Save The Children

Posted by sepoy on September 09, 2010 · 2 mins read

I have a piece up in Express Tribune, 'If you have understanding, then why this hubhub?', Sep 9th, 2010, in reference to, Punjab govt goes after Hindu mythology cartoons

The politicians are afraid, I assume, that watching the Amar Chitra Katha cartoons — which depict stories from the Mahabharata or Ramayana or Jataka or Panchatantra — will turn impressionable Punjabi Muslim children into Hindus. I would reassure the politicians — the Panchatantra tales were translated into Arabic and distributed in the late seventh century as Kalila wa Dimna, for the edification of courtly children, and failed to make the Umayyad or the 'Abbasid or the Buyid sultans Hindu. Subsequent translations and re-imaginings of Ramayana, of Yogavashistha in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth century Mughal courts were also done without the fear that exposing innocent Muslim children to these narratives will make them “Hindu” — leaving aside the glaring logical fallacy that mere knowledge about the stories and rituals associated with a faith makes one a convert. That this statement is being made on Punjabi soil, however, is one of those ironies that make you cry.

Punjab, after all, is the land of Shah Hussain, Bulleh Shah and Waris Shah — mystics whose poetry, lives, ethos were drenched in divine, both lil-lah and Krishna. Their kafi and their qissa drew equally on Perso-Islamic and Sanskritic mythologies, stories, folk-tales to illuminate daily lives, teach love, moderation and acceptance. The love of Shah Hussain and Madho Lal is itself legend. Their words and verses are, undoubtedly, the very definition of “Punjabi”, and there they stand, historically “tainted” in the views of Punjab politicians with “Hindu” signs, symbols, stories and themes, corrupting Punjabi children for nearly 400 years.


omar | September 10, 2010

Excellent! And much needed....

Qalandar | September 10, 2010

Excellent stuff here...

noname | September 10, 2010

then, So I guess jewish comics are out of the question. So is Superman banned. "while India becomes an economic and cultural power, usurping our right place in history." Can the Professor enlighten me on what exactly is Pakistan place in history that India is usurping. Thanks.

sepoy | September 10, 2010

noname: I have no idea since I didnt write that which you quote

noname | September 13, 2010

come on professor. You got to be kidding me. I have seen this kind of sentiment in other pakistani blogs that success of India is very bad for pakistan. This comes from the fact that Pakistani believe they were wrongly thrown out of India by conspiracy of WhiteMan and Hindus. That god gave this. THis is the mission of Pakistan. This is the Political interest of Pakistan. This is the same kind of thinking plagues the rest of muslims, if only Mongols hadn't destroyed their perfect empire, we would still rule the world. Very weak thinking. Or how about this. Only if a liberal technocrat would take over Pakistan and Islamist and Right wing just give up power then everything will be alright with Pakistan. Standard clap trap aimed at liberals.

sepoy | September 14, 2010

Noname: Why don't you go to whichever pakistani blogs you found that weak thinking and argue there. I have neither the time nor the inclination, and I ban trolls with much élan.