Sunday, June 20, 2010

A hard hitting piece by Hoodbhoy

Himal magazine published an article by Pervez Hoodbhoy, and it has been reproduced on pakteahouse.

Hoodbhoy makes the following point
Decades after the horrific bloodbath of Partition, the idea of Pakistan remains hotly debated. It did not help that Jinnah died in 1948, just a year after Pakistan was born, with his plans still ambiguously stated. He authored no books and wrote no policy paper. He did make many speeches, of which several were driven by political expediency and are frankly contradictory. These are freely cherry-picked today, with some finding in them a liberal and secular voice; others, an embodiment of Islamic values. The confusion is irresolvable. 
which with satisfaction, we juxtapose against Vajra and his defense of pakteahouse's consensus history:
Every single line of that, every single word has been substantiated, not by one individual, by collective examination of the records and the analyses, by collective debate and discussion, a lively discussion, whereby parts were enhanced, parts were discarded, and nothing was accepted at face value.

I suppose it is time for Vajra to point Pervez Hoodbhoy to the archives:
To show that you are dishonest and lazy, I have to do nothing more than point readers, and you for that matter, to the archives.
Dishonest and lazy guy, this Hoodbhoy, who in all likelihood doesn't read pakteahouse.  I guess it is always best to come in via the front door instead of by comments.

(Note: I in general don't endorse Hoodbhoy, but he is about as liberal a Pakistani as you're likely to find.)

Hoodbhoy makes argues that Pakistan is not a nation, and points out how it might become one.  We won't go into why he thinks Pakistan is not yet a nation, but the steps he thinks Pakistan needs to take are good steps, regardless of what you think of Pakistani nationhood.

None of them include revising the narrative of Pakistan's creation, or even debating it.  In that sense, Hoodbhoy falls in the camp of this blog.

Hoodbhoy's prescription starts with peace - an end to the internal wars.  It continues with a modicum of economic justice.  It must shed the colonial structure of its government, presumably a holdover from the British era.  Then back to more economic justice and a social contract - citizens abide by the laws, and the government protects their rights.  Then it is on to reform of education.  Threaded through this is the idea that
In the end, for Pakistan to succeed, it must want to become a nation held together by mutual interests rather than by some abstract Islamic ideology.

No comments:

Post a Comment