Tag Archives: pluralism

Faiz Ahmad Faiz and reiterating Pakistan’s plural culture

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

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Secularists And Jinnah’s 11th August Covenant

There is no more a sacred covenant than this speech by the founding father, statesman, law-giver and philosopher in chief ,  Mr. Jinnah,  for this country and it spoke clearly, undeniably, incontrovertibly, clearly not vaguely that religion would be separate from the state and that religion would be the personal faith of an individual. I’d like to add that there are 30 odd other speeches of Jinnah which also speak of an inclusive democratic polity unfettered by priests with a divine mission but 11th August is the most important speech because it is spoken to the constituent assembly which was about to start framing the constitution of Pakistan.    This is a solemn promise and should have the status of a sanctified compact between the state of Pakistan and all its people.   It is this compact that the honorable justices of our Supreme Court should have considered when they chose to spray the judgment against NRO with Islamic injunctionsYLH

By Ishtiaq Ahmed

No ideological tendency in Pakistan identifies itself with the August 11 speech of Jinnah with greater enthusiasm than the secularists. Among them are included the marginalised leftists, oppressed minorities, retired senior bureaucrats and radical intellectuals. Both Marxist and liberal versions of secularism inform their thinking. The secularists are divided on many things, but agree that the secular nature of the Quaid’s message is unequivocal and incontrovertible. Their lament is that his unworthy successors broke a sacred covenant of equal rights bequeathed by the Founder of Pakistan. Continue reading

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Filed under Egalitarian Pakistan, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Left, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, People's Pakistan, secular Pakistan, secularism

The Tide has Turned!

NFP

There is now a clear consensus developing in society at large not only against extremism, but also against whoever attempts to still explain it as a noble cause in the service of Islam and Pakistan.

The eruption of anti-government riots and protest rallies in Iran recently has taken even the most astute political observers by surprise. Continue reading

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Our Sacred Minorities

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

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Chakwal tragedy: An agenda to destroy Pakistan’s pluralism

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

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Dynamics of Change in Islamic Law (I): Normative Pluralism

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.

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The Asian Age and News Today have noted the Pak Tea House

Raza Rumi

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

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