By Yasser Latif Hamdani
What I am about to write may hurt my Indian friends and I am sorry. There are crooks, cranks and madmen in every country including India and there is no exaggeration in what I write. I am merely writing from the heart as I always do.
Much has been said about the Indian Premier League’s decision to leave out Pakistani cricketers in the year that Pakistan is the defending World Twenty20 Cricket Champion. Indians have come up with the stupidest excuses – excuses that cannot and should not make sense to any reasonable person. But then we are not dealing with reasonable people.
Forgive me for being harsh, but the truth is that Indians today are drunk with power and acting like the world’s newly rich. All of a sudden a hitherto mal-nourished and largely backward people through no fault of their own, mired in religious superstition and other such meandering parochialisms, find themselves sitting on a lot of wealth (or so they think) primarily – though not completely- because they have perfected the fine art and exact science of geometric population multiplication. In the process they have learnt to use terms that they have not arrived at organically – secularism, democracy, economy- etc but as events repeatedly show are clever ploys to claim a stake in the world. A few hours after the world trade center bombing, I ran into a few Indians in New Jersey and shared my feelings of profound sorrow with them. They responded with one line “America is finished now- India is the next world super power”- Again and Again I ran into Indians who repeated the same line to me . To me this response sums up the Indian uber-nationalist psyche for better or for worse. Ofcourse this is not to suggest that there aren’t any fine Indians- many manyIndians are genuine humanists and liberal secularists. They are not driving Indian policy however.
When Mumbai happened (and Pakistan mind you has had its fairshare of Mumbais too- many of which can be traced to India as well according to Pakistan’s government), India’s intelligentsia on a power-trip began to strategise how to hurt Pakistan and destroy it. These are not random Zaid Hamid like offbase characters or Kashifiat type Jamaat-e-Islami crazies who are laughable at best. Take a look at this brilliant professor at the IIM who wrote this ridiculous piece . India’s crook, cranks and madmen are ordinary respectable members of society. It is this thinking that is behind IPL franchises opting out of choosing Pakistani players. (One must take heart from the fact that Indian captain said in 2009 WT20 that India would win the tournament because all its cricketers play in the IPL. Pakistan ended up winning the tournament without even a single player playing in the IPL that year).
The irony is that many Pakistanis don’t understand just how far we have squandered our natural advantage over India. If there was ever a country in the subcontinent that had the potential of being a first world country, it was Pakistan. Pakistan is a naturally resource-rich country which is also at the crossroads of world’s energy and commercial transport hubs. Despite our many failures, we have a growing middle class, a free media and a growing consciousness which will transform Pakistan into a modern democracy. We do however need to throw out this unnatural obsession with religion. We should also sue for peace with India but as the IPL has proved abundantly, we need to look in all directions.
If we can put our house in order , Pakistan has the potential and ability to outdo India in every field and stand. Everyone other than Pakistanis themselves knows it. Indians know it and this is why you find so many Indian trolls baiting and abusing Pakistanis on Pakistani websites. In the information age – catching up will never be the problem but first we have to make up our minds. Do we want to live respectably with our heads held high? That would mean hard choices – one of which is to do away with our own crooks, cranks and madmen who have kept us mired in pipedreams and shadows.
The question is who is going to bell the cat? No instead we shall continue to persecute our minorities, let the mullahs lead us astray and watch ridiculous Indian fillums like 3 Idiots as a national past-time.