Shaheryar Ali

It was a fine evening when Raza Rumi told me about the idea of the new blog-zine Pak Tea House which he was launching. He wanted me to write for it. I had never written anything before for the public but his encouragement led me to join Pak Tea House. My article was one of the first published in Pak Tea House. Raza Rumi knew perfectly well that i was an opinionated young lad. I was experimenting with new rhetorical strategies to de- stabilize the dominant discourse emerging from the the Islamic world and Pakistan. Things went well till Raza Rumi handed over the blog to Mr Yasser Latif Hamdani. A dogmatic Pakistani nationalist with obsessive hatred of Gandhi, Bacha Khan, Karl Marx and any thing Left. His highly dishonest interpretation of progressive writers and his outright bigoted attacks on freedom fighters led to the initial disagreement but i continued writing. Things got worse when Raza Rumi’s “progressive blog” became outright McCarthiest . It has the great honour of “reviving” the McCarthy era’s terminologies like “Pinkos”. All these titles like “communist”, “pinko”, etc etc are used on dissenting voices. Any one who dares to disagree with the great temple of Jinnah now built at Pak Tea House becomes a traitor.

I dont find Mr Hamdani worthy of a response since i dont engage myself with bigots. My earlier letter of protest to Raza Rumi can be reached here and will explain the back ground to my readers. The rebuttal has actually made me laugh. I can understand the pain and the frustration. The secular elite of Pakistan always had a strange dogmatic remedy for troubles of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was to blame it on “India”. Curse Gandhi, Nehru, Congress, the Soviet Union, the “commies” etc etc

The failure of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the success of India have made our patriotic elites delusional. Jinnah’s Pakistan is one of the greatest mythological retreats these people have. The facts unfortunately dont change. The cancerous patriotism which wants us to love the cancers we have because its our own has already destroyed this country. The drum beating of partition histories, or highly selected versions of it, does not change the reality. It doesn’t. India is a functioning secular democracy with a really independent and and pro- rights judiciary. Pakistan on the other hand is the text book case of failed or failing state. Ruled by military dictators, the neo fascist state has committed genocides in East Pakistan and Balochistan.

I can understand the frustration, when Pakistan’s president, its Prime minister, its Chief Justice all sit in line and are taught governance by Ambassador Hoolbroke. Begging money around the globe, the state and its politics has always been micro managed by United States of America. With Obama’s new policy of bracketing Pakistan with Afghanistan, i can understand the pain and frustration. Patriotism is not covering all these hideous facts; rather it is to highlight these so that change can come. The Jinnah’s Pakistan where editors of Pak Tea House live is so shining and perfect that it doesn’t need any change.

Late Eqbal Ahmad once commented on the Neo-Fascism, one of the defining characters of Neo fascist states was their obsession with the cold war and its rhetoric. These people still live in the time of cold war. The mantra of Pinko, commies, Marx all represents the same case! The articles on which the gentleman has commented had nothing to do with Marx, Marxism, and its theory or practice. How much Marxism do these people know is evident from the quality of articles on Marx which they publish. All this is identity paradox of these people; want to be Lefti for romantic reasons but have hatred for the left. This man even once declared Faiz Ahmad Faiz as “military collaborator” repeating the notorious charges brought up by Liaqat Ali Khan’s government which brought about one of the bloodiest read scares.   Champions of secularism maintain Afghan Jihad as “one of the most glorious Jihad” of 21 century. One is surprised to hear this especially looking at what Pakistan is going through today that any self styled patriot could say any thing like that. But its fact, not only this, the creation of Islamic fascist monsters and mercenaries to infiltrate Afghanistan is also appreciated. The only objection he has to it  is that Pakistani state couldn’t control it. These democratic and secular values I fail to understand, I abhor them and will continue to do so.

Why my writing is so objectionable to these clowns because I highlight the ironies and fallacies of the grand propaganda mechanism at work in Pakistan in name of history, political science, nationalism etc etc. Its not very far back when this man was cursing India after Mumbai attacks. He denied the existence of Ajmal Kasab. He even went as far as denying existence of Faridkot in Pakistan. I even than wrote that politics of denials will not work. The whole world than saw the shame and humiliation which these hawks brought to the nation when press in United Kingdom and later Daily Dawn exposed Ajmal Kasab and FaridKot . Not only this but ironically they had written that the place was indeed liked a “Jihadi factory” and a recruiting ground for LeT. Writing dogmatically in grip of passion result in irrational swings , Asif Ali Zardari was his hero, he was foolishly writing qaseedas of him all for the wrong reasons, now he is on his hit list again for all the wrong reasons.

Facts speak for themselves, that’s why I understand the frustration, the resultant abuses and witch hunts, when I was writing on administrative failure of Shahbaz Sharif in Punjab, I was writing on how due to his policies and his government’s continuous support to religious fanatics will push Southern Punjab to calamity. Today whole world is crying about Southern Punjab. My continuous warnings on Southern Punjab becoming the hub of religious extremism are now haunting the whole country as a specter. He was than busy writing qaseedas of Shahbaz Sharif as champion of progressive cause. Later it was discovered that his government was sponsoring violently bigoted anti ahmedi and jihadi organization Tehriq e khatam e nabuat. Now he once again had to swing back on his position. Ahmadi children are being incarcerated in Punjab on his orders, no court has intervened. His administrative skills, even Ayaz Amir , who is the sitting MNA of  PML-N has now written 4 times on governance and administrative style of Shahbaz Sharif criticizing it as highly centralized, populist and leading to administrative disaster. But these clowns who pose as secular and do politics in laps on Jamate Islami and PML-N like the scoundrel Aitzaz Ahsan have lost all insight in their delusional dogmatism.

When history slaps I know it stings a lot so I can understand the frustration, the judicial movement, I had long maintained that nothing will change and its all a right wing political agenda with a constitutional rhetoric. I had pointed out in the start of the movement that the slogans of restoration of constitution and restoration of judiciary are reactionary slogans; one should speak of “reformation of constitution” and “reformation of judiciary”. I was writing that the constitution of Pakistan itself is cause of these problems. At that time we are also abused by these clown, now they understand that Chief Justice has to work within the constraints of constitution given by PPP.  We were saying that all along that instead of sitting in the laps of Jamate Islami and PML-N and General Hamid Gul these secular clowns should protest for a greater cause! To bring about a new social contract. The right wing was defeated and would have easily come on table but they brought them back to position of strength.  When Aitzaz Ahsan and his cronies were singing the songs of this constitution on tv 24./7didn’t this fact crossed their mind?  The proud “constitutional movement” didn’t realized which constitution it is following? Other day I heard one such clown on TV saying our movement has made 73 constitution so popular that now even the street people know its clauses! Now suck on these clauses!!

I can understand the frustration, history has slapped them on their faces, the ISI managed Black Revolution, couldn’t live for even few days!. The extra judicial murders of Baloch leaders exposed the character of restored higher judiciary once again. What change did it brought when still FIR of the martyred leaders could not be registered? According to the Asian Human Rights Commission’s report, Pakistan Army is holding Baloch women in torture cells and using them as sex slaves. The commission has published numerous reports of such nature and they have widely been read in legal circles in Pakistan. The case of Zarrina Marri , have specially been highlighted again and again by the commission as well as the progressive political workers. According to the commission Miss Marri is being held in a torture cell run by Pakistan Army and being used as “sexual slave”. Why Supreme Court of Pakistan is blind to this sort of state terrorism?

I can understand the frustration of these thugs very well. The failure of judicial revolution has become so obvious that its embarrassing. If any one is not delusional and not living in “Jinnah’s Pakistan” its evident to him like July’s sun. Not only it’s the failure of mythological rhetoric of non existent Pakistani nationalism, it is turning into a crisis which could destroy the whole democratic transition. Take the example of Mr Ayaz Amir, famous intellectual and MNA of PML-N, one of the most active supporter of Judicial movement, his latest column is a lament of all what’s going wrong in the Supreme Court. The intervention by Supreme Court in matters of executive especially in taxation resulted in even him reprimanding the judges! I had already pointed out in my writing this trend of ignoring “Trias Politica” by Supreme Court. The honourable judges are not at fault, they have been continuously pushed towards politics by these clowns who have these disastrous theories about “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. Their agenda is now a civil Martial law of a kind, non democratic government of technocrats [these clowns themselves]: An experiment which had already failed in Bangladesh.

His most honourable lordship the Chief Justice of Pakistan whose Soumoto notices have now acquired legendary status. His lordship takes interests even in minute of issues and resolves them. One latest example of judicial activism after restoration is “protecting the chicken of Islamic Republic of Pakistan from eating pork”. The great reward his lordship will have in court of All mighty Allah for this great deed. Chicken have now been saved from eating pork the most evil animal, by eating pork perhaps chicken of the Islamic republic underwent some organic change [reminds me of the great theoretical debates on nature of Transubstantiation in Europe in heyday of Church of Rome] and these pork-eating-chicken when consumed by the pious men of land of pure could destroy the Islamic credentials and abilities.

The secular clowns rejoice on triumph of Jinnah’s Pakistan and black revolution, I am in midst of spiritual ecstasy, our nation has found the Momin of Iqbal , rejoice Tahirah Abdullah and Aitzaz Ahsan and Pak Tea House, his lordship said: “Pakistan is an Islamic nation. In an Islamic country, we cannot grant the permission to feed haram meat to people. It brings disgrace to the nation.’’ Lets us all curse Gandhi, Congress, Bacha Khan and Communists, Pinkos faggots, who were feeding nation pork. I am sure now that Aitzaz Ahsan and other secular clown can sit in Jinnah’s Pakistan drinking Whiskey and eating Halal [?] chicken, we are closer to [?] our secular utopia

I am condemnable, indeed should be hanged because I dare to ask these elitist thugs high on wine of Jinnah’s non existent Pakistan and in grip of violent anti communism of cold war and McCarthy eara, that the Blochs women who are being treated as sex slaves and the Ahmedi children in dungeons of SS’s Punjab police worth even less than Chickens of the Islamic Republic??? My only fault is  this.

Mein zeher e hilahul ku kabhi keh na saka Kand!

Asian Human Rights Commission has identified 52 torture cells in Pakistan maintained by ISI , Pakistan Army, FIA and other state agencies where political workers and activists are continued being tortured, those in these torture cells are unlucky , the chicken of Islamic Republic have more rights than these poor people. This is my crime to raise the non convenient facts, to ask bitter question for which I am labeled commie, Pinko, traitor. But I will keep asking this question.  I abhor these cancers I will never accept these evils in name of patriotism. They say patriotism is a scoundrel’s last resort. They killed Hasan Nasir because according to them he was not patriot. Faiz and Fraz were also traitors in their eyes.  These witch hunts are not new for us. We will keep fighting.

Bala se hum ne na dekha tu or dekhen ge

Faorough e gulshan o soat e hazar ka mosam

Last but not the least, today when Prime minister of Pakistan is about to have a crucial meeting with his Indian counter parts, the hero of these scoundrels Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s government has dissociated itself from the appear against the release Hafiz Saeed, the monster of Muridkey [whose agent Ajmal Kasab was defended by these thugs who couldn’t find Faridkot on Pakistani map] in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. This clearly is to sabotage the meeting and keep Saeed out of jails. One more act of patriotism perhaps!!

Finally to my friend Raza Rumi, since after publicly protesting against the editorial policy of PTH I had stopped writing for PTH. There were exceptions to it because I contributed occasionally on his insistence. He knew all the back ground; he knew perfectly well that I am not the only writer who has suffered at PTH witch hunt. Despite my numerous pleadings, he didn’t remove my name from PTH list of contributors. I kept doors open tried to maintain a courteous relationship but my friend didn’t showed the grace worthy of his stature. He let his blog repeatedly being used by those who have a personal agenda against me. He could have taken his agenda on his personal blog.  I was Part of the PTH team and being one of its co editors for a long time, he failed to protect my interests. The failing standards of editorial borad can be seen from the fact the rebuttals are being published without giving links to the articles I wrote. What is ironic is that lies and distortions are being allowed, one such statement is PM Gilani being one of the largest land owners of Southern Punjab. He is not even a modest land owner of Multan. They were earning their lively hood by running beauty parlors, schools n stuff in Multan. The largest land owners of Southern Punjab are Gardezis, Qureshies, Khakwanis, Makhdooms of Rahim Yar Khan etc. Association with Pak Tea House has now become one of the bitterest experiences of life. I had an idea about that, in post modern conditions the modern tendencies have become reactionary. When I wrote my first article for Pak Tea House[it was one of the first articles to be published in PTH] I predicted it. But I had no idea it will become so dirty. Thans Raza for every thing. I hope now you will remove my name from PTH

Pak Tea House: A Coropreal Being No More. November 7, 2007.

“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”

The De-Realiztion is Complete!!

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Shaheryar Ali

Violent riots have erupted in Baloch areas of Balochistan as well as in Karachi after mutilated bodies of 3 Baloch nationalist leaders who were kidnapped by Pakistani agencies from the office of their lawyer were discovered near the Baloch city of Turbat.

One policeman has been killed in Khuzdar , 3 have been injured in Quetta, the violent riots took place in Quetta, Mand, Khuzdar, Gawadar, Karachi, Kushmor, Mastong and other cities. Dozens of cars have been set alight. , banks and offices including those of UNHCR have been ransacked.

Shuda e rah e wafa

Shuda e rah e wafa

What has happened? Almost 6 days old mutilated bodies of 3 well respected Baloch patriots were discovered today. Mr Gulam Muhammed Baloch was president of Baloch National Movement, Mr Sher Muhammed Bugti was a leader of Baloch Republican Party and Mr Lala Munir was also a famous political activist. All 3 of them were kidnapped in broad day light from the office of their lawyer Mr Ali Kachkol . Speaking to BBC Mr Kachkol said “All 3 of them were sitting in my office because I was their lawyer and had just secured their bail when agency people stormed my office. They came in cars which they parked outside of my office. They had ropes in their hands; they tied those leaders like animals and took them away. I told them that you can’t arrest them like that because they are on bail. But they asked me to keep my mouth shut. BBC: Did you saw them? Yea I saw them, they were in my office, and they were so relaxed one of them polished his shoe there. They also arrested one fellow lawyer of mine but later released him when he told them that he was a lawyer Responded the lawyer. BBC: Did you inform the authorities? Yes I went to the police station and gave a written application to authorities to launch FIR against the Chiefs of ISI, IB and MI , but the police refused to note my FIR. I wrote to higher courts but none took any action. Mr Ali responded. BBC: Balochistan high court took notice of the killing today. Yes they took notice when they have been murdered. If they would have taken notice earlier their lives could have been spared.” Ali Kachkol advocate.

Listening to these lines on BBC Urdu “shub nama” my mind went numb. The farcical drama which pro-ISI political parties and a section of opportunist de-generated left conducted for more than year of “restoration of Justice” stood in front of me as a monstrous deviation which was carried out to eclipse the real issues. These extra judicial murders in Balochistan and criminal attitude of higher judiciary in protecting the rights of these people who couldn’t get their FIR registered is a sharp slap on the faces of Ali Ahmad Kurd and Aitzaz Ahsan. Baloch political parties should arrange a sit in front of Ali Ahmad Kurd’s home and demand that he take this case to Mr Iftikhar Chaudhary who is doing Umra in Saudi Arabia and get FIR registered against Major General Shujja Pasha and Major General Asif of ISI and MI respectively.

Listening to the BBC reporting was a very painful experience for me, It seemed like Quetta has some how being converted into Dacca of 71. The murdered leader Mr Baloch was a famous poet of Balochi language, he also served as chairman of BSO the most popular and revolutionary Baloch student organization. Other two were also grass root political workers who have worked in masses. Mr Baloch was part of the “peace committee” which was formed to get the release of John Solecki . Mr Baloch gave evidence to the United Nations on Baloch genocide being conducted by state of Pakistan. It’s just like Bengal of 71. “ Hum le ke rahen ge Aazadi—- He Haq Hamara AAzadi” “We will take our freedom , its our basic human right” I could listen to slogans of Baloch activist in front of Karachi Press Club in back ground of BBC’s report.

The main lead on BBC Urdu website is “violent riots erupt through out Balochistan” and the news has photograph of 3 leaders in form of a poster of Baloch resistance with the caption “Heroes of Freedom”.

It was just like 71, Pakistani media and intellectuals have maintained same arrogant denial and apathy which they demonstrated in 71. What was left of hope died out when I listened to the press conference by Mir Hasil Bezinjo . Newly elected into senate of Pakistan Mir Hasil Bezinjo is son of Mir Gus Bezinjo , the most moderate and most pro federation Marxist of NAP. Soft spoken and one of the most refined pro-democracy activist Mr Bezinjo said

“Pakistan Army and its agencies are responsible for this crime. I want to say this loud and clear and Major General Shujja Pasha and Major General Asif , the chiefs of ISI and MI are responsible for these murders. We want the FIR to be registered against them. Time has come for the Baloch nation to unite under one flag, with Pakistani agencies doing this to the Balochs what option we have left if not to take up Arms?”

My torment was still not over , ex chief minister of Balochistan and leader of BNP Mr Akhtar Maingal , one of the most “pro- Punjabi” Baloch leader [He entered into a political alliance with Nawaz Sharif against wishes of many Baloch leaders] was next to be heard on BBC

“Pakistani state and its agencies have brought us to closer to the “point of no return”. This country could no longer remain united. Those who broke the country in 71 are now doing it again——–”

There is now no doubt left in my mind that Balochistan has been reduced to status of a colony, we have the same choice in front of us which we had in 71, to keep our mouths shuts in name of “patriotism” and “national interest” and let this genocide continue as we did in Bengal, or we tell our Baloch brothers that we stand with them in their war of liberation. Its not that long when Punjab sent its sons to Balochistan during the revolution. Punjabi and Sindhi youth fought alongside the Baloch revolutionaries against invading Pakistani Army. Those were the days of Pakistani Left. Najam Sethi and Rashid Rehman were two of those Punjabi revolutionaries who fought in Balochistan during the 70s. Thousands of Balochs remain in state custody, dead or alive no one knows. Baloch women are being abused as sex slaves. Should we all remain silent on that?? Alas Punjabi mothers have stop giving birth to revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. Its time to raise the flag of resistance and to launch a people’s resistance against the oligarchy. Punjab holds the key. I hope Punjabi mothers once again hear the demands from their sons to colour their shirts with the colours of spring —- “Mera rang de basanti chola mai rang de——”

The revolutionary song   associated with Shaheed Bhagat Singh , i dedicate  it to all Baloch revolutionaries.

Long Live Baloch People

Long Live People of Pakistan

Long live People of India

Shaheryar Ali

Qul Erzun Erz e Kerbala—-Kul Yom-un-Yom-e Aashura

Every land is Kerbala and every day is day of Aashura

Muhammed Baqir

“Its the story of a night , of murder ,of army invasion , of mutilation of bodies , of imprisonment of ladies, of fire, of suppressed cries , of lashes, of torture, of hangings, of resistance—this is common between Kerbala and 4th April and thats why both have merged as a symbol in Urdu poetry”

On 4rth April , this state took revenge from the people for threatening its existence during the revolution of 1968-69. The dark night which started still continues. The evil still rule. Party once again under threat. One after one they put daggers in our heart. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto , Shahnawaz Bhutto , Murtaza Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.
Asif Ali Zardari is besieged in presidential palace repeating the mistake which killed each of our leaders. The mistake of reconciliation with alien classes. From his death cell Zulfikar Ali Bhutto wrote “i made a fatal mistake , that tried to reconcile the two classes , there can be no reconciliation between the oppressed and oppressors. Asif Ali Zardari its time to read the “foundation documents of Pakistan Peoples Party”. Its time to enter in final struggle or you know as you yourself said “you are sitting on the chair of martyrs”. The ruling classes have not allowed a single chairman of PPP to live—
Ahmad Faraz wrote this revolutionary poem about our great Army. What have it done to us , from Bengali Genocide to Balochi genocide. What it is doing today. A masterpiece of resistance poetry , it speaks of imperialism both British and American and their mercenaries “our Army”
The initial remarks about Faraz in the video should be understood in context of “inter-left” sectarianism between NAP and Bhutto otherwise Faraz always stood for oppressed nationalities, this very poem is its proof. It should be “war cry of the people”

This second poem is “Mohasra”. “The Siege”. It was written on murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Zia’s fascist dictatorship. Considered one of the best pieces of Resistance poetry ever written in Urdu and truly captures the dark ages of Zia and the most heroic struggle of Pakistani Left. A sharp criticism exist in the poem on opportunism shown by a section of writers from the Left who attended “Ahel e Qalam” conference under Zia.
Faraz called them “gadagaran e sukhen” and it contains those great lines which gave hope of revolutionaries in death cells.
“usse maloom nahi tareekh kiya sekhati he
keh raat jub kisi khursheed ku shaheed kare
tu Subah ik naya Suraj tarash lati he—-“

This Blog endorses Mr Haider Abbas Gardezi for Senate nomination and strongly appeals to Mr Asif Ali Zardari to nominate Mr Gardezi to represent Saraiki wasaib [South Punjab],working classes , women and minorities in upper house of Pakistani Parliment. This blog also appeals others to support this man of principles.

Shaheryar Ali

Dr Ahmad Arslan

400px-shah_rukhn-i-alam_multan

Some people have to be called saints despite their expressed iconoclasm. When Jean Paul Sartre wrote on Jean Genet, he called him Saint Genet. Helene Cixous’s commentary on Jacques Derrida is called “Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Jewish Saint”. The words Noam Chomsky chooses to describe his dear friend and comrade, Eqbal Ahmad were “Secular Sufi”. There is something about such creed of men which though may be Anarchists, Marxists or morally non-conformist writers with police records makes them saintly. Saints are strangers in the world of men, people who live in the material world but who shun all its relations. One such stranger in Pakistani politics is Haider Abbas Gardezi.. Kishwar Naheed in her column in Jang mentions him as the only intellectual who has applied for Senate. She has expressed her wish that the leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party makes the wise choice of putting the intelligent heir of Syed Qaswar Gardezi in Pakistan’s upper house of Parliament

Whilst Kishwar Naheed is a master of words and a witness of the progressive movement and history in Pakistan, the names she mentions sound unfamiliar to young Pakistanis who have been taught a monolithic version of history, culture and politics of Pakistan. Mr Gardezi is son of Syed Hasan Raza Gardezi, the phenomenal Saraiki poet. A true bohemian, he was the founder of modern Saraiki poetry. A satirist par excellence and a social anarchist he was the soul of literary and cultural life of Multan. A whole generation of Multani intellectuals grew up under his wings with his memories still fresh in their minds. Famous progressive writer and academic Dr Anwar Ahmad has sketched him in his latest book which covers the personalities who left their imprint on culture of Multan. Hasan Raza Gardezi was a master poet of Urdu and Persian as well but he published only his Saraiki poetry. His book “Dhabay Dohray” is considered one of the most important modern saraiki text. With it he introduced not only modern poetic craft to Saraiki but also a modern consciousness which re-invents meaning of traditional saraiki mystic themes. This book has been translated into English as “Tenements on Sand”

Whilst Mr Haider Abbas Gardezi got love of literature, culture and liberty from his father. His political mentor and teacher was Syed Qaswar Gardezi. He later became his father in law. Mr Qaswar Gardezi holds a very important position in history of democratic and progressive movement in Pakistan. A member of feudal aristocracy which held religious and spiritual leadership due to its association with shrine of Shah Yousaf Gardez one of the patron saints of Multan who is one of the earlier mystics who arrived in Indian subcontinent, Qaswar Gardezi against his class interest joined the Communist movement of Pakistan. He had in front of him an easy way of rising to power by joining the establishment like his contemporaries from similar family backgrounds but he choose a very difficult path of progressive politics, A fast friend of Mian Iftikharuddin , he joined Azad Pakistan Party which later merged with other left wing forces of Pakistan to make “National Awami Party” Pakistan’s first popular social-democratic party. He worked closely with Mian Iftikaruddin and Molana Bhashani and worked as “vice-president” of the party under Molana Bhashani. Mr Qaswar Gardezi also served as secretary general of NAP. He accompanied Mian Iftikharuddin on his tour of USSR and Eastern Europe. On his return he was imprisoned by dictatorship. He was imprisoned many times during different martial laws as well as “democratic regimes”. After disintegration of NAP he worked with Wali Khan and Mir Bizenjo and remained active during the MRD. It was this ideological and principled politics which Haider Abbas Gardezi learned from people like Mian Iftikharuddin, Qaswar Gardezi, Molana Bhashani,Wali Khan and Mir Bizenjo. As a young boy he remembers attending meetings and protests with these great men. He worked in Socialist Party of Pakistan, NAP and PNP of Mir Bizenjo: Always standing with the working class, oppressed nationalities and democratic forces. During the reign of terror of General Zia ul Haq when people were being hanged, lashed and tortured, most of the feudal joined Zia ul haq but Mr Haider Abbas Gardezi stood firm in his opposition to fascist dictator. During the MRD he defied the Martial law and presented himself for arrest at Town Hall Multan in front of hundreds of of people boldly declaring General Zia as a traitor. When he was tried in the Martial Law tribunal, he refused to stand up in honour of the military officer who was trying him. In his statement to the court Mr Gardezi stated that he and others like him are not traitor but those who have abrogated the constitution and hanged the elected prime minister have committed high treason. People of Pakistan, the workers, students, minorities, artists writers all of them support progressive movement against Islamist dictatorship of Zia. He was charged with high treason sent to jail with orders of confiscation of his estate and property and public lashing. It was one of the harshest punishments awarded to any member of feudal classes. Due to public and intellectual uproar he was not lashed but was kept in jail for long time.

During the exile days of London Mr Haider Abbas Gardezi came in contact with Benazir Bhutto. A dialogue continued between them on political problems of Pakistan, national question, left wing insurgency and restoration of democracy, it continued in informal meetings, letters and drafts. After restoration of democracy when Bhutto’s government was dismissed Mr Gardezi sent her a dossier on reasons of this disaster. Benazir Bhutto who had a deep understanding of progressive politics greatly admired his thesis and asked him to Join PPP. Mr Gardezi who was long resisting these requests for the reason that he didn’t want to join a party which was in power joined PPP when it was in opposition. He was soon taken in Punjab Council and he enjoyed confidence of Benazir Bhutto who was a guest at his home when ever she visited Southern Punjab. A man of mild manners and ideological principles Mr Gardezi never engaged in the usual electoral politics. His deep insight into problems of Pakistan and his pro-people stance was acknowledged by Bhutto who elevated him to “Federal Council of PPP”. He was also put in the “Policy Planning Cell” where he closely worked with Benazir Bhutto, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Munno Bhai and others on important issues. Benazir Bhutto also entrusted him with drafting of her important speeches and policy papers in which Mr Gardezi contributed a lot. The exile and martyrdom of Benzir Bhutto affected him greatly, a misfit in power politics and politics of corruption he fondly talks about Benazir Bhutto as the “Nihati Larki” who all her life tried to light candles in hostile rainstorms.

He passionately wrote on her assassination and often speaks about her vision for Pakistan. He firmly believes that the result of recent elections should have been used to build a New Republic which should replace this oppressive post-colonial system. The democratic forces instead of limiting their agenda on small issues like “restoration of certain judges” and “independence of election commission” should have joined hands to bring about “Constitutional Reforms” which transforms Pakistan into a democratic republic: Solving the nationalist question, giving genuine provincial autonomy, ending discriminatory laws against minorities and women. Instead of a Ideological religious state Pakistan should be a voluntary democratic federation of nationalities: A new republic which should address the “economic-redistribution”, land reforms and Industrialization. He states that judiciary needs “reformation” not “restoration” because a restoration without reform will result in the judiciary which is historically a pro-establishment partisan which is inherently anti people. Same is the issue of “restoration of constitution”, restoration of a constitution which discriminates against women, minorities and nationalities. What purpose will it serve? The democratic forces should join hands for “Reforms” and not for “restoration” of old orders. A firm believer in “non capitalist mode of development” which is sustainable and environment friendly he is critical of capitalist globalization which threatened natives, their languages, cultures and heritage. An internationalist who admires Eqbal Ahmad and Arundhati Roy

This man could be an asset for PPP and Pakistan must be utilized, to quote veteran progressive writer Mr Haneed Akhtar who has also requested Mr Asif Ali Zardari to consider Mr Gardezi for Senate. We can only wish his appeal be heard.

[Dr Ahmad Arslan is doctor by profession and a political activist who associates himself with working class tradition of PPP. He is also a volunteer from PPP Punjab in NDI’s Youth Politics development programme]

Eve oh Eve                                                                                    
    
Why wouldn’t Eve have eaten of the fruit?
Didn’t she have a hand to reach out with,
Fingers with which to make a fist?
Didn’t Eve have a stomach for feeling hunger,
A tongue for feeling thirst,
A heart with which to love?
    
Well, then, why wouldn’t Eve have eaten of the fruit?
Why would she merely have suppressed her wishes,
Regulated her steps,
Subdued her thirst?
Why would she have been so compelled
To keep Adam moving around in the Garden of Eden all their lives?
 
Because Eve did eat of the fruit,
There is sky and earth.
Because she has eaten, 

                    There are moon, sun, rivers, seas,

Because she has eaten, trees, plans and vines.

because Eve has eaten of the fruit

            there is joy, because she has eaten there is joy. 

joy, joy–

Eating  of the fruit, Eve made a heaven of the earth. 

Eve, if you get hold of the fruit 

       don’t ever refrain from eating

 

MOSQUE,  TEMPLE
 
Let the pavilions of religion
    be ground to bits,
let the bricks of temples, mosques, guruduaras, churches
     be burned in blind fire,
and upon those heaps of destruction
let lovely flower gardens grow, spreading their fragrance.
let children’s schools and study halls grow.
 
For the welfare of humanity, now let prayer halls
be turned into hospitals, orphanages, universities,
Now let prayer halls become academies of art, fine art centers,
          scientific research institutes.
Now let prayer halls be turned to golden rice fields
          in the radiant dawn,
Open fields, rivers, restless seas.
  
From now on, let religion’s other name be humanity. 

 

NOORJAHAN
    
  They have made Noorjahan stand in a hole in the courtyard.
  There she stands submerged to her waist, her head hanging.
  They’re throwing stones at Noorjahan,
  stones that are striking my body.
   I feel them on my head, forehead, chest, back,
  and I hear laughing, shouts of abuse.

  Noorjahan’s fractured  forehead pours out blood, mine also.
  Noorjahan’s eyes have burst, mine also.
  Noorjahan’s nose has been smashed, mine also.
  Noorjahan’s torn breast and heart have been pierced, mine also. 
 
        Are these stones not striking you? 
   
  They’re laughing aloud, laughing and stroking their beards.
 Even their caps, stuck to their heads, are shaking with laughter.
 They’re laughing and swinging their walking sticks.
 From the quiver of their cruel eyes,
 Arrows speed to pierce her body,
 My body also.

         Are these arrows not piercing your body?

THE GAME IN REVERSE

The other day in Ramna park I saw a boy buying a girl.

I‘d really like to buy a boy for five or ten taka,
a clean-shaven boy, with a fresh shirt, combed and parted hair,
a boy on the park bench, or standing on the main road
          In a curvaceous pose.

I’d  like to grab the boy by his collar
          and pull him up into a rickshaw –
tickling his neck and belly, I ‘d make him giggle;
bringing him home, I’d give him a sound thrashing
with high-heeled shoes, then throw him out –
           ‘”Get lost, bastard!”

Sticking bandages on his forehead,
he would doze on the sidewalks at dawn,
scratching scabies.
Mangy dogs would lick at the yellow pus
             oozing out of the ulcers in his groin.
Seeing them, the girls would laugh with their tingling sound
             of glass bangles breaking.

I really want to buy me a boy,
a fresh, nubile boy with a hairy chest –
I’ll buy a boy and rough him up all over.
Kicking him hard on his shriveled balls,
              I’ll shout, “Get lost, bastard!”

Was a poet ever kept in house arrest?

Taslima Nasreen

Was a poet ever kept in house arrest?
May be she has been a subject of politicking
True she caused clashes once in a while
May be an arson, too.
But no, a poet was never taken to safe custody.
This India, this civilization, this 21st century
They all had welcomed the poet
Ignoring its childish religionism, its merciless politics.
But today, the poet languishes in house arrest.
She has done no offense.

Having been deprived of the view of the sky
No longer she can tell how does the sky look like;
Deprived of the sight of men, no longer can she say how are folks today.
They have left leaving a world of darkness before the poet
They won’t return ever, they informed.

Today for the one hundred and fiftieth day, the poet languishes in safe custody
For one hundred and fifty days the poet is unaware
If this earth yet hosts any creature with a human soul
For one hundred and fifty days the poet is unsure
If she is alive or dead.

Whom she will approach to ask back these days for?
Facing darkness the poet ponders
Who will restore sunrays into her life?
Who is there to bring her back the song of life?

O man, tell me, all who suffered in house arrest
Most of them were poets, a big consolation will that be,
It will relieve the burden of my aloneness.
(Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury)

The problem in front of the great Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci in the fascist prison was the “problem of sustenance of capitalism” in Europe despite its great logical contradiction. Why the Revolution was not coming when all the conditions were right? In his famous “prison notebooks”, he takes the question into the realm of ideology. This was the start of analysis of “ways of thinking”. He gave the concept of “cultural Hegemony”. Capitalism Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion , but also ideologically , through a “hegemonic culture” in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the ‘common sense‘ values of all. Thus a consensus culture developed in which people in the Working-class identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting.

He also made a distinction between the “Political society” (the police, the army, legal system, etc.) which dominates directly and coercively, and civil society (the family, the education system, trade unions, etc.) where leadership is constituted through ideology or by means of consent. Its this “civil society” whose “thoughts” are being “controlled” to suit the masters [If only Pakistanis understood]. In order to understand these thing the “discourse analysis” was developed. “Discourse” is nothing but all “written and verbal communication”. In line of Gramsci and later Foucault we have to understand “discourse” as “institutionalized” way of thinking, or in words of Judith Butler “limits of acceptable” speech. Its these limits which must be subverted in order to reach a true libertarian discourse. The discourse is controlled by means of “exclusion”, no other opinion simply exists. Foucault writes:

“I am supposing that is every society the production of discourse is at once controlled, selected, organised and redistributed according to a certain number of procedures, whose role is to avert its powers and its dangers, to cope with chance events, to evade its ponderous, awesome materiality. In a society such as our own we all know the rules of exclusion. The most obvious and familiar of these concerns what is prohibited

Of the three great systems of exclusion governing discourse — prohibited words, the division of madness and the will to truth ———“

“I believe we must resolve ourselves to accept three decisions which our current thinking rather tends to resist, and which belong to the three groups of function I have just mentioned: to question our will to truth; to restore to discourse its character as an event; to abolish the sovereignty of the signifier…. One can straight away distinguish some of the methodological demands they imply. A principle of reversal, first of all…. Next, then, the principle of discontinuity ….”

I am planning to do all this , i am trying to bring forward the “prohibited voices”, those which have been totally eclipsed in the society by the dominant discourse. This is not “endorsing” one and rejecting “others”, rather, its simply a act of breathing , an act of subversion ,of saying what is not pleasant to hear, Its simply an act of living in the rotten stagnant conformity. “The Bengali Genocide” is one such “absent voice” in Pakistan. We only hear “India -America-Jews divided Pakistan”, the act of liberation and resistance against one of the most brutal fascist militarism is “dismissed” as “sakoot”. The Last encounter is a short story by Kazi Fazalur Rehman , its taken from the anthology of stories from 71 by the name of “Fault lines”

The Last Encounter

By Kazi Fazlur Rahman

Another push by the soldier propelled Rashed into the room. He stumbled. The Pakistani officer standing in front of the table caught hold of him. He ordered the soldier out and untied Rashed’s hands. Then he moved behind the table and sat in the chair facing Rashed.

‘Sit down.’

Rashed blinked. Even the pale light of the winter afternoon was too harsh for his eyes after the long hours being blindfolded.

He rubbed his eyes without seeming to have heard the officer.

The enemy officer was of his age or perhaps a little older. He was fair-complexioned and of rather slight build. Under the broad forehead, his eyes had a hint of blue. And those eyes, Rashed could not help noticing, did not have the taunting look of the captor for the captive. The eyes were tired, and the face heavy with fatigue.

After being asked a second time, Rashed slowly sat down. He touched his right temple, which was covered with congealed blood. With his left hand, he tried to feel if any of his ribs were broken.

‘What’s your name?’
Rashed’s hands froze. But he kept quiet.

‘Are you a student? How many other miscreants were there with you?’

Rashed did not respond. He felt sure that these were the preliminaries before the torture began. This was the moment he had been dreading since regaining consciousness. He knew only too well what there was in store for him. He had seen too many, both dead and dying, who had been tortured by the Pakistanis. Instinctively, he clenched his fists.

‘It won’t be very difficult to make you talk,’ the officer, smiled faintly. ‘Even if I can’t do it myself, I can ask some of my soldiers and razakars to come and help. You surely know how experienced they are in this business and how much they enjoy it.’

‘We may have to spend some time together,’ the officer added after some moments of silence. ‘We should at least get acquainted. My name is Azam — Captain Azam.’

‘I am Rashed,’ Rashed said after a moment of hesitation.

Captain Azam pushed the packet of cigarettes across the table, ‘Have a cigarette. Whether you or I want it or not, we are both fated to be on the same stage for the time being. Once the war is over, each of us will be back in his own world — provided we survive till then. I really wanted to meet a proper mukti — a so-called freedom fighter. Almost all we manage to catch alive seem to be illiterate farm-hands, young schoolboys or old men. You, I think, belong to the right category — if ‘right’ is the proper word!’

He pressed the bell. ‘First, let me get some tea for us. Meanwhile, you may like to have a wash. There’s the bathroom.’

Kadamtali, a rather small river port, had an oil storage depot and lay right on the river routes of oil tankers plying between Chittagong and Dhaka. The guerrillas desperately wanted to disrupt the oil supply. They had damaged a couple of passing tankers and also made an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the depot. The Pakistanis reacted by increasing the size of the army contingent guarding the depot. Fortified bunkers were constructed within the depot perimeters.

A few days earlier, Rashed had received reports that Pakistani soldiers had stopped coming out in the open after sunset. Now was the time, he had decided, to blow up the storage tanks. The plan was simplicity in itself. With grenades in a waterproof plastic bag, he would swim over to the depot landing. The usual heavy December fog would provide adequate cover. From riverbank to the depot it was only about 30 feet or so. He would toss the grenades, run back to the water and jump into it. Balai and Jalal would open fire from safe distances to distract the Pakistanis.

But things had not worked out as planned. The fog had suddenly cleared just as Rashed was getting ready. Nevertheless, he had decided to go ahead. He would have perhaps changed his mind had he only known that on that very day the army contingent had been reinforced by a large group of razakars. They were put on patrol duty outside the depot. After all, their Pakistani masters could not care less if they got killed. These wretches were expendable.

Rashed, after crawling up to the depot fence, had already lobbed the grenades when, the razakars started shooting. Even with their wild marksmanship, the hail of bullets was thick enough to cut off his escape. Meanwhile, the grenades set off a chain reaction of explosions among the oil drums. As he lay prone on the ground, a large metal fragment, possibly a piece of a bursting drum, hit him on the head.

He regained his senses only to gasp from the savage kicks to his head, face and chest. Soon he sank into oblivion again. When he woke up again he found himself blindfolded. His hands and feet had been tied. He was quite surprised that he was still alive. He did not know that only the captain’s intervention had saved him from a slow and extremely painful death.

‘I don’t know how well-informed you are,’ Captain Azam took a sip of tea, ‘but it’s almost all over with the war. It won’t make any difference whether you or I live or die. The Indian army has won this round.’

‘Not the Indian army alone,’ Rashed’s voice rose in protest. ‘It’s the combined allied forces of both India and Bangladesh.’

‘Rubbish! It is the Indian superiority in the numbers of planes, tanks, artillery and soldiers. You Bangalis simply act as their porters,’

‘You lie! Is it because of the Indian army that you dared not come out of the bunkers? How many of your officers and men of the so-called best army in the world, equipped with the latest American and Chinese weapons, died in the last nine months? How many in Dhaka alone? Who killed them? Surely not the Indians!’

‘You can’t win a war by a few stray murders or by throwing a bomb here, planting a mine there. Without the Indian army your ‘Joi Bangla’ would have remained just an empty slogan.’

‘Again, you are wrong. Our victory was inevitable. We would have driven you out on our own. Sure, that would have taken much more time. The process would have been far more painful and the price paid for freedom still higher. Yet, perhaps that would have been better for my country’s future.’

Captain Azam crushed his cigarette in the ashtray. ‘Enough of that. Now tell me how you got involved with this ragtag band of muktis. You don’t look like a miscreant.’

Rashed’s eyes flashed. ‘What would you have done if your brother had been made to dig a grave and then was buried alive in the grave he had dug? Or your sister had been ravaged and mutilated; by a gang of savage beasts in the shape of men?’

‘Yes, I know there have been some excesses. A few such unfortunate things are bound to happen if an army is called upon to suppress a rebellion.’


My days in East Pakistan have convinced me that I should have resisted my father’s wishes. I’m not cut out to be an officer of the Pakistani army.


‘No. This was planned and cool-headed savagery Yahya the drunk, Tikka Khan the butcher and Bhutto the smoothtalking charlatan ordered you to perpetrate all these bestialities in the name of defending Islam and Pakistan. They felt sure that killing and brutality on this massive scale would frighten the Bangalis into silence. But they made a mistake. Yes, brutality within a certain limit may temporarily terrorise a people into inaction. But beyond this limit, it is counterproductive. There are many in our ranks who never bothered about politics or their identities as Bangalis. Your senseless yet systematic brutality made them take up arms.’

‘You see, I don’t really know much about all these things.’ Captain Azam was somewhat apologetic. ‘It’s been only four months since I came from West Pakistan. Anyway, even if the things you allege did really happen, they were under the orders of superior authorities. The ordinary officer or soldier in the field can’t be held responsible for carrying out orders.’

‘Hitler’s generals and soldiers took the same plea. The civilised world refused to accept it. They were found guilty and hanged. Even now those war criminals are being hunted down and brought to justice. And you’re also going to be tried and punished.’

‘You delude yourself. We aren’t going to be tried. Your leaders will forget all about it in their scramble for pomp and power. And if you really want to try anyone, you’ll have to look for the guilty amidst you — the razakars and al-Badars who joined us in the killings, and the Peace Committee members who pointed out to us the villages to be burnt down, the persons to be tortured and murdered. They are the ones who captured the young girls trying to escape and delivered them to our camps.’

‘Yes, I know. Every people fighting a war of liberation has to contend with some quislings. We also have ours. Certainly they’re going to pay dearly for their crimes.’

‘Again you err. Perhaps some small fries will be caught. But the really big ones will manage to have their protectors. They may temporarily disappear only to surface again when the time is ripe. They will be as useful to the new rulers as they were to us.’

The telephone rang before Rashed could speak again. Captain Azam picked up the receiver, listened in silence for a couple of minutes. Then he said, ‘Yes, I understand,’ and put the receiver down.

‘The war is over. General Niazi has just signed the surrender document.’ Captain Azam looked both shocked and relieved.

‘Really? Joi Bangla!’ Rashed jumped up from his chair.
‘Yes, but that doesn’t mean that I am surrendering to you. My orders are to surrender with my men only to the Indian army.’

Rashed made a move towards the door.

‘No. You can’t go. My soldiers and the razakars outside won’t know that the war has ended and they can no longer have the fun of killing a captured mukti. You’re still my prisoner.’

Rashed stopped in this tracks.

‘In a manner, I am also your captive. Still, I carry a weapon. If I shoot you, no one will bother to find out if you were killed before or after the surrender. You better take your seat again.’

Rashed thought for a moment or two and then returned to his chair.

The silence was broken by Captain Azam. ‘The war is over. We don’t have to keep up pretences. Let’s rather talk about ourselves. Are you a student?’

‘Yes. I was.’
‘What were you studying?’
‘English Literature, at Dhaka University.’

‘Strange coincidence! I was also a student of English at Lahore Government College. But I had to join the army before I could get my degree. Mine is a family of soldiers. My grandfather was a non-commissioned officer; my father retired as colonel. And he wanted his only son to become a general. I am afraid he is going to be disappointed. My days in East Pakistan have convinced me that I should have resisted my father’s wishes. I’m not cut out to be an officer of the Pakistani army.’

‘Why?’ Rashed could not help asking.

‘My first posting was in a big outpost near Comilla. Our orders were to go out on daily sorties to raid villages reported to be harbouring guerrillas, Awamis or Hindus.

There was a competition among the officers. Each had to keep a tally of how many houses his men had burnt down, how many persons he had personally killed.

Each evening in the mess, with a glass of whisky in hand, each had to announce the numbers. The one with the highest score would be declared the champion of the day, and glasses would be raised to toast his feat. Some even announced the number of Bangalee women they had raped, not, as they would take pains to explain, to satisfy their carnal desires, but in discharge of their patriotic duty of ensuring a better breed of Pakistanis in this part of the country. Yes, men under me also burnt, killed, and raped. But my personal score was nil on all these counts during the fortnight I was there. And that made me an outcast. I was forced to seek a transfer to a place where I would not have to compete with others to prove my prowess. That’s how I am in Kadamtali.’

There was again a long moment of silence. Then Captain Azam said, ‘But you aren’t saying anything about yourself!’

‘It should be really a quite common story now. I am the eldest of four children in my family. My brother is missing, presumed dead, after the army raided his hostel on the night of March 25. My father, a college teacher, was shot dead for sheltering a wounded pupil. Our home was burnt down. My mother managed to escape with my two sisters. I can only hope that they succeeded in crossing the borders and are in some refugee camp, or that they are dead.’

‘What are you going to do now that the war is over?’
‘I really don’t know. What I know is that I won’t be able to go back to the life of a student.’

‘And I can’t go on being a soldier. But whatever happens, I look forward, to visiting your Bangladesh one day, perhaps years later. I would like to find out what sort of a country it is going to be — a country for which so much blood has been shed.’

A shadow passed over Rashed’s face.

‘I also wish I knew what the future holds in store for my Bangladesh. Sometimes I have more anxieties than hopes. You’ve not only maimed, tortured, and killed. In the process you’ve brutalised our people, both as victims and avengers of brutalities. We have also learnt to kill. Shall we now be killing each other? And we were such a gentle, peace-loving people!’

‘Perhaps you have good reasons to be anxious,’ Captain Azam smiled sadly. ‘However, our officers and soldiers also have learnt to kill unarmed civilians, women and children. They won’t be able to forget the taste of blood. When they go back, they will look for opportunities to kill and inflict pain on their own people. They may not spare even those who let them lose here. And that will be your revenge.’

Slowly, the darkness of the winter night gathered round them.
‘Have you ever read Wilfred Owen’s war poems? ‘Strange Meeting’?’
‘Yes.’
‘Do you remember the last lines ‘Let us sleep now…’?’
‘Yes, that’s what the dead soldier tells his killer when they meet in the afterlife.’
They sat still and silent as the room turned darker.
Captain Azam stood up and switched on the light. ‘Perhaps they would. But will you and I be able to sleep?’

UNESCO like always is celebrating “World Philosophy day”. November 15th was the “world philosophy day”, but the celebrations were planned for the full week , the climax being the official event in Turkey on 21 to 23 of November . The invitation we saw was impressive , it read :

Dear Friends of Philosophy,

Dear Friends of Wisdom,

On behalf of UNESCO, the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO and the Philosophical Society of Turkey, it is a special pleasure for me to let you know that the main celebration of the World Philosophy Day this year will take place in Istanbul, hosted by Turkey.

The main aims of establishing such a Day is to call public attention to the enlightening role that philosophical reflection and knowledge can play in public life and in facing world problems, besides the benefits that philosophical education and the teaching of philosophy secure in the life of individuals, whatever their profession might be.

In a world in which, despite the efforts of the UN, one third of the human beings living on our planet �have to do with one or two dollars a day� and the gap between the rich and the poor is broadening, in which terrorism has become a method to achieve any aim; and in which obscurantist worldviews try to gain �and in fact had gained� ground in many parts of our world, we need philosophical knowledge and action based on it——–“

A very impressive letter that is in line with the tradition of Philosophy , the Leftist turn it has taken since Marx and the Enlightenment project it holds very dear. All seems great, it appears that philosophers understand the problems and have identified it, but the Sky is falling —-

As a student of Philosophy i remember when my term started with the question, “what is Philosophy.” The answer as the tradition goes always started with etymology , “Philosophia” in Greek means love or friendship towards “Sophia”, which is wisdom, skills, knowledge etc. As we go further we develop ideas about what Philosophy is , its simply “thinking about what we think about, and questioning what are known as established truths“. This makes Philosophy a very radical subject, a revolution in itself. Every thing we cherish , freedom, equality, social justice, tolerance , represent a philosophical tradition and project. Since Socrates, who is called father of philosophy , Philosophy has been linked with revolt and struggle as well. From Socrates to Sartre philosophers have stood up against norms, gods, states, kingdoms and tyrants and their legitimizing  claim has not been a birth right, a revelation from God , but a simple human virtue , the ability “to think” , and the ability to examine claims on rational grounds. This simple insistance on thinking has brought about this change , the change where in principle freedoms have been accepted by every one, but the sky is falling—–

When UNESCO was busy celebrating the “enlightening” tradition of philosophy, promising to spread the education of philosophy , Taslima Nasrin was being dragged from Calcutta by police , what is her crime . Its “thinking”. He crime is that she thinks and insists on expressing her thoughts , through language , her crime is that she doesnt accept the established or not so established truths , her crime is that she insists on examining God’s commands on rational grounds, her crimes is that she can show how what is known as  God’ s words cannot even stand up to a Man’s word or worse a Woman’s word. This crime has been committed by every thinking man , Socrates was killed for thinking , Bruno was burned alive for thinking but why the Sky is falling?

The Sky is falling because India is not ruled by godly priests , its not Vatican, Union of India was established on the highest of philosophical principles of Enlightenment , Modernity, Democracy, Socialism and Secularism , but here this woman is being dragged from one city to another for the crime of following the “foundation principles” of constitution of India.

The Sky is falling because the foremost secular and socialist Party of Asia , the defender of spirit of enlightenment in India , the Congress Party has maintained a criminal silance over all this. Congress government has become a party in terrorism against free thinking

The sky is falling because the Communist Party of India who call themselves “Marxist”, who owe their name and being to a “infidel” Atheist Philosopher Karl Marx failed to protect Taslima Nasrin and forced her out of Calcutta , the sky is falling because Biman Bose supported censorship!! The sky is falling that Communist Party bowed to Fascists , sky is falling because it showed that Communist Party government is no different that Nirandra Moodi’s government

Sky is falling because Taslima Nasrin has been accused of Blasphemy , she has been accused of criticizing and challenging Koran , sky is falling because it is the challenge which Koran itself gives to whole world , the Sky is falling because No thinking mind from the Muslim world has come out in support of Nasrin. Sky is falling because Muslim world for 700 years tolerated Philosophers who wrote books like “Contradictions of Koran”. Sky is falling because tradition of thinking has died in Muslim world which produced people like Averroes , Ibne Sina, those who criticized Islamic traditions, the sky is falling because the books of muslim theology are filled with  great debates between Imams and Atheist philosophers. These atheist philosophers ofcourse lived and florished in Muslim world and were called in courts to debate with muslim Imams.

The sky is falling because this was hundres of years ago , but today in 2007 no muslim intellectual came out to defend Muslim tradition of tolerating thought

The Sky is falling because in 9th century Ibn al Rawandi could live in Islamic caliphate and write books against Koran, Prophet hood and God, not only write , but publish and defend his works and Live freely. He could live freely after pointing out errors in Koran, he could live after questioning the concept  of God and Prophet , but in 2007 Taslima Nasrin cant do so , not in Bangladesh, not in secular India. This is Post Philosophy , Post Enlightenment world

The sky is falling that a woman who thinks so beautifully is being humiliated and tortured in Modern World by Marxists and secularists , what philosophy we want to spread??

Sky is falling because such a beautiful mind is being tormented–

EVE, OH EVE 

Why wouldn’t Eve have eaten of the fruit?
Didn’t she have a hand to reach out with,
Fingers with which to make a fist?
Didn’t Eve have a stomach for feeling hunger,
A tongue for feeling thirst,
A heart with which to love?

Well, then, why wouldn’t Eve have eaten of the fruit?
Why would she merely have suppressed her wishes,
Regulated her steps,
Subdued her thirst?
Why would she have been so compelled
To keep Adam moving around in the Garden of Eden all their lives?

Because Eve did eat of the fruit,
There is sky and earth.
Because she has eaten, 

                    There are moon, sun, rivers, seas,

Because she has eaten, trees, plans and vines.

Taslima Nasrin–