souls here shall denounce the author for alleged blasphemy with her bold and frank words. Recommend

  • Shairose Ukanji
    Sep 25, 2010 - 11:06PM

    What a piece!Recommend

  • Noor-ul-aln Hanif
    Sep 26, 2010 - 2:52AM

    This is with reference to the article “Allah ki marzi” by Amina Jilani (September 25). “Allah ke marzi”, “Allah ke raza”,”Allah ke maslayhat” These three phrases are main curtains of people to hide themselves. It’s a universal truth that all the things are prewritten by Allah Almighty but mostly we try to hide ourselves behind these verses. In Pakistan there is no proper family planning program to guide people but Ok if there is no proper family planning program. People having big families actually these children are the bright future of Pakistan. If we educate them properly they will illuminate Pakistan’s name around the world. But education downfall is in our country no proper education given to these children and as a result they become burden on the nation. If they get proper education then they will serve in different fields in future.Recommend

  • Waqas
    Sep 26, 2010 - 6:39AM

    good work..!!Recommend

  • Muhammad Dayyan
    Sep 26, 2010 - 9:29PM

    What has been written is thought provoking but one should keep in mind that discouraging more children is one thing and educating on increasing the gap between births is one thing.According to a research done by Islamic scholars God says to reproduce and He will provide their food however it is agreed upon that one can educate others on producing offsprings sensibly.Recommend

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