Tag Archives: Bengali

Story of a Pakistani communist

A significant volume about the history of the Left movement in Pakistan

In 1956 A.B.A Haleem, then vice chancellor of Karachi University, declared Jamal Naqvi as an “undesirable element” depriving him of the chance to get a job in Karachi. At this stage, Mirza Abid Abbas, husband of Mrs Naqvi’s sister who had a private college in Hyderabad, Sindh, rescued him. Mirza Abid’s sons — Athar Abbas (Major General and former director ISPR), Mazhar Abbas, Zafar Abbas, Azhar Abbas (all journalists) and Anwar Abbas — were tutored and trained by Jamaluddin Naqvi.

Jamaluddin Naqvi (known as Jamal Naqvi) joined the Karachi-Sindh group of Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) in the mid 1950s, assumed all important posts in the party, and later ran his own faction of the party like a sole rider till late 1980s when he left the CPP on ideological grounds.

His autobiographical account has been published recently under the title Leaving the Left Behind, which is self-explanatory. If someone wants to know more, he can read the subtitle “An autobiographical tale of political disillusionment that took the life’s momentum away from the myopic politics of the Right and the Left to the enlightened concept of Right and Wrong”.

In a scenario where there is no archival record of the left, either in the form of official statements/documents or memoirs (Dada Amir Haider Khan’s biography being an exception), how can one evaluate our common progressive past politics? This is where the value of this book lies. Jamal has not made any disclosures or revelations in the book. Those who have met him during the last decade or so know this wellLike a bold and courageous political worker, he didn’t hide his change of heart.

When prominent Indian Bengali communist Mohit Sen penned his autobiographical account A Traveller and the Road: A Journey of an Indian Communist [2003], he too faced outright condemnation from the CPI rank and file; yet his book is considered a pioneering effort in unfolding the myth of the Indian left.

Unfortunately, there is a narrow space for rethinking or revisiting the past politics and ideologies among the South Asian left which is said to be dogmatic. We love to live in a black and white world; there is no room for gray areas especially for those who want to move away from their previous ideological positions. When someone changes his position, we treat him as a zandiq (heretic). So Jamal is another zandiq among reds.

Ironically, Jamal gave his whole life and career to progressive thoughts and spent many years in prison but when he amended his thoughts, he was discarded. These memoirs are the only way to revisit the past and to analyse the history of the left movement in Pakistan.

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Indian actor turned politician threatens to send “my boys” to rape female Communist Party activists

Trinamool Leader’s Shocker: ‘Will Ask My Boys to Go and Rape CPM Women

Reported by Monideepa Banerjie, Edited by Prasad Sanyal

Kolkata Tapas Pal, popular Bengali actor and a member of Parliament from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has been caught on camera purportedly saying, “I will ask our boys to go and rape CPM women if necessary.”

The footage aired by local TV channels is hazy, but Mr Pal is clearly heard making the shocking threat while addressing party workers and assuring them that members of other parties will not be allowed to harm them. He also allegedly makes other threats.

Read more » NDTV

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/trinamool-leader-s-shocker-will-ask-my-boys-to-go-and-rape-cpm-women-550555

Betraying the 1940 spirit?

The Pakistan Resolution promised to safeguard the rights of the Muslim minorities living in the Muslim-majority provinces of British India; it sought independence and sovereignty for those provinces outside the independent Indian Union.

However, the struggle took a new turn after the creation of Pakistan, when Bengali, Pashtun, and subsequently Sindhi and Baloch nationalist movements rose to press for provincial autonomy. Later, a powerful federation embracing the idea of the ideological state also led to alienating the country’s religious minorities. Many have come to live in fear because discrimination against them has been given legal cover, in effect, depriving them of equal rights. Here, leaders from various political parties speak of their respective party’s stance on the issues that haunt Pakistan’s minorities, and on ways to redress the problem…

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Mir Hasil Bizenjo, National Party

National party is secular, democratic & secular. We do not believe in minorities, all citizens are equal & must not be discriminated against on the basis of caste, creed or religion. It is matter of great concern for us that the state discriminate against own people in the name of religion.

We have to fight against this constitutionally by making Pakistan a secular state. National party has protested in each & every case of discrimination against Hindus & Christian. Hindus in Balochistan are being victimised by religious groups & criminals. Religious fundamentalism is a major threat to non-Muslim communities, against which political parties & civil society must rise. The solution is a strong, secular & democratic Pakistan.

Courtesy: http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/23/betraying-the-1940-spirit.html

Atrocitiess on Baloch people by the Deep State: Feel a cold shiver down your spines

Hypocrites, to boot

By Kamran Shafi

I have added the appellation ‘hypocrites’ to the title of my piece of last week, for that is exactly what the commanders of the Deep State are. Lying; pretending; deceiving even their friends and well-wishers; trying to be too-clever-by-half; and when caught out, donning the robes of martyrs with holier-than-thou looks on their faces. As if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths.

Just look back over the years and see the lies and damned lies that we have been told, specially when the country has been led into catastrophes directly because of the Deep State’s own doings. If it was East Pakistan a half-century ago when that part of our country was treated like a colony and our Bengali compatriots like second and third-class citizens which moved them to hate West Pakistan (and its hapless people), it is Balochistan today where every second week broken and bashed and shot-through-the-heart bodies are dumped, making the Baloch hate the (yes, hapless) Punjabis.

Amid all of this, the Deep State goes on stupidly and blindly and cruelly, doing what it does best: ham-handedly following its own narrow and blinkered ‘strategic’ policies that have all but destroyed our country. Nothing demonstrates, yes I will say it again, this foolish cold heartedness than the fast-unravelling case of the Adiala Eleven for which kudos to My Lords the Chief Justices of Pakistan and of the KPK High Court.

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Vanishing Sindhis!

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

I share the following appeal from Mr. Mekan Vandiyar on “Vanishing Sindhis!”. Please share your comments and suggestions to mekan39@yahoo.com

My own comment is that Sindhis in Sindh, Sindhis in India and Sindhis living elsewhere should not be disheartened as there are encouraging signs that Sindhis all over the world can even say today “here is a Sindhi girl / boy from the Globe”. I do not have much insight into the notion that Sindhis in India can win a separate province, however, I feel that the harsh barriers that have kept Sindhis in India and Sindhis in Sindh, Pakistan away from each other will soon vanish and all Sindhis will also be be able to say “”here is a Sindhi girl / boy who loves Sindh as much as their new homeland“.

A recent announcement by the Indian and Pakistani government that they are normalizing business and economic relations and giving each other the “most favorite trading partner” status is one of those signs. The Sindhis from all over the world should not only encourage but also organize and participate in events that welcome every Sindhi regardless of where they live now. For example, the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) whose members predominantly consist of those who migrated from Sindh (Pakistan) into the USA has been in the forefront of inviting prominent educationalists, political leaders, and writers who now live in India. It is time that all other Sindhi associations also follow this practice to bridge the gaps that may exist between various Sindhi communities.

Lastly, I assure Mr. Vandiyar that Sindhis in Sindh are more than ever determined to protect and advance Sindhi language, Sindhi heritage, Sindh culture of peace, and Sindhi identity. They are and will continue provide all their support to Sindhis in India or elsewhere in the world in their efforts to protect their and advance their Sindhi language, Sindhi heritage, Sindh culture, and Sindhi identity.

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MQM: the missing link. By Nadeem F. Paracha

mqm

MQM

Excerpt;

…. Along with Punjabis, Mohajirs dominated Pakistan’s initial ruling and economic elite and thus both these communities continued to invest their political support in either federalist or religious parties or in military dictatorships. Even those Mohajirs and Punjabis who joined outfits led by Sindhi, Pashtun, Bengali and Baloch nationalists (such as the National Awami Party (NAP), were largely part of the NAP’s Marxist wing that wanted to eschew politics of ethnicity and work towards a bourgeoisie-led socialist proletarian revolution.

But by the late 1960s, much of the country’s leftist tendencies were absorbed by the emergent PPP, and thus progressive non-Punjabi and non-Mohajir nationalists became more exclusivist. ….

Read more » columnspk

Tribute to Jagjit Singh

‘Jagjit Singh was a great human being and friend’

- IP Singh

JALANDHAR: His alma mater, the city where he spent his youthful days and old friends were at loss of words while grappling with the news of demise of Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. If his alma mater DAV College held a ‘shok sabha’ to remember and pay tributes to one of its most illustrious and famous alumni, his old friends shared the cherished memories of “good old days”.

“He was a great singer and much greater human being and friend,” said Iqbal Singh, Lt governor of Puduchery, an old co-actor in dramas and a fellow musician.

Read more » Times of India

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Courtesy» Duniya Tv News (Khari Baat Luqman ke Saath – 10th October 2011)

via » ZemTv → YouTube

Read without prejudice – G.M. Syed – Sindh’s Tolerant Past & Sufism; Traitor saves the day

Traitor saves the day

by Nadeem F. Paracha

It is believed that Sindh, since it’s always been ‘the land of Sufis’, has shown the most resilience to the advent of various events over the decades that have turned Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa into becoming hotbeds of radical, exhibitionistic Islam. This is a very convincing thesis and if one travels across this province one cannot but help notice rather earthly, folk strains of liberalism among the majority of its people.

Yes, but whereas we are told that this is due to Sindh’s tolerant, Sufi past, very few remember that this historical narrative (about Sindhi history and culture) was not exactly constructed hundreds of years ago. Instead, this narrative, that today has kept much of Sindh at bay from puritan forms of the faith, was actually built by a controversial man who was also labelled by the establishment and the religious parties as a ‘traitor’. His name was G M Syed.

In the late 1950s, Syed was a leading part of the left-wing National Awami Party (NAP), a political expression of Sindhi, Baloch, Pashtun and Bengali nationalists opposed to the conservative West Pakistan dominated ruling elite. NAP was banned by the Ayub Khan dictatorship in 1959, and till its revival in 1962, Syed decided to lead a cultural Sindhi nationalist movement. In 1966 when he was released from jail, he did not rejoin NAP and instead formed a cultural organisation called Bazm-i-Sufia-i-Sindh.

The Bazm also boasted some other famous Sindhi scholars, who set out to create an elaborate historical, intellectual and political narrative of Sindhi culture and history, presenting it as distinct, yet based on pluralistic values. This definition ran counter to what had officially been propagated by Pakistan’s military-civilian elite as ‘Pakistani culture’.

The Bazm also tried to prove that the Islam practised by Sindhis was very different from the version that was being ‘enforced by the Pakistani state and the ruling elite’. Bazm scholars maintained that Sindh had always been the land of mystics (Sufis) and Sindhis have had a history of being extremely tolerant of Hindus and other faiths. The Bazm and Syed were clearly proposing that Sindh and the Sindhis could not be integrated by the state of Pakistan due to the stark cultural differences that they had with what became known as ‘Pakistan ideology’ (a term first used by the Jamat-i-Islami in 1967).

The Bazm went a step further when it published a controversial study in late 1966 which stated that Raja Dahir (the 8th century Hindu ruler of pre-Islamic Sindh) was actually a hero to  Sindhis and that Muhammad bin Qasim (the Arab Muslim commander who defeated Dahir and conquered Sindh) was regarded as a usurper. The ruling establishment (being dominated at the time by the Ayub led military regime) and the religious parties at once denounced Syed and the Bazm as traitors.

But this did not stop Syed. He asked the Bazm to create a student wing, the Sindhi Students Cultural Council, that held seminars and lectures across Sindh and imparted the Bazm’s radically revisionist history of Sindh amongst young Sindhis. At the start of the students and workers movement against the Ayub dictatorship in late 1967, the Bazm become part of the Sindh United Front (SUF) — an organisation of Sindhi nationalists that wanted to step in and play their role in the movement. Syed wanted to use the chaos resulting from the movement to bid for Sindh’s separation from Pakistan.

But since by 1968 the movement was revolving around Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a Sindhi) and his Pakistan People’s Party, G M Syed advised the SUF to incorporate in its ranks those who were not only against Ayub but also against Bhutto. Syed feared that Bhutto would become the biggest hindrance to Sindhi separatism. He was right. Though the Bazm withered away in the early 1970s, its works and ideas have continued to inspire various Sindhi nationalist organisations and the youth.

It is ironic that from 1972 under Bhutto’s rule, his regime heavily borrowed the more moderate aspects of Syed and the Bazm’s Sindhi nationalist thesis and it was during Bhutto’s regime (1972-77) that Sindh began being (officially) called the ‘land of Sufis.’

In another twist of irony, not only is it still called that in Pakistan’s history text books, but is accepted as that by none other than Altaf Hussain’s Mohajir-centric, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and many Punjabi politicians. Also, it is this (once denounced) narrative and its widespread proliferation across the decades in Sindh that has kept the province relatively safe from the kind of puritan radicalisation that Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkha have been witnessing ever since the Zia dictatorship, from the 1980s onwards.

One is not sure what the Sindhis thought about Dahir or Qasim before the 1960s, but it is true that ever since the 1970s, Muhammad Bin Qasim is not so hot as a historical entity in Sindh as he is elsewhere in Pakistan — a fact that, for example, greatly tormented the pro-Jamat-i-Islami ‘historical novelist’ Naseem Hijazi, who had spend a good part of his career turning various Arab commanders into pious supermen.

Courtesy: → DAWN.COM

http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/02/smokers-corner-traitor-saves-the-day.html

Via → Indus Herald

Pakistan: Lies, lies and more lies

- Lies, lies and more lies

By: Nazir Naji

We are gullible. We lap up any tosh that is fed to us. We were told in 1965 that India attacked us and we defeated it. The reality was that we were the ones who attacked and India attacked Lahore and Sialkot in retaliation. In 1971, we were told that Indian-trained Mukti Bahini is carrying out terrorist activities. The reality was that we launched an offensive on East Pakistan. We were also told that Mujeeb-ur-Rehman is a traitor and that he wanted to break the country with his 6 points. The reality was that he was ready to pass the constitution of joint Pakistan in collusion with Bhutto. He himself told me in a meeting, “Am I crazy? Why would I want to break the country and rule a province when I instead rule the whole of Pakistan?” We were also told that we were conducting guerrilla resistance or “jihad” against the Soviets because their expansionist plans extend to Karachi and Gwadar. In actuality, we were America’s proxy in a war between two superpowers. The Russians left but the motley crew assembled in the name of Jihad played, and is still playing, an unholy game of bloodshed unabated. We were also told that the mujahideen had conquered Kargil but the reality was that our jawans [army] were sent there in civilian garb for conquest but the Indian army apprehended them and our prime minister had to flatter the US to facilitate their return.

We weren’t really interested in Osama bin Laden. Many lunatics in our midst consider him a warrior of Islam but the world views him as a deadly terrorist. The deluded class of people doesn’t consider him the architect of 9/11 even though he himself praised the perpetrators initially and then eventually 4 years later accepted the responsibility for planning 9/11. But this particular group of people will not even be dissuaded by his own admission of guilt. They are mourning openly in newspapers. But the people who wrote obituaries in columns did not have the daring to attend his funeral prayers conducted in absentia in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

Anyhow, our military rulers milked the US and Britain for fighting terrorism and maintained that Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was not in Pakistan whereas America insisted the opposite was true according to its reports. But we kept denying it in the strongest terms. But we Pakistanis kept believing what our protectors were telling us. We always do, but what to do when the world refuses to believe them as easily as we do. The Americans kept searching on their own. And the day our protectors and guardians were slumbering, American helicopters in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s airspace flew to Abbottabad and smoked out OBL. They got their man and took him back to Afghanistan with ease.

President Obama addressed his nation to inform them of this victory. At 11 am PST, the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, also conducted a press conference and clarified his stance and stated clearly that the world’s most wanted man had been found in Pakistan and our contestation that Pakistan is the hub of terrorism has been proved. But the keepers of our defence kept their lips sealed till 12 pm. Why? The only reason was that their lies had been indubitably exposed and there was no room left for denials or cover-ups.

Finally, the Foreign Office’s spokesman issued a loose and meaningless statement which stated that Americans have conducted an operation as they have stated against OBL. The horrifying fact that Pakistan had been aerially attacked was not even alluded to. Our borders and airspaces violated. An operation was carried out a mere kilometre away from the country’s biggest military academy but our defence systems remained dormant. We neither stopped the helis from entering our borders, nor condemned the aggression committed. The statement was drafted with such nonchalance as if informing of a routine matter. As if the occurrence had taken place elsewhere. As if it did not concern us in the least bit.

The Pakistanis who remember 1971 will relate that while a full-fledged war was raging in East Pakistan, we were being told some Bengali terrorist were merely disturbing law and order and the situation would soon be under control. On 16th December, a table was set up in the battle-grounds of Dhaka on which the commanders of our military sat down with the enemy commander-in-chief and signed the deal to surrender. But we were told by our Commander-in-Chief that it was a “temporary ceasefire.” His words did not belie at all that the ignominy of the world’s biggest military defeat had befallen us. That united Pakistan was no more. We learnt of the reality when the radios across the world were announcing that India had captured East Pakistan.

The events of 2nd May were no ordinary events. They exposed the hypocrisy of the people who are supposedly our guardians and exposed the discrepancies in their words and actions. Our lie had been called out. We denied for eight years that OBL was in Pakistan but he was caught here. We kept calling the world mendacious when we ourselves were liars. Because of this lie, our defence system was reduced to tatters but our government was pretending as if our sovereignty and defence remained unscathed.

On the evening of 2nd May, some people caught their wits and then it was thrown around that we had “aided” the US and our help is what led the US to bin Laden. But what the world really wanted to ask was that why did we repeatedly lie to them? The CIA Chief, Leon Panetta, told the representative of Congress that Pakistan had either willfully hid OBL or it was incompetent. The army’s own retired general, Talat Masood, said that the presence of Osama in Pakistan was due to the incompetence of our institutions and if they knew, that was an even graver mistake than incompetence. Whether it was collusion or incompetence, our defence system and the people responsible for it have failed unequivocally at their professional obligations and national duties. A failure in defence responsibilities is unpardonable. If court-martials had been conducted when necessary, we would never have seen this day. It’s the mistake of a few people; but the humiliation and disgrace is the lot of the entire nation. How much longer will we have to take this? How many times will we pay for the crimes of others?

The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.

Courtesy: PAKISTAN TODAY

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/05/lies-lies-and-more-lies/

Our textbooks and the lies they teach

By Raza Rumi

Due to the 18th Amendment, a momentous shift in Pakistan’s governance arrangements is taking place through a politically mediated and largely consensual manner. The federal government is being trimmed and 10 ministries have already been devolved to the provinces. A key development pertains to the devolution of education — lock, stock and barrel — to the provinces. Most notably, the odious era of setting poisonous, centralised curricula in the name of a ‘martial’ nationalism is finally over. Whether the past practices of turning Pakistan into a jihad project will end is uncertain, unless the provinces take the initiative and reverse the regrettable trajectory of the past.

Pakistani textbooks have preached falsehoods, hatred and bigotry. They have constructed most non-Muslims, especially Hindus, as evil and primordial enemies, glorified military dictatorships and omitted references to our great betrayal of the Bengali brothers and sisters who were the founders and owners of the Pakistan movement. It is time to correct these wrongs. ….

Read more : The Express Tribune

Why the people of Sindh chant “Pakistan na khapey”?

- You Tube Link

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ANALYSIS: Why don’t black Americans swim? — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

…only five out of 24 SHC judges are of Sindhi origin. Sindhi lawyers contend that the ratio of Sindhi judges is not being maintained. They demand equal ratio of judges in the SHC and a just ratio between the interior [rural] and Karachi. They say no fresh appointments should be made from Karachi, as 19 out of Sindh’s 22 districts are completely ignored, which is a violation of the fundamental and social rights of the people of Sindh. They say they will not accept the decision of the JC if lawyers from interior Sindh are not elevated.

Remarkably, as there are few black swimmers in the US today, here until 1971, there was no Bengali player in the cricket team. Today, they have a team that comprehensively defeated New Zealand recently. …

Read more : Daily Times

Punjabi-Urdu elite could not embrace Nazar-ul-Islam as a national poet, says Manzur Ejaz

Taliban are Iqbal’s Shaheens’

 

Manzur Ejaz interview with Vewpoint

Tagore told an audience that he cannot compare himself with Iqbal because he does not write in his native tongue. Iqbal issued a rebuttal that Tagore could write in Bengali because Bengali was a developed language.

Nazar-ul-Islam, the Muslim Bengali poet enjoyed the same stature as Iqbal but Punjabi-Urdu elite could not embrace him as a national poet, says Manzur Ejaz in an interview with Viewpoint. He thinks: ‘Both Marx and Mussolini were threatening the core of British colonialism and hence admirable for Iqbal’. …

Read more : ViewPoint