Exclusive interview with His Excellency Kabir Tasawuri the Honorable Ambassador of Utopistan by concerned blogger Arieb Azhar

-The national flag of Utopistan
-The national flag of Utopistan
Arieb: Good morning, Your Excellency. I’m so grateful you could take time out from your busy schedule to grant me this interview.

Ambassador Kabir: Think nothing of it. I don’t often get called for interviews. In fact, most people still find it difficult to accept the possibility of our country existing!

Arieb: Yet, I still find your country fascinating! Your President Maula Baksh created quite a stir amongst the international community earlier this year, when he refused an invitation to attend the World Economic Forum summit in Davos.

Ambassador Kabir: Many people don’t attend the World Economic Summit.

Arieb: Yes, but the reason President Maula Baksh gave for not attending the Summit was that he was too busy gardening!

Ambassador Kabir: Yes, that is true! But what the international press doesn’t mention is that in Utopistan we don’t own private gardens. We consider the whole country as a garden and work together in tending it.

Arieb: I see! Does that mean that in Utopistan all the gardens are State owned?

Ambassador Kabir: Not at all! The problem lies in the concept of ownership. Most people can’t understand that a piece of land for example doesn’t have to be literally owned by anyone. But one can own the responsibility of tending it.

Arieb: But isn’t that a play on words? After all who gets to decide who should ‘own’ the responsibility of tending it?

Ambassador Kabir: No one has to decide. It is apparent. Everyone is responsible for tending whatever part of the garden he/she wants to tend. And if the garden is blooming, it is apparent to all. The problem is when greed comes into it. As someone once put it – there is enough in the world to provide for man’s need, but not enough to provide for his greed.

Arieb: But some would argue that without the concept of private property progress and economic growth would not be possible; that taking away private property would be an infringement on our freedom.

Ambassador Kabir: In Utopistan our concept of ‘progress’ differs from other countries. We believe in the progress of all life on Earth, not just the progress of one life form over another. Utopistan was created when the vast majority of people discovered that there is more pleasure in economic sustainability for all than economic growth for a few; that the greatest freedom is the freedom from selfish desires.

Arieb: Forgive my lack of knowledge but did this change come about through a bloody revolution?

Ambassador Kabir: The only revolution that took place was a revolution of ideas because the old ideas had already collapsed upon themselves. A sizable number of people found themselves sharing a similar belief in humanity and their ideas were infectious. Before the rest of the world realised what was happening Utopistan had already been created. Now instead of looking upon ourselves as owners of the land and all that it includes, we look upon ourselves as guardians, tenders, gardeners of the land and all that it includes.

Arieb: You seem to take gardening very seriously in your country, whereas in most countries it’s considered a trivial pastime.

Ambassador Kabir: Absolutely! The greatest achievements of our country have been in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, earth sciences and sustainable energy, not to mention biology, medicine, psychology, poetry and music! You might say that the living culture of Utopistan is Permaculture. Have you heard of Permaculture?

Arieb: Only in passing.

Ambassador Kabir: ”Permaculture is an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of human endeavor. It teaches us how to build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, and build communities and much more.” To go into all its aspects is the subject of intensive study, but suffice it to say that, Permaculture provides a workable plan of how to reintegrate ourselves into the natural ecosystem from which the human race has become so estranged.

Arieb: Uh, ok ... Let’s move on to the next question. I read on Wikipedia that the official language of Utopistan is called, ‘The Language of Mutual Respect’. Could you tell me the origin of this language since I’ve never heard of it before?

Ambassador Kabir: The language of Mutual Respect is not a language really, it’s a form of expression. We in Utopistan don’t prefer to over-emphasise the classification of languages. We realised that the difference between languages and dialects is more a result of political decisions than social realities. Traveling in your country for example, who can say where Punjabi turns into Siraiki, and where Siraiki turns into Sindhi. And within these languages there are so many dialects. Perhaps one day some of them will come to be called languages not just dialects.

Arieb: So how many languages exist in Utopistan?

Ambassador Kabir: I cannot even begin to count them, there are so many! In Utopistan, languages are never considered tools of power but tools of communication, or rather, communion. Therefore poetry and music is considered the highest form of language. So long as a language falls under the Language of Mutual Respect, in Utopistan, it continues to grow and evolve.

Arieb: So your system of education and governance are based on many languages?

Ambassador Kabir: Exactly! Evolving and living languages! We learn a lot from each other and about each other because we all speak the Language of Mutual Respect.

Arieb: I also read that the official religion of Utopistan is the Religion of Humanity and Mortality. Could you tell us about the tenets of this religion?

Ambassador Kabir: Of course. It’s very simple. The Religion of Humanity and Mortality says: love and expect the best of yourself even unto death; and treat the other as you would expect the other to treat you.

Arieb: That’s all? No holy books, scriptures, rituals or religious institutions?

Ambassador Kabir: On the contrary! In Utopistan, we hold all the religious books and scriptures of the world in high esteem, because we have found that they all speak about The Religion of Humanity and Mortality, despite how they’ve been interpreted around the world. It is up to the individual to decide which path or paths he has more of an affinity with. And if someone feels that his path is better than others, then again that becomes apparent in his dealings with the world, without him having to prove it. We in Utopia have found that the more someone gets defensive or offensive about his religion, the more he is insecure in his faith. But such persons don’t get very far in Utopistan because our society has learnt to recognise and appreciate the real qualities of a human being as opposed to how he markets himself. Which brings me to another interesting point about Utopistan – do you know we don’t have any advertisements in our country?

Arieb: What! No advertisements at all?

Ambassador Kabir: There is no need for them. Any product that is developed speaks for itself, and as with religion, our people are sharp in identifying the real from the fake, the necessary from the superfluous, the beautiful from the ugly. We don’t have large-scale corporations either, since we’ve learnt that what makes a corporation grow beyond a certain point is greed not need. Besides, we all feel we function best when there is a humane connection and purpose that binds us together.

Arieb: If you permit me, Your Excellency, some people might think that some of your laws are dangerously close to being those of a totalitarian regime!

Ambassador Kabir: Anyone who has ever visited Utopistan knows that we are anything but totalitarian! Our laws are amongst the most lenient in the world, and are more like guidelines than actual laws. They hardly ever need to be enforced because the vast majority of people have arrived to the same conclusions themselves. We encourage individual expression and innovation because we believe that a diverse human society cannot only function well together but also contribute in the natural process of what we call – ‘the Healing of the Earth.’

Arieb: But how do you deal with crime without enforcing laws?

Ambassador Kabir: There is hardly any crime in our country. We are a peaceful people. Our psychologists realised that the need for crime stems from an unnatural state of society; from injustice; from poverty; from greed that is still glorified in most other countries; and from a false premise that the world and nature around us is a hostile place. Our society deals with the causes of crime, just as our healers and doctors deal with the causes of disease before it actually manifests itself in the mind and body. In the few instances where someone does actually commit a crime in our society, we seek to treat him as a patient, not ostracise him further into becoming a criminal. We are generally a very forgiving people and have a large tolerance for mistakes...

Arieb: Your Excellency, many large corporations are asking for an economic embargo of your country and accusing you of disrespecting international trade laws. How do you respond to this accusation?

Ambassador Kabir: It’s true that some super powers are calling for an economic embargo against us. It’s not our fault that their corporations have flopped in our society! Big businesses are constantly trying to muscle their way into Utopistan, but since they don’t understand our basic values they fail in establishing themselves, and blame us for it! But we still trade with many countries. Our largest export is our agricultural products (they are highly valued in many countries) and our practical knowledge of Permaculture. We have ceased meaningless industrial growth for a while in favor of replenishing the Earth and helping it to reproduce.

Arieb: Your Excellency, some countries have also accused your country of hiding weapons of mass destruction. Since Utopistan doesn’t even have a standing army, how do you hope to defend and sustain your way of life?

Ambassador Kabir: We harbor no illusions as to our delicate position. But we will not shield ourselves against the rest of the world. We realise the folly of such actions, as in the parable of the foolish king:

“There was once a powerful king who was told by some astrologers that he would die on a certain date. In order to shield himself from this calamity, he ordered that the gates of his castle be shut and no stranger be allowed in. Still fearing for his personal safety, he then shut himself up in his chambers only meeting with his closest aides. Soon even this was not enough so he had the doors of his chambers sealed. Having finally shut himself in from all external threats he starved and died on the exact appointed date of his death!”

Though Utopistan may be here for a brief space and time, our knowledge and ideas will live on to inspire others…

-Two residents of Utopistan
-Two residents of Utopistan



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