Dec. 13, 1958: “Unless there is government in Karachi that takes what happens in Afghanistan seriously and seeks good relations, seems to us that inevitably Afghanistan will draw closer to the Soviet Union… . In conversations with senior Afghans we have repeatedly given assurance that US arms have been provided Pakistan to help build bulwark against Communism and that such arms will not be used against their neighbors … Now our assurances do not appear to be convincing.”
jim Langley’s point of view was apparently shared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who on May 2, 1959, sent a note to Pakistan’s president, Malik Firoz Khan Noon, delivered by Langley. Eisenhower lamented that both Pakistan and India “are now devoting increasing amounts to their defense budgets at the expense of development,” and that U.S. aid was not designed for the military, but to help both countries improve their economies. Identical language went to India’s prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Maata-e-loh-o-qalam chin gayi to kya ghum hai
K khun-e-dil men dubo li hain ungliyan mene
Zuban pe muhar lagi hai to kya ke rakh di hai
Har ek halqa-e-zanjeer men zubaan mene
If they snatch my ink and pen,
I should not complain,
For I have dipped my fingers
In the blood of my heart.
I should not complain
Even if they seal my tongue,
For every ring of my chain
Is a tongue ready to speak.
This is Muhammad Umar memon’s translation of an article by Sadat Hasan Manto. The translation first appeared in The Annual of Urdu Studies.
The Hindi-Urdu dispute has been raging for some time now. Maulvi Abdul Haq Sahib, Dr Tara Singh and Mahatma Gandhi know what there is to know about this dispute. For me, though, it has so far remained incomprehensible. Try as hard as I might, I just haven’t been able to understand. Why are Hindus wasting their time supporting Hindi, and why are Muslims so beside themselves over their preservation of Urdu? A language is not made, it makes itself. And no amount of human effort can ever kill a language. When I tried to write something about this current hot issue, I ended up with the following long conversation:
Munshi Narain Parshad: Iqbal Sahib, are you going to drink this soda water?
Mirza Muhammad Iqbal: Yes, I am.
Munshi: Why dont you drink lemon?
Iqbal: No particular reason. I just like soda water. At our house, everyone likes to drink it.
Munshi: In other words, you hate lemon.
Iqbal: Oh, not at all. Why would I hate it, Munshi Narain Parshad? Since everyone at home drinks soda water, I’ve sort of grown accustomed to it. That’s all. But if you ask me, actually lemon tastes better than plain soda.
Munshi: That is precisely why I was surprised hat you would prefer something salty over something sweet. and lemon isn’t just sweet, it has a nice flavour. What do you think?
Iqbal: You are absolutely right, but…
Munshi: But what?
Iqbal: Nothing. I was just going to say that I’ll take soda.
Munshi: Same nonsense again. I’m not forcing you to drink poison, am I? Brother, what’s the difference between the two? Both bottles are made in the same factory after all. The same machine has poured water into them. If you take the sweetness and flavour out of the lemon, what’s left?
Iqbal: Just soda… a kind of salty water…
Munshi: Then, what’s the harm in drinking the lemon?
Iqbal: No harm at all.
Munshi: Then drink!
Iqbal: And what will you drink?
Munshi: I’ll send for another bottle.
Iqbal: Why would you send for another bottle? What’s the harm in drinking plain soda?
Munshi: N… n… no harm.
Iqbal: So then, here, drink the soda water.
Munshi: And what will you drink?
Iqbal: I’ll get another bottle.
Munshi: Why would you send for another bottle? What’s the harm in drinking lemon?
Iqbal: N… n… no harm. And what’s the harm in drinking soda?
Munshi: None at all.
Iqbal: The fact is, soda is rather good.
Munshi: But I think that lemon… is rather good.
Iqbal: Perhaps, if you say so. Although I’ve heard all along from my elders that soda is rather good.
Munshi: Now what’s a person to make of this: I’ve heard all along from my elders that lemon is rather good.
Iqbal: But what’s your own opinion?
Munshi: And what’s yours?
Iqbal: My opinion… hum… my opinion. My opinion is just this… but why don’t you tell me your opinion?
Munshi: My opinion… hum… my opinion is just this… but why should I tell it first?
Iqbal: I don’t think we’ll get anywhere this way. Look, just put a lid on your glass. I’ll do the same. Then we’ll discuss the matter leisurely.
Munshi: No, we can’t do that. I’ve already popped the caps off the bottles. We’ll just have to drink. Come on, make up your mind, before all the fizz is gone. These drinks are worthless without the fizz.
Iqbal: I agree. And at least you do agree that there’s no real difference between lemon and soda.
Munshi: When did I ever say that? There’s plenty of difference. They’re as different as night and day. Lemon is sweet, flavourful, tart-three things more than soda. Soda only has fizz, and that’s so strong it just barges into the nose. By comparison, lemon is very tasty. One bottle and you feel fresh for hours. Generally, soda water is for sick people. Besides, you’ve just admitted yourself that lemon tends to be tastier than soda.
Iqbal: Well, that I did. But I never said that lemon is better than soda. Tasty doesn’t mean that a thing is also beneficial. Take achaar, it’s very tasty, but you already know about its harmful effects. he presence of sweetness and tartness doesn’t prove that something is good. If you cnsulted a doctor he would tell you the harm lemon does to the stomach. But soda, that’s something else. The thing is, it helps digestion.
Munshi: Look, we can settle the matter by mixing the two.
Iqbal: I have no objection to that.
Munshi: Well, then, fill this glass halfway with soda.
Iqbal: Why don’t you fill half the glass with your lemon? I’ll pour my soda after that.
Munshi: Makes no sense. Why don’t you pour your soda first?
Iqbal: Because I want to drink soda-lemon mixed.
Munshi: And I want lemon-soda mixed.
One of the great forgotten figures of Lahore’s history is Bamba Sofia Duleep Singh Sutherland who decided to stay in Lahore after partition, died in 1957 and is buried in the Gora Kabristan next to Lahore Gymkhana. She was the grand-daughte…r of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Queen Victoria was her Godmother. Her friends in Lahore included Allama Iqbal.
She was married to King Edward Medical College Principal, David Sutherland (d.1939), had no children and lived in Model Town taken care of by her trusted secretary Pir Karim Baksh Soopra. Soopra’s descendants still visit her grave every Christmas, Shab-barat, Good Friday and Eid and leave a wreath.
The Persian verses on her gravesite:
“Farq e Shahi wa bandage Bar Khwast
Choon Qaza-i-Nawishta Ayed Paish
Gar Kisay Khaak Murdah baaz Kunad
Na Shanasad Tawangar Az Dervaish”
There remains no difference between royalty and servility When the moment of (fore-written) death arrives. If someone opens any grave they cannot tell the difference between the rich and the poor.
Most Successful & Attempted Coups
Consider, for instance, Sahir Lohdiyanvi’s trenchant critique of India’s language policy, written in 1968 when the government suddenly decided to mark the 100th anniversary of Ghalib’s death. Titled jashn-e-Ghalib [Ghalib’s Celebration], the poem critiques the treatment meted out to Urdu by Indian policies:
jin shehron mein goonji thhi, Ghalib ki navaa barson un shehron mein aaj urdu, be-naam o nashaan thehri aazaadi e kaamil ka elaan huaa jis din, maatoob zabaan thehri, ghaddar zabaan thehri jis ahd e siyaasat ne ye zinda zubaan kuchli us ahd e siyaasat ko marhoomon ka gham kyon hai Ghalib jise kehte hain, urdu hi ka shaayar thha Urdu pe sitam dhha kar Ghalib pe karam kyon hai
[In those cities, where Ghalib’s voice echoed for years In those very cities now, there is no trace of Urdu The day we announced our independence It became an oppressed language, a traitor language The political will that crushed this living tongue Why does that very politic mourn Urdu’s dead The one who you call Ghalib, he was a poet of urdu Why bury Urdu to praise Ghalib?]
Marina Abramović, “Rhythm 0,” 1974…
Marina Abramović is best known for her performance pieces, in which she tries to explore what is possible for an artist to do in the name of art. Her best known piece was the recent “The Artist Is Present,” in which she sat motionless for 736.5 hours over the course of three months, inviting visitors to sit opposite her and make eye contact for as long as they wanted. So many people began spontaneously crying across from her that blogs and Facebook groups were set up for those people.
Her bravest piece, however, is my favorite. This piece was primarily a trust exercise, in which she told viewers she would not move for six hours no matter what they did to her. She placed 72 objects one could use in pleasing or destructive ways, ranging from flowers and a feather boa to a knife and a loaded pistol, on a table near her and invited the viewers to use them on her however they wanted.
Initially, Abramović said, viewers were peaceful and timid, but it escalated to violence quickly. “The experience I learned was that … if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated: they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation.”
This piece revealed something terrible about humanity, similar to what Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment or Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment, both of which also proved how readily people will harm one another under unusual circumstances.
This performance showed just how easy it is to dehumanize a person who doesn’t fight back, and is particularly powerful because it defies what we think we know about ourselves. I’m certain the no one reading this believes the people around him/her capable of doing such things to another human being, but this performance proves otherwise.
Shameless of our media who choose to headline with sports rather than mourn the death and injuries of scores of soldiers and civilians today. In two days we have had over 40 dead and our collective apathy is so deep rooted and disturbing that a cricket match is all it takes to divert our attentions. Oh btw well played Misbah. You see what I did there - *Rant Over*
"Interestingly, there are no jobs reserved for Balochistan in the President Secretariat (personal), Prime Minister Secretariat, Senate, National Assembly and Supreme Court, the findings of the committee on Balochistan further revealed."
I don’t agree with quota system in the first place. But the fact there are 4000 vacant govt positions in Balochistan is just sad state of affairs. Whereas no representation in top branches of federal government is pure testimony to how scared the top brass is of Baloch backlash.
"Women don’t need protection, they need their rights and their space": Rahul Gandhi
Ghalib rightly said:
“Shohrat-e-shairum bageeti baad-e-munn khahad shudan”
[My poetry will be recognised in the world, after my death]
“Chalay chalo kay woh manzil abhi nahin aaye” — “Keep on walking, for we are not at the destination yet.” Faiz ahmed Faiz
Men like Muhammad Zafrulla Khan (an Ahmadi diplomat) and Raja Amir Ahmad Khan (a Shiite noble) had worked alongside Jinnah for decades to fulfill dream of equality.
Pakistan makes the list for World’s Biggest Whiskey Drinkers. In spite of Prohibition & Islamization Pakistan consumes more whiskey per capita than Nigeria & China.
Undoing with prohibition will result in hefty tax generation and less human fatality as a result of bootleg substandard liquor to quench thirst, even at the cost of their lives.
Now, it’s pretty embarrassing that the United Kingdom and Ireland drink as little whiskey as they do, as illustrated by the above chart. They live in the lands of Laphroaig and Jameson’s, for heaven’s sake! Source: Washington post