State of Ignorance

Zulfiqar Cheema writes a column for an Urdu daily. He belonged to the police service but after retirement,being in the good books of the present regime, he was appointed Executive Director of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission.

In one of his recent columns he quotes Bano Qudsia who in her book “Raja Gidh”(The Buzzard King)writes about what happens when a person spends ill-gotten money over his children.
Bano Qudsia writes: “When food obtained through illegal means enters the body,it affects the genes which cause a special kind of mutation which is more dangerous than drugs,liquor and radiation.The genes which are affected are not only deaf and dumb they are also hopeless(I do not know what that means.)When such genes are transmitted over generations, they cause madness and the progeny inherits madness.And all those nations which are fed on ill-gotten money become mad.The blood chemistry of a person who is fed on diet obtained through illegal means is also different and will cause negative metabolism.On the other hand food acquired through legal means has a positive impact on blood chemistry” (Again I could not make any head or tail of the aforesaid.)

Imagine, a senior most officer of the elite police service,educated from Cadet College Hassanabdal,Government College,Lahore and Punjab University Law College is quoting nonsense to denounce corruption. We can of course condemn corruption but not by distorting science!
Well this is a special breed of our bureaucracy who can misstate and twist anything to fit into their brand of morality and nationalism-no matter how absurd and fallacious it is.
On the other hand, Bano Qudisa who was MA in Urdu from Government College Lahore,knew nothing about Genetics and Biochemistry except that she had heard the terms “genes” and “Biochemistry” from someone or might have read about them somewhere. And look how she incorporates scientific terminology into a stupid theory.

The novel “Raja Gidh” was published in 1981 when General Zia-ul-Haq was at the peak of his power imposing his Deobandi/Wahabi brand of Islam. At this juncture both Ashfaq Ahmad and wife Bano Qudsia began writing nonsense in line with Zia’s Islam. Both Wife and husband were awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz by General Zia-ul-Haq.

We are a nation infested with opportunists appearing sometimes in the garb of scientists, writers,defense analysts,intellectuals, spiritualists or leaders bent upon distorting knowledge, only to safeguard vested interest. But at the same time these same people ruin logical thought patterns of entire generations.
Perhaps this country was created for these same phony people!
Waseem Altaf