Friday, August 28, 2009

The missing Grays

Once more, here I am writing another post for this blog. The more I see around me, the more I find people and ideologies, opposing each other. If it is not Jihad then it is Revolution, and of course this further reinforces my first post; if it is not Green then it must be Red. The grey shades are some how overlooked at all stages, everything is either Black or White.

A person who speaks of moderation is of course not welcome. Indeed and why should they be welcomed? It does not sell. The idea of moderation will not sell because it is not controversial. In the current consumerism, anything itself being controversial or spreading controversy, not only sells, but prospers as well. Be it Jihadi Muslim ideology or (Islamic) Socialism.

Both the left and right wing have a history that is being forgotten. Let us start with General Zia’s regime, which to some extent is widely accepted, as the worst era in the history of Pakistan. Or better still let us talk about the Islamic Socialist, who tried to sabotage the whole system, who nationalized everything on a massive scale, talked about giving rights to people superficially (because he himself was a feudal and never gave up those ill-gotten privileges), was also responsible for the breaking of Pakistan, brought forward the General who will go down in history as the Mard-e-Momin responsible for the mutilation of the whole psychology of the nation.

This was the person who laid the foundations for the Blame Pakistan Army for each and every atrocity that originally was committed by the Political Civilian Leaders. This concept blew so out of proportion as time passed that now people have stopped questioning the actual hands that move the strings. Be it the breaking away of East Pakistan, be it the invasion of Baluchistan, or even involvement of ISI agents to settle personal scores amongst two political activist of none the less but a communist party. Interestingly, since these sentiments took root, even the incidents that happened before the ‘70’s are now attributed to our Army’s devilishness.

The army and agencies on one hand are labeled as harboring right-wing-extremist tendencies having control over all and sundry, and on the other are accused of supporting the US block. If the same army and right-wing were supporting the Soviet block, of course the left would not have had these issues. Interestingly, the same army that is considered to be a puppet in US hands, is also accused of being so powerful, all on their own, that they were able to shake the foundations of Afghanistan (that were of course already weakened by internal strife and meddling by the USSR).

My only question is, in this tussle between left and right, who is the biggest stakeholder?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who elso but the Army?

The current political scenario in Pakistan seems to be a football amongst a few feudal-politicians and military. Interestingly, the same people who are opposed to the military are in favor of privately owned militia, because in their opinion, the government has left them no choice but to do so. A typical case of taking up responsibility on you, which has been self-assigned, but since it is not justified; it needs to be pinned on somebody so it becomes defensible.

The people to take most advantage from this situation are the extreme right as well as left. The left are so far left now, that they have taken a u-turn, and are as dogmatic as the right, and to top it all off, both have become so fanatic, that they cannot differentiate between what is right, and what is good any more. Perhaps these tantrums for some are not alarming, but looking at the current situation, and how the generation that moved on to puberty after Zia’s regime ended, has extremism tendencies, I would beg to differ.

The people who, without having any economic pressures, or tensions, take up arms in the name of Jihad or any such declaration, within or outside the state is controversial. More so because in the current trends, a Religious person can easily be labeled as a terrorist but a person with ideals adhering to Socialism will not/cannot be labeled as such.

The question here is, if militarizing or promoting such ideas is wrong for the religious, what makes it right for the Nationalist or Marxists-Leninist to do so. Both are taking up arms, to not just defend their opinion, but also to implement it without any consensus. Where does the difference lie? The only perceptible difference seems to be, that for one party the cause is divine, and for the other it is worldly.

I think I would end this dabble, with the following lines I came up with while surfing online:

Between 1969 and 1973, instability ruled Afghan politics. The parliament was lethargic and deadlocked. Public dissatisfaction over the unstable government prompted growing political polarization as both the left and the right began to attract more members. Still personally popular, the king, Mohammad Zahir Shah (reigned 1933-73), nevertheless came under increasing criticism for not supporting his own prime ministers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Go Green or Red?

I know these days it is a common practice for the elite to just collect a few like minded youngsters together, and start propagating their ideas. If they are rich they may even launch a music band. The more I went into the details of these so-called YOUTH GROUPS ,the more I felt it is comparatively easy for foreign educated kids, or elite school grads to sympathize with these mostly western ideologies. They would go so far ; as to even support their implementation without any contextual adaptation. I am not a political science student, and may not have a very sound understanding of Politics and Current Affairs, but I do know this much, that whenever things are done in isolation, and without any context to the current situation; it turns out to be a disaster. These youth groups are mostly propagating Socialism, which I find ludicrous, as they themselves come from mostly rich influential families, and move around in imported high MSRP cars, and live in posh localities. But I also understand that for the common graduate, or under-grad in Pakistan it is very glamorous to see such a person mingling with the peasants and farmers, it appeals to their so-called 'everybody is equal' spirit.

On the other hand I find the extremist 'Islamic Fanatics' propagating about Islam and spreading sectarianism. These guys also appeal to a large number of youngsters, especially to the ones who did not go to even remotely elite schools, and were brought up on Zia's mutilated textbooks. They have a tendency to embrace extremism easily, which should not of course make us wonder. With these two extremes prevalent, and the current situation, I find it has become UNFASHIONABLE to be PATRIOTIC. It seems that these days it is a fad to rebel and very unfashionable not to do so. Bear with me if I say that most people who identify themselves with so called liberals and a lot of times Marxist or Socialist ideologies, be it journalists or individual think tanks, have somehow jumped onto this bandwagon consisting of the "Blame Pakistan First" enthusiasts. Similarly the Religious extremists are following an identical pattern, although they may think they are protecting Pakistan from malignant, evil, foreign forces, their handicap (lack of education) rather than helping the cause, increases the problems.

There is a huge territory in-between that I feel needs to be discovered, we require something that for now helps progress rather then stops it. I feel this cannot be achieved; neither by imposing Soviet ideologies, nor the Taliban beliefs. We need the middle way. I do not know if it is possible or not, but I do know that somewhere someone has to start.

I do hope I haven't caused you boredom by these rantings, but I am worried for the future. Also I am sick of most people, who do want to point out the faults, but cannot offer any solutions. I do not want a red revolution nor do I need a green one, I just want to know if there is anything that can be done practically, or people will only mint money out of either pointing out what is wrong, or by creating more problems.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Concrete Jungle & the Wild Cat


The pond between the tall trees looked very tranquil today, even the swans and visiting geese were not at loggerheads and tactfully avoided coming into each others way. The squirrels were running to and fro collecting tit bits and squeaking at each other about one thing or another. The oldest Mrs. Squirrel in the park was under everybody’s censure for having unruly kids who not only threw berries at every passerby but at times also put other children playing with them in danger of getting squished.

The wild cat pondered near the big neem tree for some time, thinking about her last litter of kittens and the white one she had loved dearly. She had hoped it would perhaps stay near her so that she can see her once in a while. Nonetheless, it went away and so did the rest of them and she knew in the heart of hearts that they will but still it did hurt her if not much, just a tiny bit. She had always accepted it as a part of her life that kittens will leave her and move on, just like she did with her parents. But today she could not help but think what if they had not?

She looked around her hoping to find some diversion for her gloomy thoughts and found the old man and woman sitting on their usual bench. Today the old lady had a bag with her full of colorful fur. She had two long sticks in her hand and seemed to be weaving something like a spider. The cat went ahead to get a closer look and tried to discern what type of web was she making with the colorful fur, but it did not seem to be taking any shape right now.

She started wandering towards the chubby little kid sitting on the next bench and while passing the old couple she heard a muffled sob. She turned around again to look at the moping old lady, she was crying today and her hands were weaving the web faster and faster with each sob. To get a hint as to what was ailing the old lady she crept closer and wedged herself behind the bench between the bushes.

Old Lady mumbled: I wish he had told me earlier that he cannot come and has to cancel his trip for yet another year.

Old Man soothingly: He told me about a month ago that he may have to cancel the trip if his boss decides to promote him, and you know dear how it is with jobs these days. It is first of all hard to get a job and then retaining it is tougher. We should understand his problems.

Old Lady: You know it very well he has no need to work for that silly company when he can run his own business here.

Old Man gets angry: And you know it pretty well why he left in the first place. If you had not questioned him at each and every action or inaction of his he would not have left. I told you when you were behaving in that manner that nothing good will come out of it.

Old Lady goes quiet and continues her sobbing. The old man sniffs at her and lights his cigar. He reminded the cat of the old cocky monkey she so despised and who at times would tease her kittens a lot when she was away in search of food.

The miff that old couple had just now did nothing to alleviate the cat’s mood, on the contrary she was reminded of her white kitten with such a force that she did not pay attention to where she was going and ended up falling in a small ditch dug out in the sanded play area. The kid sitting on the bench came running to rescue her at the cost of getting a scold from his finicky mother, who according to her guess wasn’t pleased about her son touching the sand and also a street cat.

The Wild Cat felt very indignant and wanted to give the yelling lady a piece of her mind by informing she cleans herself every day at least twice and is not at all infested by flees and ticks unlike other cats of ‘her jungle’. But of course she could not do so and in anguish ran towards the same tree where she took her classes. The Teacher was not to be found anywhere and in disappointment she climbed the tree and sat near the top most-branch that allowed her a great view of the whole city.