Read a novel1

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brain-function-boosted-for-days-after-reading-a-novel-9028302.html

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Superman and IK

I am soooo looking forward to the new Superman movie. Trailer

And I could not help thinking about IK, during the trailer. Watch the trailer, and when this dialogue comes, think about IK in the cape 🙂

Superman’s father, Jor-El:

 “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders!”

It sounds perfect.

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Reflecting on Conversion in the UK

Reflecting on a recent study carried out by Cambridge University, to shed light on the converts in Great Britain, the Project Leader and Director of CIS, Yasir Suleiman, said:  

“White converts can be regarded as ‘trophy’ Muslims and used in a tokenistic fashion by various sections of society, including the media. African-Caribbean converts remain largely invisible, uncelebrated and frequently unacknowledged. They can feel like a minority within a minority and this is something that must be addressed. I found this part of the conversion narratives hardest to bear.”

I could have misunderstood, but I surmised from his comments that even Muslims treated white converts like trophy converts. It made me think how Muslims have yet to recover from the inferiority complex. The ‘white’ man is superior, and so too, the ‘white’ convert. The actual conversion becomes a side story, while the ‘whiteness’ of the convert takes center stage.

Compare this to how Abu Bakr took the conversion of Bilal:

News of the slave who cried out ‘God is One!’ even in the midst of torture soon reached Prophet Muhammad and his companions.  Abu Bakr, Prophet Muhammad’s closest friend and a wealthy trader of equal status to Umaya was sent to investigate.   He came upon the open field where Bilal was being tortured for amusement. Abu Bakr did not lose his temper, for that was not his way, but he remonstrated with the torturers.  He said to Umaya, “Have you no fear of God that you treat this poor man like this?”  He replied saying: “You are the one who corrupted him, so you save him from his plight!” Abu Bakr replied: “Then sell him to me, name your price.” Umaya, was a businessman and could not give up making a profit, so he sold Bilal for a good price. To humiliate Bilal, he added: “I would have sold him to you even if you had offered me only an ounce of gold.”  Abu Bakr answered: “I would have bought him even if you had asked for one hundred ounces.”

It is interesting to note the difference in how Umaya evaluates Bilal’s worth, and how Abu Bakr does.

 

 

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PTIans

As I was driving from the protest in Lalik Chowk, I stopped to give way to a Rikshaw, the driver nodded in appreciation, and headed on. The first thought that came to my mind was I should have a PTI flag visible on my car. While we have to continue the peaceful protests we also have to think about the future. In the last few days I have spoken to a lot of Lahorites from the lower and lower middle classes, and realized that although many of them support PTI, there is a large number of individuals who have there loyalties with other parties, and fail to appreciate the reasons that have encouraged the educated classes to passionately rally behind IK’s call. I am convinced that most of the educated youth who stood in lines for hours in the scorching heat of Lahore, were driven by a love for their less privileged compatriots. Yet, these same people get very few opportunities to really connect with people from other social classes. If we cannot show them kindness in our interactions with them we will never be accepted as their well-wishers. So, from this day on I am going to do my part in convincing them. With a PTI flag on my car, and a PTI band on my wrist, I will be a walking talking advertisement for the ideology of this party. A small kindness goes a long way, and I want everyone to attribute my genuine love for my compatriots to PTI.

Be respectful, be honest, be kind to every Pakistani, and let them know it is because you believe in a Pakistan where we are all brothers!

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Lessons from history I

I feel we have all very conveniently decided wholeheartedly to believe in the idea of progress. While we have progressed in many aspects, there are a few in which we have actually regressed. Take for example the PML (N) – Pakistan Muslim League – and the people who are at the head of this political party. Mr. Nawaz Sharif. Impressive?

In the next few days I will present biographical sketches of the most important Muslim leaders during the Pakistan movement. Anyone who tries to discredit the involvement in the political process of our educated classes today, should pause and think about these leaders who played an instrumental role in the birth of this nation.

Mohammad Ali Jouhar (10 December 1878 – 4 January 1931) was an Indian Muslim leader, activist, scholar, journalist and poet, and was one of the founders of the All India Muslim League and he was also the former president of the All India Muslim League.He  attended the Darul Uloom Deoband, Aligarh Muslim University and, in 1898, Lincoln College, Oxford University, studying modern history. He was arrested by British authorities and imprisoned for two years for what was termed as a seditious speech at the meeting of the Khilafat Conference. He launched two newspapers, Comrade in English and Hamdard in Urdu. Our great leaders were educated in the west, yet had deep roots in their own soil. No English speaking University educated young man today needs to justify his involvement.

When asked by a British politician, “what can you threaten us with?”, Mohamed Ali replied: “It is true we cannot threaten you with powerful engines of war. But we can threaten you and do threaten you with the might of truth. And with a weapon that no shield can resist, with an unconquerable will not to yield to injustice; with the will, in the last resort, to die true to our faith. We do not threaten to kill you, but we do threaten you with our unyielding determination to die kings of our conscience and masters of our soul.”

No scion of the Sharif clan will ever be able to inspire this nation to greatness. Only one leader today has an ideology that will remind you of these great leaders of the past.

 

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Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Burgers!

Source: Awaz e Doast, Mukhtar Masood.

The Burgers:

When the Pakistan movement was in full flow, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, traveled to address the students of Aligarh. Aligarh was the University of the elite at that time. All the burgers – taking artistic license with the term – of Aligarh received him at the train station. When he arrived he was lead to his ‘ride’ to the University, which was a fair distance from the Station. The burgers of Aligarh separated the horses from the carriage, and pulled Jinnah’s carriage all the way to Aligarh.

Just a reminder that burgers were a very integral part of the Pakistan movement. Before you demean their passion today, remember they were once just as passionate for another Leader, too.

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Rich Man. Poor Man.

There is an invidious discourse that has emerged post election, supported by TV channels, newspapers, and popular blogs on the web. Not just invidious, it is in fact incorrect.

It goes something like this: “PTI is the educated urban elites party of choice, and PML (N) is the party of the lower classes.” The evidence that is brought forward to bolster this assertion is the result of the 2013 Elections. For now I will not delve into the mass rigging that has taken place across Punjab, instead I will try and discredit this claim on evidence from the election results, supplemented by my own campaigning across different localities in Lahore.

Even a cursory look at the results will show that PTI got from all kinds of localities, not just areas where the urban educated elite live. I am not saying that he is not popular among this demographic, just pointing out that he is not just popular there. Let us talk about NA 122 that included the following areas:

Garhi Shahu, Baja Lines, Mayo Garden, Zaman Park, ample area of canal road have been taken from previous NA-94 whereas Shadman, Shah Jamal, GOR, Ichhra, Rehmanpura and Samanabad.

Anyone who has visited these areas will confirm that these are not posh, elite, burger areas. I lived in this area for over 20 years, in fact our family moved out of Garhi Shahu exactly because it was not posh at all, it was a very ‘low class’ area for my family. Now, let us look at the ‘official’ results:

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq: 71,420 votes.

Imran Khan: 61,300 votes.

This is almost a 50% divide; so the argument, if we believe these experts, is that 50% of NA-122 is posh, elite, educated, and 50% is not. Nigger Please!!! Stop talking shit. If you do not believe me just visit these areas, and you will know what I am talking about. Who do you think lives here?? Mostly lower middle class individuals, mostly not very educated, and definitely not what our experts believe PTI supporters are like. This is just one example, let me move onto my experience in other locales of Lahore. For instance, NA-118 that includes, Shahdara; now, again my maternal family has always lived in Shahdara, and I have spent over 30 years in the streets of Shahdara. Compared to Shahdar, Garhi Shahu is DHA. Honestly, just get off your ass and visit these areas. Prior to these elections I spent most weekends in Shahdara with the PTI supporters of that area. None of them was ‘educated’, but they were strong PTI supporters. 8 out of 10 people were.

Let us not just stop there let me give you specifics, go to Sayyid Park in Shahdara, a very lower middle class locale, and visit the popular local general store “Waleed Cash and Carry’, and sit down on the steps outside the shop. Observe the people coming in and out of this shop, stop people while there on their way home, and ask them which party they support. It is very likely that the majority will say PTI, the only exception is a family opposite this store who is related to a senior member of the N-league, and stands to gain from their success. If you get bored just get up, and walk to the main road where you will find a Lemonade street hawker, ask him and you will get the same answer. Posh? I don’t think so.

My point is that a lot of these analysts have had their sorry asses stuck in those sorry seats in front of TV cameras and never really bothered to visit these areas unless there is a sensational news story to cover. While, they are completely disconnected with the situation on the ground they are very quick to brand PTI as the party of the elite. It is just irresponsible reporting, and vacuous assertions. Even our celebrity writers have their two-pence to add, while they have not visited this country for years, and even when they do, it is for celebrity appearances at literature festivals, and the like. It is ironic that most of the people who are relegating PTI’s popularity to a specific demographic, belong to the same demographic, and themselves are not supporters of PTI. They have probably never lived in a neighborhood like Shahdara, but are very quick to give an expert opinion. Pathetic. They are creating an artificial divide that does not exist.

As far as I can tell from talking to PTI supporters – educated, uneducated, working class, middle class, moneyed, and poor – the two things that are common in all of them is that they have very high aspirations for this Nation, and that they all love Imran Khan because in him they see the promise of a prosperous, and just Pakistan.

PTI is not the party of the rich or poor, it is the party of everyone who loves Pakistan, and wants Pakistan to prosper! Who care about the future of this country. And such people belong to all walks of life; education is not a prerequisite for such an attitude, people can have good values understanding without education!

We should not let them create this artificial divide, avoid slogans that create this divide of the educated and uneducated. PTI supporters are Pakistanis from everywhere!!

I conclude with this quote:

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

We all love Imran Khan, let us all be courageous, and not lose heart. Let us work hard to have an even stronger party for the next round!

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Protest at Lalik Chowk – “All it takes for evil to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing…”

When I was a little kid I used to play cricket at a neighbor’s house. The younger sibling, who was my age, often received a thrashing. Soon his father started presiding over our cricket matches, and started giving decisions in his favor. Initially I remonstrated in vain, and then I started accepting the biased decisions, and the defeat. In a matter of a few weeks I stopped playing cricket at my neighbor’s house.
What I am saying to PML (N) and MQM, is that “Bitch this aint your abba jee ka ghar. This is my house!

It is disappointing to see people criticizing PTI supporters for this protest. People call us sore losers, they say, “We should accept the mandate that is given by the people.” That is BS. We have no problem in accepting defeat in places we have been defeated, but when there is strong evidence piled against a fair process we refuse to accept defeat there.

The critics, I believe, do not understand our ideology at all. The slogan of change we have rallied behind was not contingent on our winning. Our commitment to changing Pakistan for the better is an absolute, and for us accepting blatant rigging is not an option. These two seats will not bring us into power, we know that, but we are compelled to do the right thing because of our ideology. It is exactly this attitude of accepting corruption that has brought Pakistan where it is today. We promised to be Pakistanis, who will not accept injustice against others or us!

If you have decided to accept this rigging – and you are well aware that there has been rigging – we respect your decision. Respect ours too!

 

 

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Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

For many of us – including myself – who have spent the last few months hoping with all our heart the election results have proven to be a blow that has left us gasping for air. It is not that we expected to completely oust PML (N) from Punjab, but we all hoped for a firm foothold in Lahore. Lahore undoubtedly is  the proxy for the rest of the Punjab – where Lahore inclines the rest of Punjab does too, but the preferences of Lahore take some time trickling down to the rest of Punjab. I feel PML (N) were well aware of this important fact. I firmly believe that there was fowl play when it comes to Lahore, and the preponderance of evidence should leave no doubt in our minds. PTI was strong in Lahore in the early stages of these elections, until PML(N) started getting a firm hold over the rest of Punjab. I am not sure how this was achieved, but once their dominance in Punjab was established, and they emerged as the party that was going to form the government, some levers in the electoral system started moving. The results from all areas of Lahore where PTI was strong were withheld for hours, and whereas early reports showed PTI representatives way ahead, the final results reported their defeat.

Many have been very quick to brand PTI supporters as sore losers when these supporters have questioned the results from Lahore. I feel that it is a very unfair allegation, PTI supporters have been gracious in admitting their defeat in most of Punjab, but they have refused to accept the defeat in Lahore, and rightly so.

So how do we deal with this?

I myself have been very depressed about the results from my beloved city. In moments of doubt I fall prey to believing the results, and on such moments, a feeling of anger, directed towards the inhabitants of this city, surges through my being, and I feel like cursing them for choosing a party that has given us nothing in the past. Such moments pass, and sanity prevails -this corrupt party started exerting its influence as soon as its imminent power was registered in the minds of those who saw themselves at this party’s mercy after these elections. These people who realized their own vulnerability were the first to dance to the will of their new masters. This thought is sobering, and for me it highlights the challenges that we face in changing this country. The challenges are difficult but not insurmountable, they will test our will and commitment, and we must show patience.

IK has given 17 years to this country, what have we given? After all many of us took active part in the politics of this country for the first time in our life. I am not belittling our efforts, unlike most of our critics who like to ridicule our ‘virtual’ participation, I feel that what we have invested in these elections is more valuable than many give us credit for. We have invested our emotions into PTI, and for the right reasons. I want to remind myself that this is the first real challenge we have faced, the many first time political participants; what did we expect? A red carpet rolled in front of us for gracing the political struggles of this country our time?

We should all try and transform into the Pakistanis our imagined Utopian Naya Pakistan will inhabit – responsible, patient, honest individuals, working towards the improvement of our country even when their leader is not in power. There is one thing we should all learn from our Kaptaan – never ever give up!! No matter what happened he kept on moving forward, and at great personal loss. We only have our bruised emotions to nurse, so let us all register this unfair loss, and keep on moving forward with the belief that change has come, its fruits will come too!

We see PML (N) win as a success, but many are brought down by God with successes. We see our loss as a loss, yet many are elevated by God through failure. Coming into power will be a gift from God for our personal transformation, it was never the object of our struggle.

Only Allah gives success! When we truly deserve it!

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What is good about the man-eating tiger?

Well, people want me to have a balanced view, and mention the good things about the man-eating tiger as well. I must admit, I was being biased when I chose to ignore the positives.

The hunt for the man-eating tiger has had very positive unintended consequences for the villages that have historically taken part in this activity. Invariably, it requires a courageous leader who deals the final blow, but the whole village comes together to corner the said beast. It is a venerable ritual, which is necessary of course, and brings the community together behind a leader who rids the village off this curse. So, the greatest benefit is the village rises renewed, as One village!!

Think again, the man-eating tiger serves a noble purpose!!

tiger

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