Sunday, June 22, 2008

What ails Pakistan as a State & as a Society.

What ails Pakistan as a State & as a Society : Author : Jamil Zaidi . The existing region of the Sub-continent within which Pakistan falls was a geographically & historically a contiguous part of the sub-continent, which could rightly be called a crucible or melting paot of socio-cultural and ethnic values of Aryans, people coming from Central Asian States, Phoenicians, and semitic civilizations. After an initial phase of turmoil, something akin to the modern concept of secularism and socio-religious tolerance emerged; which was taken for granted and spirit of coexistence reigned supreme. After the initial prehistoric phase of Hindu rule, Buddhism flourished under Ashoka the Great, and its relics consisting of innumerable stupas, monasteries, and plaques ae still found all over India; particularly in the Gandhara area of NWFP and Afghanistan. Despite the monarchy remaining order of the day, Panchayat system was a seed sown which was later to become an innate desire for democracy in the Hindu temperament despite a rather harsh discriminaion based on the local caste system.

It was followed immediately by Muslim invasion under the command of Muhammad Bin Qasim on the kingdom of Raja Dahir, and Muslims ruled in one form or the other-generally leaving their army commanders to found their own dysnasties; ultimately founding Mughal Empire after the Mughal conquest in 1526 AD. This consistent interaction between two different bahavioural configurational groups unfolded the realities of Hegelian theory of Cyclical change bwefore it was put forward by Hegel centuries later. Hindu & Muslim culture intermingled thus displaying a spirit of mutual tolerance on social occasions like marriage & child birth etc. This became a basis for secularism allowing breathing space to Hindus & Muslims living side by side and participating in each others family functons etc.Whereas Hindus had all along been leading in agriculture, commerce, and trade, Muslims lived by and large on the income fromtheir lands leased out to Hindu tnants in their capacity as feudal lords. These lands had been generally transferred to them by Muslim rulers for their allegiance particularly during war. These feudals were not particularly inclined towards education; because record-keeping was generally left to Hindu Munshis. Tables turned during British period, because Hindus occupied places of prominence; whereas Muslims were unemployed and living below poverty line.

Hindus organised themselves politically under the aegis of Indian National Congress founded by Mrs Annie Besant; whereas there was no party worth the name for representing Muslim India. Muslim League founded on the occasion of partition of Bengal in the Year-1906 under the patronage of Nawab of Dacca failed to deliver the goods & Muslims generally gathered under the banner of Congress for achieving Independence from the British. They were further disillusioned when Congress went back from its commitment of granting proportional representation to Muslims in accordance with the agreement under Lucknow Pact-1916. Congress on the other hand became a strictly Hindu party (without professing it in so many words) under the leadership of Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak, a bigoted Hindu; who professed non-cooperation with the British in all sphere including recruitment when World War-l was almost at its end in 1918