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Fables of Nationalism

Published here: The recent hullabaloo over the Delhi Commonwealth Games has been followed with much interest in Pakistan. Many have gloated over the inability of the creaky Indian state machinery to deliver in time and address the issues of quality that became apparent with the collapse of an overhead bridge. South Asia now lives in the new information age where despite the distortions created by the mainstream media, it is difficult to hide state failures

Each story of corruption in Delhi has been greeted with a strange familiarity here. Essentially, all narratives of shining and marching India aside, the two nations remain hostage to a postcolonial state and embedded corruption. To cite Pankaj Mishra who wrote a rather scathing piece on the Games’ saga (New York Times, Oct 2, 2010):
“Two weeks ago, a huge footbridge connected to the main stadium collapsed. The federation that runs the games has called the athletes’ housing “uninhabitable.” The organizers have had to hire an army of vicious langur monkeys to keep wild animals from infesting the venues. Pictures of crumbling arenas and filthy toilets are circulating more widely than the beautiful landscapes of the government’s “Incredible India” tourism campaign.”

These issues of self-image and imagined greatness are shared woes of new nation states – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – as they all suffer from this grandiose complex, of military and economic might over others. This is what makes such narratives so troublesome for they distort the essentials of freedom, Independence and the two Partitions of 1947 and 1971 which were all meant to lead to a poverty free and better environment for the ‘masses’. […]

November 4th, 2010|India-Pakistan History, Indo Pak peace, Pakistan, SouthAsia|13 Comments

Brutalities have swung public opinion in Pakistan

I have been quoted in this brave piece of reporting:

Girl’s flogging exposes Pakistani rift

Salman Masood (writing for The National)

ISLAMABAD // The video of a teenage girl being whipped in public by the Pakistani Taliban has riveted the country and has highlighted an ideologically strained and divided society faced with the growing threats of Talibanisation and extremism, analysts say.
The video, broadcast last week on Pakistani television and widely posted on the internet, showed a 17-year-old from the Kabal area of the restive Swat district. The Taliban publicly flogged her after she was accused of having an illicit relationship with a neighbour. […]

April 8th, 2009|Personal|4 Comments

Why I love Pakistan? Top 5 reasons

The Civilization

Pakistan is not a recent figment but a continuation of 5000 years of history: quite sheepishly, I admit, that I am an adherent of the view held by many historians that the Indus valley and the Indus man were always somewhat distinct from their brethren across the Indus. I do not wish to venture into this debate but I am proud as an inheritor of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Mehrgarh (not strictly in this order) and this makes me feel rooted and connected to my soil as well as ancient human civilizations and cultures.

It also makes me happy that no matter how much the present-day media hysteria about Pakistan (and natives in general) diminishes my country and region, nothing can take away this heritage and high points of my ancestral culture. Pakistan is not just Indus civilization it is a hybrid cultural ethos: the Greek, Gandhara, the central Asian, Persian, Aryan and the Islamic influences merge into this river and define my soul how can I not be proud of this? […]

May 10th, 2007|Pakistan, Personal|0 Comments