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Sunday, July 1, 2012

When "It" Hits The Fan

Original Article: Daily Times
Date Published : June 14, 2012
Link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C06%5C14%5Cstory_14-6-2012_pg3_2


In our land, dearly known as the 'land of the pure', let us make no mistake, we are very straightforward. We have two distinct groups of people: angels or devils. There is no room for anyone in between. Anyone who we disagree with or want to be shredded to pieces is immediately transported to the depths of hell. After all we are the only nation supposedly built in the name of a divine faith. We chant the meaning of Pakistan and equate it to the oneness of the Almighty, but God forbid, love to play as one ourselves, very conveniently forgetting that heaven or hell are concepts beyond our utter comprehension. It is a decision that solely rests on the Almighty's discretion.

Last week, I had briefly made a comment about myself that I consider myself a realist. I do not consider myself a liberal or conservative. I have shades of both within me, depending upon what I encounter, what the issue at hand is. When the Almighty sent close to 1.24 million messengers to this world, the idea was to forewarn mankind. The messengers were couriers of the Divine. They were sent as a guide, a model, or an educator. No messenger made the claim that he would eradicate evil. Because, in our system of belief, we agree that good and evil reside side by side. Always have, always will. Until the final day. The Holy messengers guided us how to decipher the two, and where to seek refuge when desires and temptations overpower us.

Without drifting into any major theological debate, I would say that good and evil are parts of all of us. I know, at least a sinner like me carries both of these forces within myself. No wonder the concept of the angels accounting for all our actions was explained to me in my childhood. At this age, I have realised that all humans perhaps share the same experiences within themselves. The faith teaches us how to suppress the negative forces within ourselves, as there is a fear of complete accountability ahead. Hence, in summation, I do not consider any person living or dead perfect, except the ones who belong in the category of the 'Couriers of the Divine' or their immediate followers. The rest of us are all mere mortals, full of flaws and sins.

So if the readers are thinking that I have lost my marbles and I am hell bent on giving them some sort of sermon, let me clarify. A few days ago, in the Twitter sphere, some 'psyops' started to surface. Some noted journalists started to forewarn that a 'mother of all conspiracies' was about to unfold. I will touch on the conspiracy mantra some other day, but I laughed at that psychobabble as those people started to peddle that all hell would break loose, and this and that. Come to think of it, our nation has gone through so many scandals and so-called conspiracies that I somehow had an unyielding faith in the shock absorbing resilience of our nation.

Then came a YouTube discussion and what ensued subsequently is common knowledge. However, the sky is still intact and all seems to be fine and dandy. What I found amusing was how some nightly opinion makers had declared it a 'conspiracy to malign the judiciary'. I just questioned myself. How can one individual be the entire judicial system? So in any sport its tantamount to saying that if a captain is perhaps unable to play for whatever reason, the entire team will be unable to function. Silly logic, and with a due apology, I do not buy it. It is not the individual but institutions that matter. No person, no matter how strong he or she may be, represents an entire institution.

The same nightly anchors take the politicians and their offspring to task almost every night. No holds are barred and a Pandora's Box of aspersions, innuendos and doubts is opened in front of the public with relative impunity. Yet, the underlying theme of this affair is that it is perhaps a brainchild of the same evil and conniving politicos. I am not here to defend anyone because I do not place anyone, whether it is a politician, general, religious leader or a jurist on any holy pedestal. All of them are mere mortals, with their share of good and evil within them. I judge people based on their actions and not their rhetoric. With that being said, I do not buy into any conspiracy theory.

In this day and age when information is at our fingertips, only people with low self-worth and esteem can classify people into an absolute angel or devil category. They create this imaginary persona of an angel and try to rationalise everything within their imagination to paste on their so-called 'demigod'. So everything that demigod does is justified, whether it is right or wrong. I repeat this is another form of psychobabble.

Moving on to the concept of entrapment in this particular case, I laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair. Let me offer this as a very simplistic example. When you turn your idiot box on, the advertisers are bombarding you with enticing offers almost 24/7. Do you go and buy everything that the 'evil' capitalistic advertisers are trying to convince you to buy? No matter how cute the jingle is and how attractive the model may be (female or male, I want to remain neutral here), you make your buying decisions based on logic, reasoning and personal need. Any impulsive buy typically hits you in the pocket book and you often regret it. Many gifted analysts have opined on this issue so I will follow their lead. There is something that our mothers teach us at a very tender age. It is not to accept candies or any other goodies from strangers. I am sure, most of us were taught that and it is a foundation for our basic critical thinking skills. So was the lad set up? I think not. Even if he was, he knew or should have remembered the basic lesson of his mother.

With this episode, a new conflict has emerged as well, the conflict within the nightly ringmasters of the tube. The mud-slinging campaign has begun and the dirty laundry of one another is being aired. Barbs are flying, legal notices are being served and as they say, 'it' has started to hit the fan. The recurring theme to subdue one another is the connection with any foreign agency or people, or dubious elements within the local society. In sum, the patriotism, morality and ethics of one another are being questioned. As the saying goes, patriotism is the last refuge of you know who. Exposure and expose are the operative words here. Reminds me of the old fairy tale chant of 'Mirror mirror on the wall.' Let it be. Let us see the real faces of many, no matter how ugly they may be. After all we are humans, with all our flaws. Let the piety and righteousness of some and perhaps all, hit the proverbial fan. In the end my point will be proved, that there are no absolute angels or devils within or around us.


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