There’s nothing like a good conspiracy theory to get the tongues wagging. In essence, it is an explanatory proposition that accuses a person, group or organisation of having caused or covered up an event of great social, political or economic impact. Like 9/11, the mother of all conspiracy theories. Though the term was first used on January 27, 1870 in a medical conference, in my student days in India, these innuendos didn’t have such a sinister title. The earliest political whodunit that I came across was “Who was responsible for India getting her independence when she did? Attlee? Nehru? Patel? Gandhi? Jinnah?” Wrong! It was Harry Truman of the United States. The Americans had recognised the fact that after the defeat of the Axis powers, the world would be polarised between East and West. Now there happened to be three fighting forces, which were relatively intact — the US Army, the Red Army and the British Indian Army. The third force simply had to be gotten rid of by putting it under the control of a non-colonial power.
Even President Barack Obama has not been spared by the conspiracy theorists, as the inquisitors have alleged that his claim to the presidency is illegitimate due to the circumstances of his birth. Was his Hawaiian birth certificate a fake? Does he have dual nationality? Was he once a Muslim? Frankly, I don’t give a damn. And the fact that a wide swathe of the electorate voted him in for a second bite at the national cherry indicates that the majority of Americans also don’t give a damn if he also has a Kenyan passport and was once circumcised by a Kikuyu witch doctor with feathers on his head.
Then, there are the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, such as the Jews control Wall Street, the US Federal Reserve System, Hollywood and the news media; and along with the Freemasons, are plotting to establish control over the world. In the Middle Ages, it was widely believed that the Jews poisoned wells, killed Jesus and drank the blood of Christians at their rituals. The blood of humans and animals is not kosher and cannot possibly be consumed by Jews. But how do you tackle a closed mind? What is of particular interest, however, is the Holocaust denial. In this, I differ from the generally accepted figure of six million and believe it would be closer to 600,000 due to the paucity of rolling stock in eastern Europe to transport the prisoners to the gas chambers in Poland.
Closer to home is the conspiracy theory surrounding the flamboyant leader of the MQM — Altaf Hussain. According to the grapevine, he had promised the British, back in the 1990s, that he would turn Karachi into another Hong Kong with British help after the loss of the Crown Colony to the Chinese. Things didn’t work out quite the way he wanted them to, and after the Razia Bhatti incident, and the military crackdown on his party, he was advised to proceed to self-exile in London where he was subsequently guarded by Her Majesty’s police. The story doing the rounds is that Scotland Yard had suspected for some time that Altaf Hussain had been flying below the radar and wanted to pin Imran Farooq’s murder on him. Big Brother on the other side of the Atlantic said, “Hang on lads. The last thing we want is an uncontrollable situation in Karachi, which will have repercussions in the rest of the country and adversely affect the Nato supply lines. Why don’t you chaps wait at least for a year?”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2013.
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IMHO...Conspiracy theories are spun by those who want to attract attention to themselves or when attention needs to be diverted away from the "real events". When all information does not come to light at once...you start seeing conspiracy theories...for example the OBL report that was recently published.
I for one would ask the author to ask the question do conspiracies not exist? The answer is yes...they do exist. So how does one know when a conspiracy theory is true?
Is there a "Conspiracy theory litmus test" that the author can provide?
Adressing the conspirational thinking is much needed in certain societies and I appreciate the effort but the author undermines his own column when he tries to minimize the Holocaust death toll, based on nothing more than conjecture, which is a trademark of a conspiracy theory that the author is arguing against. Not is he only wrong about the capacity of the German railroad system, even in the last days of ww2 victims were transport to the death camps, the assumption that all the jews were killed by gassing is false. Half of them were killed by other means such as shooting and starvation. Moreover, this suggestion neglects the data that firmly support the death of around six million, such as train records, nazi documents and population demographics of before and after the war concerning jews.
@Urdu speaker, They tried but mafia style parties don't allow it.
You got my attention when you said ' the Razia Bhatti incident '............ yes she died very young and being a fearless journalist must have had her share of pressures. If you could add to my knowledge I would be greatful.
Very plausible sir! Question is, why are non-mqm Pakistanis sitting by while Karachi is held hostage to thugs?