On Salman Taseer

Posted by sepoy on January 29, 2011 · 1 min read
Ki Muhammad se wafa tu nay to hum teray hain/ Yeh Jahan chiz hay kiya, Loh o Qalam teray hain

Be faithful to Muhammad and I am yours/ This world is nothing, the Tablet and Pen are yours.

I have a short piece in The Caravan India: Forfeiting the Future: Pakistan's crisis can't simply be explained by religion.

Do let me know, here.


no | January 30, 2011

When God is the answer to every question then end result is unmistakable. As long as Pakistan could get money from US, Saudi Arabia and China then there was no need to resource planning. Elites could be bribed into doing other countries bidding. Politics is always about kabuki theater, it is just that God is central actor in Pakistan. Pakistan is modern day Sparta. You know what happened to Sparta. All resources going to Military is not going to change, not until Pakistan takes over India. That is your myth. National Myths cannot be changed over night only thru hard slog. US and China will use and abuse you as long as there is oil in Iran. What you can't explain is that why Pakistan never reconciled with Iran even when US was running it. Even if you could wave a magic wand and get an educated middle class, they would all have to leave in order to find jobs. Pakistan only needs feudal lords, clergy and generals everyone else opinion don't matter. Rest of the world actually is shaped by the merchant class and not by intellectuals reading historical tea leaves. kids are only educated as much as the corporations want them to be. Pakistan has no natural resources that it can use to get ahead unless it is exporting terrorism.

Ajit | January 30, 2011

"the general mood of a South Asian Muslim community that saw itself under siege and at a particular nadir in historical time—colonised, devoid of political and social power" Was there ever a South Asian Muslim 'community' in any useful sense of the term ? Did this 'community' as a whole ever enjoy political and/or social power ?

Amit Julka | January 30, 2011

hi, nice one...although i don't fully support your premise that "Pakistan's crisis can't simply be explained by religion"...Now the term religion itself has multiple connotations...What has happened in Pakistan is the shift from religion as 'faith' to religion as a 'political ideology'...religion as a political ideology is a potent idea because it closes all avenues for debate, and this has happened elsewhere too...like the hindutva movement hardly had anything to do with hinduism as a 'faith'...however it's successful reinvention of 'ram' as the supreme deity, and by extension the reformulation of 'ram rajya' as a political idea which could not be contested or criticized if you were a 'true hindu' was a clever strategy in manipulating public opinion...the same is happening to mohammed...by using him as a shield, the right wingers have clearly managed to make their political/legal immune to any scrutiny...

scarf | January 31, 2011

Good article. Though would add that in both Bangladesh and Malaysia Islam is used in a very very political manner, and in Bangladesh there has indeed be similar, though far less, damage caused in the name of Islam. I get the authers point; don't blame the religion, blame the political types, and certainly know that at certain points, mostly long past, in European history, religion has been used in similar fashion. How does Pakistan free itself ? Is it even possible ? I have a theory about a colony maintaining 'mother country. traditions long after the mother culture had dropped them. Will Pakistan be striving to emulate an 8 th century AD Islamic reality at the same time as Saudi Arabia is attempting to move into the present day ? Joke ? Probably. Anyway, great article, and thank you.

omar | January 31, 2011

at a different level, I have a post about Pakistan at 3qd: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2011/01/pakistan-predictions-2009-and-now.html

Aasem Bakhshi | February 04, 2011

Indeed, it is true that religion alone cannot explain the crisis in Pakistan. However, it is the present authoritarian context bought easily (and naturally I believe) by majority that needs to be deconstructed immediately by religious intelligentsia in particular and all students of religion in general to create possibilities for coming out of this crisis. I share my formative thoughts here: http://hangingodes.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/blasphemy-discourses-i-deconstructing-the-contemporary-context/