Masters as we are of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, we have always ensured that we fall in love with the wrong causes. The art of belittling excellence, not aspiring for it, has become our recent obsession. Anyone who dares to excel in any field is loathed, often excommunicated, ambushed or abandoned. That’s how open-hearted we have become. From Dr Abdus Salam to Malala, there is a long list of heroes who became our victims and eventually our enemies. How dumb can you be to do something so stupid? Evidently dumb.
But then there is the legacy of pain and hate. That pain begets hate or hate gives birth to pain, is anybody’s guess. There is no gainsaying that we are a nation born in pain, brought up in misery. And yes, we live in a rough neighborhood that makes us more susceptible to paranoia but how long will we deny that most of our demons are of our own inventions? Like an insolent child, we can refuse to accept our fault, find excuses for everything that we have done, but that will change nothing.
We sowed seeds of pain, expecting love and happiness as a produce, and now the harvest of hate is ready for reaping. Amazingly, while we always had some taste for conspiracy theories, fuelled by our desire to reconcile ignorance with some thirst for knowledge, the last decade has done more to poison our minds and souls than the rest together.
Dictators know the knack of gathering around them a deadly coterie of sycophants. When the dictators go, this coterie, just in order to survive, uses its former glory to blind people and deceive them. And their gift of creating discord is amazing. They divide and penetrate the ranks of every division and lead the flanks to Lilliputian wars of egos. And hence, the chances of a democratic and intellectual recovery are lost for decades.
Just close your eyes for a second and place yourself in the shoes of Malala. Try living through the fear of a young girl ambushed on her way back from the school. Try imagining her pain after being shot by a grown-up criminal. And ask yourself which idiot would spew hate against her after this ultimate sacrifice. Had she been in India and done this much for their country, a temple would have already been built in her honour.
They now say Malala is a conspiracy hatched by the West to propagate against the peace-loving citizens of this country and our culture. Sirs, if you notice, it is no Western message. Your state has been telling the world how much we have sacrificed in the war on terror and that while we are facing the unending scourge of terrorism, we are resilient. Malala, then, is an embodiment of our message.
Then why do they accuse of her of bringing a bad name to the country? That is because somewhere in our hearts and minds, we have not stopped owning the Taliban. Had we disowned them, we would have realised that Malala is on our side and they are killing us all with impunity. Forty thousand and counting and yet, we cannot stand up with one symbol that defines us all. What a pity.
This sad realisation brings back bad personal memories. Almost two decades ago, I came to Islamabad to study further, a simple Pakistani and a simple Muslim. Arriving in this city, I was informed that that is not my identity and that my ethnicity, my mother tongue and sect defined who I was, not my nationhood. I have fought this reductionism all my life. But I have repeatedly been defeated. Today, I stand here a beaten, defeated man.
The tragedy of this state is that it fears change. It has no realisation that what it calls its world view and view of itself is not objective reality but just an infection. It tries to shoot down anyone who tries to administer medicine. Like it or not, we have made up our mind. We have chosen our assassins over our rescuers. Now, they will sow more seeds for posterity. More hate in return.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2013.
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@Water Bottle: and shooting litting girls going to school is somehow better?
Very good article! "Change" is inevitable in everything around us, and if you choose to remain "frozen" in time, there can be no progress. If "change" is always associated with negativity in the minds of bigots, it only reflects their ignorance. Basically, human life goes on evolving without an end, and the talibans think that they can stop the evolution. They can not succeed in their attempt for very long!
@Sashi: buddy,i was just going to put down the same message,just was thinking of the right words, but then u already stole my thunder.i fully agree with u
wow! what a brilliant analysis,but farrukh bhaijaan,are you not afraid or are you not taking unnecessary risks by irritating the bloodthirsty taliban hounds.in fact,i believe sincerely, as the unfinished agenda of partition,still surviving hindu,sikh& buddhists should be sent to india along with ocassional non-fundamentalist muslims like you to india,where they shall be free to rise to their fullest potentials like APJ ABDUL KALAM.simultaneously,pak should take away the mullahs,madarassa kids,descendents of razakaars and followers of the shahi imam& our hyderabadi owaissi brothers to pakistan.then, truely,pakistan shall become a land for the pure, free of kaafirs& infidels& also traitors of the great ummat. plz establish your khilafat e rista or nizaam e mustafa or dar ul islam or whatever u may call it.plz seal our borders, and enjoy your paradise.we shall all be very happy and njoy our best too.LIVE& LET LIVE.... INSHA ALLAH,if only it were possible.
@ Arindom..... An exaggeration if a temple is built in India had she been an Indian? Errrr, not beyond the realms of possibility! Are you aware that there is indeed a temple somewhere in Tamil Nadu dedicated to a mere Film star, Khusboo? And wonder of wonders, Khusboo ( an eminently likeable and sweet lady) happens to be a Muslim! So, a temple for the incredibly brave and pure soul that Malala is, well,.......... I wouldn't mind placing the first brick and performing Kar Seva for that project. I don't know about the Pakistanis, but hearing her speak at the U.N gave me goose pimples and filled me with admiration, love, pride and all kinds of positive emotions. Forget wishing she were an Indian, I would sacrifice ANYTHING for the honour of having a daughter like her!
I almost feel sad for your predicament but then I am reminded of the deadly hate Pakistani have for indian state.......... Who cares also what can you say about common when people like moeed pirzada of ptv says indian states attacks Indians.......I felt sad for a moment but then such conspiracy theory gives us veto over pakistan progress.......without firing a bullet india can control Pakistani discourse
@Water Bottle: NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD FORM Information required- mandatory in case of Muslim
@ Aysha M
"Rationality is the first casualty of hate"
Well said and better than Nelson himself.
Amazing piece: i believe the housewife-Kari saab nexus that entraps the infant mind at 3 years of age is responsible for our confusion in later years. Break that bond of ignorance and your batles are half over.
Your argument on Capital Circuit was spot on. You clearly said that Afghanistan was under occupation under Taliban, which Moeed denied arrogantly.
I agree with your assessment that Taliban was Pakistan's proxy and Afghanistan was virtually under the occupation of Pakistan during Taliban rule.
The debate became slightly heated. But I agree with you perfectly on this assessment.
A very painful read where the frustration and tragedy bubbles over. For years it was very visible to all but Pakistani people that the kind of Constitution adopted would wreck the nation piece by piece. When supremacy rests with Allah it would be impossible or rather blasphemy to even have a debate on any Law enacted. So miseries would pile up on more miseries, compounding the pain immensely. No other country has produced religious warriors who have threatened their countries well being as well as World peace. The nations Educational system has poisoned minds with hate, minorities are covering in fear, religious vigilantes are empowered and all Institutions are infected by the virus, resulting in paralysis and inertia. Law and Order also now rests in the hands of Allah, what is there to worry ?
"Punjabi from the other side, and is that a good thing? Should we worshiping such ‘goddesses’? Let Indians follow such foolishness if they so wish."
Somebody has very rightly commented on you on another topic, a while ago.
Just like your name suggests, you are stuck in the time warp.
Even if a temple is built and a good person is worshiped, there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. The same children who worship her in a temple would one day send rockets to Mars instead of growing up to kill 50 Shias in the month of Ramzan.
Nonetheless, the author meant it in a metaphorical way.
" obviously an exaggeration, but surely she’ll get multi-million dollar endorsements for everything from Milk to Corporate Schools to Cold Drinks to Jeans Brands!!! Maybe a Bollywood Blockbuster!!! "
It seems to me like you are saying that this is somehow a good thing : endorsements of greedy corporations and a cheap movie by the sleazy bollywood.
I'm sorry, I disagree. I'm sure even Malala would disagree with such hogwash. And if she retains her current principles, she would scoff at every idea you have suggested.
She stood for proper education for women and the poor. She stood for the basic rights of the underprivileged.
She did not stand for the greedy corporates who run business in the name of schools in Indian cities. She did not stand for the cheap content that Bollywood produces in the name of entertainment.
Her intentions are honest and noble.
"The state encouraged people to hate and document their hatred."
Please clarify who do you mean by state.
Unlike other countries, Pakistan has multiple centers of power.
Let's be honest. Who have been talking against Malala directly or indirectly?
Zaid Hamid, Mubashar Luqman, the Taliban, Hameed Gul, Meher Abbasi and a few others.
The same people also talk against India.
The same people also talk for the extremists.
The same people talk against Afghanistan, USA, NATO and for the Taliban.
The same people talk for ISI and Pak army,
Now connect the dots and see who is paying these people?
No its better to keep worshipping "Dr" Aamir Liaqat.
An excellent review of the image on the mirror. But couldnt resist pointing out one thing. Almost two decades ago, I came to Islamabad to study further, a simple Pakistani and a simple Muslim Couldnt u see the reason for all your troubles in this sentence. You have started dividing pakistanis here. Why should u wear religion all the time and blame others who go into details like sectarianism, caste etc. "A simple Pakistani" could have sufficed.
**@kaalchakra: "Should we worshiping such ‘goddesses’?
No you should take pride in shooting school girls.
"Let Indians follow such foolishness if they so wish."
Yep. Honouring heroes is foolish and lionizing their killers and shooters is wise. Lage raho.
@Farrukh Khan Pitfai
You are spot on in your diagnosis of this sick nation, "that we have chosen our assassins over our rescuers."
you miss the message, thick-headed as you are -- the author is talking of a Temple to Girl-Education and Bravery.....
**> Had she been in India and done this
haha-- obviously an exaggeration, but surely she'll get multi-million dollar endorsements for everything from Milk to Corporate Schools to Cold Drinks to Jeans Brands!!! Maybe a Bollywood Blockbuster!!!
All in all, we like the guts of this girl!! if Pakistan does not like you, you are welcome to India!!
Wow, a voice of reason and common sense, thanks ET for that. We hate modernity and keep talking about hundreds of years ago when we were supposedly so great! Iqbal said: Aaeine nu se darna tarze kuhan pe arhna manzil yehi kathin hai quomo ki zindagi mein. Being afraid of newness and modernity, stubborn on ancient ways is the difficult stage in nation’s history. There was a time when we use to bring Islam to the non-believers via saints now we are branding Muslims as non believers and taking Islam and their lives away!
Any nation will be proud to have a girl like Malala. Had she been in India, she would have been a normal school going child like anybody else. Conditions in Pakistan have made Malala what she is. She responded in the bravest possible manner and deserves stand up ovation from all of us. She will certainly get red-carpet reception whenever she visits India. Rest assured, President, Prime Minister and everyone in power will be receiving here. She will be treated as a state guest. One Indian Film Maker is already producing a movie on Malala;
Let us hope this movie is completed soon and Malala is invited to India at the time of its premier.
You are a master rhetorician. I will save a copy to reread.
A great point of view. Malaga is certainly not a creation of the West, but she is a creation of the western media and she has been used by Gordon Brown at the UN to promote Western interests. Pakistanis are certainly very used to rejecting a few real gems that Pakistan had in the name of religion and their narrowness of minds. A whole sale change in psyche is needed before it is too late.
Punjabi from the other side, and is that a good thing? Should we worshiping such 'goddesses'? Let Indians follow such foolishness if they so wish.
@Aysha M Ji : . The state encouraged people to hate and document their hatred. Individuals have every right not to show allegiance to a claimant. But the state need not encourage its citizens to endorse him as an imposter to establish themselves as the right kind of muslim. Rationality is the first casualty of hate and once the nation was led down the hate path, there was no stopping to this madness. . Kabira Teri Jhompudi Galkatyoon Kay Pas? . Karaingay So Bharaingay, Tu Kyoon Bhaiyoon Udaas? . Cheers
Mr. Bhutto said 'will eat grass and leaves but will get the bomb'. So, they got the bomb and decided to feed on conspiracy theories.
All I would say is THANK YOU But the ears full of melted lead will not let your words go any further and the frozen brains are helpless
The state encouraged people to hate and document their hatred. Individuals have every right not to show allegiance to a claimant. But the state need not encourage its citizens to endorse him as an imposter to establish themselves as the right kind of muslim. Rationality is the first casualty of hate and once the nation was led down the hate path, there was no stopping to this madness.
'Had she been in India and done this much for their country, a temple would have already been built in her honour' Hahaha True
Not only does this state fears change but it also actively supports anything that is Anti West, anti democracy and anti freedom. Pakistani state always had misplaced priorities. Currently this country is facing genocide of Shias but still just yesterday they have agreed to import Saudi Imams epitomises the hatred for Shias.