We are what we repeatedly do; excellence therefore isn’t an event but a habit, so is degeneration, so is ignorance, so is wastefulness, so is self-conceit. This life is transient by its very nature; ephemeral are its joys, evanescent its charms, fugacious its lures, short lived its glories and impermanent its successes. This world is nothing but a happy hunting ground for the Kings of the days, masters of the hours while a graveyard of had beens-had not beens-would have beens ;whereas History is nothing but an anthology of epithets inscribed on each and every tombstone, in this humongous graveyard. Each champion of the day is destined to live out his hour, outlive his utility and then slide into oblivion and recede into this graveyard. But what is left behind of such erstwhile champions? Do they vanish without a trace? Go missing without a clue? As if they never existed?
The answer is, it depends! It depends upon the choices they made, while sun was shining and hay was there to be made. It’s our conduct in our halcyon days, in the hour of personal influence, in the moments of personal success, which eventually determine our resting place in the cyclopean tome of history. He who remains conscientious enough, diligent enough, selfless enough, clear headed enough and humble enough, is rewarded with a foothold, as significant and well grounded as his performance! But those who fritter away the lavish faculties nature had bestowed upon them; squander petulantly rather maliciously the prodigal talents, God had gifted to them so munificently; and instead of sublimating such sterling capacities towards a noble, productive and charitable cause ,those who weave nets of intrigue, dip their facile pens into ink pods of petty self interest and write down concoctions of all sorts on the parchments of stratagems get grounded into dust, by the onrush of natural forces ,perishing without a trace, drowning without a whimper, history conveniently forgets about them and dumps them into the dustbin of forgotten memories.
In times of universal deceit, uttering a word of truth is a revolutionary act and the greatest crime too. So goes the inexorable law of history. He who is conscientious enough to prefer steep heights of truthfulness, selflessness, patriotic spiritedness over the primrose path of least resistance, of timid appeasement, of petty self seeking, always gets pilloried by the forces of status quo and inertia, so goes another law of history.
At first glance our elite have claimed democracy for themselves and as they fashion the term in which ever way that gains them votes democracy is the best revenge, they perpetuate the status-quo. The constitution seems to only apply or not apply during military rule, in those parts which prolongs their period of rule. The privileges, nay rights of the individual are forgotten by those in power, the military, bureaucrats, politicians, industrialists; as they stand on a pedestal of the down trodden. The institutions that our elite associate themselves with (military, bureaucracy, media, and judiciary) help settle personal scores amongst members of the upper echelons of power – from criticizing the state to subverting the constitution to showering favours on those they deem worthy.
The tragedy of our society, however, is in the fact that our intellectual elite are also our only socialite class; the scandal-savouring, party-loving, ‘progressive’ face of our nation. Allow me to mention a very preliminary and a very arbitrary creed in its clandestine inception. This may not be in order of priority, nor indeed is it the most important but is just one of a thousand. Trivial as they may sound to some, what is important is that has now become the state’s Appolo.
A new spectrum of extremism in Pakistan, the manifestation of liberal predicament or Fascists paradigm or to put in more elaborate term renaissance of an occulted species dangerously delusional in a country where the revolution hungry youth is in a sempiternal struggle for its supremacy against its odious corrupt leaders. They all look and act the same. They disassociate themselves from religion, they identify themselves as ‘contained liberals,’ they are superstitious, they are tastefully underdressed. And they are inherently good people for all their harmless pretence. They criticise injustice when they see it, they are excellent conversationalists.This infectious flock of fascists mainly grapevine on twitter indefatigably working on sabotaging the melancholically depressed youth in legitimising liberal exclusivism aimed at emboldening them to have their heads in respect humbly bowed down before Secularism and dissent Islamism through the imposition of a prescribed allegiance – its audacity, the foreknowledge it implies, the precision with which it is executed — carries a subliminal message: Religion is no longer a solution, secularism is.
The unfortunate dimension of violence from religious militancy (which is both a reaction to and reflection of neo-liberal, economic aggression) has made it difficult to argue purely conceptually. The representative liberals, whose defining feature should be open-minded tolerance, are equally guilty of contributing to the intellectual catastrophe they accuse the “uncouth” mullahs of generating.
There is much ‘secular’ literature going around these days that reflects a dimension of exactly this problem. It is coming from these enlightened individuals, who push for cosmopolitanism, globalism and westernism. And they all seem to have something deliciously urgent to say about Islamism. It is a lethal battle between the Isms. It is only spoken, however, in the language of the former, cosmopolitical variety.
Are the people of this country created in the name of Islam, are abandoned by the sustainer and caretaker of the universe and leave them at the callous whims of the heartless and insensate leaders? The invisible powerful forces appear to be on the side of Cain (bad son of Adam) and not Abel (good son of Adam, in this case (metaphorically) the people of Pakistan.
Certainly, I am not taking the liberty to judge if any of the things I have listed above happen to be right – or wrong. But I argue that what our progressive classes find so incomprehensibly perverse about religion taking on aggressive, active roles in society, is just one phase in a logical sequence of intellectual and physical violence through what Habermas has called a breakdown in ‘communicative action’ – the absence of common relatable backgrounds to the extent that no one can imagine being in the other’s shoes anymore. Without this mutual perspective-taking, human communication dies and violence naturally sets in
Its all about the choices we make, while the sun shines and hay is there to be made; when the mind is strong and heart is brave, whether we choose to live in the moment, swim with the tide, pander to petty and risible lures or strive to be on the right side of history hereby acquiring a mention in its annals, is strictly a fate of our own choosing. Therefore in the age of cosmopolitan Isms, you have to decide who you are with, Cain or Abel.