Sunday, January 24, 2010

Karachi City Wakes Up Horny!!


It was an early morning drive from Sea View Clifton to my office, I saw a woman “maid”, waiting for bus, all of sudden one car stopped then a bike, asking her to sit, she refused but stranger guy was adamant. I passed by but disturbing thoughts occupied my mind because it was not the first time, every now and then any girl/woman is standing for bus, guys on bike, descent men in the car stop to try their luck for free sexual ride in the so called Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

One may not deny that generally prostitutes hunt customers all across the city streets but it does not mean every other girl/woman is a slut & looking for customers.

Frequent slut hunting adventure made me believe that Karachi ‘city of light’ wakes up horny.

Such harassment forces girls/woman to stay back home instead of contributing to economy because city is invaded by sexual animals available in all forms, on bikes, cars, wearing jeans and t shirt, scary kameez shalwar to tie and suit.

For Pakistani men, interesting pass time in social gathering is to talk about women, their body and share their sexual encounters to fantasies, I still remember my friend LIZ’s 'oppressed societies suffer from malaise of social abnormality'.

Sex is natural but waking up horny to everyday social discussions, everything revolves around women & sex, to me it is sick, disgusting and abnormal behavior.

Every other woman in Karachi has untold stories, be it child abuse to harassment at work. My female friends shared many horrific stories, such as teachers pushing for sexual favors for better grades, treatment as sex object at work rather than a thinking employee, from staring to pinching body parts in buses to markets.

Now the questions comes in my mind, will sex education ever help medieval sexist societies to change or more freedom is the answer such as, one may see the case of changing liberal cities in Morocco, marching from social oppression to more freedom and normal behavior.

Another disturbing thought always comes in my mind, why morality only revolves around women. Let me share powerful words of Ensler’s she says “womens’s empowerment is deeply connected to their sexuality”, she further says “I'm obsessed with women being violated and raped, and with incest and all of these things are deeply connected to our vaginas."

Woman is treated like an object, is it because we live in sexist male dominated society? Or religious interpretation empowers men to dominate or mistreat women???

I am clueless, can anyone helps me understand the reasons ??

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Three Idiots, Caution; Jerks & Idiots Next 340403 Square Miles

An idiot produces bunch of idiots, contributing to the idiot population in villages, towns, cities, and successfully creating Idiotistan. Sounds familiar, isn’t it?

At times I look at various academic institutions; only one thing comes in my mind “idiots manufacturing factories”. There may be exceptions but majority is producing parrots, good at remembering.

I had been reading since childhood that our mind is a thinking device not a store room and I still believe it.

Lately I came across an interesting movie “Three Idiots”, Aamir Khan is the lead cast, displayed diverse and humorous performance. Plot is borrowed from Five Point Someone-What not to do at IIT, written by Chetan Bhagat, one of the highest selling English novels published in India.

Movie brilliantly depicts the family pressure, when it comes to a child’s career, forcing a kid to study Engineering vis a vis perusing his heart’s desire, be it photography, sports, music. It is so true, if one listens to heart, there won’t be any regret and career would be like hobby.

In our society, even at brilliant universities, students are pressurized to memorize and live under the pressure of so called GPA. Even most of the teachers believe that they know everything, if someone challenges any thought or idea; it generally hurts teacher’s ego and end up taking revenge.

I still remember, at university I had always been one of the top students, asking questions and challenging was part of my academic pursuance, rarely cared for GPA, one of the teachers got offended with my challenging thoughts and he ended up failing me, first time ever in my life. I challenged it and got away with it.

So called educated lot lacks basic social consciousness, esp. business graduates in my circle are like corporate zombies, hardly knows about Pakistani society, not much about indigenious people, history and geography . They prefer cramming books to graduate and earn a living, no need to have social consciousness, prefer having dinner with friends than buying a book. I seriously get disillusioned to see educated lot when they act uncivilized all around.

Be it teachers, society or even parents, no one likes questions, challenging thoughts is considered rude behavior. You end up hearing sentences such as “How dare you challenge your parents’ ideas? “Tumhein abhi dunya ka pata hee kia hay??” How much have you seen the world? How many books have you read?

At times I look back at colonial societies, I find, academic system in Colonial India was designed to produce low level clerks. Slaves or subjects had no right to challenge or question masters? Similarly such behaviors became part of family value system.

Another interesting thing I came across was that in colonial societies, language was one of the tools always used for exploitation. Persian was the language of Kings & Queens & Darbar’s but common men used to speak native languages so was the case with English. Even today, language is used to exploit or keep majority under privileged, one may not deny the importance of English but it is used as entry barriers.

Societies prosper and grow with the power of ideas and quality of thought, it is the mind that makes the difference and thoughts lead to prosperity.

There is a famous saying “An idiot is a genius to another idiot”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Privacy is No Longer a 'Social Norm’ !!!

You must be wondering what the limits of privacy are, well, lately, Google COO Sheryl Sandberg publicly said that privacy is no longer a social norm. As student of social sciences I always come across the sentence that social norms change overtime. However it is also believed that core values hardly change over the period. On the one hand, when gadgets like IPod create social isolation, people end up saying ‘hey IPod stop causing social isolation’. On the other hand social networking mediums like Facebook and Twitter connect us, people end up saying “hey Facebook stop privacy invasion”.

There are people who are convinced that too much isolation and too little privacy are the biggest social problems of our time. Google COO believes that “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people.”
We have witnessed that our networking journey in cyber age, all the way started with basic chat site to video talk, personal information sharing on web to new phenomenon of blogging and social networking like Facebook & Twitter. These days people are asking questions "Is too much information available to public not an invasion of public privacy, enabling people to stalk and access all the information"? Well, on the one hand people believe that we have choice through privacy setting, what to put on the Facebook and what not? Who should be able to view and who should not!!! On the other hand people believe that Facebook makes people to make more personal information publicly available without realizing it.

There may be many views on privacy debate but one thing one should realize that as per Newyork Times, Google and Microsoft Bing has signed an agreement with Facebook, to allow people’s status updates to be indexed by both search engines in order to enable the search giants to provide real time results. Is human society redefining the social norms pertaining to privacy or we are going to face the maliase of no privacy, spread by social networking medium. Let us see, time will tell.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Ghost of Mohd Bin Qasim in Pakistan!!


These days Whitechapel Gallery in London is exhibiting photographs from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As per Guardian newspaper The Ghost of Mohd Bin Qasim “part of India, Pak and Bangladesh photo exhibit” photographs are getting visitor’s attention.

When I heard the word Ghost, I got excited and read complete story. One may wonder what is the connection of Pakistan with Mohd Bin Qasim, well as per our history books he was the one who laid the foundation of Pakistan, later completed by Jinnah.

Well he was an Umayyad Dynasty’s general who conquered Sindh and Punjab region along the Indus River at the age of 17. Historians believe that “Umayyad interest in the region stemmed from their desire to control the trade route down the Indus River valley to seaport of Sindh, an important link in the ancient Silk Road”.

Apart from Mohd Bin Qasim, exhibition shows the most shameful period of Pakistani history “our history books are quiet” when we lost Eastern wing now known as Bangladesh. One of the famous Pakistani novelists, who visited the exhibition, described her feelings when she saw the atrocities of Pakistan Army, she writes” I turn to the Bangladeshi photographers in order to fix my gaze on that blood-soaked epoch. I don't even realise I'm doing this, at first. I think I'm looking at a man's head, cast in marble; the sculpture is cheek-down amid a cluster of stones, almost camouflaged by them. Then I read the caption: "Dismembered head of an intellectual killed 14 December 1971 by local collaborators of Pakistani army. Bangladesh." It is extraordinarily eerie, and sad”.


Guardian writes that “The Ghost of Mohammad Bin Qasim” shows the nation's attempt to create an official history, which focuses on Muslims in the subcontinent (rather than Pakistan's geographical boundaries), the Arab general Bin Qasim (712 AD) was lauded for being the first Muslim to successfully lead a military campaign in India – even though he did little to consolidate his position. In Abidi's photographs, a man in Arab dress is shot at different locations in Karachi, including the mausoleum of the nation's secular founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The man is clearly Photoshopped in, deliberately so: he represents the attempt to graft a false history on to Pakistan, linking it to the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia.

It is ironic; nations fail when they try to manufacture a country’s foundation on the basis of false history.

As Baloch and Pakistani, I lament to mention that as kid I never came across my Baloch childhood heroes ‘my elders used to share the stories about’ such as Balach and Chakar . But we were forced to read about Muslim invaders from desert land of Arabia and Afghanistan.

When I was in US, came across various books on history, I realized that anyone who defends the motherland is a Hero. For a while I went back to my childhood and started questioning myself about Mohd Bind Qasim, Mehmood Gaznavi and Ghauri. Also the stature of Raja Dahir and Bhagat Singh rose high in my mind

I also got my long awaited answer, now I know why Pakistani nation is confused!! I truly get to see Ghosts of Mohammad Bin Qasim, Tipu Sultan and Lord Mountbatten on the streets of Pakistan.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Crazy New Year Celebrations in Pakistan!!!

New Year’s Eve is all about celebration, parties and social gatherings. Whole world welcomes it with breathtaking fire work. Pakistani’s celebrate it with indiscriminate and random aerial firing, creating harassment, fear and resulting in injuring over 50 to 100 people. Youngsters march towards beach, display careless biking skills, harasses families esp. when they see women creature.

The other day I saw it on TV, Sydney Municipal Corporation hosts over 2 million people for firework display that lasted from 15 to 25 minutes followed by music shows on several stages throughout the beach. Imagine over 2 million people, how much revenue and positive image Sydney gets.

Forget about first world countries, lets look at Brazil, Rio beach hosts performance of popular bands and samba school. Over 2 million people thronged to the beach, over 28,000 hotel rooms occupied. One could imagine the amount of revenue this event generates for the city; it is an ideal time to position RIO on world map before Olympic Game in Brazil.

Oh I forgot, Pakistan and our Muslim population has problem with Christian holidays our Mujahid on the roads have issues if people celebrate it.

Well fine, if we look at Muslim holidays, the way we celebrate UGH let me read a news report it says Town Admn imposed complete ban on fire crackers to be used for fire works on Shab e Baraat, in order to safeguard public life and property and to maintain general peace.

The way we celebrate without realizing how much our celebration may cause inconvenience for others.

At times I think only socially illiterate societies are engulfed with Cheapness!!!!

Burning Karachi !! Points to Ponder !!!

Ardeshir Cowasjee writes “To be noted! Bomb blast at 4:30 pm at Lighthouse intersection. Shops set on fire at 4:22 pm with chemicals by gangsters for a length of 2 km till Bolton Market. City Government Fire Brigade reached after 4 hours. All shops closed but by 4 am in morning thousands of banners hanging in the city.... Pattern of selective targets is evident. Who gains by removal of old buildings & markets?”
Think about it !!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Please Don’t Let Democracy Down !!!!

Bomb blasts, blame game, irresponsible media, insecurity, uncertainty, chaos, hopelessness, pessimism, confusion and emotions define current state of Pakistani affairs.

Every now and then media tells us that PPP government is going to fell down in three months, six months, eight months, one year, blaming that PPP is the culprit, anti Pakistan, responsible for putting clauses against Army in Kerry Lugar Bill. NRO is going to topple Zardari government; he is the worst guy and Pakistan must get rid off of him.

Pakistan’s ailment linked with Zardari and PPP, remove him and peace would knock on the doors.

Our middle class leaning towards right wing, chanting anti American slogans, ironically no one condemns Taliban. They consider whatever attacks are being carried out in the name of Taliban; they are either Indian or Jewish agent. It is believed that middle class is change agent but in Pakistan they are conservative apologetic.

Security establishment along with their supporters in the form of right wing religious parties are busy enough to dent the democracy, so is enlightened media with their biases and hollow analysis.

Do you think removing PPP government is going to solve Pakistan’s problems?

Let us assume if PPP government is removed, is there any other force that enjoys public support from Karachi to Khyber?

Does alternate force present any strategic plan to address economy, deal with US, and peace talks with India, to deal with US pressure esp. war on terror ‘be it Quetta Shura or North Waziristan’? Does anyone have plans to address Balochistan issue better than PPP government?

We have already seen decades of Zia, Musharraf military rule but everyone knows what they delivered!! To conclude, eminent columnist Nadeem Paracha’s words speak volumes Remember East Pakistan? No uniformed strong man or a mard-i-momin can save a country as diverse as ours. Stop getting lost in the middle-class fantasies of powerful men and glorious conquests. Vote, and then wait to vote out whom you do not like. Stop falling prey to fascist escapades dressed as patriotism, uprightness and worst of all, akhlaq. I would again urge…. Please Don’t Let Democracy Down!!!!