Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cultural adjustments with Terrorism- some unconventional ideas?

Pakistan has just been through the havoc of floods and has to mange the aftermath of floods. Although the direct impact of flood has been borne by the victims, the indirect effect of the losses of crops, cattle, infrastructure etc would have to be borne by every body. Food shortage and inflation is already calling on us. In Pakistan, already one in four used to be starving under below the poverty line of minimum physical nutritional requirements. What will happen in the aftermath is any body’s guess.

Earthquake, terrorism and now these floods; some people say, it is Azab (God’s curse). Nothing would be crueler than this kind of characterization. Most of the sufferers are poor people, who have no share in the wrong doings of our society, and the rich and the powerful. Most natural calamities are defendable against to quite a degree. Elsewhere people have leant building earth quake safe buildings and structures which greatly reduce the damage and impact, if not eliminate altogether. There are reasonable protections against floods like dykes and dams. We either did not build dykes or those were not adequately high or strong enough or were not in good maintenance.

Even after such severe floods, there are people who say there is no excess water to be stored. Elsewhere, people have built dams to prevent or reduce the intensity of floods and to store water to fight drought. They are against Kalabagh dam and not against other dams such as Bhasha. KP has some reason to oppose it, but why Sindh. Some people suggest that expediency demands that the issue of Kalabagh dam be not touched lest it may ignite opposition to other dams as well. But the fact remains, that we are not willing to see the light of the day, even after even probably God tried to convince us of the merit of the case through sending these floods. It has been estimated that 45 MAF of excess water has flown in these floods, which is more than the combined storage capacity of all dams, existing and future ones including the,”dreaded Kalabagh dam”. The only reason the proponents of Kalabagh dam raise its issue is that it can be built the earliest and fastest as all planning work on it has been completed. We can start getting cheap hydro power in a matter of five years, while in other cases it may take twice longer.

Terrorist have not spared their Muslim brothers during or after these floods. Are they really Muslims? They are but they are misguided mufsideen. Who were Kharjis and what they did. This is not difficult to identify this old strain in Muslim society. They attacked Data Darbar earlier and now yesterday they again struck at Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine and have accepted responsibility. Some or most fundamentalist parties and persons blame foreigners including the US for these atrocities, even after their admission. It means that TTP is directed by the US and India and Israel. They would not agree drawing these conclusions. There cannot be more thankless and unimaginative people than us to blame America for this.

There may not be any compromise with the terrorists but there can be a compromise with their front men and protagonists who are not directly involved but have considerable sympathy with the terrorists and their Jihad. Most fundamentalists avoid openly condemning terrorists may be due to the fear and more probably because of a common theme that the Pakistani state is almost a Darulkufr and it should be destroyed in its present form to be replaced by an Islamic system of their type where women are flogged and daughters kept away from schools. We may have to think about their ideology and thought process. Most poor people and by definition the majority of Pakistan seems to be in their favor-the fundamentalist clergy. Terrorism is expanding, it is not abated. Even if they are in not such a majority, as it may appear apparently, they are in significant number. Some accommodation has to be sought with them. Democratic conduct also requires that the liberals show some sensitivity to their version of ideology. This is not enough to say that we are all Muslims. The differences in approaches and understandings are great.

Surely some mid-ground can be found. The background talks that are going on with some of the good terrorists or our own terrorists should be accompanied by some negotiations on philosophical and ideological issues with their front men. Some cultural adjustments would have to be made. Flagrant demonstration of flesh business by pimpic media must end. Democracy does not, at least the stage we are in, does not need, that kind of freedom. Many other flagrant demonstrations of western culture may have to be suitably curtailed. It is often speculated that documentary and media evidence of objectionable materials and other unnecessary carnal exhibitionism is used by the terrorist organizations in their training and inculcation?

One may argue and perhaps quite justifiably that it may be downward slippery ride to the abyss. For the likes of fundamentalists and terrorists we are facing, even Saudi cultural restrictions are not enough. On the other hand Muslim liberalism may have to also define as to where culture stops and flesh business begins. At this moment, it is also a slippery ride into the western permissiveness of 1960s.

Certainly, this government has to tackle many problems, many being simply inherited. All people and parties should be cooperative and show some compassion and sympathy than simple and cruel opposition, criticism and condemnations.

No comments:

Post a Comment