Posted by Raza Rumi
Today is the 26th death anniversary of Faiz Ahmed Faiz whose life and works are national assets. Faiz was a torchbearer of the glorious traditions set by great Urdu poets such as Ghalib and Iqbal. Faiz distinguished himself as a proponent of a revolutionary vision, which blended the romance of classical Urdu poetry with the idealism of revolutionary struggles. Faiz’s political ideology provided modern Urdu verse an unprecedented political and romantic expression. Faiz brought Pakistan international acclaim and the world bestowed on him the highest honours, including the Lenin Peace Prize (1962). He has also left a corpus of essays, editorials and commentaries from his years in journalism. This body of work still needs to be fully assessed for its literary dimensions. Faiz’s literary career coincided with the emergence of Pakistan and its unfortunate history of political instability and militarisation, which isolated its majority Eastern wing and resulted in its break-up in 1971. His famous poem ‘Yeh Daagh Daagh Ujala’ remains an apt comment on the creation of a ‘moth-eaten’ Pakistan, which continues to grapple with issues of identity. The Pakistani state treated him shoddily as he remained under arrest for extended periods or in exile.
The decade of the 1970s witnessed a change when Bhutto appointed him as Chairman of the National Council of the Arts. Faiz authored Pakistan’s Culture Policy of [early 1970s], which was partially implemented. This new cultural discourse broke the hegemony of the Continue reading
We are posting here a book review – courtesy Daily Times- which raises some very important points. Pakistan is a multicultural and multiethnic society but often this is not represented or recognized. It is therefore important to take a stock of the situation and make amends now for a pluralistic Pakistan starting perhaps with our national flag. As a successor authority, the completely green flag of the Muslim League was amended and a white part was added to represent the minorities to show Pakistan’s diversity. Unfortunately that white part has now become representative of exclusion rather than the principle of inclusion which it was to signify. It is high time that we constitutionally adopted the meanings of white and green along the lines that the original mover – Liaqat Ali Khan – suggested i.e. Green for Life, White for Peace and Crescent and Star for Progress -YLH
By Khaled Ahmed
The white patch in our flag are the non-Muslims. There was no one in our midst who objected to this separate white patch which means that there is a tacit Muslim acceptance of ‘separation’ of the non-Muslim. Even the Quaid did not protest who should have because he didn’t want people defined, divided or separated on the basis of religion. ‘Separation’ was something in the air after 1947. And the Muslim League flag had to be modified; so why not do it with a white patch? Continue reading
Yesterday’s ghastly attack at an Imambargah has again highlighted the agenda of the terror-mongers. They want to eliminate all the minorities, plurality of Pakistani population
DECLAN WALSH reporting from the Guardian in Islamabad Continue reading
by Aasem Bakhshi
In my view, the most important crisis that Muslim society miserably failed to handle during Islam’s sojourn into modernity is diversity. By diversity, I mean religious heterogeneity in any form, may it be the pronouncement of legal injunctions, opinions regarding societal norms or something as personal as individual religious practices.
Therefore, whether it is the abundance of contradictory fatwas on issues as diverse as women leading prayers to Muslims attending Christmas celebrations to Islamic prohibition of images to what constitutes death, Pakistani brothers arguing about the bare heels of a Chinese sister during Hajj or my grandma’s queasiness while watching me pray in a manner other than our family’s religious school, there is an invisible urge to see a kind of religious monism; a CONSENSUS based on an almost Utopian unity of intelligibility, opinion and action.
It was rather delightful to see that the leading Indian newspaper The Asian Age published a write up on the Pak Tea House blog-zine. Interestingly, the newspaper from South India, News Today also carries a story on us on December 3, 2007. News Today found the image below. Impressive.
This would not have been possible without the contributions and efforts of the PTH team. Continue reading