↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sherry Rehman, The Ranas of Umerkot,

This is no abstract notion. It affects how citizenship has been defined in collusion with Islamists, who in contrast to the average South Asian Muslim, opposed the creation of Pakistan. When a state defines its minorities as a vilified 'other' through the edifice of its laws, it allows more space to the ideologues who have successfully gained space since 1947 as the upholders of a muscular, dogmatic and exclusivist state discourse on religion. Quite apart from challenging the project of a country forged for South Asian Muslims, as distinct from a Sunni-majoritarian theocracy, these Islamists have also chosen to ignore a large body of exegesis, Hadith and Muslim history that is replete with religious direction for respect for another's religion. The politics of this religiosity ignores Islam's core tenet of tolerance. Any government that takes on the project of amending these exploitative laws will have to confront this political Islamist lobby to remind all concerned that in Islam the idea of justice is seen as the highest moral path to practical proximity to God. As for minorities specifically, the government can exhort detractors by iterating the words and deeds of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) when he says: "Beware! If anyone dare oppress a member of a minority or has usurped his or her rights, or tortured, or tool away something forcibly, I will fight on behalf of the minority against the Muslim on the day of Judgement." (Sunaan–I–Abu Dawood)

What we have today is a legitimately elected government which has created an anti-extremist, non-sectarian and anti-terrorist consensus. This is one government that can review the blasphemy laws. It is a moment in history that must be seized. Pakistan's identity may be ambiguous, but it is precisely this space that can be used as an opportunity to steer our fragile nation-hood in another direction. Gojra and Pakistan's identity Sherry Rehman

During the last years of his life, Rana Chander Singh, the proud scion of the Ranas of Umerkot, pensively said that perhaps his community had made a “mistake” by not going to India at the time of the Partition in 1947. “At this age, I feel have made a mistake by not going (to India at time of the Partition),” he said to journalist Kamal Siddiqi in an unpublished interview conducted for Siddiqi’s forthcoming book ‘Minorities of Pakistan’. “I know a lot of Muslims want me to leave for India so that they can take over our land and our assets.” ....Singh cited two reasons behind the change in his thoughts: growing extremism in Pakistan and laws which had, according to him, relegated minorities to second-class citizens. “I am afraid about growing religious extremism in Pakistan and I know my community can’t face up to this. You have kept a community as a second-class citizen. As a community, they have no say or standing. The system of separate electorate treats us as people who don’t have a say in the running of their own country”, he said.
The Ranas of Umerkot: a tale of tradition and valour

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during last week cabinet meeting is said to have shot down a proposal given by one of his mightiest ministers to use ‘material’ provided by secret agencies against journalists and TV anchors involved in exposing and discussing big corruption scandals, which have been aplenty in coming in the recent past. A highly reliable source said that not only did the PM promptly shoot down the proposal of using ‘real and imaginary filth’ against journalists but also told his visibly perturbed flock to not to expect his support in the event of any corruption scandal in the media. “Every one of you will be required to defend yourself in the Parliament if there are any serious charges of corruption against any of you,” one source quoted PM Gilani telling his ministers rather bluntly in the meeting. Rauf Klasra

What is strange and dubious is why Rauf Klasra would not shy away from naming the "minister". Does he fear retribution from the Rehman Maliks and Zardaris? ~~t


Post a Comment

<< Home