1. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  2. Violence against Minorities
  3. Unsheltered
  4. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  5. How to Encourage Terrorism
  6. Faisalabad in 2028
  7. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  8. Child Sexual Abuse
  9. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  10. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  11. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  12. Steering Through Turbulence
  13. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  14. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  15. Making ADR work for Women
  16. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  17. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  18. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  19. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  20. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  21. Come on Skipper !
  22. GUMM
  23. Annus Horibilis
  24. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  25. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  26. Method in the Madness
  27. Legal System Reforms
  28. Power Over Impulse
  29. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  30. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  31. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  32. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  33. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  34. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  35. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  36. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  37. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  38. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  39. NEWS PICKS
  40. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  41. Fitness with the Mughal
  42. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  43. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  44. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  45. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  46. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  47. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  48. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  49. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  50. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  51. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  52. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  53. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  54. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  55. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  56. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  57. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  58. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  59. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  60. Money for nothing, bits for free
  61. FinTech
  62. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  63. Crisis of Civilization
  64. Child Sexual Abuse
  65. Education is the only Solution
  66. Fit for Purpose
  67. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  68. Mini meringue recipe
  69. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  70. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  71. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  72. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  73. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  74. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  75. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  76. Five major political events of 2017
  77. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  78. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  79. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  80. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  81. What we can learn from Ghalib
  82. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING
Sun, Nov 18, 2018
  1. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  2. Violence against Minorities
  3. Unsheltered
  4. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  5. How to Encourage Terrorism
  6. Faisalabad in 2028
  7. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  8. Child Sexual Abuse
  9. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  10. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  11. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  12. Steering Through Turbulence
  13. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  14. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  15. Making ADR work for Women
  16. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  17. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  18. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  19. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  20. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  21. Come on Skipper !
  22. GUMM
  23. Annus Horibilis
  24. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  25. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  26. Method in the Madness
  27. Legal System Reforms
  28. Power Over Impulse
  29. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  30. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  31. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  32. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  33. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  34. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  35. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  36. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  37. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  38. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  39. NEWS PICKS
  40. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  41. Fitness with the Mughal
  42. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  43. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  44. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  45. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  46. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  47. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  48. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  49. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  50. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  51. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  52. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  53. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  54. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  55. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  56. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  57. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  58. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  59. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  60. Money for nothing, bits for free
  61. FinTech
  62. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  63. Crisis of Civilization
  64. Child Sexual Abuse
  65. Education is the only Solution
  66. Fit for Purpose
  67. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  68. Mini meringue recipe
  69. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  70. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  71. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  72. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  73. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  74. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  75. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  76. Five major political events of 2017
  77. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  78. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  79. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  80. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  81. What we can learn from Ghalib
  82. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING

“Immortalised for his pervasive influence on Urdu language and thought, the rising totalitarianism propagated by today’s hard line elements flattens the world of great poets like Ghalib who were admired for their thought provoking verses”

 

In a letter to his pupil and close friend Munshi Har Gopal Tufta, the great poet and mystic Mirza Ghalib wrote, “I hold all mankind to be my kin and look upon all men — Muslim, Hindu, Christian — as my brothers, no matter what others may think.”

With recent celebrations for Ghalib’s 220th birthday and with the start of a new year, these words have never held more urgency. 2017 closed with yet another suicide bombing at a church in Quetta just before Christmas where nine people were killed and over 50 wounded. This is just one example of the violence faced by Pakistan’s besieged minorities at the hands of extremist forces.

 

Ghalib lived through a tumultuous age when the Mughal empire ended and British imperial rule started. His poetry bears eloquent witness to this fraught period, capturing the instability and confusion of the time. Today, Pakistan finds itself in another state of dislocation as the society faces takeover by obscurantist groups whose dogma ruthlessly excludes religious diversity and targets society’s most vulnerable.Violence against Christians, Shias, Ahmadis and Hindus, prisoners languishing on death row on charges of blasphemy, the lynching of innocents like Mashal Khan, the destruction of places of worship and violence against women in so called ‘honour killings’ are all effects of this deadly extremism.

 

Today’s rising fanaticism represents a hypocrisy that Ghalib exposed over a century ago. ‘Kahan maikhana ka darwaza Ghalib aur kahan waaez, Par itna jaante hain, kal wo jaata tha ke ham nikle.’ (Where is the tavern door, Ghalib, and where the cleric! But this I know: yesterday he entered as I was leaving.)

 

His irreverence towards religious orthodoxy delighted and intrigued his audiences, urging them to look beyond the pronouncements of those claiming to represent religion. In today’s repressive climate, one can only wonder how such words would be received. As a result of increasing religious intolerance, Pakistan’s diversity has been significantly eroded. At the time of independence, Pakistan’s religious minorities made up over 20 per cent of the population. This has reduced to less than 4 per cent as increasing numbers flee the country. In recent years, valiant defenders of minority rights have been ruthlessly gunned down, most notably Punjab’s former governor Salmaan Taseer and former federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti.

 

Even though Pakistan’s constitution expressly provides for the protection of minority rights, other laws, in particular Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, are routinely used to target and intimidate citizens belonging to minority communities. These laws contradict the original vision of a progressive, democratic and tolerant society as mandated in the country’s original mission statement. On 11 August 1947, Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah said to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state…”

 

With increasing sectarian and ethnic strife in Pakistan, Ghalib’s verses on the inherent unity of all creation hold profound meaning, ‘Asl e shahood o shahid o mashhood ek hai, Hairaan hun phir mushaahida hai kis hisaab mein’ (The search, the witness, and the witnessed are the same, I’m bewildered as to what sense to make of this observation). Equally, the despair and disillusionment often voiced in Ghalib’s poetry acquires renewed relevance in a deeply polarised Pakistan. Qaid-e-hayat-o band-e-gham asal mein dono aik hain, Maut se pehle aadmi gham se nijat paye kyon? (The prison of life and the bondage of grief are one and the same, Before the onset of death, how can man expect to be free of grief?).

 

Immortalised for his pervasive influence on Urdu language and thought, the rising totalitarianism propagated by today’s hard line elements flattens the world of great poets like Ghalib who were admired for their soul-stirring and thought provoking verses. To help address the violent prejudices that have overtaken society, Pakistan must shift its focus away from the invective of extremists and instead place greater emphasis on its rich legacy of poetic masters like Ghalib.

By: Mashal Gauhar

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Advertise

LATEST POSTS

Now Walk the Talk, Imran
Violence against Minorities
Unsheltered

Unsheltered

November 5, 2018
Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality

Advertise

LATEST POSTS

Now Walk the Talk, Imran
Violence against Minorities
Unsheltered

Unsheltered

November 5, 2018
Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality