ہوم / English Page / SLOW SUICIDE OF PLURALISM IN PAKISTAN, By; Irfan Shah

SLOW SUICIDE OF PLURALISM IN PAKISTAN, By; Irfan Shah

When God wishes to destroy someone, He makes him mad. The same holds true for nations and the culmination of this national madness was put on display in the latest Islamabad High Court judgment which made the declaration of faith requisite for any individual joining the government service, categorically denouncing the wisdom and prudence of the creator of the country, Mr. Jinnah, who profoundly and distinctly pronounced the religion not the business of the state but an individual’s personal affiliation.

In Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the preeminent literary work of all time, when an ordinary man, Piere, apprises his childhood friend, Prince Bolkonsky, who was in a distant war zone about his abrupt ascent to power, the prince writes him back the following lines full of wisdom.  

“It will be hard for you , my dear fellow, to look clearly at God’s world now, even over the top of your spectacles. Remember that all that is base and sordid will now crowd up close, and all that is noble will stand aloof.”

This country of ours, right after the inception, got entangled in a similar labyrinth and deliberately an environment was manufactured which proffered the prospect of prosperity to only those who were base and vile. Those who dubbed Jinnah an infidel are now elaborating his words and those who labeled Pakistan the land of impure are now ruling the roost in the same land whereas the ones who were an avant-garde in the struggle of a separate homeland are now facing the wrath of persecution and injustice. All this strengthens the notion that in this world one must not expect any reward that in this world there is neither honor nor justice. In this world one must be cunning and wicked.

Perhaps sanity, a supreme bliss, is not granted to us in this world and a slightest endeavor to acquire this cannot be discovered in our national actions for sure. We embarked on receding to the fundamentalist demands in mid 70s and after that there is no stop, the declination of state affairs is no secret since then. The more they are given the more they wanted and this latest judgment will neither satiate them not it will be the last one. Given the history, the prime target of this verdict appears to be the Ahmadis , the enmity of whom is providing sustenance to a large chunk of radicals and bigots for years. The puny weakling outlook of Ahmadis provides solid base for an easy suppression and the further they strive to suppress this community, the bigger the opportunities of a guaranteed progress for them in this world. But if we intend to burn them alive, then say so, but if it is by accident which does not seem to be the case, then we should let them remind us of their presence. It must be admitted that the years of pogrom and abuse of Ahmadis at the hands of the state have not dented their resolve and staunchness to an iota. The proper expression of an awareness of strength is calmness which they have exhibited with zeal and perhaps the closer they are drawing to the final boundary, the less it frightens them. There is nothing stronger than the two warriors, patience and time and the Ahmadis have defended them with these two.

Why has it become difficult for us to recognize that there is infinite variety of human minds, which means that no truth is perceived identically by any two people? Why are we imposing our understanding of religion on those who understand it differently? There is no rocket science to fathom the impossibility of the existence of a pluralistic society, which we are, if it is forcibly confined to follow the dictates of a myopic single group.

Just like the movement of clock, the movement of fate is likewise inexorable and such aforementioned verdicts by the highest court of law are enough to substantiate that the wheel of fate has finally turned against us. For years the efforts for self immolation have finally brought us closer to it and it scares keeping in mind the prevailing gloom and doom and the state of affairs that now nothing can pull us back. We are sinking deeper and deeper in the quagmire which is of our own making and the country seems to be like a foundling in the clutches of a cruel opportunist. The road we are treading fast leads to perdition, now, one can only weep for the past happiness that is beyond recovery and for the impossibility of a future happiness.

 The writer is a telecommunication engineer, working with European Multinational companies, having closer interaction with African region of third world countries and an Old Boy of Nusrat Jehan College, Rabwah.

 

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