Daily Archives: January 1, 2010

Three Poems By Iqbal IV: Dialogue Between God And Man

By Dr. Ali Hashmi

Muhawaraa Maa Bain Khuda-o-Insan (Dialogue between God and Man):

 The third poem in this selection, ‘Muhawaraa maa bain Khuda-o-Insaan’ features one of Iqbal’s favorite styles, a dialogue or interplay between earthly and celestial figures. It also employs one of Iqbal’s favored poetical styles, the Socratic Method (or Socratic Debate), named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates, a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate rational thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving an oppositional discussion in which the defense of one point of view is pitted against the defense of another. One of the most famous examples of this genre is Iqbal’s lengthy poem ‘Shikwah’ or ‘Reproach’ in which Man(representing the Muslim faith) complains to God about the shabby treatment meted out to Muslims by God inspite of the sacrifices that Muslims have made on God’s behalf. The poem, which caused quite a stir when first read by Iqbal in public, is a bold criticism of God’s indifference to a people who feel they deserve better: Continue reading

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Filed under Partition, Philosophy, poetry

Pakistan; Looking forward and beyond 2010

By Adnan Syed

As the year 2010 approaches, Pakistan finds itself yet once again in the grip of an indecisive slumber. The nation is paralyzed by security concerns, its immediate neighbours from East to West accuse the country of harbouring terrorists, the economy barely nudges above the levels that signify growth, and lags far below the levels where poverty starts meaningfully decreasing.

It is far easier to pinpoint the shortcomings of an individual person, place the appropriate blame where it is due, and once the mistakes are identified, corrective measures can be taken. Yet, for a nation of 160MM individuals, where everyone blames everyone else for the nation’s woes, the nation gets paralyzed in the midst of finger pointing matches, the collective mistakes are seldom acknowledged, and even when the mistakes are recognized, the responsibility to take collective action falls through the cracks again and again.

It is far easier for Pakistan to continue on this road indefinitely. Status quo is always the easiest option in the short run, and usually the priciest in the long run.  But long run is too long of a time horizon for many of us.

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Filed under Democracy, Islamabad, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Zardari