The Curious Case Of Pakistan
1971, Bhutto came into power under the banner of socialism and secularism. Until his deposition in ’77 he worked to bring about a secular change in Pakistan. In 77 Zia-ul-haque came in imposing his version of Islam with an iron fist, his methods although debatable and controversial were somewhat successful in bringing about an Islamic change if not a revolution in Pakistan. Then almost 10 years later came Musharraf, guns blazing with the battle cry of ‘Enlightened Modernization’. It doesn’t take a social scientist to realize that sudden changes such as these have left the Pakistani nation confused, polarized and radicalized.
According to social scientists, it takes a particular a nation a span of 30-40 years to fully mold itself into a particular pattern if given an unchanged environment. Examples of nations who have completely transformed themselves are all around us. Mustafa Kamal gave birth to Secular Turkey and hence Kamalism in 1923, almost a century later we see that her people have totally transformed from ultra conservative to the liberal Turks we see today. Khomeini on the other hand brought about the Islamic Revolution in ’79 and laid foundations to the Islamist Iran we see today. My point here is that these nations were allowed to grow in an environment, they were given time. Pakistan on the other hand was not afforded this luxury by its confused leaders, who even after more than 67 years have failed to give Pakistan a direction.
We live in a nation stuck somewhere between Secularism and Islamisation, an extremely polarized nation. A society which tops the world in the search for pornography and is day by day becoming infamous for rape and child abuse. What has caused this great disparity amongst my brethren I wonder? In order to understand “the curious case of Pakistan” we must analyze the problem from its grass root level.
According to my very personal opinion, our so called defunct Education System is the fundamental and root cause of this problem. We in Pakistan today have separate schools for separate classes of our society, even separate educational boards. Private schools operate in foreign countries too but not to the extent to which they work in our country. Now let’s imagine a scenario, a student going to a downtrodden school in an underdeveloped part of Karachi passes by one of those fancy schools in DHA and sees his age fellows intermingling freely with the opposite gender while he, on the other hand is scolded for even looking at a female. What type of impact will it leave on his mind?Then there are such breeding centers of disparity and polarization where one half of the students studies in co-education and is given priority over the rest who study in a segregated environment, If they so much as look at the their female colleagues they are flogged for it and consequently the former half develops a malignant superiority complex while the latter suffers from an inferiority complex of the worst kind. In such institutes, I have personally seen well-polished students deteriorate into what we so wrongly stereotype as ‘the frustrated youth’. Such a student will resort to what we refer to as ‘tharki-pan’ and ‘malia-pan’ and will have no option other than using the Quaid’s Mausoleum as a love shack. A teacher of mine put this behavior of the deprived youth in a very candid yet effective manner; he said that whenever there’s a shortage of supply the demand will increase much similarto the hike in prices of food commodities during the month of Ramadan, this I believeis the simplest yet the most apt description of the matter.So remember girls, the next time you see a skinny ghutka eating creep ogling you, blame the government.
Being an Army Brat I have had the honor(or agony, as some have come to call it) of changing 11 schools in 12 years of my education and the only possible solution I see is revamping of our entire Education System. There should be only one educational board and the same set of rules for all under it.
Now let us bring our attention to the second matter which has been rotting the very essence of our society. I remember reading in history books that in ancient civilizations men of God were considered to be of the highest class in society, superior to all their subjects in intellect and charisma. Now a day it seems that every other bigot who can’t pass the 5th grade takes up the task of preaching Islam. Due to his limited scope of thinking he sticks to the fundamentals and refrains from exploring the meaning within. Such and individual will preach a religion of hate and violence instead of a religion love and peace, a very flexible religion. Islam is indeed a very flexible religion, for example; during Hazrat Omar (RA) reign a drought devastated the Muslim Empire, the Ummah was dying of hunger and thievery was rampant. Under such desperate times it seemed illogical to cut off the hand of every other thief, so the punishment was annulled until order was restored. Wasn’t it the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) himself who said that my Sahabi(companions) are like stars, follow them for guidance. My point being, Islam is a religion which preaches tolerance and peace and our Maulvis have turned it into a religion of hate and through it they have transformed Pakistan into the radicalized society we see today. These are the very same Mullahs who preach religion during the day and indulge in drinking during the night, who once shunned the use of loudspeakers but now openly embrace the idea, the very same people who give air to sectarian hate and extremism. Not all Maulvis are corrupt though, I personally know a man who is a lawyer during the day and teaches Quran during the evening, I know men who hold a Master’s degree indifferent sciences and yet have firm faith in God.
Therefore I believe there is a need to introduce a proper system of education (Similar to what we see in Iran today) with a regular system of examination. Anyone who wishes to be referred to as a Maulvi must go through this system and clear all the exams, only then can the title of Maulvi be respected the way it deserves to be respected. Some institution do offer proper courses to train Islamic Scholars but they are very few in number and cannot meet with the growing demands of a nation with a population of more than 18 crore. Can we honestly believe that Karachi University producing an average of 22 scholars per year is enough?
The seeds of discontent have been sown deep intoour society and our attitude towards the problem is the major culprit, we as nation find bliss in ignorance, so do our leaders who maintain their neutrality on such sensitive matters, Dante Alighieri wrote in The Divine Comedy “The darkest place in hell is reserved for those who maintain their neutrality during times of moral crisis”. The issues mentioned above are the basic problems from which all further chaos we witness around us is derived. Only if we tackle these hurdles head on can we make our way to recovery and one day maybe even cure the curious case of Pakistan.