Pakistani literature


Thanks to Asif Ali Zardari’s intervention, the media black out of Anti Christian pogroms in Gojra has ended.  Shahbaz Sharif’s “great administrative skills” fully exposed. The law enforcing agencies which are now ordered to attend the monthly district meeting of PML-N through a written directive stood silently when muslim mob burned down 50 homes of Christians and looted 100 more. 9 Christians have been killed , more feared dead as the rubble is removed. It must be noted that the Muslim mob refused to allow the fire brigade to save burning human beings. The violence was instigated from a mosque  under control of a “banned” organization [Banned organizations enjoy state patronage in Islamic Republic especially the Islamic Republic of Sharifistan]. The violently bigoted pro Taliban Rana Sanaullah visited the area and i am sure like past he will see “Indian hand” behind it. Mr Sanaullah and govt of Punjab has seen Indian hand in almost all islamic terrorism.

The government of Punjab has systematically supported Jihadi and sectarian organization. Please raise your voice to save Pakistani Christians because the stalwarts of Jinnah’s Pakistan are busy celebrating the “historic” decision where the old PCO judges , pardoned their own high treason and kicked out new PCO judges and once again implemented the doctrine of necessity [as conceded by Justice Tariq of lawyers movement]. The comrades of the black revolution are busy in their thuggery in Lahore [Lawyers have started gangsterism after their success in Lawyers movement].No one is there to see whats happening to Christians after the “daily revolutions of Pakistan-———

Shaheryar Ali

Pakistan Christian Post Reporting:

Pakistan: August 1, 2009. (PCP) It was an other day of mourning for Christians when Muslim mob attacked at Christian Town and gunned down 9 Christian women, children and men and burnt down 50 homes in Gojra.
The first was identified as Inyat Masih among dead and fleeing Christian of Gojra are hiding to save life to identify other dead Christians.

The march of Muslims started from Railway Station Gojra at 12:00 noon today was attended by thousands of local and from near by villages marched towards Christian Town. The Christian Town Gojra is residence of two thousand Christian families who settled here over fifty years.

When Muslim marchers approached Christian Town, some two hundred Muslims hiding their faces with traditional Islamic scarf opened fire on Christian houses.

Protesters

Protesters

The Christian fled from home but who trapped were executed by face covered Muslims with automatic firearms. The Muslim attacker looted 100 homes and set on fire more than fifty Christian houses.

These Militants used a particular type of chemical which is hard to extinguish to burn Christian homes This chemical was used first in the village of “Shanti Nagar” which was set on fire in February 1997. Later this chemical was used in “Sangla Hill Town” and recently used to burn 60 homes of village Korian on night of July 30, 2009.

Sunny Gill based in Karachi told PCP that he called his relatives in Gojra on their Cell Phone after watching news of attack on a local TV channel and they were crying and telling “they have burnt whole colony and they have no shelter to stay in Gojra now” They are very far from Karachi and do not have money to reach to him in Karachi. There are hundreds of Christians stranded and in hiding in Gojra and near by villages.

According to information of PCP, received by calls and e-Mails by relatives of Christians of Gojra, 4 women, one child and 4 men are dead due to gun shots and many have burn injuries.

According to news agencies, four women and one child were burnt alive by Muslims and burnt dead were received by federal Minority Ministry.

Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have condemned statement issued by a minister in Punjab government that “ Muslim marcher were peaceful and some one shot fire on rally to ignite anger among them”

Dr. Nazir S Bhatti expressed concern on media reports which reported attackers to be Sunni Muslims because Christians had always cordial relation with Sunni Sect of Muslims in Pakistan. Such reporting can flare up riots which Christians are not bear to afford because Christian do not guns to protect them.

“PCC demands Punjab government to adopt strict security measure to main law and order to ensure safety of life and property of Christians.

Picture Credit: BBC Urdu

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I am He whom I love, and He whom I love is I.Passion of Hallaj
We are two spirits dwelling in one body.
If thou seest me, thou seest Him
And if thou seest Him thou seest us both

Mansur Al-HallajTwo Husseins are important in the search of any attempt to reconstruct [or reconsile as is the more academic fashion these days] ideas of “liberation” and “freedom” within Islam, First who was killed on banks of river Euphrates by the armies of the emerging Moslem Empire on the orders of the Caliph , “the commander of the faithful”, the one who was grandson of the Muhammed , the prophet of Islam. The second Hussein was a Persian , who was killed , crucified like Jesus on the banks of river Tigris, on orders of the “Council of Mullahs” , the charges similar too , apostasy and blasphemy. The empire was Abbasid , not Roman, but there were mullahs, stones, cross and blood. Later just like Son of Man became the Son of Lord, Hussein became the great Sufi and saint. The Sufis were amongst those who killed him, but who cares for historical accuracy!

Why two Husseins are important for development of a radical libertarian discourse in Islam because , they were the voices of dissent against the two phenomenal distortions that emerged in Islam, The Empire and The Church . Hussein the son of Fatima died on sands of Kerbala resisting the confiscation of the right of the moslems to elect freely their leader, to resist the emerging of the empire, preserve its tribal egalitarian nature against emerging trade economy , from Yazeed to Bush “free market” needs conquest and oppression! For the market to become “Free”, “Man” has to become slave. Sons of Hashim thought other wise , the grand father elevated a Nigger on the roof of Kaa’ba , the bourgoies of Mecca , conquered but pardoned, in anger and disgust commented to Abbas “Look how your nephew has humiliated the Nobels of Quresh by putting this “crooked nose” nigger on our heads”

The generous Nephew just smiled and told his uncle “this was what I wanted”

Than Quresh were the Kings , the republic of niggers, slaves, poor and visionaries had to end , Hussein had to die helpless, calling for support , a cry that was not for dewellers of Kufa but for generations to come as Iqbal would identify later:

“Your blood [o Hussein] has created a garden [of liberation] and you have for eternity stopped the tyranny” , years later the “Communist” Faiz will make “The blood of Hussein” and that would make a dictator unhappy.

The Empire is built with iron and blood but it needs a toxin to control the minds, so far Islam was resisting. when religion merges with an empire it form a church. One after another the Imams were asked to join the empire, Malik was asked by king to give consent so that his “fikka” be made the “only law of land”, the scholar aware of the responsibility of intellectual’s freedom said no and replied “the Iraqis are pious and rigorous too , mine is not the only one”. He was beaten , shoulders were dislocated when he insisted to give Fatawa independant of state’s opinion. The Iraqi , Abu Hanifa was too subversive to be allowed to live and was given a choice “Be the Pope or Die”, taught by sons of Hashim he choose death. His students became the Pope and church emerged , than destiny called upon the second Hussein, who shouted : “I am the Truth”

People of Baghdad and Iraq had traditionally despised the conversion of Caliphate into Persian style Kingdom. Their loyalties were always towards the revolutionaries who wanted to overthrow the Abbasid kingdom. They were supporters of the Alvi claims. For this reason Baghdad was governed with an iron grip , a net work of spies and heavy taxation so that they did not act to help the Alavite cause.
On the religious side reaction were two fold, the Mullahs who compiled Islamic Law under the Abbasids [Later known as Sheriat , made firm alliance with the kings and added to violence by issuing “apostasy Fatwa” against any movement that challenged the Abbasid kingdom. Shiites , Sufis, Philosophers, revolutionaries, all got their share of Fatwas from Mullahs

When Mullahs and Sheria sided strongly with the Empire , the house of Muhammed came under increasing persecution. The masses strongly resented that, esp because the majority of moslems for the first time in history of Islam were Not Arabs but the people of Persia and central Asia, who had a rich back ground in Philosophy esp metaphysics. These minorities felt a sense of discrimination by Arabs, The flame of new “conversion” meant that their Religious Zeal was immense and loss of national pride and humiliation at the hands of Arabs , meant they could identify with “Muhammed” who showed no sign of National Prejudice and was very fond of Persian and his descendants whose piety was beyond question, whose nobility and descent appealed to the “Royalism” of Persians.
Result was the birth of Mysticism that attacked the“Mullah-Sheria” centered Islam , Muhammed and Ali became the center of all religious activities. Essenes was given priority to Form, and a unmatched humanism emerged that got a tremendous mass appeal, The Sufis mocked the King and the Priest, his sermon, his insistence on Law—–

to be continued—-

 

Iqbal“The inspiration behind these articles is the article by my friend Raza Rumi “Almost forgotten radical message of Iqbal”. I will approach it as a “Problem of Knowledge” , Knowledge being “To Know”

 

The principle failure in understanding Iqbal in Pakistan, which Raza has highlighted very thoughtfully is most profoundly an academic failure above every thing else! Iqbal has been studied and explained in the following academic paradigms:

 

1, Logical-Analytical Paradigm, which understood Iqbal as a “Reformer” in Modern sense! As the motor of modernity in Indian subcontinent was over overwhelmingly Marxist and Leftist, it historicized Iqbal highlighting his “Reformist Project”, Luther style, his Internationalism, his libertarian-Leftist leanings esp reading his work in light of his work on economics, and his poetic work on Europe , his concept of “eternal change” which was confused with Hegelian dialectics. This trend took shape by the efforts of Syed Sajjad Zaheer, Jan Nisar Akhtar and Syed Sibete Hassan. etc later is progressed further outside the Marxist-Leftist umbrella. By far this can be considered most academic of the trends but by no means true to Iqbal. The principle failure of this trend is the failure of its methodology itself, i.e. Logic and Analysis. Because of it Iqbal appears “contradictory” [Logic cannot over come contradiction, to this day Logic cant explain “Motion” very satisfactorily] Iqbal was a “Nationalist” but he opposes “Nationalism”, Iqbal was a “Socialists” but he opposes “Socialism”, Iqbal was lover of India but proposed “Partition”. Iqbal was a Sufi and Saint, but Iqbal vehemently opposed Sufism. Iqbal was an Islamist but he rejected every known version of Islam!!! All these are logical contradictions, due to use of Logic in Analyzing Iqbal but resulted in perception of Iqbal either as confused or an opportunist, changing his positions over time—

2. Second academic paradigm “Islamic Paradigm”, which was driven simply by ignorance. It considered Iqbal as a Sufi, a Saint and Messiah for Islam. Its spirit was simply icon worship. It developed in his life time as a “cult of Personality”, It never bothered about academic rigor or reading Iqbal. This trend didnt continued apart from “cult of Personality” that still exists in Pakistani Public

3. Third trend was the “Islamist Paradigm“. It also was a trend of Modernity but looked toward Fascism as its soul, Maududi and Hassan of Egypt were to extend this trend. This trend saw the “Power” and “Passion” axis in Iqbal as driving force of his Philosophy. It developed the existing understanding of “Islamic Revivalism” “Islamic Nationhood”, “Martyrdom” “segregation” “Sexism” “Anti westernism, later Anti Modernism” “Anti Communism” “glorification of Arab Imperialism” etc. This understanding was inoculated in Iqbal [Meaning was given to Iqbalian text]. This was Logical Anti thesis of the first trend! Due to formation of Pakistan and later her association with Imperialism it became the dominant trend in Iqbal Studies , the “Canonized” version of Iqbal. Neo Fascist Zia ul Haq’s destruction of Academy in Pakistan resulted in its dominance .”Knowledge departed” what was left was “Iqbal Academy“. Strictly speaking this was the “Revisionism”. All the ideology that was imposed on Iqbal was by one way or another rejected by him in the first place. Most of the academic work that emerged within this trend can easily be called “academic dishonesty.” Distortion, ideological motivated hermeneutic studies,selective reading, was one thing but most recently “out right” “de factulization” of historical Iqbal is underway. A typical example I saw a out right “denial” of the most severe opposition of Iqbal’s “Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” by the traditional Islamic clerics of India, some of whom were the friends of Iqbal. This trend progressed from “Right wing revisionism” of Iqbal to “Ahistorical and Antihistorical analysis” Neo Fascist style. Result is Iqbal is perceived In Pakistani class rooms as Poet with Sword in hands urging the Muhammed Bin Kassims and Mehmoods of Ghazna of Islam to crush, loot and plunder the infidels , no one bothers to tell or explain that “opposition to Arab Imperialism” was actually one of Iqbal’s most cherished ideals. Opposition so great that Iqbal rejected the very understanding of Islam [Islam we know and practiced] that developed under its umbrella.

These are the 3 main academic paradigms which intend to decode and reveal Iqbal, all 3 of them actually hide and distort him, his image and his Philosophy. Ill like to comment on few sub-trends , that never gained general acceptance but nevertheless are worth mentioning

 

  1. Allama GA Pervez: A Modern academic of first rank, Pervez is included in the first trend because Philosophically he is Logical and Analytical, and represent the Indian version of “Linguistic turn” that Analytical Philosophy took after Wittgenstein. He studied Iqbal in strict Logcal-linear way and from him got 3 point on which he started his Project of “Islamic Reformation”
    1. Charge sheet against traditional “Islam”
    2. Analysis of Koran in Modern way
    3. Anti clericalism

Pervez expanded Iqbal’s theory of “Adulteration of Islam” by Arab Imperialism and Persian Metaphysics. Unlike Iqbal his sword was Logic, the result was an excellent attack on Hadith Literature, the Fikkah and Kalam, none of which could withstand his rigorous attacks. His work is iconoclastic and has influenced a whole generation of Liberals, and secularists in Pakistan. He subjected Koran to “Linguistic Analysis”, which gave importance to “structure of Prose”, “Syntax of Language” and “grammar” instead of “tradition”. In theory he “completed” the Lutheran style “Reformation” of Islam. The result is not very consistent with Iqbal’s Islam, becausein place of worshiping graves this is subjugation to Language! Anti clericals have become new Clerics and “Talou e Islam” a “Khankha” of Koran it self

 

  1. Ali Abbas Jalalpuri

Ali Abbas Jalalpuri was a very rigorous historian of Philosophy and Epistemology. As the dominant mode of Philosophy in Indian Subcontinent has been “Analytical” I include him in the first trend as well. He is amongst first of the Modern Pakistani academics who took interest in the “Question of Civilization”, “History of Ideas” and “Academic Clarity”, “Relationship of Metaphysics, Language and Folklore”, the questions which would eventually become most important issues for European Philosopher especially after “Structuralist” revolution in Paris. Jalalpuri was aware of the inconsistencies and contradictions in explaining Iqbal when subjected to traditional Analytical Model of Philosophy. Where to place Iqbal in the Web of Modern Philosophical Ideas?” was the question he faced and he thought he had theperfect solution. Instead of trying to put Iqbal in the Project of Modernity and face the problem of Contradiction, Jalalpuri placed Iqbal in the in traditional Islamic Philosophers or the “Kalamist”. So the “Paradox” is “Avoided”, Instead of Philosopher, Iqbal is a “Schoolmen” trying to complete “Islamic Scholasticism” after Ghezali. Jalalpuri is rigorous in his work. due to non existent academy , the trend ended with him. “Completing Islamic Scholasticism” is certainly a part of Iqbal’s work, but it’s a Part , not the whole.

 

On Knowing “Iqbal” what is my take , the model I think can explain iqbal will be next.

 

 

To be continued—

 

I have in front of me the on-line edition of “The Hindustan Times”, which is reporting quoting chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan , Asma Jahangir , that Salima Hashmi , eminent Pakistani painter and teacher of Art has been arrested by Pakistani authorities following her protest against emergency rule in Pakistan. Mrs Hashmi is daughter of greatest of Urdu poets and revolutionary Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Faiz himself was arrested many times and had to live in exile for a long period. Hashmi and her family faced similar situation in 80s as well under the dictatorship of neo-fascist General Zia ul Haq. While admiring Hashmi’s courage , i am forced to take up the issue of Art and Revolution. This question has been of monumental importance in Modern Aesthetics.I have seen some where a quote from Salima Hashmi regarding this question , it is stated as :

“The objective of art is to give life a shape and though artists cannot change the world they can, through their work, give flight to imagination; they can give you the direction”

At a glance , it appears very appropriate but it is an expression of the fundamental flaw on part of the Leftist Artists and theorists of Modern Art, in understanding the nature of Art and Revolution. The above quote unfortunately pre supposes the Metaphysical dichotomy between “Mental” and “Physical labor” thus legitimizing the very system of thought and action which the Left intends to over throw. “The Artist” because of his or hers Intellectual ability presumes himself or herself either superior or separate from the People. The relationship such Artist develops with the people is thus the “relationship of separation”.

When such an Artist is a Leftist the problem becomes profound because now the Artist want to associate himself or herself with “the People”. now his role become that of a “Leader” or a “source of Guidance”. This always leads to unfortunate results because this position falls in the trap of Ideology. Instead of People making History , its the Idea that is driving the History: Ideology becomes the motor of History and not the People. Result is firstly a Phase of development of “Political statements” as “Art”, one that lacks the very spirit of Art and Aesthetics and Secondly a “Phase of Disillusionment” from Politics, left and People it self because of the “betrayals” “the failures” etc

If we look at the history of modern Arts , we see the proof of the above phenomenon, the monstrous and barbaric junk that was created in name of “Socialist Realism” in Soviet Union and Eastern Block was an example of the first phase, when Artists sacrificed their very being to dictatorships , this Art that was neither socialist, nor Realist. It was not even Art, rather it was accepting genocide in name of Revolution.

Here Politics was wrongly understood as “Party bureaucracy” , who were supposedly the motor of history! The thinkers , ideologues “guiding’ the people! Whole Art had to be People friendly only if its created on orders of bureaucracy! The whole “system of thought” was reversed! People are motor of history, Party is driven by the People , Ideas are created by People, they are expression of Matter it self, its various trends and contradictions. Party cant guide the people , it has to be expression of People!

Appearance of post modern Art is the example of the second phase , the Suicide Phase, Left dying in Nihilistic frenzy , but sticking to its fundamental error! Accepting the fact of dichotomy of “Mental” and “Manual” labor. This is a Fact in the logical world. But for a Socialist a “FACT” is not enough. For Socialism has always been about challenging FACTS .

Art is Revolutionary within itself, it does Not needs an external approval for being Revolutionary, Since Modernity , Art’s fate has been sealed with the Revolution. Every “Artistic Movement” is a rebellion in itself. A Revolt against the Reality itself!

Leon Trotsky , the Marxist revolutionary wrote on this very question :

Generally speaking, art is an expression of man’s need for a harmonious and complete life, that is to say, his need for those major benefits of which a society of classes has deprived him. That is why a protest against reality, either conscious or unconscious, active or passive, optimistic or pessimistic, always forms part of a really creative piece of work. Every new tendency in art has begun with rebellion. Bourgeois society showed its strength throughout long periods of history in the fact that, combining repression, and encouragement, boycott and flattery, it was able to control and assimilate every “rebel” movement in art and raise it to the level of official “recognition.”

Art cannot be separate from Society and Artist does Not exist beyond the sphere of “the People”. Every crisis of Society is the Crisis of Art, since the decline of bourgeoisie and Capitalism the society is dying and rotting, so is the Art. Revival of Art is in Revival of the Society, sealing its fate with Revolution. Going again to Trotsky who wrote:

“It is a crisis which concerns all culture, beginning at its economic base and ending in the highest spheres of ideology. Art can neither escape the crisis nor partition itself off. Art cannot save itself. It will rot away inevitably – as Grecian art rotted beneath the ruins of a culture founded on slavery – unless present-day society is able to rebuild itself. This task is essentially revolutionary in character. For these reasons the function of art in our epoch is determined by its relation to the revolution”

So , i raise my glass to Faiz’s daughter , her courage and conviction, but we must always question our selves, to save Art we must save the Society, and Society cannot be saved when Artist have “Relationship of Separation” with the people.  This separation is a Logical Fact but Socialists learn to defy Logic, Leon Trotsky and Andre Breton gave this dialectical formula in their “Manifesto of Surrealism

Our aims:

The independence of art — for the revolution.

The revolution — for the complete liberation of art!”

 

Hello “world!”. A very simple line it appears to be but it haunts me. What is the world? World was understood either as “A totality of Objects” or “A totality of Facts”. There was a world, where we use to have a “Pak Tea House”, which enjoyed a corporeal being. A solid real object that was alive , living and healthy. Objects float in Time and time is condensed in epochs which determine the spirit of objects. The epoch we entered had a peculiar spirit. It enchants and bewitches . The objects are reduced to their use value , loosing their corporeal being and solidity to a mere exchange value , becoming ghosts. When a Cafe can’t make profit , it has to close down. It becomes a ghost. No matter, if its the only witness to a nation’s feeble attempt to develop ideas. No matter if it had been graced by the titans of modernity. No matter if it helped develop language and thus thought. Thought has no “exchange value” and hence is not required by the Market, at least not in Pakistan where radical academy has not yet become a business !

That brings me down to facts! Facts deal with “Reality”. In “Twilight of the Idols”, Nietzsche traces humanity’s quest to reach the “Real”from time of Plato, marked by the dualism of “The Real” and “the apparent” . In our quest for the real he , laments , we have done away with even the “Apparent”. What we have now in “Modern Times”, is neither Real, nor Apparent, but some thing in between. Yea, the “ghosts” that i talked about earlier. In postmodern times they call it “The Virtual” . Which Nietzsche propheciesed as ” the last breath of vaporizing reality”. Nietzche could lament. we are condemned to celebrate it because ours is epoch of ghosts. Enter the “De-realization” of Pak Tea House.

Hello World, whatever that is!!

Na Janoon Raha , Na Parri Rahi

Ju Rahi , so be khabri rahi————