Dawn News

Smokers’ Corner: Brick in the wall

Recently while attending the second Pakistan-India Social Media conference in Karachi as a panelist, I was approached by a young man with a mic who wanted to interview me for a local TV channel.

After the interview he told me that he was a student at the Karachi University and a regular reader of my columns.

However, he then hastily added that it has become rather tough for him to read my writings because one of his teachers at the university does not approve. ‘Every time I start asking the lecturer certain questions, he begins to mock me by saying that I have been reading your articles.’

But what shocked me the most is when he added that his lecturer has actually ‘forbidden’ him to read my articles. ‘He has put a ban on me to read your writings. The ban has also been communicated to my parents. That’s why I now have to secretly buy Dawn,’ he said, smiling.

How can a university-level teacher ask a student not to read? And how can a university-level student not ask him why?

Some four years ago I got a call from a teacher who taught at a prestigious school in Karachi. She told me that her students had begun to ask ‘rebellious questions’ in her class.

I asked her why was she telling me this.

‘Because they’re reading your articles!’ She announced.

I don’t remember what grade she was teaching, but she was pretty polite. ‘You should be careful, Paracha sahib. These young students have very vulnerable minds.’ I kept asking her what were these so-called rebellious questions, but she just refused to explain. She kept repeating something about how her students were too young to think about things that my articles were supposedly infusing in their brains.

I asked her did she disagree with ‘these things’ that I was maliciously putting in their curious heads.

‘No, no,’ she clarified. ‘You are right in your own way. But you see, if they start asking these kinds of questions, they won’t be able to get the required grades.’

Intrigued I asked how she was answering these rebellious questions.

‘Oh, I don’t,’ she answered, matter-of-factly. ‘I just tell them to stop reading your articles,’ she laughed.

Now I could understand that here was a teacher worried about losing control over her students at a high school due to questions that might tarnish her status as the all-knowing tutor.

But I certainly cannot grasp how a lecturer at a university would actually forbid a mature university student to read a certain writer.

‘Why do you think he’s not allowing you to read my pieces?’ I asked the university lad at the social media conference.

‘He thinks I ask questions that contradict him,’ he replied. ‘Every time some students contradict what he is saying, he turns around and tells them that we should stop reading your articles.’

Amazing. Karachi University is where students once lapped up Marx, Mao and Maududi and led protest movements against the Ayub dictatorship in the 1960s, against the Bhutto regime in the late 1970s, and then fought intense ideological (and at times armed) battles against the tyranny of Ziaul Haq in the 1980s.

But here we are today, where grown-up men and women at the same university are being asked by their teachers that they should stop reading a certain columnist?

‘They think you’re too secular,’ the young man finally let out.

‘So?’ I asked, astonished. ‘It’s a university you study in. Not a madressa.’

The young man chuckled nervously: ‘But I make sure to continue reading your column, though.’

I wonder if the lecturer has ever asked his students to beware of all the sectarian and religious hate literature that is out there, easily available in this country.

In fact, one can now come across such literature even at various Pakistani universities; including the Karachi University where the ethnic and sectarian make-up of the student community has always been most pluralistic and diverse.

I personally think it is intellectual laziness on part of certain teachers who simply do not want to coach a curious mind that may not be willing to submissively nod at what he was being told by the tutor. Or maybe some teachers develop an inferiority complex against students who ask too many questions? The ‘so he thinks he knows more than I do’ sort of attitude.

I remember when I was studying at a state-owned college in the late 1980s, the most successful way to bunk a class of a certain teacher was to provoke him to throw you out of the class. All one had to do was to just ask him a question.

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (136) Closed

Jul 30, 2012 01:26am
Yemeen, saddest part is that you guys think every muslim leader had anything to do with islam.. you gave a great example of Taj Mahal.... there are amazing structures created by mugal emperors that we preserve like gems in india.... but let me ask you... can you please mention any single act they did to uplift people... any university or anything for science... i lived for themselves cause they were neither hindu nor muslim... they were just some thugs.. they had power and they ruled.... they left muslims in such bad condition in india that history can tell you.... ruled 500 hudered years and if they had anything to do with islam they would have done a lot for muslims... so get over this stamps of opression and lust....
mohammad shafiq
Jul 29, 2012 12:52pm
The parent, the mullah and the school teacher are the pillars of society and most likely to foist their biases on childrens minds. a child must learn to distrust and question all three and to question their teaching in order to get at the truth of things in the world.
Cyrus Howell
Jul 29, 2012 04:03pm
"The problems in the world today are so enormous they cannot be solved with the level of thinking that created them." -- Albert Einstein
Jul 30, 2012 05:52pm
haha lollllllllllll. you really made my day .....
Manish Sharma
Jul 30, 2012 09:38am
Wow! Parachaji, I believe that if teachers at university are banning your writings, it should be a proud moment for you, personally. For you are now, no less than karl Marks. This comparison is not done by me but by these teachers who bans your writings. Its because all great writings are first banned then become legend and finally recorded in history as a new philosophy.
Jul 29, 2012 04:22pm
Plenty of caste system in our neighbor as far as I hear. Why do people pretend to have Arab ancestry and name their children after them. It confers them some status right?
Jul 29, 2012 03:57pm
The teachers themselves are a product of the same god forsaken society.
Jul 29, 2012 10:10pm
these scientists and scholars happened to be Muslims. the region was going through a renaissance while at that time Europe was going through its dark time. So, I don’t agree religion has any relevance.
Jul 29, 2012 01:53pm
The Zakir Naiks and Zaid Hamids (remember his inside information on 26/11?) are entertainers at best . They should not be taken seriously.
An Indian
Jul 29, 2012 08:58pm
first of all Hindus are not book followers,second Hindus can delete or add new rituals in their religion e.g. banned the multiple marriages now (even our gods did that) I know this concept is grown by zakir naik,the war fought in the great poem MAHABHARATA was for the state or kingdom not for the religious matter, same in the another great poem RAMAYANA the lord ram fought the war for obtaining their wife goddess SITA.
Jul 29, 2012 07:04am
LIBERAL??? Is that a term of abuse?
Cyrus Howell
Jul 29, 2012 04:11pm
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." -- Albert Einstein
Jul 29, 2012 09:50am
indian state yes but people of india are religious fanatics. Hindus are as fanatics as Muslims. Guess who burn temples in sindh when mosques are destroyed in India-people who came to sindh from India.
Jul 29, 2012 10:12pm
That was before they become muslims. When they became muslims they forgot science and started thinking religion is be all and end all. That is when they lost their lead and they never regained it and they will never, never regain it.
Jul 29, 2012 09:12am
abuse! free is a gift
Jul 29, 2012 06:26pm
I watch some Pakistan news and commentary features on YouTube. It's scary when you hear all anchors talk of ahmedis. Even those condemning their killings and persecution start with a long apology about not following that school of thought before they come to the point. It's quite reminiscent of post cultural revolution speeches by Chinese before Mao died and also German liberals speaking of the Jewish question before WWII. Pakistanis seem to be competing for being more pious than their neighbour and for cleansing themselves aggressively of all non Islamic influence and avowing their superiority in religion, intellect, bravery etc. This is combined with complete intolerance of dissent in these matters. Is that how huge warlike mobs are formed? A la Japan with their belief in racial superirority, Germans in their aryan pride etc. People like NFP in large enough numbers can do a good job of deflating this hot air.
Jul 29, 2012 05:33pm
Sindhis are real fan of NFP b/c he say the truth e.g MBQ the invader.
Jul 29, 2012 08:18am
Mr Paracha! if students have started asking "rebellious questions" after reading your articles then you have achieved the desired results. Kudos sir!
Syed Qaseem Ali
Jul 29, 2012 07:47am
To many here, yes it is. It is also a label that is perceived to have Secular, Fascist, ANTI Religion connotations to it.
M N Syed
Jul 29, 2012 10:54pm
Can I dare ask NFP why he is out and out pro Peoples Party and MQM, Dont be annoyed if I say that PPP is also very much responsible for ruining public administration(by recruiting jiyalas wirthout competition and merit),commerce and industry and education(by nationalising) and rampent corruption.MQM too is responsible for ruining Karachi administration, education and law and order.Beside this PPP hand in the sepation of East Pakistan is well known. Every thing is not rosy in secularism and democracy and every thing is not bad in Army's rule
Sohaib YAHIA
Jul 29, 2012 04:21pm
This only reflects the ever deteriorating standards and quality of our education system. Teachers who are supposed to encourage students in their thought-provoking process are instead asking them to close their minds and flow with the religious rhetoric of hate preachers. Pity the nation who has such teachers.
Jul 29, 2012 04:29pm
The piegon upon seeing the cat closes his eyes and believs that the cat is gone. Guess what happens? Cat has an easy meal and the piegon goes to his death in his utter ignorance of reality and the truth. THESE TEACHERS ARE THE PIEGONS. These teachers are stunting the minds of the young Pakistanis who are more open minded. These teachers are destroying Pakistan. When the teachers close minds of students rather than encouraging them to explore and challenge conventional wisdom; the country is doomed. Pakistan is proof of that.
shaukat ali chughtai
Jul 29, 2012 04:29pm
NFP......You, Hassan Nisaar, Najam Sethi, Pervez Hoodboy are doing their job right. You are achieving your objectives. Continue......Everyday a new mirror needs to be shown to those who are sticking to past glories and looking backward.
Jul 29, 2012 12:17pm
And you should have attended music classes..
Jul 29, 2012 04:19pm
I ask for forgiveness, sorry! Teachers deserve all the respect! I did not mean the teachers, I meant the people who are against secularism & liberalism. Barking dogs is only a metaphor and I did not mean it literally!
Jul 30, 2012 12:54am
Looking at the ratings accorded to various comments, it shows the insecurity Indians have vis a vis Pakistan. Any comment which may shed a positive light on India is accorded wildly positive ratings, while any which questions India's superiority is dragged lower. Indians sure have a deep inferiority complex, given they choose to troll a Pakistani paper and bash Pakistan and Islam whereever they can. Though Pakistanis have a numerical disadvantage, I do not know of any Pakistani who would go troll Hindustan times or the Daily Hindu in attempts to score only points for Pakistan :-)
Jul 29, 2012 04:06pm
No Hindus are not fanatics, else how come 5 crore Muslim population become 30 crores now in India, how come an Non Hindu becoming state head, how come some Zakir Nayak is preaching his religion standing in Hindustan? How come 1 crore Hindu population became few lacs now in Pakistan?
Jul 29, 2012 10:04am
Yes, in the name of fair journalism, I have a question for you Mr. Paracha, , " Why do you always act as hornblower of PPP & MQM'?
Cyrus Howell
Jul 29, 2012 03:56pm
"Where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters take control." -- Lord Acton (1834-1902)
Allaisa Xuver
Jul 29, 2012 10:09pm
If a socalled creator can exist for ever, so can the universe. China is still a communist country, you can be feminist ever after you are married and how does it matter whether you are an atheist or not when you are going to die. The writer of the Hypocrite Diaries is a hypocrite as he himself admits. Why quote him? God was created by man to terrify his fellow men.
Riaz Khan
Jul 29, 2012 12:28pm
Imran Khan your remarks represent you as a war monger! Sadly your heros are Naik whom I think as a villian. My heros are Pervez Hoodbhoy, Asma Jehangir, Najam Sethi & similar writers who tell me facts not fiction. We are in this state only due to these war mongers. Have we not learned enough from past mistakes of 65 years? Sadly nothing.
Jul 29, 2012 10:21pm
in late 80s i was thrown out of class by my islamiat teacher for asking which direction are we going to bow if man inhabit the moon or other planet.
Jul 29, 2012 10:16pm
wish there were more NFPs
Jul 29, 2012 10:14pm
but Uza you have to agree that he is a very good marketing guy and rapidly expanding his market share. look how many of readers here defend him
Jul 29, 2012 10:29pm
Hindus and muslin in Hindustan are same. In general people of india are Very intolerant .
Uza Syed
Jul 29, 2012 09:35am
Imran, your recommendation to follow the weirdos like Zakir Naik to understand Quran is curious, haven't him and his kind tend to interpret Quran as a maual on how to create animosity among various people and use It to spread hatred as a weapon of mass destruction?
Jul 29, 2012 09:34am
When will we ever learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable??
Jul 29, 2012 09:18am
"Sindhis will Insha Allah have your back brother." Is this that you strove for NFP?
Sabiha Ikram Ali
Jul 29, 2012 08:27am
@Kaka Khan You are right. When doing my 'o' level at school 2 years ago, our Islamiyat teacher balked at a fellow student when he asked a question. She was going on and on about the stoning punishment in adultery when my friend contradicted her by saying that this law was not mentioned in the Quran. This is what the teacher said: Oh, really. Is that what Nadeem Patacha wrote in his column?' Then the same classmate got into trouble with our history teacher when she began a chapter on muhammad bin Qasim. He told the teacher that Qasim was no hero but an invader. And lo and behold, guess what the teacher said? "Either you read your school books or read people like Paracha. You can't do both.' Stunning stuff.
Rafique Wassan
Jul 29, 2012 08:33am
Dear NFP... in fact, what your article wants to make the people understand needs secular and objective understanding, a country like Pak ( as the examples of two teachers reflect) which has become Muslimized and Islamized with the entrenched hate and intolerance against other thoughts and religions, it is difficult to expect talk about third option, an option of moderation, plural thinking and respect for others' ideas and values. But, keep up writing your very critical articles, a large number of young minds in Pak dont follow the two cases in point..... hope for the best.
Jul 29, 2012 06:47am
He.. He.. It's same here in India. Probably ppl r generally secular here and keep religion to themselves.
Jul 29, 2012 11:05am
not just few but only one, and that only example was too with out any reference. i am fully agree with you umer. its means if you are a so called liberal,you have every right to mock any thing in the world, when some body criticize you... Outrage.
Adil Jadoon
Jul 29, 2012 04:29am
he is entitled to his point of view and it should be considered as his views not as the truth.
shaukat ali chughtai
Jul 29, 2012 04:03pm
NFP......You, Hassan Nisaar, Najam Sethi, Pervez Hoodboy are doing their job right. You are achieving your objectives. Continue......Everyday a new mirror needs to be shown to those who are sticking to past glories and looking backward. Youngsters must be encouraged to read you peoples articles to focus themselves in right direction. Well done,NFP
A Rehman
Jul 30, 2012 07:49am
Critically analyse all endeavors of your favourite Heroes. You will find a lot of questions in their Generous concepts.
Waseem Hussain
Jul 29, 2012 12:53pm
Teachers are mostly reqruted during ZIA era. Most of senior teachers now are from JI school of thoughts. In PU lahore no liberal teacher can survive. Last example is PROF BALOCH. who was thrown out of PU by Jamiat through a dirty drama.
Talib Hussain
Jul 29, 2012 10:34pm
Why will someone be threatened with NFP, when all he does is to reminisce 70s or apologize for PPP.
Jul 29, 2012 12:10pm
Answer, hehhhhh. "War verses"? Mahabaratha is *NOT* a bible or Koran. It is just a story or saga. Hindus are not supposed to blindly follow the Mahabaratha. Yes, Muslims were pioneers in a lot of sciences during their heydays some 4 centuries back in the middle-east, *NOT* in the Indian sub-continent. Today, you will agree that there are a lot of Paki talented, smart people with lot of potential. But what about sciences? How many seminal papers come out of there? Or is that all an US/Indo/Israeli conspiracy theory too against your hapless nation.
ilyas khan
Jul 29, 2012 11:37pm
Mullah as pillar of society ? The mullahs of Pakistan I left 45 years ago were a sad and pathetic lot dependent on handouts of the community. And I am talking of Karachi and Lahore.
Jul 29, 2012 12:19pm
Please don't write stuff that can make people think and question (something very natural). We like our eggs fried and that is the only way of cooking them.
Haq Muslim
Jul 29, 2012 07:43pm
Not only with Sindhi and Balochi youth, NFP's writings have been the topic of discussion with students in well known universities like SOAS (where early this year he gave a talk) and LUMS as well.
Iqbal Bosan
Jul 29, 2012 07:32pm
Though tone of his comment is very arrogant and self-righteous, I am afraid I have to agree with Ram krishan. Religion is in conflict with some of the incontrovertible facts uncovered by science like the universe was created some 13.7 billion years ago with big bang and that humans evolved over time from other organisms (our line got separated from chimpanzees about 6 million years ago).
Jul 29, 2012 07:27pm
Zakir Naik represents everything what is wrong with today's muslims.
Jul 29, 2012 07:13pm
please log on to youtube and watch Iddian Dr Zakir Naik "great" example of 2+2=5 in Pakistani media. and completely different answer to the same question in UK media. Absolutely "great" Zakir naik and "Greater" zaid hamid. Most of my comments are usually deleted. I expect the same
Jul 29, 2012 07:09pm
Imran ji, at one time there were many versions of Koran. It was decided by one of the King's in Middle East to destroy other versions. Hence, a human intervention.
Karim Azizi
Jul 29, 2012 07:00pm
The Creator of everything that has been created has undoubtedly been always there. As is said in the Hypocrite Diaries, "A communist until you get rich, feminist until you get married, and atheist until the plane starts falling."
Jul 29, 2012 06:52pm
Yes the most deplorable part of my religion is its caste system!
Jul 29, 2012 10:03am
1. Mahabharat in Bhagwat gita and Ramayan is full of war verses. Krishan himself teaches and provokes Arjun to fight in Mahabharat. 2. Muslims were the poiners in sciences like chemistry, Medicine, Physics, Astronomy, Maths, Geometry etc. Abysina, Omer Khayam, and many more.
Jul 29, 2012 06:47pm
Mahabharata etc are not manuals for life for Hindus. They lie with other books in our libraries and are not worshipped or treated with any more respect than other books. We take what we need by exercising our god given wisdom and ignore the rest. The only man with a Muslim sounding name to get a Nobel in sciences was Abdus Salam, but according to every Pakistani passport holder he was a pretender NOT a Muslim anyway. Great brains do exist among Muslims today too but they are busy with preparing for a good life after this not to improve life here on earth. Good on them
Jul 31, 2012 09:17am
First learn the religion known as Humanity, others are man made....off course supreme power is there, but to tell someone I am on right path & you r not is the worst thing....
Jul 30, 2012 03:20pm
Gone are the days when Mullahs taught only in Marassahs. Systemetically they have infiltrated all modern institutions whether state or privately owned.
Krish Chennai
Jul 29, 2012 09:37am
Rafi Saab, if religion does not espouse social equality, of distribution and of opportunity, something is wrong with that religion, simply put. If that was understood by us clearly, our sub-continent would be the best place to live in, on this planet, with close to 70 years of self-determination.
Aqram Badhshah
Jul 29, 2012 09:37am
NFP is hugely popular with young Sindhi and Baloch youth. Is that a problem for you?
Jul 29, 2012 09:45am
I am a retired college teacher and an atheist, a kafir in Islamic terminology. While I never advocated atheism, which is just a personal preference, I always told my students, who included both boys and girls belonging Hindu, Islam or Christian religion, not to accept anything especially rites and rituals without question. Any controversial news report pertaining to some harmful social practice would be my first topic to talk about in class. The teacher's job is not to teach, but rather make his students ultimately learn to learn.
Jul 29, 2012 09:03am
Yes you do you just used double negative :)
Jul 29, 2012 08:59am
Same goes for the first and last messengers and all the messengers in between. Life must be lived and understood firsthand.
Jul 29, 2012 08:03am
Go on NFP! Let the barking dogs bark! Even they bite, they usually bite themselves!
Karachi Wala
Jul 29, 2012 09:27am
Rafi saheb. Let India take care of their own backyard. Pakistan needs a debate more than anyone else. The question is, will it be allowed or a large portion of population will have the guts?
Jul 29, 2012 07:14am
I don't agree with NFP on a lot of things particularly his pro PPP ultra leftist leanings and undue criticism of imran khan but I still read his articles religiously. He is right in saying that the writings of those on the far right also need to be censored by those who object to his thinking. I think it is the right time to have a national debate on such issues both in India and Pakistan.
Saim Saeed
Jul 29, 2012 07:17am
Mr Paracha, it looks like your doing your job right then.
Yemeen Zuberi
Jul 29, 2012 05:57pm
Muslims are behind in science and education now, but there was a time that they were leading the world in science. They have left their stamp almost all over the world; India has the Taj Mahal and Spain has Al Hamra. As far as the present Jihadis are concerned they are following their own version of Islam that is not true at all. The first lesson the Muslims learnt with regard to POWs was to release them if they teach Muslim children how to read and write. The present Jehadis are throwing bombs on schools. About the Holy Book I will say that it is not the only holy book that claims to be sent by Creator; second you can read and reject its message if you do not like it. I read and enjoy and email NFP's articles to others.
Sabiha Ikram Ali
Jul 29, 2012 08:42am
True. A friend of mine is at LUMS and she tells me there are some lecturers there who encourage their students to read people like Parvez Hoodbohy, Aeysha Siddiqa, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Irfan Hisain and Saroop Ijaz.
A Rehman
Jul 30, 2012 07:11am
Pity the nation who has such students who show utter disrespect for their teachers. This is not the code of life taught to us by our ancestors, nor by our religion. Pity the nation who has 117 bloggers, admiring the acts of disobedient students. Also remember where-ever and what ever you are today, is because of your teachers.
John B Nickson
Jul 29, 2012 06:15pm
Why so Religious?
Kai Pai Senior
Jul 29, 2012 06:14pm
Why so religious man?
Jul 29, 2012 06:13pm
Of course Zakir Naik can suggest his students that they should stop reading Writers like NFP.In my opinion Zakir Naik is a corrupt man he is collecting millions through his so called "Islamic research foundation".He is just a bloody religious prosecutor.
Jul 29, 2012 10:43am
Well, I'd very humbly disagree to the words you chose for teachers, though I'm in complete agreement with what you said.
Ram krishan
Jul 29, 2012 10:37am
All I am saying is that most students at one time or the other ask their teachers two simple questions: 1. How old is our planet earth? 2. How long ago we became humans.? The teacher gives them two different answers , one according to Holy Book , and the other based on scientific research. Poor student can not decide which is the correct answer.
Jul 29, 2012 10:26am
Very fitting reply......... lol
Jul 29, 2012 10:28am
You wish so.......... but news from your side of border same something else.......
Jul 29, 2012 11:30am
Now you are a typically pansy 'moderate.' The so-called psuedo liberals are fighting it out with fanatics while people like you stay put and read what? Nice stories in Akhbar-Jehan. You are the kind of a guy who instead of answering tricky questions would tell your kids to go read something that is light and nice.
Jul 29, 2012 11:27am
@Imran khan, I think you have raised a question and answered in the same in your statement itself. You say " He protects the Holly Book from any human corruption" but in the next you say "actually these jihad verses, which you indicated, are misinterpreted", so we are actually responsible for corrupting the holy book. As the text in the book itself is not important , how people interpret it is important. I believe other religions try to take good things from their books, it is us who have taken the wrong path somewhere.
Jul 29, 2012 06:50am
Zakir Naik is exactly the kind of guy who would suggest his students to stop reading writers like NFP and Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy.
Jul 29, 2012 12:11pm
ha ha ha ha......but good to see lot pf Pakistanis are more secular than me....
Jul 29, 2012 11:33am
Nothing wrong with the Teachers at the university then. Students lost interest in marx mao or madudi. Teachers even at your time were same as you said that all one had to do to bunk a class was to ask a question and get thrown out.
Jul 29, 2012 11:32am
Uza with all due respect who in the world are you reading? I have read Dr.Zakir Naik's articles & heard few of his lectures & I have never come across yo what you are implying.
Jul 29, 2012 05:21pm
FYI PPP is not ultra left. It is more center leaning since bb era. Yes it is liberal but not ultra liberal party.
Engr. Khan
Jul 29, 2012 05:20pm
i wish i could see the time when people are not killed in the name of religion. When will we understand the freedom of choice?
Jul 29, 2012 05:05pm
Krish Chennai
Jul 29, 2012 05:00pm
Nope Imran bhai.....if you saw the results in the most populous state in India last, you would be ( hope, pleasantly) surprised....Muslim leaders voted by constituencies with Hindu majority population...It used to be caste-based or so-called "Muslim-vote-bank" based, like in pre-partition days, but not any more. Pak has some way to go, if elected political will needs to see the economic development of the majority of its population. We all need people who "deliver", economic benefits for the majority, not someone flaunting some religious label for suckers.
Jul 29, 2012 04:54pm
u-no-Pink Floyd?? :P
imran khan
Jul 29, 2012 06:46am
Ram Krishan jee, with due respect to you, Qura'n is, according to Muslim believe , the book of Allah, and Allah Himself pledges in Qura'n that He protects the Holly Book from any human corruption. actually these jihad verses, which you indicated, are misinterpreted ( read them in context ). my brother for your information Rammayan is also full of war verses (jihad) but i can not be prejudiced to comment because i know that these all war verses speak about fight against falsehood so Quranic jihad verses speak about fight against falsehood. for further understanding watch Indian Dr Zakir Naik's lectures on jihad. thank you
Capt C M Khan
Jul 29, 2012 06:42am
The only thought that comes to my mind now is that NFP is becoming a threat to certain stereo typed/narrow minded misguided teachers. Good article keep writing history Mr Paracha, future generations might use them and get rid of this economically downward spiral that Pakistan is undergoing and one day might stop being an Arab and start behaving like a true sub-continent decedent.
Jul 29, 2012 12:05pm
100% true...see Zakir Nayak...he even knows Hindus are real secular, that why standing in land of Hindus, he preaches Islam, criticizes Hinduism....just Imagine if someone stands in Saudi Arabia and preaching Hindusim, what could have been the punishment? So without any doubt, Hindus are most tolerant and secular. however it is not that others are not secular, example? N.P.F. I salute this guy...
Jul 29, 2012 01:18pm
You mean re-convert him. Or convert him to a bogus version of faith. NFP is already a declared Muslim. But, of course, to frauds like Maya Khan, liberal and progressive Muslims like NFP are threats.
alok agarwal
Jul 29, 2012 01:18pm
Nadeem, with intellectuals like you, Pakistan certainly can certainly hope for better. In current gloom and doom , there are people like you holding fort, i am sure your ideas will win the battle.
Ajaya K Dutt
Jul 29, 2012 12:58pm
There is nobody condemning people who do not want to condone "everything" written in Mahabharat or Ramayanor even Gita. On the contrary majority of modern Hindus reject castism as evil. Affirmative action in India will not stand a test of court in United States. Whereas in Pakistan another "Caste" system had taken root where non-muslims are untouchable and if they protest against this then they are prosecuted and killed. Beauty of India is that Zakir Naik is free to deliver his lectures. Some Hindu (?) girl is free to trash Idol worshipping in open before a gathering of thousands of muslims and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4Fp3ZtlGY0. There is You Tube also of a Indian Muslim girl smashing Ganesh Idol.
Jul 29, 2012 01:06pm
It's time Maya Khan converted NFP to Islam on national tv.
Jul 29, 2012 04:58am
So, there goes critical thinking out the door! Who hired these so-called "teachers"?
Ghani Khan
Jul 29, 2012 03:54pm
@alok agarwal : I am afraid you are bit too generous ,so lavishly complimenting NFP. He is a social critic when it concerns right of the centre parties like IK's Terik Insaf. I would be impressed provided he examines the conduct and calibre of PPP leadership. He is by all counts, a spokesman of PPP.
Ram krishan
Jul 29, 2012 04:57am
Mr. Paracha , There could be 101 questions. For instance , Contadiction of Darwin's theory of Evolution with religion. Did every word as written in the holy book came from the creator of the universe ? Finally , why Muslims are behind in science and education and standard of living as compared to Jews , Christians ,Budhists and communists and so on.
Muhammad Ahmed
Jul 29, 2012 03:49pm
There are bad teachers in the system who may ask you in the beginning to ask any questions at the end of the class. Once you ask them the answer might be, " When I was explaining it, were you paying any attention?". Apparently, many of such maestros are present in abundance in math and science sectors. Frankly speaking, I have rarely seen kids taking islamiyat and history that seriously where they are more concerned about rata and getting grades then what is being taught to them. I have seen people focus on text of Jinnah's fourteen points without even understanding what they stood for and what they really meant. The exams also do not focus on intellectual and contemporary aspects of information rather it just becomes an exam of memorization. I do not agree with all historical interpretations of NFP but he deserves to be read to have ability to form diverse opinions. NFP has his biases in writing and so does every human author in this world. I am pretty sure that for every such teacher there are also tens more who encourage intellectual curiosity. I think it depends on the teacher. I clearly remember a teacher who posed the question to us, " Why do we fast?". It was in 6th grade and apparently all of us had were coming up with scrambling answers but no one really knew it. Most of us were doing it since we had seen our parents do it without questioning much about the importance of such a ritual. I also remember a history teacher who greatly encouraged us to read history books written by 7 different authors for our homework while we were still in 8th grade. It was interesting to find dissenting opinion regarding history even though course remain focused on areas where there was limited opportunity to present such an opinion. The teachers have every right to ask their students to not discuss certain topics during their class but limiting their ability to read material outside their class is indeed an unfair restriction.
Cyrus Howell
Jul 29, 2012 03:48pm
Islam cannot make the quantum jump to 300 years of Western knowledge, but Muslims can.
Jul 29, 2012 10:00am
Basically, it is a War between Pseudo liberals (Parvez Hoodbohy, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Irfan Hisain and Saroop Ijaz) and religious extremists (Zaid Hamid, Maulan Diesel, etc). So, don't waste your time on these useless activities. Try to read some productive writings.
Cyrus Howell
Jul 29, 2012 03:13pm
I guess the teacher has been reading the articles as well.
Jul 29, 2012 03:10pm
The last I was at Karachi University by the way the obvious majority of bearded men and hijab clad women made me feel like I was in a madressah!!!!!
Kaka Khan
Jul 29, 2012 06:31am
Let me tell you that the patents of a close cousin of mine also had the same thing to say. He is 19 and kept contradicting his mother who had a habit of bringing religion into everything. She is a devout member of Farhat Hadhmi's Al-Huda. Instead of answering her son's question she actually asked her hubby to tell the son to stop reading NFP articles!! Lol.
Jul 29, 2012 02:53pm
"...... There is You Tube also of a Indian Muslim girl smashing Ganesh Idol....." You call that 'beauty of india. If any non muslim in india can burns quran or draws a cartoon of Muhhamad like the Indian Muslim girl smashing idol of ganesha, what do you think would happen. Personally, a religion that does not allow (or reacts violently) themselves or other to make fun/question their belief (quran, prophet) should be handed same punishment when they insult other religious beliefs. This indian muslim girl smashing ganesha ideol should be declared wajabu-e-qatil. Tit For Tat!
Agha Ata
Jul 29, 2012 02:42pm
This is just the beginning. Very soon students would learn how not to ask no questions, and teachers would learn how to answer each one of them. .
Jul 29, 2012 02:42pm
There's an old saying ... ... "Those who able to do the job, do it. Those who are not able to do the job, govern. Those who are not able to govern, teach." Great article, NFP.
Jul 29, 2012 02:28pm
If the Universe (A) was created by God (B) because A cannot exist on its own then how B can exist on its own without being created. If any religion can give a satisfactory, logical and rational explanation to the above then I'd happily convert to that religion. Until then I am happy to be an Atheist.
Jul 29, 2012 02:20pm
Are you talking about the caste system in Hinduism?
Jul 29, 2012 02:12pm
I suggest you read the blogs of Hussain Nadim who is teaching at Quaid-e-Azam Uni in Islamabad.
Jul 29, 2012 02:06pm
As long as the society dominated by the bigots and the zealots, remains as it is people like NFP and Hassan Nisar will be opposed. It is good that Hassan Nisar atleast appears regularly on TV which is more effective and influential for illetrates but NFP could only be understood by the literates.Neverthless,both these gentlemen are doing a commendable work and it must continue.
Chaudhry Boota
Jul 29, 2012 05:19am
Teachers!we don't need no education.
Murad Malik
Jul 29, 2012 05:22am
hahahaha, loved the part, "to bunk the class,the easiest way was that the teacher throws you out, and all you had to do was ask him a question", loved the article...Smokers Corner rocks...
Jul 29, 2012 05:24am
Picking few bad examples and generalisation over the society at its best ! Certainly NFP thinks alot of himself. You certainly are not the liberal intellect of this country but may just be a LIBERAL.
Jul 29, 2012 05:55am
NFP you should continue because you are right in telling us the "real" reality not the one which is told in books. Sindhis will Insha Allah have your back brother. THANKS TO DAWN FOR REMAINING TRUE TO JOURNALISM AND BEING THE ONLY SOURCE OF NEWS FOR LIBERALS IN PAKISTAN (the unmodified news)
Sure Kant
Jul 29, 2012 06:18am
These are the teachers that are taking the nation backwards. And we keep on blaming the politicians!!!
Jul 29, 2012 06:22am
Who are the ones in teaching profession today? Only those who do not fit in any other professional field.
bhat badri nath
Jul 30, 2012 01:35am
Jul 30, 2012 02:05am
Ah the tyrrany of parental censorship. It has always been there and will always be there. Nothing anyone can do about it. Back in my day, it was the urdu jasoosi novel which used toi infuriate my dad. Being caught with anything by Ibn-e-Safi was likely to mean severe punishment. But....the more the parental wrath came down on such reading, the more we found ways to get hold of the stuff.
Jul 30, 2012 02:30am
if you are seeing islam through ignorant mullah then this is you's fault.
Jul 30, 2012 02:43am
Ever since Rupert Murdoch started his benighted Fox Tv network, Liberal is a "bad word" in most parts of the conservative world (econonomics wise) but it is funnier in Pakistan where the conservatives (religion wise) are staunchly anti-American, unless of course, it is a question of the Green card. Eh??
Jul 30, 2012 03:36am
The only reason for the destruction of Pakistan and even Karachi is the army-backed agencies' interference in the affairs of civilians!!
Jul 30, 2012 04:06am
The teachers/professors are interested to maintain their jobs,get a salary and run their household.Even if they answer the questions of their students who anyways are not many in number,nothing is going to change for better in pakistan.
Jul 30, 2012 04:25am
A JI man would tell you the version of history completely upside down. Who should you believe then? Obviously the version that suits you. So as the historians write up the version that suits them, I guess.
Jul 30, 2012 05:25am
Everyone has a different version of our history here. Listen to the history from a JI man.. your brain will get upside down..
A Rehman
Jul 30, 2012 06:53am
Why is NFP progressive? and why is Maya Khan a fraud? We all need to study the religion and the Prophet's life. Prior to that any comments on the subject are just jugglery of words.
Jul 30, 2012 05:27am
Jul 30, 2012 05:42am
A Rehman
Jul 30, 2012 06:43am
Anyone in this imperfect World would fall for a green card, including so called secular Indians....
A Rehman
Jul 30, 2012 06:47am
Exactly, what is wrong in Pakistan being a religious country? As far as I remember, your and my ancestors laid down their lives in getting a homeland for Muslims as a fort of Islam. Get rid of these pseudo intellectuals and keep faith your religion. These useless colourful distractions would leave us nowhere.
Deepak K
Jul 30, 2012 07:49pm
This question was Legendary!!
Jul 31, 2012 12:24am
although arabs think of us as less than third class people
Jul 31, 2012 08:21pm
Dear Asif, educated people like me,go visit Dawn not to score any points, or to bash.All educated pepople in both country want Peace,prosperity,Roti ,Kapda and Makan for all.If we over come this hate,at least among some educated people in both the countries, think how good it will be for poor population! And why worry about rating?Indians have no inferiorty, most of them are tolerant of differing thoughts and religion.I am a dreamer and till DAWN is on web I will have HOPE.Let us just try and get along!