Tag Archives: Socialism

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

ISLAM – CAPITALISM OR SOCIALISM

Asghar Ali Engineer

A few days ago a press conference was held in Mumbai by some Muslim organizations including some Muslim theologians claiming that Islam is against capitalism and imperialism and that we would launch a campaign against both. It is indeed a crude attempt to compare or contrast modern political ideologies with Islam which originated in 7th century Arabia. Islam has its central values like truth, justice and equality of all human beings. But these are core values of Islam which very favourably compare with modern concept of human rights, human dignity and social justice. But modern economic conditions and political ideologies have their own origin which has nothing to do with the economic conditions prevailing after Islam appears on the Arabian scene. Continue reading

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Filed under Islam, Left, Philosophy, Politics, Religion

The Idea of Pakistan: Iqbal-Jinnah correspondence 1

Given the discussion that emerged out of my article on the same theme,  I am reproducing the letter from Allama Iqbal to Quaid-e-Azam in 1937.   Iqbal was instrumental in converting Jinnah to the idea of Muslim nationhood and  Muslim statehood.  These letters show the depth of feeling as it emerged in Punjabi Muslim middle classes for the idea of an independent Muslim majority state in North West of India and the historical forces that were at play.  Unlike Mian Kifayet Ali’s scheme,  this was fanciful.  For example how would the law of Islam- albeit modernized and liberalized-  solve the problems of Muslim poverty?  Similarly Iqbal totally miscalculated in his estimate of Hinduism’s and Islam’s ability to imbibe new and modern ideas.  It turned out to be the exact opposite.  Iqbal’s vision was ideological even if his ideology was liberal and not conservative. Jinnah was obviously not too inclined towards such a vision hailing as he did from the minority Khoja sect which applied Hindu law to inheritance issues. In 1943 when Dr. A H Kazi tabled a resolution to commit the League to an Islamic constitution,  Jinnah described it as nothing less than “censure” on every leaguer. When asked about Sharia, Jinnah replied “Sharia? Whose Sharia? No. I shall have a modern state in Pakistan”-   to him modernity was not in conflict with the true spirit and the true sharia of Islam.  –YLH

My dear Mr. Jinnah, 

Thank you so much for your letter which reached me in due course. I am glad to hear that you will bear in mind what I wrote to you about the changes in the constitution and programme of the League. I have no doubt that you fully realise the gravity of the situation as far as Muslim India is concerned. The League will have to finally decide whether it will remain a body representing the upper classes of Indian Muslims or Muslim masses who have so far, with good reason, no interest in it. Personally I believe that a political organisation which gives no promise of improving the lot of the average Muslim cannot attract our masses.  Continue reading

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Mixed Messages

The following post, I’ll be the first to admit, is the perfect definition of a storm in a teacup, which is rather apt, since we’re going to be talking about tea-sipping socialites. I’m about to make a mountain out of a molehill, or, more exactly, an academic exercise out of an amateur effort.

Like most Pakistanis, I’ve read my fair share of articles bemoaning this country’s ongoing identity crisis, the corruption of its youth, the erosion of its core values. Personally, I believe the greatest danger to our social fabric – 100 per cent cotton, Made in Pakistan – is polarisation. Rather than politely fan across the social spectrum, Pakistanis repel each other and huddle in clusters around distinct poles. We’re beings in binary opposition: male/female, rich/poor, burger/bun kabab, urban/rural, Wahabi/Sufi, extremist/moderate, overeating/dieting … I could continue ad nauseum.

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Taimur Rahman on Socialist Economy

 

Taimur Rahman is a member of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party of Pakistan.

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Marx Shrugged: Introduction

(The following is an attempt to understand Marxism as a social and economic ideology from a non-technical point of view. Already a bevy of efforts to simplify Marxism have been made and this is merely another addition to the trend. This lay interpretation of Marxism is spread over a series of articles of which this is the first.)

By Zia Ahmad

 

 Back in the day when color red carried connotations of evil and Godlessness, words like Communism, Socialism and Marxism were equated with unrepentant vice, waywardness and choice of lifestyle adopted by the heretics and atheists. Nothing short of a foul swear word in view of our elders, Marxist and Socialist ideas were actively discouraged and demonized. Continue reading

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Filed under Economy, History, Humour, Labour, Left, Multinational Corporations, Pakistan, Society

On Barak Obama: A Class Perspective of US electoral Politics

Barack Obama is being hailed as a “prophet of change” in USA. Being the first African American to be this close of being President of USA , he has aroused passion and hope in a large section of American society. He has been able to moblize working class and youth in the election. He created this momentum by his very radical speeches , his focus on trade unions, minorities, youth , women etc. USA is long known as one imposing wars on other countries. The greatest war USA has imposed is on its own people. The American Working class, most advanced proletariat in the word has been oppressed by USA. USA has a history of a very strong Socialist movement but this champion of free world has never allowed a “socialist party” in USA.

This is a class perspective of USA electoral politics, it shows that Barack Obama is not the great champion of working classes rather he is just a more brilliant and presentable face of American capitalism.

we are thankful to international Marxist website and American international Workers League for this article

Shaheryar Ali

Is Barack Obama an alternative for US workers?

By Shane Jones

After years of Bush’s open-ended war on working people at home and abroad, many on the “left” are desperate for an alternative. For many, that alternative is Barack Obama, a Democratic Senator from Illinois. Obama, who is very careful with his words and actions, has done a good job so far of portraying himself as a “sensible progressive”.  However, far from being a “progressive” alternative, Obama is at his core a typical representative of the bosses’ political parties. Despite presenting himself as a candidate of “change”, Obama is a defender of capitalism and imperialism, and hence of exploitation and oppression. On all fundamentals, he is far closer to Bush than he is to being a genuine alternative for working people. Continue reading

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Filed under Politics, USA