Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Stories of faith and devotion

Published Jul 12, 2012 06:17pm


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

-Illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan.

I have been lucky to be a witness to a number of major events in the politics of Pakistan, first as the son of a journalist, then as a student activist and finally as a journalist myself.

Even though the memory of witnessing many of these events remains as fresh in my mind as ever, I must confess it is the recollection of certain minor episodes along the way which, I believe, has helped me understand the many turning points in the larger scheme of things in Pakistan.

I have never been a very religious person. But I’ve always been a firm believer. And ironically, over the decades as the intellectual credence and credibility of secularism has continued to grow in my eyes (now more than ever), so has my fascination with religion, especially with the way it is indulged in by my fellow countrymen and women, or for that matter, by me.

I was a child of the 1970s, an era in the sociology of Pakistan that began to seem rather alien when I entered my teens in the 1980s.

One of the major triggers in this respect was, of course, the mushrooming of exhibitionistic religiosity, preliminarily initiated by the state, and then eventually undertaken by large sections of the society as a whole.

I see this process as a kind of self-hypnosis, partaken to not only project religious exhibitionism as some sort of a reflection to define (or redefine) one’s identity as a Pakistani or Muslim, but also (on a more cynical level), understand it as something that attracts economic and political benefits.


Before the deluge

As I mentioned earlier, my childhood memories of a more tolerant Pakistan in the 1970s now seem squarely alien to the Pakistan I entered as a teen in the 1980s and to the Pakistan I live in today.

One such memory has me accompanying my father and grandfather for Eid prayers on Eidul Azha (‘Bakra Eid’) to a local mosque in our ancestral village in the Attock district in North Punjab.

I don’t remember the exact year (I think it was 1974), but I do remember it was a hot morning.

The mosque was small and just outside it was a dozen or so goats and sheep that were to be sacrificed after the prayers.

Usually, Eidul Azha prayers are of a short duration so that the men can go back home and make preparations for sacrificing their goats, sheep or camels in the way of God and distribute portions of the resultant meat among the poor.

But the molvie of this particular mosque just went on and on. My father later told me that the molvie was actually angry at the people of the village who kept cracking jokes about him.

Cracking jokes about molvies, especially about their figurative liking for sweetmeat and marrying more than once, were almost like a tradition in Pakistan.

Molvie jokes are still common, but in 1980 reactionary military dictator, General Ziaul Haq, actually tried to address this ‘serious and grave concern.’

His information ministry fired an ‘advise’ to the state media (PTV, Pakistan Radio) that molvies were not be made fun of anymore. Also, they were to be called ‘ulema’ (religious scholars) instead of mullahs.

Anyway, this molvie at that small mosque in Attock in 1974 just went on and on. A point came when the men began to sweat profusely and waited patiently for him to recite the words signaling that they could all bend and go down on their knees as prescribed by the sunnah.

But this just wasn’t happening … until one of the goats tied outside the mosque baa-ed. And lo and behold! At the sound of the baa, each and every man in the mosque, except the molvie, went straight down!

All I remember was seeing the men first blushing, then getting back up and eventually beginning to giggle like little children.

So what happened next? Nothing.

The molvie didn’t get the goat killed (it was to be scarified anyway), and nor was the goat’s owner admonished (or burned by a mob).

The men just laughed about it and went home. End of story.


Change changing places

To me, if one is to pick a year from where Pakistan’s political and cultural slide towards a curious faith-based neurosis (and ultimately a socio-political nervous breakdown) began, that year is bound to be 1979.

A number of some interesting political events of that year can be elaborated to back the claim, but here I shall relate another more minor and personal memory.

Like a majority of Pakistanis, till the early 1980s, much of the Paracha clan that I belong to were adherents of what is loosely called the ‘Barelvi school of Islam.’

It is an indigenous, 200-year-old strain of the faith exclusive to the Indian subcontinent.

It emerged sometime in the 19th century as a reaction against various Islamic reformist movements in the region after the fall of the Muslim empire in India and the arrival of British imperialism.

There were two main poles of the reformist movements, but both emerged after critiquing the status of Islam among the Muslims of the region after the fall of the Mughal Empire.

One pole of the reformists castigated the mullahs and the pirs for keeping the Muslims of the region superstitious and away from modern knowledge.

They advocated the symbolic and ‘rational understanding of the Quran’ and also the acquiring of modern ‘secular schooling’ and science introduced by the British.

The other pole, inspired by the puritanical ‘Wahabi movement’ that had broken out in the then Ottoman-held Arab peninsula (later named Saudi Arabia), blamed the Mughals for allowing Islam to be ‘adulterated’ by allowing ‘Hindu influences’ to seep in.

To this batch of reformists, Indian Muslims had lost their empire because they had stopped following the ‘true version’ of the faith.

They advocated a more literal reading of the holy book and for Islam to become an important (political) part of any future Islamic empire in the region.

Many of such reformists were called ‘Wahabis,’ Aehl-e-Hadidh, Salafi and ‘Deobandis.’

All of these were not only against the rationalists and western education, they were also extremely critical of the tradition of visiting Sufi shrines and venerating the graves of Sufi saints. They called the practice ‘shirk’ (gravely un-Islamic).

The Barelvi movement was mainly a reaction against the above. Though not opposed to the teaching of ‘Western secular knowledge,’ it did react strongly against those criticising the act of visiting shrines and indulging in related rituals as ‘shirk.’

As such, the Barelvi movement did not offer anything new to Islamic philosophy. On the contrary, it was an attempt to simply organise and safeguard the centuries-old traditions of Indian Muslims.

It was the reassuring enshrinement of the traditional hybrid-Sufism that prevailed among the Muslims due to the long periods of interaction between Sufi Islam and Hinduism.

Though idea of Pakistan was mainly conceived by the ‘Islamic modernists’ (and initially rejected by the puritans), it was ‘Barelvism’ that rose to become the folk religion of the rural peasants, the urban proletariat and the petty-bourgeoisie of the country.

It incorporated the anti-clergy elements of Sufism, the jurisprudence doctrines of the more flexible Sunni Hanafi fiqh and, as had been the traditional practice of popular folk Islam of the region, fused these with the concept of overt religious reverence of divine concepts and people, and the accommodating forms of worship found in various shades of the religions practiced in the sub-continent.

The result was an Indian/Pakistani Muslim populace repulsed by the dogma of the puritanical strains of the religion; open to the idea of modern education; competitively permissive in its sociology; and largely non-political in essence (until the cosmetic rise of Barelvi militancy from the 1990s onwards).

But at the same time, Barlevi Islam is also criticised for being willingly embroiled in superstition and doctrinal ‘innovations.’

I remember, till the 1970s, a religious Pakistani mainly meant a person who made regular visits to Sufi shrines, offered ‘Niaz’ (special food offerings) and illuminated their homes during the Prophet’s birthday and loved listening to Qawalis and naats

The more ‘enlightened, modern Muslims’ thought such people as superstitious but they never judged them as being ‘flawed Muslims’ – such a thing was just not done.

My paternal grandparents were religious in the above context. But then so were most of my relatives and yet, just like one of my father’s favorite maternal uncles, they played cards, chess, loved watching movies, smoked, intermingled with the opposite sex, danced to the beat of the dhol at shrines, etc.

The favorite uncle’s two sons who were about 5 or 6 years older than I was, used to visit our home every weekend to play cricket. One of them was a huge fan of Pakistani film actor Nadeem and as far as I remember he was the first guy I saw who got into disco music that invaded Pakistan with the entry of recorded cassettes and vinyl LPs of Donna Summers, Boney M and the Bee Gees in the late 1970s.

One 1979 summer day, the two lads did not turn up for cricket. In fact I saw the disco fan two years later in 1981. He had completely changed. He had a longish beard, a skull-cap and refused to wear any western clothes.

What had happened was this: Sometime between 1978 and 1979, the puritanical Tableeghi Jamat (TJ) had managed to recruit a busload of Parachas.

TJ was/is a puritanical Deobandi evangelical movement that’s been around since the 1920s. But it began being patronised by the state as soon as the Ziaul Haq dictatorship took over in July 1977.

Though, mostly popular among urban and semi-urban lower-middle-classes in the Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa provinces, TJ (from 1979) began angling for the richer lot as well.

By the 1990s, a number of well-t0-do businessmen, military personnel, politicians, sportsmen, and music and TV personalities were its members.

TJ is not a political outfit. Its puritanism is more a sociological and cultural event, in which it allows its members to continue striving for martial wellbeing but only if they strictly follow certain religious ritualism.

A beard (or a certain size of a beard on men), and a particular style of wearing ones clothes are a must. Modern ‘distractions’ like TV, radio, music and films are to be discarded. ‘Spreading Islam’ through persuasion and preaching is advocated as a member’s leading duty.

So not only did my father’s disco-loving cousin join TJ, he helped it to bag dozens of more Parachas. For example, as a kid I was perplexed when all of a sudden some of my female cousins were not allowed anymore to play with their male counterparts.

Of course, I also saw all those ‘un-Islamic’ activities of distributing Niaz, lighting firecrackers (on Shab-e-Barat), visiting the shrines, et al go out the window.

My grandparents never fell for this completely, though. And my grandmother was most surprised when one of her brothers (my father’s favorite uncle) too joined the TJ.

He was my favorite character as well. Full of life, jolly, a terrific singer and lover of music, he also loved to play cards and cricket. But his son got him to throw out the TV and the radio from their house.

As an angry young teenager in the 1980s, I asked my grandmother to ask all these guys why they were behaving as if they had become better Muslims than her, and why they were acting as if they are embarrassed of what they were before they supposedly saw the light.

My grandmother thought they had found solace and that she should respect their new-found beliefs, even if she disagreed with them.

I sure wished they were as tolerant as well.

But the uncle, though now with a beard and without a TV or any chance of ever playing a round or two of rummy or flush, remained jovial.

Even though he wasn’t the same man, I continued enjoying his company in spite of him telling me that I should go and settle in the Soviet Union because he was convinced I was a communist.

I met him many years later in October 2009 at my father’s funeral. He stayed with us for a couple of days.

During one such day when (male) family members were lazing about remembering my father, I got up and strolled out for a smoke.

Standing there with a cigarette in hand, looking at the sun go down, I felt someone tapping me with a finger on the back.

I turned to find my father’s uncle. I cringed, thinking this most certainly was not the right time for him to give me that token TJ lecture. But before I could tell him this, he asked whether I had seen his son.

I said no, I hadn’t. He looked around (as if to make sure the son was not in the vicinity), and after making sure we were alone, he cracked a light smile, then while scratching one side of his head said (in Punjabi): ‘Nadeem, lend me a cigarette.’

I didn’t know what triggered it, but in that fleeting moment, I saw three decades of the Tableeghi Jamat conditioning crumble like a dry cookie.


Cuts both ways

                                                                          Cartoon: Sabir Nazar

During the 1988 New Years Eve, some friends and I got ourselves a bottle of Murree Vodka. After finishing half of it in my room, we decided to go to one of Karachi’s finest and cheapest foodie areas, the Burns Road, for dinner.

We also decided to take the bottle along and finish it at one of the many restaurants at Burn’s Road that still allowed one to enjoy their booze on their premises.

At one such (door-less) restaurant, we got ourselves a table and ordered some kebabs. Seeing the bottle, the waiter at once got us a few glasses, three bottles of 7-Up and some ice cubes.

As we were making our respective drinks, one of my friends noticed a small sticker on the wall right behind him. It said (in Urdu): ‘Bombing dance parties (sic), whipping drunkards and killing dancers was the duty of every Muslim.’

Taken-aback a bit but tipsy, we decided to ask the waiter about the sticker.

Bhai jaan, will you flog us?’ One of my friends asked the waiter in jest.

Jee? (What?)’ The waiter asked, confused.

My friend pointed at the sticker: ‘Did you put that on the wall?’

‘Oh, that. No, no,’ the waiter smiled. ‘That was put by some guys belonging to some party who were having food here a while ago.’

By the mid and late 1980s, radical Islamist and sectarian organisations had begun to mushroom and proliferate across the country, especially now that the anti-Soviet ‘Afghan jihad’ was reaching a climax.

‘Are those guys (who put up the sticker) still here?’ I asked.

‘No. They left. Don’t worry. You can enjoy your drink,’ said the waiter.

Then, as he started to go get another order, he stopped a bit at an empty table near ours and while quickly running a cloth over it he mumbled: ‘Even if they were here, so what?’

‘What do you mean?’ I asked, startled.

Bhai jan,’ said the waiter, ‘woh aap sey bhi ziada tun thay! (Brother, they were a lot drunk than you guys!).


Thicker than water

It was 2007. My apartment building had run out of water. I accompanied the building’s President to check the situation. The President called the chowkidar, saying, “Yaar, ever since you have come, we have started to have this water problem.”

The President then turned towards me and in all seriousness announced: “Nadeem sahib, this chowkidar of ours does not pray regularly.”

I nodded, nonchalantly.

“You know,” the President continued in all earnest, “the chowkidar we had before him used to pray right here over the water-tank and ma’shallah we used to get tons of water in the pipeline!”

Yani ke Aab-i-zam-zam?” I asked, jokingly.

But the President remained serious: “I tell you, Nadeem sahib, this guy should start praying here! As the last one did. On the tank and near the pipeline!”

“Right!” said I, slightly irritated.

Then turning towards the embarrassed chowkidar, I told him: “You better start praying over the water tank, mister. Who knows, this time we might actually strike oil!”

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

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Author Image

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

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 (288) Closed

themagus Jul 12, 2012 09:53am
Indian muslims going to same path is largely due to the fact that all text used in madrassas is books imported from Saudi Arabia. A lot of maulvis have been trained in Saudi too, even small town maulvis. The best way to export a brand is through seeding minds and that's what the Saudi wahabis are doing. Smart
nitish Jul 12, 2012 09:51am
i think rather you were more tolerant towards him.Story is different towards our side where hindus treat them worst than untouchables.
Indian Jul 12, 2012 08:28am
China??? why??? and India why?? Do you think we indian or the Chinese are any better?
Noor Jul 12, 2012 04:45pm
Deepak.... Will you please recall Babari Masjid, what you call TOLERANCE,,,, Godhra.... TOLERANCE, Gujrat........Tolerance Huhhhh
PAK Tester Jul 12, 2012 11:31am
Hail the last line. Excellent write up sir.
farooq Jul 12, 2012 07:35pm
Maheen, this is how colonialism works and empires are made, all great civilisations in the past have tried to impose their culture and ideology, and those who do not accept it will resist or weak will succumb, ask the greeks, they till date and till eternity will never like turkey for the ottoman empire, what happened in Spain in the past, history is filled with examples of greek,roman,persian,turkish and british empires and other colonialists have done so. therefore, if u ask non-muslims, they will be bitter about muslims. we are taught Raja Dahir as a sub-continent villian, but in india, he would be a defenders who could not beat an invading arab so its a matter of interpretation calling the western "white man's burden" a lie or how western culture brought civility where they trotted the globe.. . What the west has done is cleaned up there act in the modern age, and now we are the third world country. the drone attacks, well every empire did their best to hold power so dont blame USA in entirety.
ayaz Jul 12, 2012 11:28am
NFP only point out his dual personality.
Indian Jul 12, 2012 09:12am
Digressing slightly. What kind of communism is followed in China? Are you sure it is communism and and not a sophisticated knd of dictatorship?
anam Jul 12, 2012 05:00pm
a very nice piece of writting. I am your fan now
Arshad Patel,Ohio US Jul 12, 2012 05:23pm
Very True. Bhutto had brought so much disgrace to the country and Islam in particular that someone had to come up for Pakistan's rescue either it was Zia or anybody else.
Indian Jul 12, 2012 07:52pm
Nizar dear it is a mob of Muslim fanatics that burnt hindus alive in the train anyway i don't blame you in pakistan there is an other version of history is taught which is different from the actual history which world reads...any way those convicted for burning trains were all muslims.....and I don't know you read dawn or not in pakistan...see the news posted over here so please come out from that you can get resepect from out side. .
Karachi Wala Jul 12, 2012 07:13pm
Noor, What you said is true but, it is nothing to what Pakistanis have done to Pakistan and fellow citizens. Pakistan requires a major clean up to the whole building brick by brick, block by block. This has to be done before we can even think to criticize the Indidans.
Umme Muhammed Jul 13, 2012 09:09pm
I do not see what is so funny about Muslims behaving like idiots. If i find somebody's child misbehaving or being disobedient to their parents in their absence, i do not find it funny. If i can, i do say to the child 'Your parents will be very hurt if they get to know what u r doing...' but when humanbeings disobey God, its funny, its cool and its being tolerant! Bravo!
India Jul 12, 2012 07:57pm
Pankaj sahab HInduism means tolerance that is the reason why a number of religion flourished in India...the simple difference between eastern and western faith is that eastern faith admits that there are a number of ways to reach god but that is not with western faiths....that is the root of intolerance..If India were declared as Hindu country ..then it should be much we were the hub of science and technology in the past...
Cyrus Howell Jul 12, 2012 10:44am
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." -- Blaise Pascal
Mangesh Jul 12, 2012 05:25pm
Have the drones killed more civilians or the Taliban ? Check it out for yourself. Why is that when muslims kill muslims - it is never an issue for you. There isnt even a murmur from Difa-e-Pak when soldiers are beheaded. Muslims killing muslims >> muslims kiling non-muslims >> non-muslims killing muslims
Caz Jul 13, 2012 11:37pm
@ Chakraborty: You are absolutely right. The history taught in pakistan is more fiction than fact
Shilpa Jul 12, 2012 06:59pm
Where did you get that from? Muslims, several of them, have admitted they planned and then burnt the train coaches full of people and children as young as 5 years of age, and several have already been convicted and handed sentences. I wonder how you Pakis follow our news - it must be your agencies telling you that this is the news in India today. Utter nonsense! But then I have never heard a Muslim ever thinking their community could ever hurt a flower or a leaf let alone human beings.......yada yada yada - what would have happened in Pakistan if Hindu fanatics had burnt a train full of Muslim pilgrims? You guys have got a pretty good deal so far throughout the world in those terms than what you have and would mete out to minorities if they indulged in violence against Muslims in Pak.
Asif Khan Jul 12, 2012 06:57pm
The great moghul emperor Jehangir once said to the maulavis in his court----You are good for only one thing, washing a dead body. You have no say in the affairs of the State. No wonder the mughal empire reached its pinnacle under him.
Zubair Jul 12, 2012 05:38pm
It is not true as Deepak suggests that Pakistan kicked out almost all its minorities in the 70s. I grew up and lived in same time period as Paracha did and I can tell you that he is right those time were better times if not perfect as there is no such thing or place on earth not even the US where I live now where racism or religious intolerance is ever living. I remember Hindus and Christians living and prospering just like anyone else, we had Hindu and Christian friends. There was no hate just difference of belief, color, language or race. late 70's and early 80's changed everything. In Iran people through their choice brought in an Islamic government that the West and Israel could not accept so they started to destabilize against their own principles. Soviets entered Afghanistan against Western interest so they used religion (contrary to their act against Iran) and helped grow what they later called 'fundamentalists' to fight the 'evil' Soviets. Global powers start to play a bigger role in smaller and poor countries like Pakistan in that era as to this day. My opinion is it is that exploitation of the poor and weak by the rich and powerful countries has changed and is changing the world we live in. And they would use all means to show that they are not behind this turmoil, yet the reality is clear for those who dig deep for the truth behind what is presented as a well crafted show. We all saw the repetition of the same in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now in Syria. Regardless of being religious or not, I believe truth should be a common virtue and the one we must live with. Zubair, USA
Rohit Jul 13, 2012 10:12pm
Mr Sidhu requested - "My only one request that you look other religions too. " Brother, Mr Sidhu was requesting u to open up and see things from various perspectives. It makes the heart grow. It liberates. Unfortunately ur reply says - I am closed. Dare u knock on my door!
Devendra Jul 12, 2012 05:50pm
A very good article indeed, religion should not be forced on anyone, it should be left for individuals to practice religion the way they want.
MMM Jul 12, 2012 10:22am
Dear NFP, I am sure that you would have followed the "fundamentals" of journalism while writing this article because you want to be the best at your journalism...Similarly all the Muslims follow the "fundamentals" of Islam to be the best Muslims....You may find peace in smoking and drinking, and it is very likely that you would invite your friends to do the same or people will follow you as they want to do the same....Similarly a practicing Muslim may find peace in praying and fasting or not watching TV so it is also very likely that he would invite other Muslims to do so as well... Islam never stops you to ponder upon, or to think, or to ask questions or being rationale for that matter but may be some Muslims would stop you to think or to ask Questions...but it does not make Islam any less of the best religion of the world...It is my humble request to you to study Islam (as critically as possible) and you would definitely find many good things
Mangesh Jul 12, 2012 05:53pm
What was started by Hindu fanatics ? The train fire ? C'mon friend please
patrick Jul 14, 2012 02:19pm
foillow the nirgun path bhaya as indicared by kabir so you see neither idols nor muslim
ssidhu Jul 12, 2012 04:31pm
Mr. Maheen like you I too believed that one all pervading God was a progress compared to societies believing in multiple gods i.e Hinduism. That is what we were taught while growing up as Sikh boys. But as a senior citizen when I look at the past societies with multiple gods and worshiping idols, they were less violent and comparatively more humane. My only one request that you look other religions too. Also all religions are violence and politics by other means. A man can be moral and noble without being religious. I have lived 70 years without religion and God and I dare say that I have been more honest and decent person than most of the religious person.
TRV Jul 13, 2012 04:33pm
Sorry that is still just your opinion. There are currently more Muslims living in India with a better standard of living than in Pakistan. Otherwise there would be quite a run for the border. Watch Bangladesh overtake Pakistan in the next decade. Now they needed freedom and they made something of it. The Muslims in India also have more freedom to get educated (like Azim Premji and Abdul Kalam) or do stupid things like Abu Salem and their kind. The Ahmadiyas can call themselves Muslims if they want to. The Muslim women can criticize the local Mullahs without being afraid of being stoned to death. The idea of freedom is what you make of it. If you truly desire an honest answer on living in Pakistan, you should ask the lower class women, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmediyas, Baluchis, etc. etc. And compare their answer to similar people in India. Soon Shias will be added to that mix.
Michael Robbins Jul 15, 2012 07:16pm
Big talk, Sardarjee, while you are oppressing the people of Balochistan. You have sucked Balochistan dry; there is hardly any gas left in Sui. How about showing tolerance towards Balochis? Stop killing Balochis because they want autonomy (i.e. control over their resources in their homeland) just like the Bengalis did. Pakistan is Punjab and Punjab is Pakistan. It means that you own Pakistan. No, you don't. That is the reason we Bengalis kicked you Punjabis out from East Pakistan. Now you are the same people who are advocating equitable share in load shedding in Pakistan while using most of the resources from Balochistan and Sindh. Why doesn't Nadeem talk about showing compassion towards Balochis? About "bracketing 100 million people together", you Punjabis and your running dogs (Muhajirs/Biharis) are the same.
saleem Jul 15, 2012 08:05pm
i now belive that you dont need religion to tell you how to become a better human being; tolerence, honesty, ethics, generosity etc. are common sense. look what crazy nation we have become by mixing religion with state. religion is very personal and spiritual and should not be anybody else's business especially state's
themagus Jul 12, 2012 09:09am
Nadeem, Wishing more light to your pen and acuity to your insight.
pakistani Jul 12, 2012 05:12pm
three kafirs like your comment, are you indian?
TeeKay Jul 12, 2012 02:43pm
I grew up in Islamabad (now residing in Switzerland) but the sad thing is when I talk to my friends back home, it is rather surprising to see people say stuff like "Good things those shias got killed in Balochustan, they were going to hell anyways". Or "Lets smoke cigarette anyways, its not haram like alcohol". Or "Whats the difference between secularism and atheism?". The worst part is these people live in the heart of Islamabad, they're supposed to know better. To the Indian people: You know whats the difference between Pak-India partition and East-West pakistan partition? We got over bangladesh the day they were liberated. We realised we were at fault. You indian people are never gonna swallow up the fact that you mistreated Muslims in pre 1947 India. I'm glad we avoided that 50 or so years of mistreatment although I realise Muslims are gaining rights in India now. I know you're gonna say that pakistanis were always poorer than india but there's a thing called home. I think, we had that feeling of unity and harmony for all these years until the the taliban violence came along in 2007.
ivla Jul 13, 2012 05:09pm
NFP has a few pet topics and he will continue writing about them again and . Here are some of his pet topics: ZA Bhutto-PPP --Alcohol-Partying Zia-ul-Haq Wahabis Imran Khan Religious Right You will never get to read about anything good that exists in Pakistan today. I beleive if he choses, he can write very well on something else too
A Punjabi Jul 13, 2012 08:09pm
You sound pretty tolerant and open minded by bracketing 100 million people together.
Mohni Jul 12, 2012 09:48am
There are still many Pakistanis around like NFP.
Muhammad Rizwan Jul 12, 2012 08:48am
“You better start praying over the water tank, mister. Who knows, this time we might actually strike oil!” Ha..ha ...ha
ahmad butt Jul 12, 2012 08:38am
Fine read Mr.Paracha, showcasing our transformation or should i say decay of the tolerant society into "believe me or you are wrong" society. Your last paragraph on thicker than water just brought an incident of the past that still deludes me. I remember 15 years ago, i had complained on my phone line being faulty, and it was more than a month for it to get repaired, this was my parents and myself going to teh office and humbly requesting to fix our home-phone.. I wasnt allowed to have a mobile phone (luxury back then) .The staff member who finally came to fix it made it a whole issue of islamic propaganda, saying that israel was responsible for all our woes including paying barriers on developing our infrastructure, and i was so angry i asked him can you identify any jewish check posts or soldiers from your office to my home and why didnt anyone bother to come to fix my home-phone for over a month, and he stared at me for not realising that who are natural enemies are, I felt like hitting a person elder to me, my father calmed me down and apologised , telling that person i am immature and dont understand how things work here, and i was astonished that person quickly smirked having got away from uttering rubbish, and that was one of the moments where i asked myself why does this society cushions itself on religion to fend its shortcomings, and why arent we a perfect society. As of recent, i see a lot gentlemen who have been there and done in their youthful past preaching the youth to avoid indulging in activities not relating to islam, and when i question them on double standards they have no answer but God willing they are now changed but their wild past was God's will too. How ironic, why dont you let this young and restless generation to be at God's will. I still ask religious people of different sects on why our society is plagued with issues, but non-islamic countries are rapidly progressing and still have not been able to get a satisfactory answer other than God being "rab-il-alamein". My next question is that havent we all prayed for the betterment from this country from day 1, haven't the problems since creation gone bad to worse, and why are majority of muslim countries in a mess, and each time i hear something so bewildering that i think its futile, our heart and mind have become numb, and i feel unable to comprehend someone's logic(or should i say opinion). However, i believe in one thing, wherever you find vice, it is a moral authority to raise your voice, denial and silence are the bigger crimes. So i conclude, nice article Mr.Paracha and keep the food for thought flowing through your articles.
I.A.Siddiqui Jul 12, 2012 11:23am
Where was tolerance in Gujrat massacre? Under the garb of secularism, minorities massacre is continuing in your country . Before criticizing anybody, look into yourself.
ash Jul 12, 2012 07:37pm
I think latif has hit the nail on the head.islam is not designed to be secular or accept pluralistic secular democracy.It is first and foremost a political ideology.Islam is at conflict with itself .Extreme views and groups see moderate secular views like NFP as akin to non belief not muslim.These people are hellbent on highjacking a nation and propelling it back to the dark ages.So far they are succeeding.Long live NFP keep fighting the good fight
Noor Jul 12, 2012 04:47pm
Spot on....
Concerned Netizen Jul 12, 2012 04:41pm
You are taking Pradeep's comment too seriously. Chillax!
Caz Jul 13, 2012 10:20pm
Wake up ! your islamic dream is really a nightmare. Pakistan has no valid basis to exist.
Nabeel Jul 12, 2012 10:20am
Dear Sir, by no means is NFP suggesting that it were the British who directly toppled Muslim rule in India. He is simply suggesting that Islamic reformist movements emerged after the fall of the Muslim empire and specially after the take-over of the British. Also, till the 1857 Mutiny, there was still a Mughal king as a figurehead, no?
pankajdehlavi Jul 12, 2012 10:35am
Sometimes back, in our group of friends , we were discussing the topic "how would be our life, if India would be declared a Hindu country in 1947". Hahaha ........... and this topic was finished after the statement "India would be Pakistan of today, if that would happen and who want to be Pakistan in his right senses."
NORI Jul 12, 2012 06:14pm
Nizar, You seem to have digested the conspiracy theories about Godhra. It was started by a group of misguided Muslims who were well prepared with enough fuel to burn the entire coach. Please read Wikipedia for actual facts. Please note that it's not only Muslims but also Hindus were killed during the riots I don't support riots but because most Indian Hindus are Secular, the riots were seen in one state.Imagine a Hindu mob killing 58 Muslim pilgrims in Pakistan and you know what would happen later.
Rakesh Jul 12, 2012 06:06pm
maine maine tekel u have been measured and have been found to be wanting!
Vikram Jul 12, 2012 05:59pm
Babri masjid being destroyed was to "fix" the intolerant act by that MUSLIM marauder called "Babur" who destroyed the Shri Ram temple that was at that very spot. The same type of thing that was done by his great-great grandson called Aurangzeb. These are the people who have taught tolerance or whatever to the likes of Narendra Modi, Bal Thakaray etc. Not to mention the likes of Hafiz Saeed, Ajmal Kasab etc
Ruxanazafar Jul 12, 2012 09:45am
I am so happy and hopeful after reading this excellent piece by NFP. Being from the same age group, I found myself going down the memory lane while reading the article. The Zia era was the most detrimental in sowing the seeds of intolerance and over-zealous religious-ism. I find myself extremely religious by following the religious principles without wearing them up on my sleeves.
pillai101 Jul 13, 2012 07:24am
Dear Mr. Nadeem, I must compliment this heartfelt piece. I think this article will help many like me gain a better appreciation of your society. I feel that as people, we know too little about each other and whatever we do know has been fed to us with liberal religio-political seasoning. By the way, you have a bigger fan following in India I must say!!
kdspirited Jul 12, 2012 12:58pm
I like what you wrote NFP but I think there is one big reason why we are a religiously inclined country. The biggest problem is that the secular generation that was in majority did not stand up for its rights and beliefs and stayed silent when challenged on their secular practices. However even during Zia's rule living in Punjab the land of the sufis one was allowed to visit data darbar and URS of bhitai and bulleh shah continued. Your generation failed us the new generation by not holding on to what they believed in and preserving it for the future generations. You were just silent observers hoping that this problem was created by others and will go away with them. In my mind you are no different than the man fixing blaming the chowkidar for not prayin for sufficinet water.
Ali Ahsan Jul 13, 2012 07:29pm
NFP said Vodka not Rum, though I prefer Whiskey myself ;-)
pillai101 Jul 14, 2012 12:47pm
I know many who have at times tried to understand both the state and the religion. There have been times when I have felt that it is unfair to paint any one state or religion as the villain. During this pursuit to understand, I have often come across this "them" attitude that frankly does not help! To me this article was more like a flashback on a society than a battle of ideologies. Yes NFP writes well and he writes from the heart and if that is his ideology, I wish many more such ideologues for your state and religion. As a marketing guy, I assure you, you need them!!
Naim Jul 13, 2012 07:52pm
Very well written: You summarized the current state of “Pakistanis” in two lines. “You know,” the President continued in all earnest, “the chowkidar we had before him used to pray right here over the water-tank and ma’shallah we used to get tons of water in the pipeline!” I hope one day all Pakistani will realize and come to their scenes as your father uncle. I hope that day is not too far.
Suraj Tschand Jul 13, 2012 06:31pm
Before 1947, India was ruled by the British not Indians. No matter how you multiply it or divide, the cause of these religious problems we are seeing in India or Pakistan is the result of the partitions of India in 1947.
pankajdehlavi Jul 13, 2012 06:14pm
Really nice to hear a sane voice from Pakistan. I also agree that India also had and still has powerful group of people that is hardcore fundamentalists/religious hardliner. But, such groups could never been able to dictate the terms to libralists/atheists/secularists/non-religious people. But, reverse is true in case of muslims of Indian sub-continent. I have hundreds of muslim friends and let me acknowledge that most of them are like me only and easily can be categorized as non-religious secularists and surprisingly, they have similar views on most of the issues. But, when it comes to decision making on any issue, such people becomes neutral or silent and Mullahs take the front decision making power. Now, it is your job to enlighten me, why on any social issue, always Mullahs (hardliners) win in a muslim society. Among Hindus, we have great respect for these old religious hardliners, but when it comes to decision making, always modern thought prevails.
Umme Muhammed Jul 13, 2012 08:11pm
What is the correct version of Islam for you? The uneducated version?
Umme Muhammed Jul 13, 2012 08:15pm
'bought booze from sadaqa money'? if u had a charity organization and i was a member and i bought a new hijab with the organizations charity money, you are telling me you would be tolerant?
saleem Jul 14, 2012 01:51pm
yawar sahib; I am sure you know being in majority does not mean you are right?
riza Jul 12, 2012 12:05pm
referring to your unabated killing of Hazara community in quetta. I am at a loss why supreme court and chief justice are totally indifferent to this issue while on other hand they are taking suo moto actions on every other incident. Couldnt find any rational answer.
Hamza Jul 12, 2012 09:27am
"Bhai jan,’ said the waiter, ‘woh aap sey bhi ziada tun thay! (Brother, they were a lot drunk than you guys!)." Haha. Epic.
Mohammad Ali Khan Jul 12, 2012 08:51am
Yes,we were more tolerant.But we had seeds of fanaticism from which this monster grew to present size.And still there is no end in sight in its growth. We, the so called "tolerant", are still nurturing this tree through our beliefs..If we can't see the flaw in us, no one can stop the decline.
Hamza Jul 12, 2012 09:24am
you dont have to like it either.
Ajaya K Dutt Jul 12, 2012 07:33pm
This is India. You can't see like that even in Euorpe or Latin America. God Bless the melting pot (India and United States).
Mushtaq Nabeel Jul 12, 2012 08:39am
If most Pakistani Muslims were like NFP, I seriously believe this country would have been a much better place. Excellent stuff, NFP.
Girish Jul 12, 2012 09:07am
Not just in Pakistan - I have noticed a definite shift towards intolerance towards muslims in India too. Last Diwali I called up an agency to send me an electrician for putting up Diwali lightings in our house. The guy they sent appeared to be a over-zealous muslim with a flowing beard. Twice during the work he took breaks to offer his namaaz. When I offered him sweets - he curtly declined saying his religious leader had told them not to take sweets from Hindus as they may have been offered to idols. Finally while decorating a section of the house - he knocked down an idol placed there with his foot. It may have been un-intentional but I had to ask him to leave.
Ammar Iftikhar Jul 12, 2012 05:35pm
Indians are super tolerant
sameena mujahid Jul 12, 2012 08:48am
Quote from your article: ""one side of his head said (in Punjabi): ‘Nadeem, lend me a cigarette.’I didn’t know what triggered it, but in that fleeting moment, I saw three decades of the Tableeghi Jamat conditioning crumble like a dry cookie."" Now can you please clarify when did TJs prohibit smoking ? if they told him it was bad for him. well were they wrong ?
Pradeep Jul 12, 2012 09:04am
Since Soviet is long gone and only remaining bastion for Communism is China. Why my Home? Because I love NFP and my principles fall in line to his.
Rafi Jul 12, 2012 09:07am
This reminds me of the day our masjid caretaker in his ultimate religious zest decorated the mosque walls with pictures of Mughal Kings....... One good laugh and pix were removed. No blasphemy charges were filed. A more serious issue was when one of our regular trouble makers challenged the imam on why his last child was 6 year old and he didn't have one after that. A case of suspected vacectomy. The case was solved when it was pointed put that the imams wife had crossed the child bearing age. No fatwa of kufr was passed on the imam......
Naeem Jul 13, 2012 09:05pm
The world Islamic conference that was hosted by Bhutto and the conspiracy to declare Ahmedi as non Muslims because Saudi King wanted to be Amir Ul Momineen and could not accept the worldwide Khalifa of the Ahmedis has one strange coincidence. Each and every participant has died an nunatural death. Faisal was stabbed by his nephew. Bhutto was hanged. Saddam and Gaddafi dies a cruel death, etc. Another strange phenomenon is occuring in Pakistan since the declaration of Ahmedis as non Muslim, every pakistani head of the state is meeting an unatural death: Bhutto. Zia, let us see what is in store for Musharaff who is in exile and wanted by Pakistan to be tried of treason and let us see what will be the fate of Zardari!!! Human beings should avoid playing God and look at all the signs displayed by God indicating his displeausre.
Ahmad Jul 12, 2012 08:06pm
Long article but nothing new. being good devout muslim does not mean you have to be anti- " other belief ". Zia and Ayub kan started this nonsense although both were driven by selfishness. Ayub was at one extreme. He publicly drank and wanted to build a replica of Grand and Nabwi mosques so that people can perform Haj and save money. Zia was using religion to fool the public while he used to drink and have sex while in Houston, Texas. His friend JoAnn Hern was his enabler and brought Charlie Wilson in the play. I am sure both will burn in hell for a very long time. I am sixty five years old and grew up in a religiuos family. My parents were British educated and very respectful to all religions. Let us all undo the prejudices and make Pakistan a Mr. Jinnah's Pakistan..
FM1 Jul 12, 2012 08:56pm
asif Jul 13, 2012 10:21am
I wonder to see many people have read the story and replied as well. For me It looks just wastage of time. I am sorry about about my comment.
Manish Sethi Jul 12, 2012 08:48pm
Nijar: Do you mean Hindus burned or plotted for burning trains carrying Hindus.... lol... u people always feed conspiracy theories.... BTW ... lot of Muslims are already facing court convictions for the train burning... & ofcouse Hindus are facing for the later riots... FYI.....
Sajjad Jul 12, 2012 05:56pm
hindus did that to muslims .. what muslims are doing to their fellow muslims .. Gujrat ( Pakistan Army ) , lahore (muslim Police ).. zibah shuda foji FATA ... kiya kiya ginwaaaoo
Birke Jul 12, 2012 10:29am
476 words that made no sense. The moderator must love ya.
jd shami Jul 12, 2012 05:55pm
deepak Jul 12, 2012 08:39pm
You hv Godra everyday in Pakistan...What is one Godra in 5000 years of Hindu civilization???? People wrongly REACTED to burning alive of abt Mumbai 26/11 thru EVERY day killings???? after all the divine ignominy Islam bestows on fellow human beings eg nice things like Jizya, beheadings, abducting women and forcibly converting, breaking temples from Ghauri to Aurangzeb to the savage cowardly Generals Khans - Yahya, Tikka, Rao Farman, Niazi, Rahim who unleash Pak's savage army to expressedly annihiliate Hindus in E Pakistan???? Hundreds of temples lie broken in Bangladesh some older than Babri..The Ramna Kali temple bang in the middle of Dhaka where your cowardly Generals surrendered was one such temple razed to the ground 500 yrs old......why not talk about those a little?? how about getting your maulvies to APOLOGIZE to Hindus for all those temples say SOMNATH, KASHI VISHWANATH etc they broke and constructed VICTORY mosques on the skulls of infidels???? what is a little Babri???? be a brother and give it back to Hindus in good spirit.
Sridhar Jul 12, 2012 05:45pm
You are right - It was not as many Pakistanis think that they ruled for a 1000 years over Hindus. But however - the situation for muslim rulers was not as bad as you state. Punjab and NFWP was under Sikh Rule and Central India under Marathas - but Muslims ruled in Bengal, Sindh, Oudh and Hyderabad (Deccan). And Mysore was being ruled by Tipu Sultan (although it is to note that muslim rule lasted only two generations there - Haider Ali - the first and his son Tipu - the last)
Umme Muhammed Jul 13, 2012 08:58pm
Should that be a surprise? Obviously his ideology pleases them...
yawar Jul 12, 2012 08:30pm
Good thing this guy has no mass following in pakistan. NFP's audience will never be more than a mere handful. Just another tool for the liberal elite.
deepak Jul 12, 2012 08:27pm
Chakraborty you are on the money of course, but popular myths in Pakistan with mentoring from Zaid Hamid and the crooked school text books wont have any of that. Once anything is Muslim and lost, it still remains Muslim. Indeed Jinnahs speech has reference to this period and her feared a Spain like end for Indian Muslims once British were gone. We hardly see any Muslim standing up to British at this time: Bengal was handed in a platter as no body even showed up in Plassey; Awadh was under the inept Wajid Ali Shah who, legend has it enjoyed dancing with tawaifs. The only guy who fought was Tipu Sultan. Thats it.
jd shami Jul 12, 2012 08:20pm
sabi Jul 12, 2012 08:17pm
MMM, i am no dissagrying with you as what you have said is true but,on one thing i would dissagree and that is you are no copying what nadeem paracha stresses in his columns and his emphsis is not relegion and for that matter islam but those who have used islam for their vested intrests and have defamed the true teachings of islam.
Asif Khan Jul 13, 2012 09:00pm
Historians are unanimous that Mughal empire attainted its golden age under Shajahan. If thats the case, how can it decline under Jehangir? Get your facts right, before you post your comment. Maybe, the Madrasah you went is teaching history wrongly just like they do all the other subjects.
Nayeem Jul 12, 2012 06:30pm
Dear friend salim,a country which believes it cannot live with the 'other' cannot live with each other either..
Michael Robbins Jul 12, 2012 08:14pm
Pakistan was never a tolerant country. In 1952, the Punjabi-Muhajir ruling class tried to impose Urdu on the Bengali-speaking Muslims in East Pakistan. In 1971, when the Bengalis demanded autonomy, the Pakistan Army cracked down and killed 3 million people. Are these liberals, such as Nadeem Paracha, capable of contrition? I don't think so. Multiculturalism and secularism are concepts alien to people in Pakistan. Punjabis such as Nadeem like to indulge in talk only (‘lambaa baat’) and try to portray themselves as enlightened and tolerant. Here in the United States, I come across Punjabis on a regular basis; they are spiteful and intolerant like their counterparts in Pakistan.
Yemeen Zuberi Jul 12, 2012 08:11pm
NFP it is a nice article, let me share my experience with you and others: Once (I don't remember the year) TJ members came to my house and asked my brother to join them. My brother, who was waiting for such an opportunity, said to them that he is very pleased to see them. After that he, pointing towards the playground in front of our house, that was full with debris, filth and trash, asked them to bring some picks and spades to clean the ground so that the locality youth can play there. The TJ members, without any hesitation, said that this is not their job and the government has to take care of this. After that they stopped visiting us. It is not out of place to quote Akbar Alahabadi, "khilaf-e-shara moulvi kabhi thukta bhee naheen - andherai ujalai mein mgar chukta bhee naheen.
Slim Jul 13, 2012 10:19pm
As always a brilliant analysis. I too grew up during the time when Pakistan was a much more tolerant place, but unfortunately being in the wrong neighbourhood was a disaster for us and outside interference (Saudi & Iranian proxy wars) and our generals/maulvis/bureaucrats/feudals messed up things royally, for which we are paying dearly.
@pkrevolt Jul 12, 2012 09:33am
You obviously have no clue what you're talking about except regurgitating the bile taught to you in Indian schools as part of your 'history' lesson about Pakistan.. Pakistan was never meant to be another Saudi Arabia or present-day Iran.. it was to be like Turkey or Malaysia.. the fact that the mullahs hijacked Pakistani state's ideology aided and abated by our 'establishment' does not negate the founding fathers' vision..
deepak Jul 12, 2012 02:37pm
Pakistan could never be 'tolerant' even in 1970s as Nadeem wants us to believe. Pakistan kicked out almost all minorities and could never test itself on tolerance. Pakistan's General sahibs were megalomaniacs let loose on fellow Pakistanis in E Pakistan. Gen Niazi, is quoted as saying "is haramzade qaum ki nasal badal doonga", of Bengalis. That in a nutshell is Pakistan for you. The nation was so paranoid that it banned the works of Rabindranath Tagore in E Pakistan, wanted to impose the more 'Islamic' Urdu on E Pakistanis, and when nothing worked, committed a GENOCIDE. Pakistan now needs to totally give up its adopted Arab creed and seek salvation for its bad Karma thru meditation.
1277sachughtai Jul 12, 2012 05:19pm
NFP"s best article so far. Undoubtedly Pakistan remained tolerant society till1970', we used to go to Mall Road, Lahore and watched Surraya's dance and Casinos and Angell's dance at Falettis and Nedous. Religion was being practiced and there was no hate and no mushroom growth of different sects. The narrative is true and honest. If people like Nadeem start formng a group, Pakistan would a nice place to live.
Mangesh Jul 12, 2012 05:57pm
Yes - tolerance - cause no Muslim is fleeing to Pakistan. The situation for minorities have never been so desperate as to cause them to flee India. On the other hand - just look to the number of Hindus fleeing to India.
1277sachughtai Jul 12, 2012 05:32pm
Aap tableeghi jamat k tarah Nadeem ko musalman karney ke koshas kar rahey. Believe it Nadeem is a good liberal muslim, he knows the reality and truth. And Nadeem does not believe in rituals, customs and traditions. He believes muslim should be creative every moment. He believes, all men are created equal. And Nadeem believes muslims should achieve knowledge about other religions of the and learn to be tolerant. Hip Hip Hurrah..Nadeem
Mangesh Jul 12, 2012 05:35pm
How many Gujaratis have landed in Pakistan after 2002 ? None - because they have trust in the Indian system which is strongly secular - or if I am not wrong much biased towards minorities. On the other hand thousands of Hindus and Sikhs have sought refuge in India during last 10 years and I dont think the issue has even been noticed by the Parliament, Executive or Judiciary. Dosent it speak volumes about your apathy towards minorities.
Nabeel Jul 12, 2012 08:55am
Sameena, my brother is with the TJ and this was one reason he quit smoking. Though I think it was a healthy thing to do, NFP is not suggesting or judging this. He is simply using the episode to suggest that during moments of tragedy or happiness, people are willing to put down their guards and become what they really are.
Truth Hurts Jul 12, 2012 11:56am
.....don't waste your creative mind by writing about people with muslim names... Peace
Tariq Jul 12, 2012 04:22pm
Here a Maulvi story from around 1972. We lived in the PECHS area of Karachi, and the nearest mosque was the one in the Commercial area near the intersection of Tariq Road and Allama Iqbal Road. At the end of Ramadhan, the TV stations announced that the moon had been sighted and we all went to bed excited at the Eid next day. We ate the Vermacelli prepared by my Mom, dressed in our Eid clothes and went out with our father for the Eid prayers. About ten minutes later about a hundered or so puzzled people dressed in their eid best were milling around the masjid, wondering where the maulvi was. Someone went around to the Maulvis house, and after much banging on the door the Maulvi appeared rubbing sleep from his eyes. Turned out, the Mullah had decided on his own that he was not going to accept the evidence of moonsighting from the Government headed by that godles socialist Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. he did not care what the TV said. As far as he was concerned, Eid was the next day, he was fasting, and we all could do what we pleased and he was going back to bed.
Shujaat Ayub Khan Jul 12, 2012 04:18pm
Man of church is more dangerous than the man with a gun.
saleem Jul 12, 2012 04:15pm
also like mughals; abasid; taliban, east pakistan, dafur etc.
Nizar Jul 12, 2012 04:13pm
Well, so what! at least the scientologists are not killing people who do not agree with them or follow other belief systems.
Aziz Ali Jul 12, 2012 10:05am
consider the same trend and mindset movement of Pakistan, where the face of tolerance is getting distorted and hard and fast ideas which are not even nearer to any religion are imposed. Where will our children be living and how they will see and visualize the wolrd, modern educations and scientific reasoninig. To every one who is asleep or being put on sleeping: Wake up and save the world from the mindset which leads no where but disruction. Save your home, Neighborhood and country from this LeJ, Taliban and alike minded people. Today they have killed a Rickshaw Driver in Quetta and they are behind each and every individual who does not seem or act like them. The killing of innocent Hazaras in Quetta on daily basis must wake every bright minded of Paksitan to act and stand up agaisnt this so called Muslims who are in no defination are muslims niether Human. Thanks alot NFP for such brilliant piece...
nitish Jul 12, 2012 10:06am
This guy NFP is a curious case.I never met a muslim who has secular credential.
chakraborty Jul 12, 2012 10:13am
Paracha Sir, Just one correction , You have written that "after the fall of the Muslim empire in India and the arrival of British imperialism" Whatever History I have read (Correct me if I am wrong) i knew that Islamic Empire fell due to Marathas, Sikhs, Jats and Bundelas (A rajput clan) What I know is when britishers came- Whole Punjab was Under Sikh Control Whole Deccan was under Marathas - Gwalior, Pune, Baroda, Indore J&K was under Hindu Dogras Mysore was a Hindu Ruled State Rajasthan was always independent with numerous princely states Britishers fought 3 Anglo Maratha Wars to win over India. (Marathas were holding biggest Share of land) Bahadur Shah was a holding only Delhi city but whole surrounding area was controlled by Hindu Jats Please reply if someone disagrees.
aaa Jul 12, 2012 10:15am
I must say i wish i could agree with whatever the writer is saying. Unfortunately my own experiences are that criminal minded people are present in religious, nonreligious, educated noneducated people alike. It doesnt matter what your belief system is if someone has criminal tendencies any theory can be used. This is something people forget even in countries like pakistan where there is so much corruption. If people were so religious there wouldnt be a problem with corruption.
Nizar Jul 12, 2012 04:02pm
Nitish: I agree with you regarding killings and violence in the name of Islam is far more in Pakistan than anywhere else, but your statement regarding burning of passenger train by muslim is totally wrong. It was started by hindu fanatics and its main culprit admitted and is in jail in India. Do you not follow news in your own country?
TRV Jul 13, 2012 05:41pm
It was not a war of independence. It was just a bunch if cheiftains trying to maintain the status quo. There was no concept of India. The British were no better ot worse than a neighbouring king trying to expand his territory. Just like saying Tipu Sultan was a freedom fighter. Or Madhavji Scindia was a freedom fighter. Whose freedom were they fighting for? And what freedom were they fighting for? The freedom to plunder, loot and rape? If you were on the winning side, you weer free to do it. If you were on the losing side, you were the one being looted. That was the law of the land then. Just keeping things in perspective. Our history books are not very accurate in keeping the passions out of the classroom.
pakistani Jul 12, 2012 03:59pm
NFP have you given the fatwa of smoking to be haram? and by doing that, ones faith crumbles like a dry cookie? what has smoking a ciggarette got to do with tableeghi jamaat. i have friends in tableeghi jamaat who smoke, what diferrence does that make? you only wish your Uncle to sit down and down that pint of rum do you? maybe then you will be happy....
Kdspirited Jul 13, 2012 01:34pm
TRV thats why I emphasised the word Pakistani. With all its failures and shortcomings and all its faults it is still our country. Besides, one thing the Indians and the world has never been able to get straight or they just choose to ignore. Pakistan was not created in the name of Islam. It was created for the Muslims of India. It was created so the muslims would be allowed equal rights, and not treated as second class citizens. And if you go to India I have to say that vision came true. Now we know that our nation is not without fault but people livign in glass houses should not throw stones at others.
FM1 Jul 12, 2012 03:56pm
NFP, the alif, bey, pey picture is hilarious ! Where did you find it ? I want the full version.
Nizar Jul 12, 2012 03:51pm
If you had actually read and not wasted your time counting the words, you may have understood it.
Faraz Jul 13, 2012 07:16pm
Well said Amit, There are two mosques on Burns Road in the City of Karachi. They are acorss each other. One is white and other is green. One is for Ahl-e-Sunnah (the one's who follow Prophet's deeds) and the other is Ahl-e-Hadeeth (the one who follow his sayings). And they both say the other is wrong!
AMK Jul 12, 2012 03:40pm
Good for you Saleem. Hope people can see bigotry in them and get rid of it.
Raoul Ciao Jul 12, 2012 03:31pm
I enjoyed the article. It got me wondering - all Pakistanis (who live in that nation) I have met have at least confronted the virus of bigotry in their midst; they may have not always been against the zealotry they see nowdays by bodies like TJ or JUI or others, but recognized that this simply was "not good". We shared interests like movies, music, ghazals and generally a shared worry of what the future in the subcontinent held for our children. On the other hand, ALL Pakistanis (I admit, i know only 5 - 2 in US, one Canadda and 2 in Europe) were more bigoted than anyone I had met - their views were that this cleansing of Islamic thought in Pakistan was good, that the other sects were getting what they deserved etc....over glasses of whiskey, wine or beer. Oh, and they had no intention to return OR to send the kids back (tho' one mentioned getting a groom for a daughter from Karachi). Why are Non Res Pakistanis probably more the targets for NFP's article than the rest of us here in the sub continent? I wonder !
syed salim Jul 12, 2012 03:26pm
As an Ahmadi or Qadyani kid, after playing in the evening with other kids, I offered Maghrib prayers few times in the neighborhood Barelvi mosque along with other kids. Nobody bothered. As college student, every year 'YOM-E- HUSSAIN' was organized. Most of organizers were non-shias. Nobody bothered. As unemployed youth, some friends even bought booze from sadqa money. Nobody bothered. But all this was before Evil Zia. Our society started rotting just after creation of Pakistan. Pakistan meant Non pluralistic society and created on the basis of hatred. Germs were always there since creation of Pakistan but Zia triggered all this and acted as catalyst in 1979.
Yousuf Jul 12, 2012 03:24pm
The article is good, but one thing is excellent. People from both side of the border have read it, and are engaged in constructive dialogue. There is hope.
saleem Jul 12, 2012 03:22pm
TJ man looking into oblivion truly reflects the lost generation
latif Jul 12, 2012 03:15pm
Why it is so important for a muslim to be the best muslim, and why it is not important for people of other religions? What is so special about muslims? it does not make Islam any less of the best religion of the world...... arrogance at its extreme. No other community is so much obsessed in following their religious rituals as muslims are. And still thirteen percent of UK prisoners are muslims whereas three percent of UK people are muslims.
Devendra Jul 12, 2012 03:01pm
In my little village in India people celebrated each other's festivals. My and all my Hindu meat eater friends used to wait for Bakra Eid (and every other occassion we could find an excuse for) so we could go to Sabir's home to eat all the mutton our little bodies could handle. Our parents never stopped us though most our mothers were vegetarians and meat was not cooked in our kitchens. Our Muslim friends would come over Diwali and celebrate with us, eat sweet meats. Celebrating each other's festival does not make you loose your religion. If it does, it is a very weak religion. I am proud to be told that my grand father stood with his shotgun to protect the muslim neighbors during partition when some of the fanatic Hindus wanted revenge in the name of attrocities committed by Muslims. We were far away from the turmoil and my grand father and several of his Hindu friends would have none of it. They let the fantics know if they came in the neighborhood they better come prepared to kill him or get killed. NOT A SINGLE MUSLIM WAS HURT. I AM PROUDEST OF THAT ACT OF MY GRANDFATEHR AND HIS FRIENDS. Lastly, NFP, what can I say. My hats off to you. May THE GOOD LORD keep you and protect you.
latif Jul 12, 2012 02:57pm
With all the massacre in 2002 in gujarat, muslims in India are incresing their numbers every day. In Pakistan, hindus and christians are decreasing every year.
RHS Jul 12, 2012 02:52pm
NFP, You have hit the nail on the head. But what are ordinary people to do? This effort was supported, funded and continues to be encoraged from the power centers of the country. The rich and powerful have given religiosity to the people. They have hanged their other hopes and channeled their thoughts in this direction. Maybe it is too late?
Shrirang, Mumbai Jul 13, 2012 08:11am
Mere bhai kya baat kaha tumne, aakho me paani la diya. That was BRIEF but the best time ever happened in the history of subcontinent. Hindus & muslims fighting shoulder to shoulder for a cause. yar whatever was the reason, hindu muslim were like brothers in those difficult time. I hope India-pak issues gets sought out & We again live peace & tranqulity.
KDP Jul 12, 2012 02:16pm
I agree. In 1857 All Hindu Solders and their leaders including the great Maratha leader Nana Sahib (to the best of my recollection of History I learned) accepted Bahadurshah as their King and fought to restore Mogul Rule. I firmly believe that we should not call this first struggle for Independence as "Mutiny" a term British Historians used and we accepted. Unfortunately Most Sikhs, and some Hindus and Muslims kings being British sycophants helped defeat those brave Hindu and Muslim soldiers. There was no sense of Nationalism at the time. Most native kings and Navabs were all overwhelmed and felt inferior to 6 foot tall well built white men.
Vish Jul 12, 2012 01:58pm
Strange why things changed from 1979 onwards. Did the people change? Agree that Zia took over and rulers began to patronize a more puritanical Islam. But why did people follow this like sheep without thinking. Was Pakistan more liberal when Bhutto passed a law against Ahmedis and cynically used Islam. Bhutto hosted a World Islamic conference, with one eye on the popular vote. Is it possible that people were already sympathetic to this puritanical Islam and did not need much prodding from Zia? Could it be that there was no turning point but a natural progression, to the present state, from 1947, in a state founded by a 'Muslim' League and not a 'Minorities' League. Possibly a logical outcome in a state where only a Muslim can be an occupier of high office. Why blame Zia alone when the environment itself was conducive to the emergence of a Zia and to the flourishing of his deeds.
AHA Jul 13, 2012 12:31pm
Bull's eye.
A Muslim Jul 12, 2012 01:51pm
Excellent Sir...... I am great admirer of your writings. Whenever you write, you write superb.
Mujahid Jul 12, 2012 01:45pm
Like Hitler; Stalin etc you mean??
Sure Kant Jul 12, 2012 01:46pm
In Gujarat, let's assume 2000 Muslims were "massacred" (even though the real figure is much lower). How many Muslims have been massacred in Pakistan since then (forget before that, including in then East Pakistan). This is not happening under the "garb of secularism", but under the garb of religious piety.
saleem Jul 12, 2012 01:38pm
i belive the rationalist have given in too much to the utter nonsense which has provided encouragement to these as you called 'belive me or you are wrong' society.
saleem Jul 12, 2012 01:39pm
I am sure future generations of Parachas would be proud of you :)
saleem Jul 12, 2012 01:44pm
you are not one voice ahmad I am with you; people who are blinded by bigotry will one day realize how wrong they are like i did
Baighairat Kafir Jul 12, 2012 01:35pm
Better inhale poisonous smoke and burn your lungs than inhale poisonous propoganda of TJ and burn your soul.
nitish Jul 12, 2012 01:36pm
Gujrat massacre was a long back story .It was bad dream for us.But you should know the fact.It was not started by hindu.It was muslim who burned 57 passenger in the train alive.Later retaliation was done.Although I never say it was correct coz we r not taliban. But I can allege you muslim in india is much better and respected than muslim in your islamic country.They never have regret that their forefather have taken wrong decision by staying in india.We r a society and we both take decision regarding welfare of women and children.Many state government policy provide economical assistance to muslim women to go for higher education.If they r poor it is not coz of us.Its coz elite of their society who let them alone at the time of partition.But promise is promise.We r doing our best to bring them in the main stream.However it is tough task.But what about your own minority.One more fact siddiqu the number muslim died from godhara till now is much less than the number of muslim killed in 1 year alone in your own islamic state.I hope comment will not be moderated.
Sohail Jul 12, 2012 01:32pm
"... for a moment, I thought it was the horse!"
Nasir Jul 12, 2012 01:21pm
What a dance "atan" is! The only live dance performance in which all the participants are amazingly in rythm without any pre performance practice. And above all elders and respectables of the society do also join the group!!! TJs / JJs have bombed centuries old cultural rituals . Best part:
URL Jul 14, 2012 03:37pm
Exceptional post even so , I was wanting to know in case you could write a litte far more on this subject? I
Vineeth Jul 12, 2012 01:07pm
I agree. Founding a nation in the name of religion, whichever it may be, is a recipe for obscurantism. I am glad India took the model of Western nations in this regard.
sameena mujahid Jul 12, 2012 01:04pm
Was wondering about his writing style but now know why. Do some Google and you will find out that he joined Church of Scientology in 2009.
imran Jul 13, 2012 05:50pm
Very good observation. I think you are spot on. The people themselves are to blame for not standing up to their traditions & way of life. Sensible people always use to follow traditions but at the same time not indulge in crossing the boundaries of faith . for example, we were always told that its ok to visit a shrine of a saint or religious person just to offer a due for Him . Giving away food to people is an ok jesture at shrines too. Its all in the head. Individuals have to take responsibility of supressing extremest people's views by words & actions.If religious exhibition is over the top then openly declaring that i drink is also over the top if you call your self a Muslim as no one can argue that its not forbidden, hey if you wanna do it , keep it to your self mate....
Cyrus Howell Jul 12, 2012 11:13am
A bright mind does not do any good. Only a gun in your hand with the ability and intent to use it will. I asked a Polish man, "Why didn't you fight the Germans (in WWII). He told me, "We woke up one morning and they were already in the streets of our village."
Cyrus Howell Jul 12, 2012 11:03am
"... Puritans live in this world without feeling a part of it. ... They would sacrifice the world rather than compromise their own righteousness. " The Puritan Dilemma, Morgan " Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy. " H.L. Mencken
ahmad butt Jul 12, 2012 12:23pm
Gosh, im actually flattered someone copy/pasted or manually counted every word i wrote, please dont plagiarise my content now that i think that you have done the former. And no i dont like the moderators and question their loyalty at times, they censor off my comments on the army and mullahs and change the context of the two cents that i want to put across, deeming them inflammatory though i am just one voice. Fingers crossed the moderators might not post my reply, even though were kind enough to post your comment on straight out contempting me without presenting any logical reasoning.
Gerry D'Cunha Jul 12, 2012 10:54am
I salute you NFP for writing such an excellent article for the readers of DAWN - I wish this could have been translated in the local language for the hypocrites and fanatic Muslims to read. I have lived all my life in Pakistan and never experienced such intolerence Islam - we all (christians;hindu;parsi;buddist) lived in peace until 1976. The intolerence Islam started moving from 1977 (PNA movement) to 1980 (Zia's regime) until today. Now one must understand what made the people to react in this manner today,when there were illetrate/uneducated muslims in Pakistan from partiation time and always lived in peace. The main cause of todays intolerance Islam is Saudia Arabia who have been pumping $$$ into Pakistan and elsewhere in the muslim world to impose their own Islam and everyone knows that. In the West it has created the 'Hijab' concept and building mosques to create more fundamentalist
Cyrus Howell Jul 12, 2012 10:53am
"Western civilization is the only civilization that liberated man from his illusions and shackles; it recognized his individuality and provided him with capabilities and opportunities to cultivate himself and realize his aspirations. [Western civilization] humanized political authority and established mechanisms to guarantee relative equality and relative justice..." Ibrahim al-Buleihi
harvey Jul 13, 2012 03:55pm
Buddy i couldn;t be more agreed with u
Irfan Jul 14, 2012 10:26am
These organisations in Pakistan enjoy spending Saudi money, Unfortunately our independence and sovereignty is not hurt by using this Saudi money being spent on Taliban and other religious organisations.
saleem Jul 14, 2012 02:29pm
may be as a protest you and your relatives and friends should come back to pakistan
Pakistani Jul 13, 2012 03:44pm
Naresh, the whole point of discussion is that its no one's duty to tell others what they like and what they don't like about others. What would you say, If I tell you "I DONT LIKE YOU DRINKING PEPSI OR EATING FISH" ?? You talk about tolerance and yet you don't know its meaning.
Krish Chennai Jul 13, 2012 03:51pm
Wrong, Mr. Kdspirited ! You see, that guy Vish got it right when he spoke about graduated development of Islam as it it understood by the majority in Pakistan today. Zia said in one of his more famous quotes " If we are not Muslims, what are we ? Second-class Indians ?", and that is the basic fallacy of existence as a nation, that Pakistan has to come to grips with, sooner rather than later, for the edification of all of us in the sub-continent, unless they wish to move over to greener pastures with the green passport. Coming to Muslims in India, feel free to ask anyone around this vast country...but for a few rabble-rousers, the majority of Muslims know that they have all the rights as much as anyone else. In earlier years, during elections, there used to be what was termed as a "Muslim-vote-bank". This has fully disappeared, even though the electorate population who are Muslims has vastly increased, both as a percentage, and in actual numbers. The actual numbers of Muslims in India is almost equal to that in Pakistan. In the latest elections in UP, the most populous state in India, Muslim leaders have been elected to office more than ever in the history of independent India, and that too in constituencies with larger number of Hindus. Conculsion: India, with all its teething problems, has at least moved over from at least one, and very major one at that, label of discrimination, which is, that your label of religion should determine your status as a citizen of the country. And the best interests of the majority of Pakistanis and Indians,and of course, others in our beloved sub-continent, would be served by looking at the unifying factors, rather than those that divide. I do hope Dawn publishes my riposte.
saleem Jul 14, 2012 02:32pm
its more than 3 now:) anybody providing opinion you dont like is automatically a kafir or indian? wah ji way
majeed Jul 13, 2012 03:09pm
Nizar Saheb, just do some research and find out how difficult it has been for the ex wives of Tom Cruise to obtain divorce from him because of his affiliation with the scientologist. So bhai its easy for everyone to pull knife on muslims. Today i visitied a mosque where the cleaner is "Shiva"..i bet you found many Muslims working in gurdware or hindu temples.....i just hope when people write, they bring up all sects n religions n not just attach islam.
farooq Jul 13, 2012 05:00pm
Aah and you have solved the riddle of 40 thousand year of mankind's history, lust for power and resources, and this will be till this world ends. People will sacrifice anything,
sohaib Jul 13, 2012 02:57pm
I enjoy Nadeem's articles but its always based on the faith, its practice and the pessimissm around it. I agree with Asad. I grew up In Karachi of 70s and 80s. I have same experiences as Asad Shah had. Yes people around me were religious but equally non-religious too. I had friends who were Parsis and christians too. I dont recall any of my friends in an extended circel drank or smoked. Thats both the genders. We were just very normal muslims and no intolerance towards anyone. Being in Karachi I have observed more political violence primarily by MQM and not religious intolerance. A group of TJ used to visit our house every thursday and got a earful of counter-lecture on islam from me and my father. Later on, we used to joke about them beings 'maulvies' or 'jamaatis'.
Rahul Jul 13, 2012 02:55pm
"I was talking about Islam, in particular, because that is part of Pakistan's culture" no it is not, thats what NFP is saying and if u say yes than what's happening is also part of it or again the usual explanation that "they" are not "true" followers and the "real" thing is yet to come. Some day u guys will be able to see light at the of the tunnel, till than best wishes !!
saleem Jul 14, 2012 01:49pm
yes; like benefits of talking vegetables and fruits? ya phir teeth brush karney key 100 faiday; ya phir billi hajj sey wapis kyon nahin aiye aur choon ka anjam?
NFP Lies Jul 13, 2012 10:13am
I have lived around Burns Road for several years and have never seen anything like ‘Bombing dance parties (sic), whipping drunkards and killing dancers was the duty of every Muslim.’ I have seen things like 'Kashmir ka Ilaaj Aljihad' etc. but nothing like what author mentioned anywhere in the city.
Ahmed Zeeshan Jul 13, 2012 10:08am
I Agree
ayaz Jul 12, 2012 11:40am
Nice article NFP, I assume that within five to ten years Pakistan will be more liberal than today because new generation hate sectarian sentiments and their actions, look at the present status of JI type parties, there are lot of lessons hidden in their failure, if our army stop patronage of religious parties and recruiting of Taliban, then time will come when we have better and tolerant society.
Deepak Talwar Jul 12, 2012 09:23am
Hi Nadeem.I live in New Delhi and want to share something that I came across a few months ago. My elderly uncle passed away and as is the Hindu custom his wife held a memorial prayer meeting for him. On the dias a group of 5 musicians were beautifully singing bhajans ( hindu and sikh devotional songs ). After the function I enquired who they were because they were the finest I had ever heard and was delighted to learn they were all muslims ! I wonder what the TJ would have to say about that ? Muslims in India would never have done this 20 or 30 years ago and more importantly, hindu families may not have approved especially at such functions.Now I understand this group is the most sought after in Delhi. As Bob Dylan sang ..... The times they are a changing.
dhiraj garg Jul 12, 2012 08:52am
What i loved in this article is the fine observation and analysis. Sometimes it is quite easy to explain/understand big picture but understanding / explaining at such a small scale - personal level- requires real genius. No big change comes suddenly and every change starts somewhere in the society, in the very life of people themselves. the sum of all these small changes is reflected in the culture/ morals of the society. the quality of tolerance/ intolerance/honesty/ corruption and other desired/undesired qualities is not defined by your reaction to a give set of conditions but rather to our response to small, trivial things in day to day life. Really beautiful and touching article. thanks NFP !!
Maheen Jul 12, 2012 02:40pm
It also murdered countless millions in the name of its "civilization" and continues to do so (e.g. drone attacks in Pakistan), and sought to eradicate all other ways of life (e.g. treatment of Native Americans, and heck, colonialism, hundreds of years of it). While I don't believe all that is Western is all bad (or all good for that matter), Ibrahim al-Buleihi seems curiously ignorant of the teachings of other faiths and civilizations. He clearly has little to no familiarity with how Islam, for example, "liberated man from his illusions and shackles" by emphasizing belief in one All-Powerful God (please read Allama Iqbal's poetry and work for a better explanation. He talks about it so much better than I ever can). In terms of "recognizing individuality", the Quran is replete with references to every person's responsibility for his or her actions before God; "humanized political authority" - please read more about political administration at the time of not only the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, but his immediate predecessors. Although many Muslims emphasize sin and punishment, the fact is, burden of proof, for example, was required for crimes like sex outside of marriage. The Prophet and the first four rightly guided Khalifas did not seek out people to punish. Rather, there was a process in place to deal with crimes when they happened. As far as the intolerance Mr. Paracha talks about, I'm sorry to say I have to agree that too many Pakistanis, in their zeal and frankly, ignorance, of basic Islamic teachings, are unaware or choose to remain unaware of the fact that while encouraging fellow Muslims not to smoke, drink, or indulge in other practices contrary to the faith is important, so is using wisdom and gentleness when doing so, as was the example of the Prophet.
@pkrevolt Jul 12, 2012 09:39am
Unfortunately, mullah-giri has become a mafia-style business in Pakistan and with our establishment not wanting to break off its ties with these lunatics (evident from the current long-march of Difa-e-Pakistan council) things look bleak at the moment.. not to mention the ineptness of so-called 'secular' leaning forces such as PPP, MQM, etc who are currently appeasing the mullah-mafia.. be it Jamat ud-Dawa or Jamat-e-Islami.. or I could name another dozen or so organizations.. Appeasement never works, Hitler's example is there for us all to learn from; thereforce, to roll back Zia's damage to Pakistani society, all violence-loving, fatwa-churning mullah organizations in Pakistan have to be deconstructed..
Vineeth Jul 12, 2012 01:04pm
Siddiqui, the publications in India and Pakistan have repeatedly propagated negative stereotypes about each other since independence. If you ask any Indian what Pakistan is like, he would probably say its the land of religious fanatics and bomb blasts. Similarly, I would guess that the typical image of India that Pakistanis have is one of Hindu fundamentalism and backwardness. India is still feudal, and Indian secularism is definitely imperfect. There is certainly a level of distrust between the Hindu and Muslim communities here. But, that is by and large a product of the bitterness of partition, Kashmir insurgency and recent terrorist bombings than any historical grieviences. Moreover, it is a phenomenon that varies from one region to another. The truth is always grey, not a simple black and white as many wish to see.
Saurabh Srivastava Jul 12, 2012 01:03pm
Thanks a lot, for enlightening us not only about some interesting facts of the Pakistani society, but also about different schools of thoughts followed in Islam. Very Nice Article :) :)
majeed Jul 12, 2012 01:02pm
Sure. If you do some google. you will find that he joined Church of Scientology in 2009.
Amit Jul 12, 2012 02:27pm
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said: "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he asked. I said: "Well, there's so much to live for!" "Like what?" "Well... are you religious or atheist?" "Religious." "Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?" "Christian." "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" "Protestant." "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist." "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God." "Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God." "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" "Reformation of 1915!" To which I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.
nitish Jul 12, 2012 01:01pm
sorry this is a reply to girish comment.
nitish Jul 12, 2012 12:58pm
Dawn its not a good business of representing one's comment in flickered way.Nothing wrong was with the original comment.
Rajiv Jul 12, 2012 12:50pm
Honestly if the people from pakistan react in dis-belief about this article, is not a surprise to me.... its almost impossible to believe all this at this moment... but when i look back in time and see how we saw pakistan about 25-30 years back from the window of our indian home, well it was very different and almost close to what NFP is saying..... pakistan in punjab was a regular subject of discussion but due to its progress and flashy imported cars and other imported appliances that people use.. some of the areas in punjab used to catch PTV signal and it was the only channel people would watch for entertainment, english movies on TV for so unreal for india and dramas of pakistan TV for major hit, not for the suicide bombings... its simply changed so much that my own memories sound fake to me... I am looking for my beautiful neighbor to come back home....
Kdspirited Jul 12, 2012 12:49pm
We Pakistanis do. A thousand times over being Indians. I thought I should set the record straight since you asked.
Sabiha Jul 12, 2012 07:45am
Bravo! You are the Midas of writing NFP. Loved every bit of this.
Naresh Reddy Jul 12, 2012 07:48am
Nice feature - even though i donot like you drinking { :) }. Tolerance and respect towards other's beliefs is the need of the day
Krish Chennai Jul 12, 2012 12:48pm
I am reminded of the Mirza Ghalib serial, where on Diwali day during the times of the last Mughal in Delhi, when a Hindu offers Ghalib halwa, and he takes it, a fellow-Muslim tells him how he could take halwa from a kaafir, and Ghalib replies, "bhai, is halwa mei kya mazhab hai ? " ( What religion is there in the halwa ?) We must not draw conclusions from the acts of one or a few individuals, who may have misinterpreted scripture incorrectly/be misguided. As a vegetarian myself, while working in the Gulf years ago, I have eaten often in Pakistani restaurants, where there would be only one vegetarian dish.
sabi Jul 12, 2012 07:57am
well good of your age group and have the same observations.the deterioation of the society under zia rule led me to leave my beloved country.hope morning will come again. jab raat ki zulmat barh jaye samjho ke swera door nahi har raat ka hae pegham yehi tarey bi yehi duhratey hain
Pradeep Jul 12, 2012 07:57am
Best part ‘Nadeem, lend me a cigarette.’ it touched the Human nerve. I can proudly say that I am addicted to your articles. Also I humbly extend the request for you to either settle in China or my Home.
Kamran K Jul 12, 2012 12:43pm
Speaking like a true secular again, Mr. Paracha. Sad how the multiple dimensions of religion are ignored, yet again. If you wear the secular sense, you only see religion in materialistic sense, while religion is anything but materialistic - that's the sad truth. Peace.
manish Jul 12, 2012 08:06am
so, you are a believer... so, you are a half-baked communist.......good though, even that's an improvement over religious people.....
Indian Jul 12, 2012 08:12am
I agree with NFP, one can be a firm believer and non religious at the same time. I have seroius concerns if our subcontinent will survive the way things are happening. Or is it always dark before the dawn, isn't it?
Naseer Jul 12, 2012 08:15am
Unitil 90's in my village guys would gather after eid prayer and would perform "Atan" the traditional pashtoon dance on dhol beats, but due to TJ this practice is no more. I just miss it and wondering what was unislamic about it?
Umakanth Jul 12, 2012 08:23am
Hello Nadeem Sir, I am a big fan of you and your articles. Even though you are a muslim, the best part is that you are a rationalist and not a communist as told by your uncles. I firmly believe that every human being is free to follow any path of religion, whether it is Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Jew, etcetc.....but he should be rational. God is not a dictator to put us in Hell if we smoke or booze. Our actions will results in our ultimate KARMA. Hating some one who doesn't belongs to your religion, killing someone in the name of religion or GOD, won't assure you a place in Heaven. I believe that there are no Heaven/Hell. Everything is here. All humans are responsible for their Karma.......anyways, apart from my preaching.....I wish, if there were more rationalists like you, we wouldn't have separated in 1947. Our country would have been the best place to live on Earth.
pankajdehlavi Jul 12, 2012 08:23am
Dear NFP, you can find many people, organisations etc. to blame for fundamentalism. But, the fact is when a group of people demands a piece of land on the basis of religion and get it somehow, that day itself, the fate of the nation is decided. when you declare a nation as Islamic, it has been decided that this nation will be run by Islamic principles. And who knows better about Islamic principles than Mullahs. Now, when people like you speak about secularism and liberalism, ordinary citizen of Pakistan gets confused - who has done so much for achieving an Islamic country: e.g. fought with their neighbor, forced them to flee away, did so much political regrouping for so many years. Now, suddenly you are telling them to undo all this and become secular and tolerant person. I think it is too much specially in absence of proper education.
Umme Muhammed Jul 13, 2012 08:55pm
You had a right concern, but they were right too. We all greatly appreciate Ms. Asma Jahangir for her NGO and support work for women's rights, and if she will come to my door for support, I will NOT ask her to lets clean up the playground. Will you? If everyone starts doing everything, without selecting a focus, nobody would achieve anything...
TRV Jul 12, 2012 09:08pm
Wrong answer! I don't think that is a real choice. Ask a non-Pakistani or a non-Indian, where he would settle if those were the only choices he or (definitely she) had. That will answer the question for you.
Raoul Ciao Jul 13, 2012 07:24am
Pakistan ignores 52% of it's able population and treats them , well not all, but definitely in large Nos, as slaves who need to be controlled or told what to do, and be inside homes - I am talking of the women folk there. The balance 48% are men, and there 18% are too young to wrk - so 30% carry the load of the economy and also continue to build the male chauvinism further in this society/nation. Hence the continued poverty - of thought.
Gul Jul 12, 2012 09:17pm
NFP I have consistently disagreed with most of your political articles in the recent past, but this article of yours is excellent. Your best so far! I Let's go back to the Sufi-centric tolerance of our forefathers. Thanks
Faraz Jul 12, 2012 09:18pm
Krish & Nitish bhai, we have quite a majority of people in Pakistan who'r sensible and posses a balanced, educated and civil opinion about such issues. As Nadeem bhai has emphasized many a times before, the rise of a generation of men/women carrying religion on their sleeves took place during the dictatorship of Zia and post Soviet War.
snr Jul 12, 2012 09:22pm
great article NFP: I think the USP of all nadeem's articles is secularism, and if you really follow the secularism..then you have to terminate the word KAFIR from ur mindset...
Mukesh Jul 13, 2012 08:49pm
If we just work towards to be a good human beings and try to be kind and forgiving - we will automatically become good muslim or good hindu or good in whatever religion that we follow . All religions teach peace and co-existence.
Maestro Jul 12, 2012 09:47pm
A good piece from NFP. Just check out the comment section to find the hordes of fans he has.
Umme Muhammed Jul 13, 2012 08:44pm
Brother, it may sound cool and being moderate, but we should not make fun of 'maulvies' and 'jamaatis' and neither should be call them by humiliating words and tones. They are better people than us. They may not have had the modern education and outlook that we have had, but atleast they are trying to protect ideological boundaries which is basically the duty of every Muslim just like protecting human rights is the duty of every human being. And as Dr. Farhat says, 'How many of our modern, educated and intellectual children have we career counseled to become an Islamic scholar? None. As we sow, so shall we reap...' And as Sir Allama Iqbal says very correctly...Is dor ki zulmat mae, har qalb'e pareshan ko, wo daagh'e'mohabbat de, jo chaand ko sharma de...
Inzimam Ahmed Jul 13, 2012 08:32pm
Nadeem, see the quotations from Jinnah explicitely Islam as the basis and justification of Pakistan and Pakistan being a bulwark of Islam. Please see it and respond accordingly. Jinnah might not have had beard but the statements are explictly carrying Islam as the justification of the state. If he was lying for politics then he is hypocrite and a deceiver otherwise we have to take him for his words. What do you say?
Umme Muhammed Jul 13, 2012 08:26pm
Very bad of him to do so...the neighborhood should have boycotted him for good to teach him a lesson...
Mansoor Haq Jul 12, 2012 10:07pm
Pakistan is a place which unfortunately has been caught in the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This all started in the same year in 1978-79 when three conducive changes happened for this proxy war. 1--- success of islamic revolution in Iran with emergence of govt of ayotullahs and thus it's influence in Pakistan. 2---Russian invasion of Afghanistan and thus start of Jihad and infiltration of Saudi influence with influx of petro dollars and wahabism. 3. invasion of Afghanistan by Russia led to legitimization of Zia ul Haq govt and support by America and thus giving him free hand for years.
ShahidD Jul 12, 2012 11:04pm
Just check out the intolerance on display that Nadeem Paracha is lamenting in comments section of this clip from a documentary that shows snippets of life in pre-'79 Pakistan.
Sanjeev Yadav Jul 13, 2012 09:53am
in Bhopa there is a group of muslim singers who sing Hindu Bhajans and those who heared them said they the devotion with which they sing is amazing and they take you to a different level of spritual pleasure....there are so many examples of this and the most famous is Naushad, Rafi, Shakeel group for legendary songs like Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko and Madhuban Main Radhika.....
Khalid Jul 12, 2012 11:12pm
British did not start to rule India in 1857. That was when the British government took over from East India Company. It was only after the Mughals slowly started to lose parts of the "empire" to other rajas.Even at the peak of Mughal empire they simply controlled India due to superior ptiower. They did not have their own governors or their own "staff" running various states. The local rajas kept their princely states by paying "taxes" to the Mughals. As Mughals continued to decline, a vacuum was created which the British very astutely filled in until 1857 when they completed the conquest. By the way, Mysore was taken over by the British after beating Tipu Sultan, a Muslim. But, Mysore was definitely a Hindu majority state.
Azher Jul 12, 2012 11:26pm
awesome just pure awesome!
sohaib Jul 13, 2012 02:49pm
You wont like to be Pakistan and dont want to be compared either but you wont stop posting on Pakistani newspapers right? I mean you Indians have serious psychological issues.
Dr Shaf Niazi Jul 12, 2012 11:43pm
‘Bhai jan,’ said the waiter, ‘woh aap sey bhi ziada tun thay! (Brother, they were a lot drunk than you guys!).
Amjad Wyne Jul 12, 2012 11:49pm
Many point to Zia's era as the time when religious intolerance began but the seeds were planted before him. It was during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's time that Ahmadiya community was declared non-Muslim. That was the beginning of Muslim vs non-Muslim in Pakistan but India has its own share of Muslims vs non-Muslims. The Ayodhiya mosque issue that resulted in the killing of two thousand Muslims is more recent than that. Yes, we can talk about Bob Dylan but my fear is that while Pakistan is a much serious issue at the moment, nothing has changed in India to make one believe that dangers were not lurking just below the surface.
qzj00 Jul 12, 2012 11:52pm
NO SMOKING in Smoker's Corner ?
Danial Khan Jul 12, 2012 11:59pm
Dear NFP Thank you for the wonderful article. It really puts the curtain off from how we perceive pakistan now. But in my opinion, Bhutto was the man who started all this. The day he declared ahmadis non muslims, he had given maulvis so much power that we are still facing their wrath. Tc
Ali Jul 13, 2012 02:45pm
The blogs shows it all as well and thumbs down and up to various comments is another indication - proving Nithin point.
quratulain syed Jul 13, 2012 12:06am
I wanted to share some thoughts that flooded my mind after reading NFP's blog. I recently went to Sacred Valley in Peru on a medical mission. The places I was visiting are comparable to the under-developed northern areas on Pakistan (at least geographically, and in terms of resources, health, literacy level, life style etc). During the one week stay in the area, I freely walked out during the day (and even got lost), but would always return back safely to my hotel. One day, on our return back from the health post, a Pakistani friend of mine and I stopped at a local market, which is 2 hours road drive away from the town of our residence. We finished shopping late evening when it had turned dark, and used public transportation to get back to our town. During our journey, the bus started getting crowded and people started moving towards the back of the bus and sitting besides us. Men would walk over, politely say "buenos noche" (good evening) and sit besides us. My friend and I had similar thoughts: "What if we were in Pakistan?". We can forget comparing our experience with places of similar background in Pakistan (as Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa), we can't even imagine traveling in a public bus (and that too at night) in modern cities as Karachi or Lahore. We visited a few government-run and orphanage affiliated primary schools in the Sacred Valley during the medical mission. We entered class rooms to do wellness exams on children. Boys and girls were seated side-by-side and would freely play with, talk to, and fight with one another. I couldn't see any clergy having a panic attack at the scene. I noted some prayers and pictures of Jesus Christ on the wall, but there was a lot of regular education material on the walls as well. I did see lots of similarities with Pakistan too: poor sanitation, poor access to health, poverty etc. But I did see many positive things, signs of hope, development and progress, in lives of their underprivileged class. Its so unfortunate that I can't see the same in my own country. its a shame that I can walk freely and safely in poorly developed parts of a country where I am vaguely familiar with directions or native language, but feel unsafe doing the same in my own country.
Nithin Jul 13, 2012 12:13am
NFP, you write these article for Pakistanis to reflect upon but it is very interesting to read Indian (mostly Hindus) comments that goes beyond religion and end up all about Pakistan. I live in West and everyone time i meet a Hindu they are very cheerful until I tell them my background, they normally don't have much to do after that. They don't even realize that I am not a Muslim, for most Indians being a Pakistani is a crime. I have given up on them. Hope you will print my comments, normally Dawn never print anything that expose Hindus.
untouchable Jul 13, 2012 12:21am
That was the exact reason of partition.. I think Pankajdehlavi should know the reason of partition. You are totally correct Nitish, when you treat your own countrymen worst than "untouchable" they don't want to live with you anymore. The day is coming when 160 millions untouchable of India will demand a separate country too. Just like their Kashmirl brothers. It is a nature's law...
don Jul 13, 2012 12:24am
What radio station is your source of news? Aakash wani aka Jhoot wani/ LOL
desi indian Jul 13, 2012 12:26am
subcontinent will surely survive ....fundamentalism n radicalism wont .. m a firm believer !
skeptic Jul 13, 2012 12:31am
r u for real ? i dont believe this .. it cant be ...i have taken my muslim friends to temples n never seen even my most devout muslim friends do anything lilke that ... i wud have killed that guy for sure .. not cos he was rabid muslim but for him being a flase n humiliating representation of indian muslims ...i m sure ur story is false although certain indian muslims may be rabid in hidden n closet areas ... m sure this guy cant do all this ...
Don Jul 13, 2012 12:38am
Raoul, You know only 7 Pakistanis, I know over 2,000 who live in West. 95% are not like what you have described. The people you are describing are aliens. We all enjoy same things and our needs are same as yours. We want peace and want to live with you in peace. Being a Hindu does not make you any different. Love and Peace
choudhary Jul 13, 2012 12:44am
i feel the 1971 humiliating defeat at the hands of india was a stimulant ..bhutto wanted to save his rule hence he started courting the islamists who claimed that since paksitan was secular n not following real islam hence it was getting defeated ..he cud save his face by hosting islamic conference n islamic nations but ended up giving paying with his life.....
kid Jul 13, 2012 12:48am
r u implying that kids (next generation )come on this blog to read his article n see his pic ? ;-p
chakraborty Jul 13, 2012 12:50am
70% of the 3million killed in BD were Hindus. That is killing Minority Only
kamakazi Jul 13, 2012 01:10am
love it !!!
hariharmani Jul 13, 2012 01:17am
TeeKay from Switzerland.The truth about tolerance,What now Pakistan and love /hate relationship between Hindu/Muslim is very complex.You can not pigion hole them.I'm irreligious,always was,but I was raised as a Brahmin in very strict home,I was ,just like a a person raised in a Islamic home.only Hindu.I know what I'm talking about.I'm from Hyderabad,many friends came to my house,mostly Muslim,2 in particular Latif and Ghuse-ud-din.They were allowed in most part my home.They loved our Idli,Dosa and Sambar,you know what?,they never entered our kitchen(we never had to tell them,they simply knew),it is same with every Muslim in India.We do not discriminate,they simply know,our way and are very decent.They ate in our home(in porcelian plates and glass tumbler).I was reading Mr Jinnah,why Pakistan?he was very clear,and concise how we do not inter marry,we do not share our pots and pan,etc,etc.Every word true.But I do not see anything objectionable.I live in USA,I do not even in my sister's home barge into her kitchen and take things from her frig.If she says,'anna ,pl take the beer from frig'I do.Hindu/Muslim are 2 distinct people,they have for good or ill,have remained separate with a invisible wall,they mix and they do not mix,it was good we have separate country for us.Should Pakistan live peacefully with itself is her business,I feel they have not handled their affair well,than again it up to them to correct the sail,if they don't they will hit the rock,it is that simple.I for one will leave things as they are,but stop killing muslims by sects,shia/sunni etc,etc.It is in deadly combat with herself with death may part,that is fatal for itself.
chakraborty Jul 13, 2012 01:33am
can you compare 2000-5000 of Gujrat to 200,0000 - 300,0000 of Bangladesh Out of which 70% were Hindus. Its true that even then Pakistani were radical and had a strong sense of Hatred for Hindus. Ya NFP may be right that Sectarianism and Wahhabism was not so prevalent then.
chakraborty Jul 13, 2012 01:39am
Dear Noor Please give me Answer that If Hindus/ Christians in Power would have demolished Mecca/ Madina and Built a Yagyashala /Temple or Church there, What would have been the reaction of Muslims. I can estimate (May be 100,0000000 Suicide Bombings) We want our pride back and dont want to live under a symbol of imperialism. Please tell me why in 1992 - 20,000 Muhajirs killed by Punjabi & Pathan Army. Its 5 times bigger massacre than Gujrat.
Zeeshan Jul 13, 2012 01:40am
No it didn't, it begun it's rapid decline under him.
Khalid Jul 13, 2012 01:08pm
Dear Deepak, what a nice contribution fro you. We can all learn from it. I just wish there were more people like your aunt (who didn't care as to who was singing the bhajans) and Mr. Nadeem (I can assure you there are very few people like him in Pakistan). Dear Nadeem, having lived in Britain for 25 years, I know exactly what you mean. what a shame that our only obsession is how Muslim we look!! rather than what we do...Good article. Congratulations.
chakraborty Jul 13, 2012 01:51am
In India the Saudi is funding Madrassas from Deoband to Azamgarh, From Deoria to Murshidabad. But But But............. The Barelvis Have an economic reason to stay Barelvi............... They are holding all of Land of Mazaars and Shrines of India. They make good money out of it and i am not talking about Moinuddin Chisty Ajmer, Nizammuddin Auliya Delhi, GanjShakar, Haji Ali, Chote sarkar bade sarkar of Badaun etc.. I am talking about thousands of local shrines which many Hindus alongwith Mulims also visit. There is intense struggle to control the money of the shrine. So people will go to shrines and so movement of Ahmed Raza Barelvi will always be there atleast in the subcontinent
Javeer Jul 13, 2012 02:01am
Exhibitionistic religiosity, very well said Nadeem sahib. In today's Pakistan all we want to look good Muslim rather than becoming a good human beings. I am wondering why we Pakistanis are obsessed with religion so much and without understanding it.
chakraborty Jul 13, 2012 02:02am
Girish, This is prevalent all over India where Muslims dont respect others culture and make noise about Hindu Practices. My Uncle has a Architectural Design Agency in Kuwait. The inaugration was done by a sheikh who broke a coconut in front of devatas . We cannot expect this from a Indian muslim leave aside pakistani. Even Arabs are better. I used to tell my friends in college that Devatas are like demi gods (Superpowers_Like Angels in Islam) We do pran Pratishta Energization of Pratima and then worship it. God is one called Ishwara or Brahman in Hinduism but we worship Devatas as Muslim worship peers. He gave excuses and said you will go to hell alongwith barelvis !!!!!! I mean............ We are trying so hard to be secular........... But how it will work this way I dont know. There is no Final solution
Aditya Jul 13, 2012 02:33am
Please give up smoking
Maheen Jul 13, 2012 03:04am
I was talking about Islam, in particular, because that is part of Pakistan's culture, and the article under discussion here is about Pakistan NOT India or anywhere else. I don't deny people can have good manners and decency without believing in God, just as they can also be wretches without believing in God. But that is not the issue. Please stick to the topic.
Kesav Jul 13, 2012 03:08am
Hinduism believes in one God,Lord Sri Krsna.How can there be more than one God? The entire Vedic literature states 'Krsnas tu bhagwan swayam'. There are millions of demigods and demigodessess.These devi/devatas are also created by Krsna,but they are not God. One can be moral,noble,honest etc in the mode of goodness but that is not religion.A truly religious person knows how to rise above the three modes of material nature,namely,goodness,passion and ignorance.
Shrirang, Mumbai Jul 13, 2012 07:20am
Noor bhai, As per Newton "there is equal and opposite reaction for every action. " 1)Babari masjid demolition was sulking reaction for Ram mandir demolition by Mr Babar. 2)Godhra riots was reaction for massacre of 56 hindu pilgrims. bhai jaan, i dont support any voilence, and dont say we are naive. But always try to see both the sides of coins. dont blindly follow what people instigate about.
Shilpa Jul 13, 2012 03:26am
Loved reading all the stories that u told in your trade mark style to bring home the point. I hope the people u aim at in your and my country also get that. Stay blessed and safe.
Pradip Jul 13, 2012 03:26am
What is your background? and where in the west do you live? If you are in Boston, you are invited to my house for Indian food though, only sirloin steak, salad and red wine !
deepak Jul 13, 2012 03:30am
Zubair...Pakistan has never been tested NEVER had any sizeable number of Hindus.. You guys have cut up a piece of India and transformed into the Land of the Pure..Islamicized, Sunnatized, Circumcized...deInfidelized who is Pure?? only the one who has received the Light of Islam, the rest are all in Jahiliyat...this is the basis of Pakistan...pls be honest and quit the phoney High & Mighty stuff...u wanted to be a part of Arabia and thats what u hv become with yr beheadings, destroying girls school, Laal masjid seige where little girls regret NOT being Shaheeds..
Pradip Jul 13, 2012 03:48am
Thank God, there are people like your grandfather in all communities across the globe....may their tribe prosper!
B R chawla Jul 13, 2012 02:42pm
Well done. Wish there were more souls in your country to unveil the cruel face of intolerant radicals that have maligned the otherwise tolerant religion that was at the time it started. Good luck dear friend keep writing. Chawla
Ravi Jul 13, 2012 04:08am
Mind you Gujarat (Note it is not Gujrat as it is in pakistan) riots were in retaliation to burning alive of 60 Hindus by Muslims! Imagine if 60 Muslims are bruned alive by hindus in Pakistan...I think most hindus will be annihilated from Pakistan!!
Salman Jul 13, 2012 04:54am
@ Maheen: I went through Al-Bulehi's interviews, listened and read his views carefully. First of all, he does'nt seem to be ignorant, and not at all about Islam and its history. He was, or may be still is, member of Saudi Shoora Council. Also, he didn't criticize Islam, rather he criticized muslim and the state of affairs in Arab countries, which is well founded and legitimate criticism. The features of Islam that you attempted to elaborate are beyond are undoubtedly embedded in the teachings of Islam but not in Muslims. Actually, your criticism of him proves his very point that is that Muslims have become so closed minded and so far from critical thinking and so bigoted that any criticism of Muslims is taken as an attack on ISLAM. As famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz said "Unn ko islam ke lutt jaanay ka dar itna hai.....ab wo kaafir ko muslaman nahi karnay daitay..." (they have become so sensitive about their faith's (islam) sanctity that they won't even let a non-mulsim embrace their faith). Buleihi doest not contest with administration of justice during Prophet (PBUH)'s time or during the times of his immediate successors. He questions and rightly so the state of muslim societies and countries around the world as we say it today. If you have read and listened to him already, I hope you do that again with an open mind and not take his criticism of Muslims and criticism of Islam. Also, two wrongs don't make a right i.e. west's crimes against humanity does not absolve the muslims of their responsibility to correct and enlighten them, specially when Muslims claim to be followers of the most enlightened Prophet and most enlightened religion. Think and think again.
Asad Shah Jul 13, 2012 04:56am
Call me naive or delusional, but in which country does NFP live in? I was born in the 70's in Islamabad, lived all my life in Islamabad, had all sorts of friends, attended all sort of parties in my teens, had several female friends throughout my college years (including few major affairs as well), and lived a very normal life as of any western guy. And I hardly knew a couple of guys who I know occasionally drinks, hardly anyone ever questioned about my beliefs (my father is an extremely religious person, and even he never questioned me about my life style), had been hooked to all sort of music and attended all sorts of rock concerts in Lahore and Karachi (including the underground music gigs every Saturday night). I never drink nor smoke nor a womanizer. And most in my friends circle are just like me, moderate people with middle to middle-higher class folks. None of my friends have ever been to TJ, nor JI. Only one cousin of mine attended TJ and we make a lot of fun of him for doing so. Am I living in some other country than Mr Paracha? Or is it that Mr Paracha only wants to see the glass half empty all the time when it comes to Pakistan. Perhaps Mr Paracha badly needs to get out of his '70 era nostalgic mindset.
Salman Jul 13, 2012 05:12am
@ Pankajdelhlavi...I agree with you that the root of the problem is the very basis of Pakistan. The problem with NFP and ilk, specially leftists is that they conveniently forget to mention that Communist Party of India supported the partition of the country along the religious lines and whole hearted supported Muslim League, probably thinking that they (communists) will get a chance to bring about communist/socialist revolution. The problem is that extremist also jumped the band wagon and masses were also lead to believe, no one less that Jinnah himself, that Pakistan will be a "laboratory of Islam" and thats what we have been a laboratory. I think, liberal and specially leftist must take full responsibility for their role in partition and for supporting the creation of a country on fundamentally flawed and bigoted principal. This is not to say that I absolve other actors Nehru, Gandhi, Patel and Sikhs of their mistakes that contributed to the partition and resulting massacre and uprooting of millions of people.
Shantanu India Jul 13, 2012 05:13am
Deepak- this was always there..perhaps you noticed it late. some of the best classical Indian singers including Bade Ghulam Ali Khan saheb always sang the best of bhajans..Also only in India you will many locations where mandirs,masjids, gurdwaras, churches are placed next to each other and every individual irrespective of his religion bows in obeisance when passing in front of all the monuments-thats the beauty of our country..
deep Jul 13, 2012 05:15am
I think NFP is suffering from an overdose of nostalgia - when you believe that your bachchpan was a lot more rosy than the present-day - the question NFP has to ask himself is why so many parachas were vulnerable - why so many of them caved in so easily and why when the grandmother - the matriarch of the family disagreed - her opinion did not matter or she was silent on the matter. The root cause is dogma and the pressure a so-called revealed book and word and religion puts on you - even now, NFP, you have to ask yourself as to why your tribe remains silent.
abdul hafeez Jul 13, 2012 11:53am
great, what i would have been intending to say you done it. thanks
Pramod Jul 13, 2012 06:01am
I think this is unfortunate for Pakistan that the mass follows people like Hafiz Saeed and not like NFP.
syed salim Jul 13, 2012 02:41pm
Absolutely true.
BRR Jul 13, 2012 07:04am
When one cannot see another human being as an equal and worthy of respect just because he follows a different religion or a different version of one's own, no amount of religion will mask such bigotry.
raj Jul 13, 2012 01:05pm
but you still follow him..anyway by not following NFP pakistan is harming itself not others..just remember religion is for human being not human being for religion..
Shilpa Jul 13, 2012 02:37pm
U are very misinformed and its unfortunate for you as you only are exposed to the story u are told and not the reality. Everybody is equal here.
Maarkhor Jul 13, 2012 11:48pm
i agree...they have the habit of poking there noses everywhere
great indian Jul 14, 2012 12:13am
Now this is offensive, the people in the west esp. dont share the hard feelings, the fact that some of my closest colleagues are pakistanis, we have realized very soon that we share much more than we oppose. Nithin your hard feelings are not right, being a pakistani is NOT a crime,
Mohammad Jul 14, 2012 12:32am
Well said you have pointed out the the cause rightly. this Saudi brand of Islam is givin g a wrong meaning of teachings of Islam to the world. Remember that incident of a Kafir lady throwing dirt on Holy Prophet every day. He did not kill her but he went on to enquire about her health when she did not throw it on him one day and due to his ACTION she embraced Islam and Look what whabis are teaching the Muslim May God show them the right path and enable them to educate themselves , It is knowledge and education with which you can conquer the hearts not voilence
Maarkhor Jul 14, 2012 12:38am
u forgot one name that is up with them Narendra Modi
Asif Jul 14, 2012 12:43am
While I am usually not impressed with NFP writings, this piece has merit. However, it would have been more on point had he left out his boozing and smoking out of it - but then again maybe those are the two joys he holds true above others and seeks to influence and encourage others to join in. According to the CDC, excessive drinking in the US costs hundreds of billions of dollars per year - but given that Pakistan is a poor country, once Pakistanis start drinking enmasse, perhaps we could absorb losses to the tune of tens of billions of dollars ?
Asif Jul 14, 2012 12:44am
Agree completely !!
Dhanraj Kotian Jul 14, 2012 01:02am
It was a privilege to read this article. Thanks NFP.
Anand Jul 14, 2012 01:11am
India's Bismillah Khan ... India's Shehnai Player Savant .... was the official Shehnai player for the Vishwanath temple in Banaras for well over 50 years. he did not charge for this service, and Bismillah would have been considered sacrilege and blasphemous to suggest he should get paid for playing. The Vishwanath Temple .. IS one of the Mecca's for Hindus. On most days, the temple would not open its doors to greet the morning sun .......until and unless Bismiillah Khan played and announced the opening of the doors. And on days he did not play, the temple announced his absence. Crowds were markedly smaller. And temple donations smaller also ! This restricted Bismillah Khan's travels. But as he said often : Hamari to Shehnai Allah aur Bhagwan Kee Deyn Hey. His father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh. Same story there again.
Afaq Jul 14, 2012 01:54am
True I too rememberer that and still try to practice my Din and Dunya that way. All credit goes to Gen Zia, Saudi money and Their version of Islam to help American war against Russians in Afghanistan in 1980s.
Babar Jul 14, 2012 02:17am
Yes NFP!! How about writing aboutthe Islamic conference held in Lahore under Bhutto and apartic[pated by 21 Muslims countries. Why did all these Muslim head of the State who conspired against the Ahmedis die unatural deaths? Bhutto hanged, faisal stbbed by his nephew, Saddam hanged. Gaddafi beaten to death, etc etc. It would be interesting writing and would open th eyes of many in Pakistan.
Tahmina Jul 14, 2012 03:55am
You have every rights to have an opinion on Punjabis or Pakistanis, the truth is that few decades ago it was differrent. And yes. A lot of us loath what military did in Bangladesh, perhaps selective readings have not allowed you to read that. In my own childhood, I have been a regular church goer despite belonging to a deeply religious family, simply because all my friends were christians and it was a classist idea that we re only allowed to mingle with educated in the neighbourhood, nothing else counted. many of us have publicly apologised to Bangladeshis in person for the atrocities committed. However I still respect your opinion and have a right to express mine.
fida sayani Jul 14, 2012 04:00am
only rationalist in British India was Jinnah who believed in one india in which the rights of all the minorities were to be protected under one constitution. So Mr. Umakanth please blame the irrational Gandhi for introducing religion and breaking up India.
Punjabi Jatt Jul 14, 2012 04:06am
Just felt a tinge of nostalgia reading your delightful article. Nadeem, not all is lost. I still have an old style punjabi house or 'kotha'in my old village near kasur right near the border. Water is not good in my area because of the uranium in our soil due to years of over farming. But i have a water tank and have filtered water using old school Jatt technology. We have an old man who is our village Malvi too but he is a curious chap. Every week or so he would saunter to my farm house to inquire about my grapes. My elderly dad used to make his own punjabi wine and i continue the tradition. After a few glasses of 'sherarat ab' we would pull out the old dhol and 'thumby' and belt out a few classic Punjabi phangara songs and tunes. My friend Nadeem perchance we will get to meet up someday and you can try my old style Jatt 'angur sherbet'. Nothing can break our independent Jatt spirit. So dont worry there is still hope for Punjab at least.
pawan madhok Jul 14, 2012 04:13am
I think there seems to be a lot of confusion on display here between concepts such as religion, and secularism. What is missing is the concept of spiritualism which is a mystical yearning for truth and beauty. Being religious might or might not advance one's spiritual quest. Mostly, organized religion is used for political purposes to advance more worldly interests and only address spirituality rather tangentially. The pity is that people allow themselves to be exploited willingly by charlatans masquerading as spiritual teachers.
Goga Nalaik Jul 14, 2012 04:42am
There are many secular muslims in Pakistan and I'm one of those. NFP fans only in Pakistan are in thousands and 95 percent out of those are secular. And this number is increasing ...
malik Jul 14, 2012 04:49am
Each year when I viist Pakistan I see more and more religiosity but I see less and less honesty.
Goga Nalaik Jul 14, 2012 04:50am
Dear Nadeem, A great read as usual. Nothing to add except a word of admiration and prayer for you Your fan
Sunil sood Jul 14, 2012 04:59am
Love this article.Love you Nadeem.Pray for your safety in Pakistan
Umesh Bhagwat Jul 14, 2012 05:13am
I have eaten at Pakistani restaurants in N.Y and I faced no hostility!
kashi Jul 14, 2012 05:18am
Asad, completely agree with you. Not only this tolerance but also shia sunni, I remember we use to give shias drinks when they returing home in evening at 10 Moharman. Yes, tableegis or bralvees are there but every body is free to choose or be moderate. Critizing anybody, means confussion in ourself and sense of shame. Any body has full right to choose religous sact to keep his heart in peace (maditation).
Paki Jul 14, 2012 05:28am
NFP is a Secular Mullah
HWG Jul 14, 2012 05:43am
What worries us the ability to ask questions and get answers has been suppressed under the garb of being religious. When a person stops asking asking questions and accepts the things as they are, the progress stops, and one starts going backwards, because the tradition becomes overpowering, and the control goes in the hands of a few who claim that they only are the leaders. NFP is a voice which raises questions as a intelligent human being. What he says is true for all religions.
pankajdehlavi Jul 14, 2012 06:02am
If you don't want Indians to post on Pakistani newspaper, why don't you advice them to stop allowing Indians to access their newspaper. or they may stop the internet version newspaper to avoid comments from us. Or you may also advice them to allow only good comments (this anyway your newspapers are doing already).
Aga Bhai Jul 14, 2012 06:17am
please write more on Zia and JoAnn connection. Thanks!
Javeer Jul 14, 2012 08:46am
very well said Michael. I agree.
Deepak Anand Jul 14, 2012 09:32am
I was wondering why so much disliking mughals in ur country, ur article answered lots of questions which were unanswered in my mind. Tolerance is the key everywhere. May ur tribe increases in world.
Krish Chennai Jul 14, 2012 05:41pm
Sat Sri Akaal, Dost !
umair Jul 14, 2012 08:07pm
We all keep on fighting with facts and logics and this will never end , but i say Islam is very simple, i believe if we start following it in a true way with guidance of Quran and teachings of Prophet P.B.U.H, we can become better tolerant human, citizen , nation and even a better writer than Paracha sb, Flaws are in inside us, Not in Pakistan, Not in Islam and Not Being a Muslim
khan Jul 14, 2012 08:10pm
Mr P you really love to attract Indian crowd. Job very well done once again. I know my comment will once again be discarded.
Sam Jul 15, 2012 12:34am
Please be nice. Let every body express their opinion. There is nothing that prevents from writing on this site. I am happy to see Indians and Pakistanis submitting comments, More the merrier.
Sam Jul 15, 2012 12:38am
So what. Please stop being bigoted. Leave bigotry for the Germans.
Sam Jul 15, 2012 12:43am
Tableegi Jamat is a menace that is eating Pakistan away. They need to get a life work and make Pakistan a better country.
indian Jul 15, 2012 02:26am
seeds are elsewhere, and have been around for 1400 years. others only provide some water and fertilizer.
Yasir Mahmood Jul 15, 2012 03:01am
It seems that Mr. Paracha is Bizarre from Islam...
Qalandar Jul 15, 2012 04:06am
Dear Maheen, let's see if we can agree to disagree while puting the facts right: It long so I make it in parts: U said,'It also murdered countless millions in the name of its "civilization" and continues to do so (e.g. drone attacks in Pakistan), and sought to eradicate all other ways of life (e.g. treatment of Native Americans, and heck, colonialism, hundreds of years of it).' I'm born Muslim but that doesn't mean I should defend wrongs done by any Muslim and don't admit right things done by non-Muslim nations. Having said that, Muslim rulers have also killed in millions and Iqbal's Shikwa is testimony to the spread of Islam with meer sword that included occupation from river Indus to Morroco and part of Europe. . Let's say drone attacks killed 4000 peoples but Taliban have killed 30,000 of their own kinds. ...continued God bless U Maheen! pardon my spellings and writing style.
Qalandar Jul 15, 2012 04:13am
...continued ... Dear Maheen, U said,'While I don't believe all that is Western is all bad (or all good for that matter), Ibrahim al-Buleihi seems curiously ignorant of the teachings of other faiths and civilizations. He clearly has little to no familiarity with how Islam, ...... God (please read Allama Iqbal's poetry and work for a better explanation.' One can and has right to believe whatever one wishes. That doesn't change facts. The west has played its unique role in the development of the civilisation where it is today and every one is eating its fruits. No other civilisation has done that including Muslim, Chinese, or even Hindu, for example. When one speak he let other know where he stands. Have U studied Islam critically to find truth? I dare say you havn't. But it does matter if u start now. I was like u But I know Islam much more than many Muslim know about its history. Have U read Iqbal's poetry: ' Firdous jo tera hai Kisee nay nahin dekha/ Afrang ka her qarya hai firdous kee manind.' ...continued ... God bless U Maheen! pardon my spellings and writing style
Qalandar Jul 15, 2012 04:16am
Dear Maheen, U said,' In terms of "recognizing individuality", the Quran is replete with references to every person's responsibility for his or her actions before God; "humanized political authority" - please read more about political administration at the time of not only the Prophet ..... was required for crimes like sex outside of marriage. The Prophet and the first four rightly guided Khalifas did not seek out people to punish. Rather, there was a process in place to deal with crimes when they happened.' I think what I have said above applies to this as well. Pls also think that even after following Islam for 1400 years where do we Muslims stand in the world. Pls don't tell me this world doesn't matter, as some Muslim like to say when thaey have no arguments to offer. Our society is a mirror of our belief and actions. I think it is enough for me now to stop here and maybe someone else may help U with what else U have said so far. God bless U Maheen! pardon my spellings and writing style.
freddy Jul 15, 2012 04:39am
I fail to understand as to why Pakistan never accepted back 3 lakh Urdu speaking Muslim Biharis who were stranded in bangladesh in 1973 when it is said that they had backed Pakistan during the 1971 war for liberation of Bangladesh? I mean they were pakistanis who were left out in newly created Bangladesh. Could any one throw some light on it.
saleem Jul 15, 2012 02:59pm
majeed sahib; getting a divorse and killing/lynching/bombing people in name of religion; cheering and being apologitic about it is plain wrong and condemnable; this only happens in islam's name. there are crazy ones in all religion but people know and agree that they are crazy but we dont' we praise them gloirfy them; please snap out of the victim mentality
freddy Jul 15, 2012 04:46am
Why weren't the urdu speaking muslim biharis not taken back by pakistan in 1973. These poor Bhihari Muslims were left stranded in newly created Bangladesh and even though they were loyal to Pakistan in 1971 war they were never accepted by Pakistani Govt. till date.?
Keti Zilgish Jul 15, 2012 05:23am
Since this article is a craving for a once-upon-a-time humanism, the editors of Dawn might be interested in publishing the following quotation:- "Islamic Humanism preceded its Renaissance counterpart by centuries, finding its negation in the institutions of slavery. It was to the Zanjis credit that they managed to temporarily supercede this dichotomy. Later on, this humanism having failed to connect to a generalized system of commodity production degenerated into humanitarianism. Paul Mattick (Anti-Bolshevik Communism, p 158) makes a valid generalization for the European arena where humanism did reach impressive levels of achievement and where its fall from grace was even more spectacular than its 'oriental' counterpart: "With the bourgeoisie securely established, humanism degenerated into humanitarianism for the alleviation of the social misery that accompanied the capital formation process"
jgrozny Jul 16, 2012 08:43am
Reblogged this on JGrozny's Blog and commented: Insightful & entertaining wisdom of Nadeem F. Paracha.
Akbar Jul 19, 2012 07:34am
Visit Website Jul 20, 2012 06:28am
Reading, watching movies or plays, or comparable activities that may bring inspiration. 534191
VISITA LA FUENTE Jul 20, 2012 07:54am
Soon after study some with the content material within your internet site now, we genuinely such as your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet internet site list and will also be checking back soon. Pls look at my web-site likewise and make me aware what you believe. 739468