In fact as per modern day research wo(man) has been around India since 1.9 million years before Christ in the Riwat area of what is now known as Pakistan. And as the late [R] Major Naveed Tajammal (tribute written by his loving and intellectual wife, a writer herself, Yasmeen Ali) used to expound on the Indus Basin Civilization (which I used to joke with him and call it the Indus (Wash) Basin Civilization, a very well read, tasteful and artistic man he was, one of his many articles that inspired me was on the “federation” comparison between the US and Pakistan)
One cannot help but question the obvious, the current Hindu-Muslim divide of this nation, in this backdrop, with some claiming back in 710AD Mr Qasim force converted Hindus to Muslims, and a few arguing to the contrary, hence the birth of “Indo-Pak Muslims” often disowned by the Arabs for their rather “non Wahabi” Islam in India / Pakistan, version that includes, for many, (Barelvis, Deobandis, Shias, Ahmedis etc) visiting tombs and having rituals that the Arabs think are akin to Hindu ones, yet the Muslims of Pakistan (with deeper Sufism links) are, in their minds, distinct from Hindus and in unison with the Arabs! Three wars fought, dozens of anti each other movies made, propaganda in academia and what not, to what avail?
One cannot also help but ask that whilst the English left, their language, and it’s supposed proficiency is used till today in both countries to discriminate the “non English speaking” (I was watching the Bollywood flick “Fitoor” today based on Charles Dicken’s “Great Expectations” and they showed an Art Gallery where the Manager was all but a representative of the English in every sense of the word, thought, dressup, mannerisms, expressions!) Zubaida Mustafa wrote a beautiful article on the same and is worth reading that is ever so commonplace in our societies (India/Pakistan) than many would like to accept). It is however a small, richer, minority as spoken off by Ahmed Mahboob in his book on the ramifications of a lopsided political independence, which is “in conformity” of the English and lately, American, mindsets and mannerisms. The masses, as yet, despite media influx and brainwashing towards Western models and ideals are still deeply rooted in traditions of hundreds, if not thousands, of years. However, the minority gets away with murder when it comes to creating social, employment and cultural barriers using the English language in apparently “free of English slavery” countries!
This intellectual slavery irks and disturbs me. Why must we not appreciate our own culture, heritage and mannerisms; and not be somehow intellectually considered inferior if we did as Faraz Talat highlighted in an article in the famous English language daily “Dawn”?
There’s nothing “wrong” in speaking or writing in English, a language a sizeable part of the world converses in and has a lot of literature and research in it too, but to use it to discriminate a people who only learnt it as, literally, slaves, even after their supposed “freedom” is very, very wrong! Let us learn to respect our people for being good human beings (those who are!) and for being proficient in whatever their mother tongue may have been in Pakistan or India, and whatever mannerisms, dress up, or style they may have then stereotyping, ridiculing and comparing them to a false “Western” ideal of the uppers…
honestly yours : – )
[Crystal Heart Kazmi/Imran Owais Kazmi]
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