Thursday, July 8, 2010

The culture of denial

I.A Rehman writes in the Dawn:

It should not have been difficult to see that the honourable parliamentarian was only elaborating one of the Pakistani elite’s main cultural traits — the culture of denial. This norm was adopted first by the elite in nearly all fields of life — politics, warfare, economy, academics and even theology — and has been turned, through centuries of practice, into an essential pillar of belief by the commoners too.

Thus, we the Pakistanis have never done anything wrong. If we ever lost a war the reason lay in the enemy’s perfidy or the duplicity of a traitor in our ranks. All our miseries in pre-partition India were the result of a malevolent alliance against us by the British and the Hindu and at the global scale we are innocent victims of the conspiracies continually hatched by ahle-Hunud-o-Yahood. We had no part in pushing East Bengal out of Pakistan; this was achieved by a ruler who drank and womanised and who was helped by the Soviets and India. Those who are killing people in mosques and shrines are not from us, they are aliens unleashed by hostile external forces.

Pakistanis do not even hesitate to deny their part in their biggest accomplishment, the creation of Pakistan, and blame Congress for this, and this theory gathers more and more supporters as the people see their condition becoming increasingly unbearable. No, we are not responsible for people’s poverty and for making a mess of almost everything. And apart from a distorted interpretation of the belief in a pre-ordained world, there is great material advantage in blaming Providence for all our follies, excesses and misadventures.

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