Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Factual crisis > Existential crisis

The last time i shared a video on this platform, Marlon Brando smirked in his coffin. This time, however, the topic at hand is a bit too serious. The student in the above video delivers a splendid speech if you understand Hindi/Urdu. But she ends up following the same script that people belonging to theocracy do: letting religion dictate the terms of nationalism. So much so that one particular religion becomes the overriding indicator of nationalism. I think that's the problem with the narrative nations found on the basis of religion stick to. Pakistan ain't alone in this basket. Israel too suffers from the same disorder. Both these countries were born out of insecurity and hatred for their neighbour. And it's showing even today. Almost seven decades after their birth. When you make religion the basis of your existence, it's difficult to differentiate between your personal and public identities. Which is also why culture as such suffers because one dominant narrative (which is severely flawed as can be noticed in that young girl's poetic speech) tries to overlook established historical facts.

For instance, she invokes the "Muslims" who died for the creation of Pakistan. First thing first, they didn't. Not a single Muslim died for its creation as such. The riots that ensued were solely a chaotic clash between communities who otherwise led peaceful co-existence for ages. None of the families that perished did so for martyrdom. They hesitantingly became victims of myopic political vision. Which brings us to the second point. She mentions Quaid-e-Azam's (Jinnah) vision. Again, his vision didn't really see far. His idea was so self-conflicting that a modern Islamic state that he wanted wouldn't have materialized anyway given the circumstances in which Pakistan was born. To make matters worse, he passed away within a year or so, leaving the newfound nation—world's first Islamic republic, mind you—vulnerable with no appropriate replacement, let alone a constitution to hold on to. India at least could rely on the likes of Nehru and Patel after Gandhiji was killed. And a guy like Ambedkar to draw up the constitution ASAP.

Lastly, the existential crisis so apparent in the video is true for any of us (as individuals) who refuse to accept certain inalienable facts about ourselves. Self-denial takes you far but not very far. The acceptance of ultimate truth helps sooner than later. 

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