Choosing The Right Words For Condemnation

Today was indeed a bad day when Israeli Defence Forces attacked on Freedom Frotilla which was bound for Gaza to provide aid to the stranded people there. Well, nearly everyone is aware of today’s catastrophe so I’d not go into much of the details. However, I condemn the perennial barbarity of Israeli Government, in today’s case too.

My sole concern of now is that when we condemn such acts of barbarism, we need not be ambiguous with the words. It, at times, give a wrong impression to the people we’re strangers to. However, sometimes one lack the right words to express, and even in such case the reader shouldn’t jump to a conclusion too. Asking for a clarification is fine as well. Though one must be careful with his/her words while criticizing. Bombing on Israel is no solution. A horde of Israelis condemn the act of barbarism by Israeli Defence Forces. It’s fine to condemn the act of the particular source rather — and in this case the Israeli Government — than condemning the whole country. In the same way, one can always condemn the unethical behavior of American Government, but it’s not fine to abuse or blame or condemn the whole America. Why to talk about killing or condemning a common American person — be it a Jew or a Christian? The Freedom Flotilla carried 750+ people from 10’s of different countries with different religions including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists etc.

I prefer to choose my words carefully, but at times I do make unintentional mistakes. In any case, and to be sure, my intentions are neat. God knows that. But the other person totally stranger to me and reading my posts or listening to my words may not know what my intentions are.

I don’t doubt the intention of many other people condemning the state of Israel. But I’d suggest them re-again to avert from ambiguity — be precise and particular rather than general.

If at anytime I’m found using ambiguous words — anyone can feel free to correct me.

Thanks to one of my friend who brought my attention towards this matter.

The Summer Vacations And Nostalgia

Summer Vacation -- Kids Planning What To Do In The Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation -- Kids Planning What To Do In The Summer Vacation

I can’t believe time has flied too quickly. It really flies as none of us is able to control it. When I see myself grown up to this age, I’m sometimes unable to believe. Nowadays, when I’m seeing kids planning big time for their summer vacations, it is reminding me of my old days — the time when I was a school-goer. We used to be so excited about the summer vacations that we would start planning things days before the commencement of vacations. The last day of school — before the summer vacations — used to be a little melancholic. Friends used to shake hands and hug each other as though the departing is forever. But that was love. That was a literal and cunning demonstration of an excellent friendship. I can recall it very well, before departing the exchanging of landline numbers used to be yet another common practice. Despite that I used to have phone numbers of my classmates, I would go on reconfirming their numbers from them — reading their numbers to them from a diary I kept once. Unfortunately, that diary is now gone missing somewhere.

I remember getting loads of homework, loads of mathematics exercises to do, loads of writing stuff including the essays etc. I assume this particular essay as a homework was commonly given to every school-vacationer: “How did you spend your summer vacations?” The end-all of the summer vacations for all students, including myself, was to enjoy to its apex. All things we had planned days before vacations started to become a dream of open-eyes that continuously struggle to reach to the roots of real happiness throughout the two months of vacations period.

Note: Recently Children Seldom Play Outdoor in Mid-Summer

Note: Recently Children Seldom Play Outdoor in Mid-Summer

I remember how the little things as spare time activities were precious to us. It included playing on Sega and Nintendo, playing cricket during scorchers, or to watch the PTV and STN dramas during the evening, and late night teleplays on weekends. The Urdu-dubbed cartoons like Ninja Turtles, Camp Candy, Thunder cats etc. were of phenomenal importance to every one of us who grew up in the time then. To get injured during the cricket fielding or while taking the runs was my habitual practice. I can successfully stake the claim that many of us, during the summer vacations, used to be hyperactive. Perhaps that was the time we had feelings that tomorrow may never come, or tomorrow we may have to spend more time on the vacations homework, so let’s take advantage of the moments of present and gather all the happiness for today like no other day of the past. In those days, maybe we had just a little idea that the blitheness and liveliness regarding the then ongoing affairs will be so affectionately preserved by us in the later days of life.

Watching the school-goers of today, it has made me reminisce my time — my summer vacations so nostalgically. I remember I used to buy loads of novels to read during the summer vacations. To add, I was crazy after detective and mystery novels — always asking my parents to buy me more and more. At times when I would get no ‘more’ new novels, then I would have to re-read the ones I’ve already read. To be sure, it used to be same fun to me, and often it felt that I’m reading a new novel, despite that I had already read it in times past.

It was a time when peace prevailed comprehensively. Most, if not all, of the vacation-enjoyers were the little devils who enjoyed participating in every sort of monkey business, for example: ringing the bells as though to bug the people for fun, and then running amok out of fear of getting caught or getting seen by anyone around (Well, let me confess that I used to do this too. Even after leaving the school I’ve been involved in such a monkey business. It’s fun to be young sometimes. But now it’s long since I rang the bell and ran amok); plucking the fruits (if neighbors have any fruit-tree) by throwing pebbles or sometimes even the slippers. Per chance, if one slipper got stuck, we would take a risk of throwing another, but this time not with the intention of catching the fruit, instead to rescue the stuck slipper; playing hide and seek and jumping off from one roof top to the neighbor’s roof top. There was a huge variety of mischievous activities and stupid-funny pranks during those days which we used to practice often. And often I had been grounded by parents as though in punishment after getting caught doing things which were prohibited by parents.

The peace of those days — from the eyes and sayings of many of us who grew up in 80’s and 90’s — can’t be seen or felt today. Many, grew up in those days, say that the old and venerable peace is lost. I ascertain that too. I think each generation and the time period of growing up has its doozy distinction from another. We, the ones who grew up in 80’s and 90’s, grew up in a time when society was cultivating in whatever way peaceful, but it made our age group profoundly engulfed in that time; hence, we often say our time was great. For today’s generation, they’re getting engulfed in a time and age when society is cultivating in a different way; hence, they feel in their own way that their time is great than the former generation or time period in which their older cousins or siblings grew up. It’s a natural thought many a times. I believe that whatever the time and whatever the generation it is for youngsters like school-goers, they always find peace and contentedness in their life in their own doozy way. Particularly in the case of these youngsters and school-goers, such sort of peace, contentedness and charm is purely relative to the young age.

By God, I’m intensely nostalgic now!

Protest, But Not As Extremist

A Protest In Pakistan Against The Facebook Hosting Blasphemous Caricatures -- Photo Courtesy: Dawn

A Protest In Pakistan Against The Facebook Hosting Blasphemous Caricatures -- Photo Courtesy: Dawn

Web and the media, nowadays both are engaged in a donnybrook fair substantially. The former one seems to be engaged more intensely than the latter one perhaps because the issue is hermetically relevant to it: the ban on Facebook in Pakistan.

There has formed four groups in Pakistan regarding the ban on Facebook: a) who support the blanket ban on Facebook, b) who don’t support the ban at all c) who don’t support the blanket ban, but believe that only the ban of particular sacrilegious page is suffice d) who support the ban till 31st May.

It merits mentioning here that those who support the total ban on Facebook exist in absolute majority. I personally ascertain that the guesstimate is depending upon the social-interactions with a number of people in the real world as well as over the web. Others have right to disagree. Besides, a poll on ProPakistani — a famous Pakistani blog — tells again that absolute majority endorses the ban on Facebook. Other than that, over the online forums, a horde of people are seen endorsing the ban on Facebook. GEO News says that 70pc Pakistanis want permanent Facebook ban.

At the present time, a lot of people are seen criticizing the verdict of Lahore High Court given on 19th May. For those people who’re constantly, and to an extent frustratingly, criticizing the court decision, I’ve this for them: once the court gives an order, it’s not open to any authority to defy it. While there’s a room for criticism and reviewals, there’s no room for defiance. Besides, the constant criticism over the decision isn’t something pragmatic. One always has a right to challenge the verdict by submiting a review petition. This is one easy solution to say the least.

Now come towards the extremists within ourselves. Extremists within ourselves are abundant. Once the Winston Churchill said: “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Since the time the argle-bargle over the issue has begun, all I’ve seen is the two kind of extremists on either sides: those who support the ban, and the others who don’t support the ban. Yes — even it includes the one who don’t support the ban. The extreme situation has emerged now with both the sides cunningly demonstrating their point of view and either side asserting theirs to be the right, but at times their actions during the argumentation and protestation process are nonetheless appeared extremists. The above picture decisively speaks for itself. Exclaiming that “Facebook is Filth and Filth Lovers Burn in Hell” is a blatant show of extremism. Why should a person burn in hell if he uses Facebook or loves to use Facebook? The whole web is penetrated with the filth in abundant. Banning facebook till 31st May, in order that to record a protest against the unjust done by Facebook and over the sacrilegious material, is a mere moderate way of recording the protest and since there are reports that the page has been removed, why a ban now?

The same way, it goes for the youtube. Why to keep youtube under a ban when it has, the very next day, removed the sacrilegious material? The web is full of blasphemous material against our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW, or rather I should say that even in our surrounding we’ve blasphemers — the blasphemers of other kind who don’t follow His teachings. Last time I checked, the love of Prophet is in following His Shariah!

On the other side, there are people who don’t support the blanket ban. Having said that, they’re acting as a pedagogues for the people who’re in favor of a ban, saying them that ignorant (in this case the participants and subscribers of “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”) need to be taught via a good behavior; whereas these pedagogues have simultaneously engaged themselves in a mocking-spree against the ones who support the ban. It’s that, some websites like MillatFacebook.Com and PakFacebook.Com have popped in over the surface of web — freshly developed by the facebook antagonists in Pakistan. These websites, and their developers, are fervently criticized and desperately scorned by the people who oppose the blanket ban. While I stand next to them against the blanket ban forever, I’d like to tell them that scorning and criticizing — even in a lighter vein — isn’t going to yield any lucrative result amongst the youths. It’s the responsibility of them to be toned down while attempting to address and rectify the issues within the society. Sometimes, and in some cases, I see people scream so much against extremism that they become extremists themselves.

All things considered, I daresay that we need to be moderate with the acts. Protesting is one thing which is fine, and which I’m doing too — extremism is another thing which is nervy.

Pakistani Team Hanging Between Failures & Fate

Pakistan Vs South Africa T-20 2010 Super-8 -- Photo Courtesy: CricInfo & AFP

Pakistan Vs South Africa T-20 2010 Super-8 -- Photo Courtesy: CricInfo & AFP

Pakistan being in T-20 Semi-Final is, if anything, a divine umpiring went in our favor once again in the lot of so many agains of the past. First, we nearly lost in the first round and prayed for Australia to defeat Bangladesh so that we could move to Super-8 on the basis of Run Rate. Fortunately, God listened to us and we moved to Super-8 cheerfully — and rarely just so. While moving to the 2nd round of T-20 world cup, we richly hoped that we’ll abandon the irresponsible and reckless team behavior and would perform well, but unfortunately the team didn’t cope well in the Super-8 too; However, yesterday’s match with South Africa could be supposed as a little energetic that has made me think again about the banner which was waved by a Pakistani supporter the other day in the pavilion that read: “The team is unpredictable and unreliable, but mostly unpredictable.” But what are the reasons that we’re oft said to be “unpredictable”, yet by the “commentators” apart from the Pakistanis? Why is there too much lack of consistency in the team’s performance?

The politics and the likes of other sleazy factors within the team is said to have been destroying the team for a long time now and that has left the performance of team in the hands of sheer fate — that whatever God will decide, it shall be that way. It’s my opinion that even if we win or lose the T-20, the reckless and devil-may-care gameplay shouldn’t be tolerated by the board as well as the people of Pakistan. I reiterate again, even if we win the T-20 — and I pray we win — we shalln’t tolerate the vicissitudes that occur in the team’s performance perennially. We yet shouldn’t forget the report lately leaked out by the Pakistan Cricket Board about the Pakistan’s humiliating defeat in Australia last season. The report again speaks loud about the factors leading the team to the extreme state of limbo. In any case, I’m emphatic of it that the issues, that has contaminated the performance of our team, need to be addressed in a more serious way than ever. For the better and acceptable performance of the team in the future, this is indispensable. And must we understand the crux that unless the issues affecting the team’s performance aren’t addressed and rectified accordingly, we’ll always keep on hanging between the failures and the fate. It’s high time to put a pause on the gambling on fate. Win or lose, I think one mustn’t make it a primary concern of today particularly.

On top of that, I’m in no favor of fulminating and bashing the team over the media inasmuch as this heightens the pressure on the team; this way team couldn’t fare well by and large, neither a national-bashing campaign could change the performance of the team to good or satisfactory. C’mon. that’s just a game, don’t pretend to be a Momus in this case. Criticizing lightly and positively would just suffice.

Poors Should Be The Priority

Pakistan: A group of boys scrambles for bread rations -- Photo Courtesy -- Dawn

Pakistan: A group of boys scrambles for bread rations -- Photo Courtesy -- Dawn

Two days back strolling down the street next to mine, I encountered a little event usual yet unusual which I’m to describe here. Strolling, and busy in thoughts, my mind was brought back to the earth by a little kid in ragged clothes who popped in from somewhere and asked me: “Kuch paisey dey dein sahab.” (Please give me some money)

At first, I slowed down my feet. When he would say “Rooti khani hai sahab, bohat bhook lagi hai” (I’m so very starving, need some bread to eat), I pushed the brake of my feet. Standing there, I put my hands in the pocket to give him the money for the food. I gave him some amount. The poor little guy looked at the sum and then looked at me and said, “Khulla la don Sahab?” (Shall I bring the change)

I told him to keep it and then I moved, strolling to frontward.

This is usual whenever I go out. Many a times I had encountered the people who’d not ask for the money and refuse to take it even — all they ask is the food to eat. The unusual thing that day was the honestness of that poor little fellow who, maybe believing that amount was more than enough for his food, asked me for he shall or shall not bring the change. How simple and honorable of him.

Everytime when it happens that I see people asking for food and money to eat and other things like for medical services, it makes me feel sorry for everything — everything including my existence, our existence.

True is the fact that our morality which covers the basic part of humanity has become a secondary thing today. Sometimes back, mid of last year, when 3 million IDP’s were desperately seeking to get the attention of nation, Pakistan, for some basic facilities of life, simultaneously a project named “Green Karachi” was approved in the president house. The budget allocated to the project was 22 billion rupees. During that time I raised my point of dissent. The reason to dissent, if anyone again wants to know, could be described with a brief example: If your garden needs attention whilst in your house you’ve a sick child, what is your first priority?

My point of dissent definitely doesn’t mean that we shall abandon the progression in the country. But then, we strictly need to set the priorities, wisely. And who should argue on it that humanity shouldn’t be a primary thing?

That kid, whose unusual answer startled me, and all the likes of him who’re in millions actually, popped in my mind while I was reading another news which startled me. Does anyone know it’ll cost Pakistan Rs. 8 billion to change the name of NWFP to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Yes, that’s true.

No offense meant to any of the avid supporter of the new name. But what’s more important, I ask: the reduction of poverty and to supply food to those impoverished people desperately yearning to have at least one bite of bread before going to sleep at night — or the name change of province? During the time of such distress and desperate strait when Pakistan is suffering from hellishly massive budgetary difficulties and other day-to-day financial problems, my moral understandings doesn’t allow me to strand the impoverished and approve the name change project costing Rs. 8 billion.

What more big and fat is the hypocritical fact that we call ourselves an Islamic nation — “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan. How about that real Islam when Hazrat Omar RA said: I’m responsible for the death of even a dog who dies of hunger at the bank of river Nile.

This isn’t the case with Pakistan today. So shall we call it a “Republic of Selfish Pakistan”?