Zulmat ko Zia – Darkness called light

In South Asia on 14. August 2011 at 08:35

Sixty four tumultuous years have passed since Pakistan’s inception. During this time the dreams the poor masses had has all been shattered. When justice was denied, corruption flourished and poor became even poorer people started to object. Some in the form of rebellion, others with protest, while some with civil disobedience. One small group known as poets used their pen. Such is one poet who spent much of his life in either jail or on the streets with the people. Habib Ahmad Jalib wrote his masterpiece Zulmat ko Zia (Darkness called light) during martial law in the late 70s. It was of significance back then, and it is of importance today.

Hhashr bapa hai ghar ghar mein, dum ghut’ta hai gumbad-e-bedar mein
Ik shakhs kay hathon muddat se, ruswa hai watan duniya bhar mein
Iblees numa insanon ki, aey dost sana kia likhna
Zulmat ko zia, sarsar ko saba, bandey ko khuda kia likhna

Karachi, the city of lights is burning. Torched, gunned down, robbed and devastated. The major financial capital of Pakistan is hit by lawlessness due to last couple of year’s ethnic violence. Political parties, organized criminals and Islamic extremists all are part of a growing trend of target killing. This is the result of decades old Kalashnikov culture and the inflow of drug cartels. The home breed terrorist lashkars were also once organized, financed, encouraged and supported by state machinery. All of these problems which come to surface today can be traced back to the notorious dictator General Zia-ul-Haq. Because of this man, his advisors and his supporters Pakistan is today suffering from a military which runs the foreign policy and a military intelligence which supports terrorist organizations to infiltrate its neighbor territories. Another legacy is the ordinances which discriminate between the citizens and which are used in the name of Islam to earn influence and power. The General who fawned on Bhutto to become army chief, then ousting him and having him hanged. Can such cynical double tongued leaders be worth of praise and admiration?

The extremists target our military installations, civil institutions, public bazaars and civilians in their fight for control on Islamabad. In order to use weapons instead of diplomacy since day one on Kashmir struggle we are now left with huge spending to the military and marginal to budgetary slots as education, infrastructure and healthcare. Then we are compelled to beg for international financial assistance which we cannot pay back due to lack of revenue. Our landlords, industrial tycoons and their political allies shun taxes but promises utopias at each electoral gathering. Roti, kapda aur makaan is chanted but these basic needs are nowhere near to be fulfilled. So wrong are our priorities that even in times when extremist insurgents declare statehood at our territory we start negotiate with them instead of uniting our energies to fight this threat. How can we call butchers as Taliban and their allies to be holy warriors? Why do we surrender and stay silent when bearded savages torch schools and forbid polio vaccines to our children? Why do we criticize US for breaching our sovereignty, when we cannot hinder extremists controlling big portions of pakistani soil? Why do we elect proven corrupt leaders and then complain about corruption? Why accept such a distorted picture?

Haq baat pe korray aur zindaan, batil ke shikanje main hai ye jaan
Insaan hain ke sehne bethe hein, khoon-khwaar darinde hain raqsaan
Iss zulm-o-sitam ko lutf-o-karam, iss dukh ko dawa kia likhna
Zulmat ko zia, sarsar ko saba, banday ko khuda kia likhna

The Muslims of India demanded a separate homeland in order to prevent communal violence. Mohammad Ali Jinnah led the independence movement but died before a working constitution could be written. His words, thoughts and legacy are all but gone. For each year which passes, Pakistanis of different sects and religions has more difficult practicing their faith in peace. Charges of blasphemy and jails up to lifetime have started to become common, extra judicial killing and street justice is way more common. People who sympathize with the women and minorities suffer bullets. Such has the conditions worsened that killers are celebrated as heroes and those killed are left without friends when buried.

Riots in the 50s which claimed several hundred lives and where the igniter was put on death sentence but was later freed. Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate Dr. Abdus Salaam who initiated the atomic program, the space program and several other scientific programs lived the rest of his life in exile because second amendment in 1974 had the effect that Ahmadis could not have high positions in the administration. Pakistan even forgot Dr. Munir Ahmad Khan leader of PAEC who was vocal for treating the nuclear weapons with respect and responsibility. He was of the view that the atomic program was not only bomb making, but also acquiring of knowledge for science and technology. But who did we make our hero? Dr. Sultan Bashiruddin, the man who wanted to tap Djinn energy to fill the power deficit and Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man who played cowboy with our nuclear program and made Pakistan look irresponsible in front of the whole world.

Difference in opinion is shunned, so much that one risk being beheaded in some parts of the state. The leader of the most powerful religious political party advised girls to keep their silence if they are raped. For him national pride is way more important than the plight for justice. Critical reasoning in classes are frowned upon while hatred filled curriculum is still taught. Federal ministers are caught on tape justifying corruption and one Israrullah Zehri justified the practice of burying girls alive in Baluchistan. No Mullah rallies were organized. We are breeding intolerant youth in our public schools, and we complain about the many hate filled religious seminaries for their indoctrination. How can we call the flogging of a young girl in Swat to be justice? How can we justify the massacres ordered by leaders since Pakistan’s birth? How can we turn the secular Jinnah into a bigoted theocrat?

Har shaam yahan shaam-e-weeran, aaseb zada raste galiyan
Jis shehr ki dhun main nikle thay, woh shehr dil-e-barbaad kahan
Wirsay main hamain yeh gham hai mila, iss gham ko nayaa kia likhna
Pathar ko gauhar, deewar ko dar, kargas ko huma kia likhna

Evert single day we hear about oppression, loot, arson, killing, and god knows what more. So much that people are becoming used to it. Peshawar has suffered periods with terrorist attacks every single day. This does something with the common psyche. Musharraf dictatorship was not new, rather  a ongoing trend of public anger with democratic rulers. We are inviting the Generals to power, and we distribute sweets when they scrap the constitution and charge martial law. And again we are the first to cry when the dictator becomes too much of a problem. When we are not learning for history, why are we calling these seasonal dictators for new problems?

And when people do occasionally asks questions on why they have to starve, why they don’t have any shelter and why they are naked the genius leaders say it is because of foreign hands. Each and every messy affair is explained with being a foreign Hindu, Jewish or Christian conspiracy. While our Generals differentiate between terrorists, by sheltering Afghan Taliban and fighting against Pakistani Taliban our neighbors are getting annoyed at the cost of this extension. So much confidence have allied lost that US have breached our sovereignty and started hitting terrorist locations on Pakistani soil by unmanned drone planes. Thousands of attacks have left collateral damage including children. But the damage on Pakistani property and life done by Pakistan army during the last two major military operations are all hushed up. Why mention the brutality of Frontier Corps on nationalists in Baluchistan, why name those military led prisons filled with citizens without trial, why mention pillage and loot of the mineral rich provinces by deadly capitalists turned politicians in order to fit their deep pockets? Should we be impressed by military parades on independence days? Are these khaki uniforms scot free of corruption and blood? Why distort a bloody history of murder, rape and pillage? Who are we pleasing, who are we fooling?

So much brainwashed have we become that we echo each and every slogan the various political leaders chant. We keep our mouth shut when extremists bomb and kill members of minorities in their house of worships, while we turn beasty when Osama bin laden is killed in a US raid. The masses celebrate murder in daylight of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, but we get furious when CIA contractor kills two Pakistanis in the middle of Lahore? Where is our self-consciousness? Why are we happy being sheep’s led by hyenas? Why cannot we act like humans and object each time a life is lost, each time justice is denied?

Aay deeda-waro iss zillat ko, kismet ka likha kia likhna

We are tired of depressive news from the beloved land of the pure. So much that we try to find light in all this darkness. So desperate is our search for good news that we accept any kind of good news, even blatant lies. Many apologists even succumb and call it predestined. Many a ruler has used this doctrine in order to clean his hands. Why mention negative news all the time is the message given to activists. Look at India they have problems as well they say. Yes they do, probably the same as us, racism, bigotry, communalism and poverty, but will that solve our problems? Why not start questioning our leaders and our mind, are we delivering what is expected from us? Aazadi Mubarak, happy independence day.

Kia Likhna…

  1. […] Zulmat ko Zia – Darkness called light […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: