Sunday, August 12, 2012

A letter to Mr. Jinnah

Mr. Jinnah playing billiards. Source:

Dear Sir,

There are two reasons why I'm writing this letter in English. Firstly, I'm fortunate enough to attend a school that taught me to write in English, and secondly because it's easier for you to comprehend English. (Though many are trying to make Arabic your mother tongue!) 

Perhaps, this letter might be considered contemptuous. I don't know and neither do I care. For me contempt means the killing of innocents, which die in dozens everyday in this country. Contempt is evident in the mass migration of Hindu minority to India. Contempt for me is the ever powerful feudal class that controls every institution of national decision making. Hence, I don't care whether this letter falls in the category of contempt or not.

I don't want to write a long elegy, characterising the everyday realities of the land of pure. Maybe, you know them better than me or let me say, these evil realities are now a part of our national psyche. We aren't the secular state you dreamt once, a state like Norway, where the capital was closed down for a week or so in order to pay homage to the innocent children who got killed in a firing spree by a fanatical racist. I guess we can't afford such homage; as such homage would require closing the country till eternity.

I want to tell you how your name is sold by Islamists and Generals alike in order to come in power. How your speeches were amended, how your pictures were censored, and how your ideology was sent to oblivion.

Mr. Jinnah, your own speech in your very own country, was about to be censored. The wisdom you spoke about in your 11th August 1947 speech was labelled as 'too much secularist', and considered a threat to the 'existence of Pakistan'. It was Dawn's editor, Mr. Altaf Hussain, who got your speech published as he threatened them that he'll come to you if an effort is made to censor it. Hitherto, I must say, Mr. Hussain should have visited you. He should have discussed with you about such anti-Pakistan elements. In this case you might have given a clearer elucidation of your ideology about the country.

Let me tell you how your personality has been changed from an English gentleman lawyer into a religious cleric. A daring woman of your country, Faranaz Isphani, made a comment regarding this 'ideological metamorphosis'. She said, "The contrived and Islamist Quaid of Pakistan’s current textbooks never existed." The Jinnah cap sticks to your personality as if you never wore anything other than a Sherwani and that conical cap. No one talks about your Muslim, Christian, Ahmedi, and Hindu friends who always remained your close advisors. Nobody talks about the liberal outlook you had for the modern state of Pakistan where "Muslims will cease being Muslims; Hindus will cease being Hindus, not religiously, but politically." 

Let me also tell you about another phenomenon which I bet will make you beam. The same old religious parties, Tahreef-e-Ahrar, Jammat-e-Islami, et cetera, are now classifying themselves as the saviours of Pakistan! They've also invented a new slogan, which they say dates back to pre-1947. It's something like this: Pakistan ka matlab kia? la illah il lallah. I'm just telling you their slogan, because if you meet them in the afterlife, do ask them that if Pakistan means la illah il lallah then why did they oppose Pakistan? To your surprise, these clerics have distorted history books by removing all references that might prove them to be against the existence of Pakistan. If you meet a Pakistani teenager in heaven and discuss the role of clerics, you'll be amazed when you hear him eulogizing the role of clerics in Pakistan.

Mr. Jinnah, your idea of peaceful co-existence with India has now become a myth. You said that the nature of foreign relations between our two neighbourly countries would be like the relationship between United States and Canada. Sir, I would sadly say, this is becoming impossible as time passes forward. India's insistence on making a nuclear bomb forced Pakistan to make a similar arsenal for herself. We wasted billions of rupees on this rubbish that everyone knows is never going to be used. Sub-continent is land of shrines and sufi; we aren't like those barbarians who killed thousands of Red-Indians in the worst possible way imaginable. As nuclear bomb haunted Pakistan in 1970s, today it's cross-border terrorism that haunts India. Mr. Jinnah, it was a sheer disappointment for every 'rational human' in your country when he or she heard that a Pakistani was involved in the Mumbai attacks. It was sheer disappointment for me when I came to know that a Pakistani was involved in the firing incident at the Indian parliament. Moreover, your reputation as the 'Hindu-Muslim peace ambassador' today seems as a myth. People paint your movement an anti-Hindu movement fought for elevating the religion of Islam. Our generation don't know they you were the greatest advocate of 'Hindu-Muslim Unity' right up till the Cabinet Mission Plan (1946), which failed due Nehru's stubbornness.

In the end, I must say Mr. Jinnah, Pakistan will one day become a modern state. Rational voices, although very few, can still be heard. People do speak out for their universal rights. The civil society is much more active. The middle-class will rise as progress is an inherent process of history. Democracy, equality, and justice will prevail in this land.

A citizen of Jinnah's Pakistan.

No comments:

Post a Comment