Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

You are (not) free to go to your temples… 

26 Augustus 2011 07:29:57

You are (not) free to go to your temples…

Shahzad Raza

Someone championing the rights of minorities always disgusts me. Not the person is wrong but there is an inherent flaw in the whole idea.

We have long shunned the secularist features of Islam in pursuit of the ideologies of Wahabs or Khomenis. Thoughts containing traces of enlightenment are ignored or mocked at. Sometimes, the proponents are quashed.

The debate can encompass the 1400 years of Islamic era, wrapped with contradictions and controversies. And the state of Pakistan wasn’t immune to the historical hypocrisy.

One wonders if Quaid-e-Azam would have allowed the passage of Objective Resolution. Volumes have written in defense of the Objective Resolution and no one believes if its passage and later insertion in the 1973 Constitution added juxtapositions to the supreme document. Doesn’t it contradict Article 20-A of the Constitution? It is more a question of morality than jurisprudence, which is brazenly twisted and fractured according to the whims of the powerful right.

The tolerance against secular thoughts is forbidden what to talk about secularism itself. After his death followers and detractors of Jinnah’s ideology seemed to have developed a tacit understanding. He was portrayed as someone freshly graduated from a Darool Ulum.

Only leader the Muslims of the sub-continent had before Quaid-e-Azam was Muhammad bin Qasim – better to stay silent how and why that 8th century Muslim warrior died. The entire era of Muslim renaissance in the sub-continent is either ignored or distorted.

The interlopers have always been successful in Pakistan. They face little or no opposition. And when they do they know how to deal with Bhattis and Taseers. So, either their way to heaven or the highway to hell.

There is no solace to the heartburning in the absence of some radical changes in the Constitution – something nowhere seen in the realm of reality. The religious-based segregation of Pakistanis is poisonous bitter pill that kills leaving a permanent foul taste in the society.

Forgive my cynicism but it is preordained that nothing will change. The societies, which block all the safety valves and prefer rigidity over flexibility are severely broken. If it happens everything would change, even the Sabz Hilali Parchum. A symbol of national unity or a stark reflection of how the society is divided on religious grounds?

One extreme should not overpower another extreme. And no one has the stomach to bridge the poles-apart ideologies. But why don’t they play in a vast grey area in-between?

The seeds of extremism and intolerance have grown into oversize trees. The policy of chopping the branches off has led the nation to disarray.

It took decades to deface the true character of Pakistan. Imagine how much time is needed to correct the historical blunders – and that too when the society moves backward with full thrust.