Tag Archives: Pakistan History

History and Interpretations:Communalism and Problems of Indian Historiography 3

This is the third part of the history’s diverse interpretations and their contribution in understanding the world. Indeed, we are not bound by any, nor is any particular version a gospel of truth but as analytical tools these approaches enable us to make sense of the mess that we know, preach and live with as History. Readers are encouraged to comment and indicate examples that validate or challenge the various ways of interpreting History. [Raza Rumi – Ed]

Shaheryar Ali

we have explained, the “critical” turn of “Modern History”, we have covered, the debate of Marxism and History, the various models, the critique of Nationalism as a philosophy, the advent of “Orientalism”, “Post-colonial critique”, the “critique of modernism”. Critique of “civilizing missions”.

The project of modernity, including the “Enlightenment” have come under critique, the new historiographies focus on the “oriental” and “euro centric” mind set of Modern thinkers. Tariq Ali for examples says:

“How many citizens have any real idea of what the Enlightenment really was? French philosophers did take humanity forward by recognising no external authority of any kind, but there was a darker side. Voltaire: “Blacks are inferior to Europeans, but superior to apes.” Hume: “The black might develop certain attributes of human beings, the way the parrot manages to speak a few words.” There is much more in a similar vein from their colleagues. It is this aspect of the Enlightenment that appears to be more in tune with some of the generalized anti-Muslim ravings in the media. (Tariq Ali in “This is the real out rage”)

Here we see the usefulness of Marxist historiography, the belief in “Purposefulness of History”. When George Bush started his War on Terror, what were the philosophical justifications? It was once again, the good old “modernizing mission”. The war to preserve “civilization” from old backward “barbarians”. Hence the term “Neo-colonialism”.

Ali is trying to make a connection between modernism and neo-colonialism and imperialism.

I want to address yet another question, for the sake of clarity here. We live in epoch of confusion and hyper-reality. Capitalism in form of imperialism has created the greatest propaganda system that ever existed, the “free media”. Continue reading

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History is different from farce: Dr Mubarak

By Farman Ali (DAWN)
ISLAMABAD, July 8: Eminent historian and thinker Dr Mubarak Ali says the history written in Pakistan had been “dictated” by the ruling Establishment and represents its wilful perversion of facts “to accord with a fabricated ideology”.

“No authentic history has yet been written about Pakistan and its independence. There is a lot of confusion among the so-called pro-Establishment historians and educationists. Whatever has been written so far is distortion of history and entirely unbalanced,” Dr Ali told Dawn in an interview.

Unless the distortions were removed and facts told as they existed, the nation could not hope to make any real progress, he said, adding: “This is the lesson history has taught us”.

Dr Ali, who was interviewed over the weekend after he gave a lecture on the subject at Safma Media Centre the other day, said writing history in an ideological state was a problem. Continue reading

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Pakistan’s judicial crisis: remembering another sordid tale

Justice (retired) Nasim Hasan Shah’s offer

Salman Akram Raja, writing on the moral position of the lawyers’ movement reminds us of this grim chapter of our history:

Is it time now to abandon concern for what is right? Justice (retired) Nasim Hasan Shah reminds us in his remarkable memoirs that during the Bhutto appeal before the Supreme Court he had offered, on behalf of all Punjabi judges, a deal that Justice (retired) Dorab Patel had turned down. Continue reading

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