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Salman Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri and Veena Malik : in retrospect

Over the past few months, the whole of Pakistan has been in uproar over the assassination of Salman Taseer and the shenanigans of Veena Malik.

Now one may wonder how the two are interrelated and as to why am I discussing them in the same post. Well the reason being that in both the cases, one person is being glorified and the other is being downcasted.

Within a few days of Salman Taseer’s death and the news that a certain Mumtaz Qadri killed him due to his views on the blasphemy law, the entire Pakistan divided into two main groups. One started calling Salman Taseer a ‘shaheed’ and started praising him as an upholder of ‘equality’ and ‘freedom of speech’ or as someone who stood up against Zia’s black laws. The other started praising Mumtaz Qadri as a hero who was righteous in killing a ‘Non-believer’ and that Slaman Taseer was a kafir and deserved what he got. So there was a ‘Team Salman’ and a ‘Team Qadri’  and the later one consisted mostly of religious bigots. But sadly most of our supposedly ‘educated’ youngsters were also part of this divide. During this whole debate i didn’t come across a single individual who spoke and ounce of logic. Each was glorifying and defiantly proving one’s ‘hero’ right and defaming the other. What we failed to realize was that in debates like this no one is absolutely right or wrong. Despite his way of living, the death of Salman Taseer was completely wrong and Mumtaz Qadri should be punished for this because it shows our tolerance level as a society that we cannot even bear the opinion of others to this extent that we start killing those who don’t agree with us.  But on the other hand to praise and honor Salman Taseer is again wrong because frankly speaking he never had any idea what he was talking about. If we take a look at his past statements that he gave, majority of them were just ridiculous and made no sense at all. So in a nutshell his death is condemnable but not to be commended. As far as the blasphemy law or the righteous killing of Non-Muslims is concerned, we are no one to judge any persons faith. Islam does not advocates the killing of any human being. If such was the case then the whole of Makkah would have been wiped out after its conquest by  Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W). But no such thing occurred because Islam teaches to spread the faith not through sword but through actions. But none of the maulvis teach this because this then undermines their power over the people as a person driven by passion than mind is easily controlled.

Now in the case of Veena Malik there is a lot of controversy and the recent interview of her with Kamran Shahid has added more fuel to fire. But once again some people are siding with her and calling her accusators as hypocrites and the rest are condemning her and are making allegations against her that she defamed the country through her shameful acts. Again there is a certain grey area that no one sees because in our society we love pointing fingers at others rather than accepting our mistakes as well. Keeping the interview in mind both Veena Malik and the supposed ‘mufti’ who was called are correct. What Veena did in India was absolutely wrong. I am familiar with the programme and the rules and what she did there was her choice and she cannot avert that blame, but she is also right that all this isn’t new to us. These things occur around us all the time and we know it all but like a pigeon we are afraid of accepting this so we shut our eyes and act as if there is no cat. But one day the reality is going to hit us and by then there wouldn’t be anything that we can do to undo it. So its best that we learn from our mistake now until its too late to !

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Ethnocentrism

In the past months, a lot has been going downhill in our country. There is despair and disappointment everywhere and with each passing day the condition seems to be getting worse. But despite all of that we still haven’t been able to recognize our problems, still we are playing the blame game, still we are closing our eyes in vain hope that when we open them the problems would all be gone and it is just a bad dream. The reality is far from this. But whosoever points out these facts is termed as a ‘non-pakistani’ or unpatriotic. Just like with the Jews’ reaction to the Holocaust, if questions are raised on the partition there are outcries and severe criticism that follows.

Whatever happened in the partition of 1947, the violence that ensued on both sides, cannot be justified in any manner whatsoever. It was wrong on all accounts, whether the Muslims were targeted or the Hindus and Sikhs as a reaction. But we as Pakistanis are made to believe that it was 100% Hindus’ fault, not even the Sikhs who were actually involved in the killings and massacres. We as Pakistanis and most importantly as Muslims are taught to believe that we are a superior nation because we carved out a nation by our own blood and toil on the ideology of ‘la illaha illa allah’. So this makes us superior as compared to any other nation especially to India and the Hindus. And anyone not believing in this notion is termed as being unpatriotic. This is what is called ethnocentrism, a belief that our country or nation is more superior to others. It is good to be patriotic but blind patriotism follows with a lack of seeing the problems and hence solving them because we are not a perfect nation but we can strive to reach greatness.

I get on this debate a lot with my friends especially around 14th August or 23rd March because i am not a ‘proud pakistani’ and i don’t blindly follow the beliefs mentioned above. And i myself say it out loud, that yes i am not a proud Pakistani!

I am not proud of the lynching incident that happened in Sialkot and the numerous unnamed incidents that happen every single day in our society but go unheard of. Yes I am not proud of a parasitic government that is sucking every penny and the blood of the common person while sitting on the corpse of a former leader. Yes I am not proud of a history of corrupt politicians and army regimes that just messed up our entire country and brought no greater good to us. Yes I am not proud of the clerics and religious bigots who use religion for their own vested interests. Yes I am not proud of the dogmatic thinking of our people whether they are illiterate or educated. Yes I am not proud of a state of failures and mistakes and nor am i proud of the people because we can blame as much as we want on the government but as people we also don’t work honestly whenever we can.

So yes I am not proud of this supposedly great nation, because it is not a great nation yet but has immense capability to become one. Its youth are highly educated and informed and aware. The media is free which gives the common people information in its original form, whether it is good or bad as it happens. But as long as we sit comfortably in our houses and put on our tinted glasses and harp that we are perfect in every sense and nothing is wrong despite the fact that the world around us is drowning, literally we cannot channelize our potential to actually become one of the greatest nations of the world, as our Quaid said so.