De-Lurking on the Net

May 7, 2017

Curse of being a Pakistani

In this countries ranking survey website Pakistani passport comes at the at 92 and Afghanistan at 93 out of 159 countries. The website also tells which countries offer free visa travel and which countries need visas or electronic visa for which passport. Pakistanis are the ones leaving in droves to settle abroad mostly as economic migrant. But sometimes they are running away from torture, false accusation of blasphemy or simple discriminations as being minority. Though, in many countries, Pakistanis get discriminated, denied the refuge and often deported but the exodus of muslims, non-muslims from Pakistan continues unabated. This article in Herald Dawn newspaper of Pakistan

The perils of Pakistani migrants heading to Europe

is pretty detailed and apt. No doubt terrorism of Pakistan has been headache for the world. Though it is far less now in spite of having a recent spike and upsurge which is since abated and gone. Minorities along with muslims,  genuine Pakistanis all suffer. But what was the reason for  British to unleash the curse of Pakistan onto the world or why those Muslims who lived in that part were demanding a land of pure, a land for salvation and everlasting happiness knowing full well the support for Pakistan was coming from feudals, Nawabs (the Indian Lords)  etc who would have wanted to safeguard their interests in post-independence Pakistan. Why were the Muslims trying to run away from competing with Hindus on education, jobs, businesses and seeking refuge under the religious umbrella.

British, on their part, it is claimed wanted to carve out Pakistan to have a foot in the door to stop USSR and Pakistan came about as Muslim League assured to provide the base for UK(and by default all of West) whereas the Indian National Congress denied giving this access to anyone post independence. Hindus on their part before independence were still living in dark ages believing in untouchability (particularly wanted to be away generally in making any social contacts with Muslims or  Dalits). This strong feeling in Hindus, even though it is still not gone away fully yet but their divisions or old habits, prejudices etc are melting away and largely Indians including Muslims, Dalits etc have become more homogenous now after many reforms since independence like Hindu Undivided Family Laws where females inherit wealth on par with males, Reservations, Disbursement of lands to those cultivating and eliminating privy purses to ex-rulers(Maharajas) as well as eliminating large landholdings etc-2.

Hassan Nissar is  a veteran journalist who lives in Pakistan but in one TV conversation here,  I heard him describing the formation of Pakistan happened  due to meanness  of Indian National  Congress and its leader of that time not accepting the demand of Muslim league which was seeking confederation and separate electorate for Muslims.

Nissar could not come out of his partiality for Mr Jinnah. He says Pt Nehru was midget in front of Mr Jinnah. Really! What makes him say that. Did Mr Jinnah  have vision for India, Pakistan or even Muslims?
Did Pt Nehru have vision for India? Yes Pt Nehru did have a vision as he wanted India to have strong centre? Why was strong centre needed? It was needed so that India ‘s parts were not usurped by outsiders like East  India Company  did in the past to India as it was having a weak centre then. A weak centre would have meant that centre like in the past would not be able to help any part that gets in trouble due to external imperialist/expansionist power attack. So, accepting the idea of confederation was becoming difficult for Pt Nehru. He  could also see  bringing in socialist upliftment of Masses. He could think of India ‘s  development on the lines of 5 years plans of USSR where USSR grew rapidly under those plans. These visions also entailed bringing in heavy industrial development, dams building, science education etc and of course he wanted to stablise the country post the partition trauma.
Now, let us see what vision did Mr Jinnah impart to the newly born nation Pakistan in the year after ’47 until his death in ’48.  Did Mr Jinnah  ever mention that he wanted to smash the feudalism and bring equality of masses. No, because Pakistan was born due to feudals giving support to Jinnah for making Pakistan. So, how could he turn his back on them. This was also one reason the Kashmiri secular leader Sheikh  Abdullah did not see the Kashmir ‘s destiny in Pakistan. Did Mr Jinnah think of safeguarding non-Muslims like Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Ahmedies etc. So,  did Mr Jinnah bring in any protection law for them. He was busy usurping Baluchistan, busy sending raiders in Kashmir in spite of signing stand-still agreement with Maharaja. To this day, his policy of Kashmir is followed avidly by Pakistan. He was busy dismissing the elected govt  of NWF( present day KPK). He was busy seeking aid from USA and was ready to do anything for them (yet Pakistani loaths USA). He was busy lecturing Bengalis that Bangla language does not matter, it does not help integration and you have to give it up to become a proper Pakistani. Was he even thinking of making constituent assembly for making constitution. He was busy sidelining the persons he had used like Suhrawardy, Jogendra Nath Mandal(This chap was not Muslim enough to be taken into confidence on Kashmir etc). Jinnah was the biggest con artist even for Muslims as before the partition and after he was using these people and others, inciting many many others including Ambedkar, South Indians like Periyar (to seek Dravidistan) Nizam, Nawab of Junagadh to seek separation from India. He was telling Muslims that they can’t  live with Hindus as Muslim God or inspirations are different,  Muslim’s language is different, or culture is different. But soon after partition Mr Jinnah  was parroting the songs of secularism(his 11th Aug speech), which Congress was talking about all along before or after the partition. Did Mr Jinnah ever write a book or leave any notes that you could have a look at his vision before or after partition. No, he did not leave anything behind. Nehru on the other hand had written books on which you can judge him even today for his vision. In 1938, Nehru was appointed the chairman of planning by Mr SC Bose(famous revolutionary leader who sought help from Japan, Germany to bring down Brtitish) on the recommendation of famous Indian scientist Meghnad Saha. So, it is no wonder, Pakistanis remain confused to this day about Mr Jinnah, the con artist  if he was secular or was a hard core Muslim. Mr Jinnah had believed in confederation when he was negotiating with the Congress but not when he was usurping Baluchistan and trying to capture Kashmir or integrating NWFP. He was not thinking about democracy being driven in Pakistan from Bengal as at that time East Pakistan or Bengal was the most populous state in erstwhile Pakistan. He was not thinking of making Dhaka, the capital of Pakistan or imposing Bengali language on the rest of the Pakistanis. Though, Jinnah had no qualms imposing Urdu on Bengali people.
So, this man had no consistent principles and no vision of driving down democracy or equality, development, security of people in Pakistan. He is the reason Muslims are divided into three and not because of ‘Congress ki Kaminagi’ (or meanness of Congress) as Nisar seems to suggest in that chat when he fails to see the hypocrisy of Mr Jinnah. Mr Jinnah was the one asking for separate Muslim electorate before partition to safeguard the Muslims interests but he was not thinking of safeguarding any Hindu interests in Pakistan post independence. Elimination of Hindus was still going on fullscale in both Eastern and Western wings while Mr Jinnah was running Pakistan. Mr Jinnah is the reason bulk of the Pakistani Muslims are exploited and  trapped in endemic poverty in present day Pakistan as the feudals lord over everyone in concert with the Army, Mullahs and few prominent families.  Everybody else Hindus, Christians etc (including minority Muslims too) are suffering too along with them and  the law of blasphemy is the one that defines today’s Pakistan and is used against all specially the minorities. So, who was the midget Mr Nissar again? Mr Jinnah or Pt Nehru? It is hard to believe that Mr Nissar, who can read and analyse virtually all things very well can not see that Mr Jinnah was full of contradictions. Perhaps his love for Mr Jinnah blinds him so much as not to acknowledge the faults of Mr Jinnah. I do not know, if one would call Mr Jinnah conniving or duplicitous in saying one thing and believing in completely opposite but this (being duplicitous) has become Pakistan leaders’ national character. Can anyone trust anyone?

January 6, 2012

Is your mother tongue different to English?

Do you speak Hindi or love your native language but do not not ever write it ?

Last week, in my chat with my colleague, when I said all languages are dying barring English. He said that eventually either English will reign supreme or some variant of it. It sounded very true but I had a feeling that all other languages are the feeders to the main river English, so if English needs to meet the needs of all humanity, it needs all the other languages as well. That means if arctic people wants to call snow in so many words – English should accept those words from their native tongue. But if native tongue is dying and there is no substitute in English, then humanity will be returning to the days when there were no languages.

Earlier this week, I was reading the history of Russian Culture which included coverage of Russian language. The poems, stories of Pushkin are the earliest greatest work in Russian. he is considered founder of  modern Russian literature . Russian did not have any words to describe  manners, emotions etc the time Pushkin was writing and the most literate people in Russia used French around 1800. Pushkin invented Russian words and he introduced their French meaning in brackets for those Russian words. Thus enriching and creating the language much like Bengali was enriched by words  of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (Author:Vande Matram), the first major writer and Ravindra Nath Tagore (Author: Jan Man Gana), the most influential and translated  Indian writer and poet.

I thought Hindi is older than both Bengali and Russian as the first Hindi poet, Chand Bardai, in the court of Prithviraj Chauhan (1168-1192 CE) composed a eulogy to him, titled Prithviraj Raso, But other than Kirtan &  Bhajan (the religious poems) and  other poems about daily life for a very-2 long time,  Hindi had hardly any literature. English first poet Geoffrey Chaucer happened to be in the late 14th century. So, English came from nowhere and won the acceptance everywhere. Two things could be thought, the technology like the printing press and now internet has been helpful for the language. The British empire particularly in Victorian era established it everywhere, so it has become entrenched across the world. Lately, the US being the most dominant country in terms of trade and power to make it the foremost international language .

I feel particularly appalled that Hindi speakers who grow up fully immersed in Hindi embrace English so much in India and abroad that whatever they write and leave behind for next generations is fully in English. As all modern languages has literature only few hundred years deep, should we not be trying to put Hindi back where it belongs. I saw this comment recently on a Hindi website –

u see we have lots of college students who fancy themselves in Hindi poem writing… they don’t publish it bcoz of lack of opportunity or just bcoz they feel it is just timepass. as they grow up and join jobs the creativity is stifled by the rigors of life.”

Though translations can be done from Hindi to English but English is already very rich to Hindi. Of course, there is a much bigger market in English which is hard to ignore by anyone who wants to be a professional writer or a poet. Nobody suggests to shun that market but I believe that those who grew up in Hindi environment and have job security should not shun Hindi fully. To enrich Hindi, one can always comeback to it by writing down any thoughts  they have in Hindi or a conversation they have with someone or the stories behind the thoughts or conversations. The description of journeys or recalling all the memories they had if putdown on the pages in Hindi will leave Hindi very richer. The translations from English and other languages to your native language like Hindi is must for those who have time and love their native tongue. Just to remind all that the Hindi  language is spoken by 490 million speakers (Data source: Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. (2005)) Hindi is at no2 (NATIVE: 370 million) and is ahead of English which is at no 5 (NATIVE: 340 million) (see the top 30 languages of the world ). However English beats Hindi comfortably just by the sheer number of publications it has every year. So, can Hindi be resurrected by its native speakers? If the native speakers do not contribute or leave behind anything to enrich their language who will. I feel surprised when the census is done and most people claim that their mother tongue is different to English but never ever contribute to their mother tongue?

Celebrate this year Hindi World Day on 10th January (हिन्दी विश्व दिवस जो 10 जनवरी ko hai) by reading or writing something in Hindi.

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