Why Zardari hates
this ‘love story’
By Shobhaa De, Times of India blog,
30 September 2012
Oho! Love happens. And it has happened. That the love birds happen to be Bilawal Bhutto and Hina Khar, makes this particular ishq-vishq saga most riveting, especially to those of us across the border who have recently been exposed to Khar’s irresistible charms. So irresistible, in fact, that our dapper foreign minister, S M Krishna, who went totally latoo over the lovely lady, behaved like a smitten schoolboy, drooling in her alluring presence and forgetting all about the Indian agenda.
It’s possible he is nursing a broken heart even as young Bilawal (23) and Hina (34) deal with the storm that has been unleashed in Pakistan after a Bangladeshi tabloid ran a juicy expose on the scandal. Bilawal is a bachcha Majnu to Hina’s seasoned Laila. Reports suggest that President Asif Zardari is far from amused by his son’s dangerous liaison with his external affairs minister. Not only is Bilawal the chairman of the ruling Pakistani People’s Party, but he is also the nominated heir to his mother’s and father’s respective legacies. If the love-struck chap does indeed push off to Switzerland to begin a fresh chapter in his life with the begum he adores, the repercussions of such a decision could prove very costly to the government.
The buzz in Islamabad is that old boy Asif plans to rein in his handsome son, and perhaps sack the seductive Khar. Spoilsport! Really Asif miya, we expect you to be far more understanding, given your own personal history. Look at it this way – Bilawal is seriously cute. And loaded. Hina Khar is seriously gorgeous, and married to a loaded guy. Feroz Gulzar, Hina’s smart husband, has rubbished the scoop and called it ‘social media gossip’. Yes, there is an 11-year age difference between Bilawal and the luscious mother of two. So what? Some of the most enduring love stories in the world have been similarly scripted. Think about it – Hina is keen to take the relationship forward, as her love notes to Bilawal establish. Now that their secret is out, there’s no stopping this pyar ki jodi.
‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’ is how we put it in Bollywood lingo. Hina has apparently told Asif to keep his nose out of her ‘personal matters’. This is remarkably gutsy of her, considering it was Zardari who found the two in a ‘compromising position’. Known for his fiery temper and happy relationship with guns, it’s a miracle that the president didn’t reach for his favourite weapon when he walked in on the lovers at his official residence. Instead, he tamely asked for Hinaji’s mobile phone records! No point in such a silly exercise, considering the lady has not bothered to deny anything!
The real fun starts now. Will Zardari have the guts to fire his minister-sahiba? What charges can he frame against her? Will he send Bilawal into exile? Where will that leave the PPP? More importantly, since Bilawal is the one with access to his mother’s considerable (but undisclosed) wealth, how can Daddyji kiss the impressive funds goodbye? Unfortunately, the most dispensable member of the cast is Feroz Gulzar. But blowing him away serves no purpose – it will be one more body in an overcrowded morgue.
There is, however, one solution: India could immediately step in and offer a safe haven to the lovebirds. Why go to Switzerland when there is India? We can create an attractive destination for their nikaah. Maybe throw in a luxury houseboat on Dal Lake for the honeymoon. Sarpanches in Omar Abdullah’s state may not be safe. But he’ll take good care of his mehmaans from across the border. After all, when it comes to matters of the heart, Omar knows a thing or two about unbridled passion.
Apart from asylum in India, we could make life a lot more fun for this couple. As neighbours, we owe them this much. Cross-border romanticism is so much more civilized than cross-border terrorism. Hina can happily shop for pearls and more Birkins in our luxury malls. We can get her to host a talk show and perhaps, design a signature fashion collection. Bilawal could consider Bollywood. This is a fabulous, heaven- sent opportunity to strengthen bilateral relationships between the two nations. Hina Khar has already charmed half the country, and reduced S M Krishna to putty. If India can manage to bag two for the price of one, it will rank as a major political coup.
Come on over, you two. Your honeymoon suite is waiting!
Monday, April 19, 2010
PAKISTAN KHATUMSTAN, WHAT NEXT?
PAKISTAN KHATUMSTAN, WHAT NEXT?
By Shree Vinekar and Seshachalam Dutta
Published 01/06/2008 Indian Politics
Demo-narchy Of Democratic Republic of India – 2
After condemning the brutal assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and with all due sympathies to late Benazir Bhutto’s family, it is imperative to examine the precedence being set by her in the South Asian Subcontinent to perpetuate dynasties within democracies to control the destiny of the country and its political parties from the grave as if these are personal estates that can be bequeathed in ones last will. If political leaders of the country start bequeathing their personal estates through their last will, there would be no questions asked, although any last will could be legally challenged by legitimate interests. If Kings and Queens in the 21st Century appoint their heirs to the throne that may be quite understandable.
There is really no custom or convention in the constitutional law or in the political parties for such a phenomenon. Nepotism during the lifetime of the political leaders is reluctantly accepted by their followers. Bilawal Bhutto, Rahul Gandhi and Pankaj Singh each may be viewed as the heir apparent for their respective party leadership positions in remote future. The difference is Bilawal, as precocious as he is, is appointed as per the last will the chairman of the party in absentia with proxy given to his father Assif Ali Zardari now newly renamed “Bhutto Zardari.”
Bilawal’s lofty statements regarding his faith in democracy and avenging his mother’s assassination through democracy are normal expressions of a grieving and mourning teenager but alas he does not see how democracy is highjacked in his political party. Of course, Pakistan has never been a true democracy and, at the very least, is more immature for a democracy than India. What is interesting though is that the population in India and Pakistan seems to take such developments in their political history in stride without any protestation.
There are ample number of responsible and mature citizens in both countries that not only look askance but justify these practices as necessary given the political immaturity of the population. There are many factors that play a part in such events and this essay will examine the historical, cultural, and other roots of such political immaturity both in Pakistan and India leading to a mindset that prefers “Demonarchy” in the South Asian or Indian Subcontinent. Necessarily the focus will not be exclusively on Pakistan. A non-compartmentalized, compare and contrast, approach will be used to illustrate the phenomena.
Some thoughts on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination from an Indian perspective may be in order prior to delving into the reasons for and consequences of “Demonarchies” in South Asian Subcontinent.
It appears that Benazir Bhutto believed in a form of Islam that does not exist. For example, she believed in a myth that assassination of a woman was unthinkable in Islam. After her reentry into Pakistan even after the attack by suicide bombers who killed 140 individuals she courageously left her position in house arrest admonishing the Muslims approaching her that she was a woman and not to be harmed by a good Muslim. She forgot the pointblank shootings in the head of women by Taliban captured on the video.
She had unwittingly supported Taliban as well as the Saudis among whom the Wahabis routinely behead women. One has to wonder how she developed such conviction of her invulnerability and her faith in chivalrous Muslims and especially in the harmlessness of terrorist Islamists.
Surely she was aware of the risks and had a premonition that she could fall victim to terrorists and so wrote her last will two days before her assassination. It indicates that her convictions regarding no fellow Muslim harming her because of her status as a woman and as a beloved political leader may have been a “denial” of Islam approving homicidal violence against women. She needed such denial, psychologically, and it may have had its unconscious roots in her exposure to Hindu culture. Conversely, this idea of “Islam” as stated in the previous statement does not represent, necessarily, the true spiritual philosophy of Islam but, rather, the skewed and grey-lined idea of primitive fundamentalist Islam which incorporates “laws” punishable by inhumane force.
CULTURAL AFFINITY OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN
This brings us to examine closely the cultural affinity the Pakistani Muslims have with Indian Muslims and Hindu culture rather than the Arabic ethos as erroneously some Muslims would like to believe. Even among the converted Indian Muslims their original caste, skin color, and “khaan-daan” is a major consideration in matrimonial arrangements. They also seem to marry with Muslims speaking the same local language rather than one who speaks only Urdu. Their apparel and food habits and culture are closer to the culture of their domicile state or region. They have friendly relationship with their non-Muslim neighbors and generally they fit in very well in the cosmopolitan cities in India and generally all over India amongst Hindus unless instigated by politicians or terrorist fundamentalist Mullahs.
This fact is not known to many non-Indians and especially the Muslims residing in foreign countries who do not seem to know that India has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia. That is not to deny that many would like to imitate their Arabian Islamic brethren and assume that their original culture was Arabic because their religion took birth in Arabia and/or they were indoctrinated to do so. In actuality most Indian and Pakistani Muslims do not have a biologically speaking Arabic or Middle Eastern racial identity.
They are all typically classified as belonging to an “East Indian” race along with the Hindus in India.
“Yad hai jub utara caravan hamara – Sare Jahanse Accha Hindoasatan Hamara” (Do you remember our caravan coming down here? Our Hindustan is better than the entire world”) are the words of Iqbal, himself a grandson of a Kashmiri Brahmin, reminding the Pakistani and Indian Muslims that they are the descendents of the invaders who entered India on caravans. Such cultural miseducation is deeply rooted in the Pakistani and Indian Muslim minds. For example Pakistan took pride in naming its missile after an invader Ghori but no self respecting Indian will name an Indian missile Alexander although there may be residual Greek “blood” in some Indians.
This has presented a confusion of identity for the Muslims in India and in addition created a serious conflict of loyalty with half their heart pulled to Arabia though those who tried to live in middle East have sadly discovered that their social status in those countries is not elevated simply by virtue of their religion and that the status of Indian or Pakistani Muslims is not equal to that of the Middle Eastern Muslims in the Middle East.
Benazir had the same psychological need to identify with her Western Muslim neighbors rather than accept her cultural roots as Indian Sindhi. Such sympathetic identification may also be a reason for her deluding herself with denial of inhumanities of the Middle Eastern and Afghan fundamental Islam and the reason for her belief in a more humane Islam surrounding her than that was in actuality. Otherwise she would have insisted on stronger security from the government although it can now be questioned whether such was lacking by design.
Muslims of Indian Subcontinent have no distinct linguistic identity
Most Pakistani and some Indian Muslims consider Urdu as their mother tongue instead of Arabic. Urdu is a language born in India with Hindi grammar and structure with Parsee and some Arabic words interspersed. Many Urdu scholars and writers are Hindu, for example, Munshi Premchand. Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee is one such person who is proficient in Urdu and had excellent rapport established with General Parvez Musharraf. Neither Musharraf nor Vajpayee considered India or Pakistan as Banana Republics to allow foreign elements to enter freely to investigate internal matters.
What is amazing in the life and death of this leader, Benazir, is the generic problem of identity incidental to separation and partition from India that is the problem of Pakistan. This problem is in the psychological need to deny that the population of Pakistan has a Hindu soul with all its faults as illustrated below with many examples. The Pakistanis are cut out of the same cloth as the Indian Muslims and even the Hindus of India.
The evidence for this statement is the position of veneration enjoyed by Benazir Bhutto herself. It is only in India where the basic tenet of the society is that “wherever the women are venerated is where even the Gods choose to live.” Where else in the Muslim world other than in the Indian Subcontinent a Muslim woman can be a leader at the helm of a nation? This is true only for Bangladesh once and twice in Pakistan. The latter is still in its identity crisis trying to discover its soul. In Bangladesh there is no question the identity is easy for an average citizen as there is close identification with the Bengali language, literature and culture.
One must admit that Pakistan may have a different religion but not a different national identity as Allama Iqbal conceived. Even Iqbal may not have for psychological and political reasons recognized or accepted that the heart of Hindu soul throbs in all people of the Indian subcontinent. This, of course, cannot be fathomed by Sonia Gandhi, an Italian with legacy of notorious mafia connections and legacy of Nero and most cruel fascist like Mussolini besides her Catholic lineage and limited stay in India during her formative years. She was so quick to accuse the son of the soil, Narendra Modi, of being a “Mout ka saudagar.” It is besides the point that she was promptly reprimanded by the Indian Elections Commission for this expression. Such irresponsible language is inflammatory and adds fuel to fire and the damage done by this distortion may yet to take shape.
Demonization of political opponents presents them as enemies rather than just rivals. The Congress party may have to teach her some manners instead of writing her Hindi speeches in Roman script and setting her up as an empty headed reader. If they do, they may yet win next time even in Gujrat!! Congress when in power has the responsibility to put a stop to creation of a hostile atmosphere. There have been riots even in the times of Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi but they were not blamed then by their political opponents as ‘Moutke Saudagars.” For example 3000 Sikhs were killed in the riots after Indira’s assassination.
The question Sonia and Rahul should have asked in Gujrat was how come the Muslims could not live peacefully and dare to initiate violence against innocent Hindus rather than create a demon out of Modi for responding with bringing the army in to quell the riots on March 1st after they broke out on or around February 28th, 2002, (Godhra train burning of February 27th by terrorists caused these riots) distorted much later by the media who forgot February had only 28 days and not 31 when they reported that Modi waited for 3 days before responding responsibly. It does not behoove well for responsible national leaders and the so called secular media to have such protracted falsifying histrionics over spurious issues that were not any different than with other riots in other eras when the Nehru dynasty was in power; it does not accomplish any good purpose besides further instigating psychotic and sociopathic Islamic terrorists.
As stated in the article on “Terrorism,” Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are two internationally recognized major instigators and state supporters of international terrorism, yet strangely they are the trusted allies of the U.S. The recent political events in Pakistan leading to a deplorable and deteriorating tragic condition with increasing focus on virulent terrorism backfiring on their own leaders needed a word to capture this state of affairs. Sadly in the interest of brevity the authors regrettably choose to do so by using the word “Khatumstan.” The British and U.S. encouragement for poor (rich) Benazir Bhutto to return to her beloved Pakistan turned out to be her last journey to her “Khatumstan.” “Khatum” is a word in Urdu and Hindi that means “end” or “finish.” These encouraging foreign political elements did not ensure her safety. The chaos generated after her death, it is feared, may lead to the end of Pakistan at least as we know it today. If that happens, it may also be called “Khatumstan.” The serious thesis of this article is that both India (Hindustan) and Pakistan have a potential to become “Khatumstans” if the destructive political events are not properly grasped by the leadership of both countries. The shape of both these countries could change if the current fragmenting psychosis is not precipitously diagnosed and treated. There is already great activism by expatriate Pakistani citizens mostly residing in U.K. to begin movement to divide Pakistan into many different countries. See Divide Pakistan to Eliminate Terrorism – Syed Jamaluddin www.dividepakistan.blogspot.com
“US: CNN airs mysterious ‘Divide Pakistan’ advertisements
UK-based author buys spots on news network to advertise book
Times of India
Sunday, March 11, 2007
By Chidanand Rajghatta posting from Washington”
Courtesy “Times of India”
These activists were hoping that Benazir Bhutto would win the elections and support their cause of dividing the country. They were surely dreaming. However, if she lost the elections, they proposed she should become the President of newly created country, Sindhudesh (a new name for Sindh province of Pakistan). All this may be mere hype to sell a book for profits through Amazon.com, it is postulated.
On the other hand, there may be a hand of foreign governments in promoting such exorbitantly expensive propaganda. If so, this leads us to the Part II of our article, Demonarchy in Democratic India-2. There are many American academicians who are predicting that India too will be divided into many countries. Then with such Balkanization as was the fate of Yugoslavia, it will be a Federation of Pakistani states and Federation of Indian states that will emerge in the South Asian subcontinent.
There are many lessons to be learned from the recent events in Pakistan for India. Given the similarity of psychological gestalt of Indian and Pakistani population, regardless of religion, the fragmentation could easily occur if not guarded against with some form of unifying identity which poets like Iqbal tried to instill but may have failed in doing so. Similarly in India there has been any number of visionaries who have tried to unite Hindus or notably also Mahatma Gandhi who tried to unite the entire population both Hindus and Muslims on the basis of a common racial identity and have not succeeded spectacularly. Therefore, both countries are easy prey to the cunning political or even religious imperialistic interests wielding divide and rule tactics. Alas, both countries have failed to recognize who their true friends and foes are and have been taken on a ride for nearly a century now focusing their animosities on each other draining their economies to defend against each other while some other parties are constantly amused and profiting.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
First, dynasties die hard even in a democracy. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi representing UPA and Congress can be read like a book by the majority of Gujratis and recognized as fake and lacking in substance. Their sympathies were clearly for the terrorists as expressed by their reluctance to support the Supreme Court decision vigorously supported by Narendra Modi. Name calling a law abiding Chief Minister of Gujrat, a “soudagar of mout” or “merchant of death” for insisting that law of the land be followed especially after the heart of India was systematically attacked by the brutal terrorist was quite absurd. It exposed their lack of loyalty to the victims of terrorism. Such tactics of vote bank placation for solicitation of political favors are quite transparent besides subtly encouraging terrorists against those who oppose them.
Presuming that their dismal defeat in Gurjat is a preview of their fate in the ensuing elections, one can envision the replication of what happened in Gujrat in almost all other states except West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. In the event such wishful thinking does not actualize, one needs to envision future consolidation of dynastic rule in the Indian Republic. If that happens, the Pakistan and Saudi Arabia supported terrorism is likely to show an upheaval. The rest of India will need to recognize that to maintain its present economic engine in the same current momentum terrorism needs to be totally eliminated from India. That means there is no room for sympathizers of terrorists in the Indian politics.
Naturally, it is time that UPA and Congress seek an unceremonious exit from the Indian Political scene in all states. Otherwise under the fake banner of “Secularism” these parties will continue to support minorities defending minority terrorism rather than aligning with the mature, modern, progressive peace loving and anti-terrorist Muslims and other minorities that will pledge allegiance with India that is Bharat.
They are the “soudagars of fake secularism” using the word “secularism” as a marketable shield against a demonized “communalism.” In so doing they will blatantly and subtly support terrorism, cause divisiveness, and unrest in the population at large. What they forget is that even what they call communalism is a phenomenon that springs in reaction to age old endemic terrorism.
The goal of uniting Hindus should not be any less noble than ecumenical movement among the Christians. It would be absurd to call ecumenical efforts communalism. The dynasty survives in India using such illogical psychological warfare with people, constantly profiting from dividing the society rather than trying to unite it, because it buys the vote bank.
Secondly, India is like Pakistan divided by different languages and cultural identities and more so. Currently, the secular Indian identity is not the mode for the majority. Ideally, the standard of secular humanistic nationalism dreamed by developed countries is one divorced from race, religion, language, caste and class, and culture. Such nationalism needs to be the binding force for uniting the entire population of India. Let us face it; India is far from reaching this stage. Pakistan too has the same problem. So long as there is no oath of allegiance for every citizen to be loyal to his or her country, the question of secular national identity becomes moot. There is reluctance among Indians to accept the basic identity of Hinduness and Hindu culture as what is uniting India.
The Bollywood movies and songs smuggling in Hindi language through the movies in many states might lead to a common culture or pop-culture, but that will not arouse the national sentiments in the people to give a unity of spirit. Just on the side, the most cordial relationship between Muslims and Hindus in the Bollywood Film Industry since 1896 is quite remarkable and attests to their humane and human friendship. Just as even in a mature democracy like U.S. politicians routinely respect the “faith” of their constituency and openly align with it in a generic fashion, the politicians in India will need to use this cultural identity to establish rapport with their constituency which forms the majority. Building constituency for political leaders is a major challenge. After the end of the Independence movement and unity against the British, the Indian National Congress has not found any burning overriding principles or issues to develop and foster a national identity. There is no charismatic visionary leader swaying Indian population at large with issues like the social reforms, infrastructure development, national security, anti-terrorism, uniform sustained economic growth and development, elimination of poverty and corruption, uplifting of the disadvantaged, uniform civil code, better government, competing with China in manufacturing, maintaining sustained double digit economic growth, improved healthcare, sound foreign policy, entry into UN security Council, strategies to prevent fragmentation of the country, better educational opportunity for the masses and other widely appealing agendas in a manifesto that a common man on the street can identify with, speaking his/her language. Such talents could develop a constituency in a secular society. Rahul does not seem to have a potential to foot this bill.
In the absence of such secular National leadership, with hypnotizing but sincere appeal to all Indians, the Hindu cultural identity or identification with underprivileged masses, chosen by Mayavathi, as a medium to build a national constituency become viable alternatives. It is never to be anti-national and divisive in nature, in fact, always it is more nationalistic as well as hopefully all inclusive. To accuse such identity as “communal” and those adhering to such identity “saudagars of Dharma” in a pejorative manner is unrealistic. The Majority will wise up to it.
Having a strong identification with the majority is not to be looked down upon. The corrupt thinking that such identification only means that the politician will treat all minorities as second class citizens comes from a paranoia based upon the experiences with the Muslim regimes of the past and is also a vestige of the Colonial era. It is now sixty years since independence. It is high time that Indian people not remain paranoid and brain washed with Jawaharlal Nehru’s antiquated world view about such matters, although it has been swallowed lock, stock, and barrel by the so-called secular English media in India.
If strong efforts are not made by the majority across the length and breadth of India to unite, we can speculate that it will not be too long before we see foreign activism, interference, and financing to fragment India just like the current thrust in fragmenting Pakistan. The current exploitation of a positive transference to the name Nehru and Gandhi is not sufficient to produce a strong nationalistic unifying power like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Rahul is not competent and cannot hold a candle to Jawaharlal Nehru or Indira Gandhi, leave alone Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Weak demonarchs like Sonia and Rahul will not only stymie and stifle even more talented and competent Congress politicians from growth in their popularity within and outside the Congress Party but will also create increasingly weak center that is difficult for people of India to identify with besides silly preference for dynasty rewarding incompetence at the helm of the nation.
That will lead to more powerful autonomous states like Gujrat and Tamilnadu, etc. which might seek separation from the Center especially if instigated by foreign powers. This is only a scenario and not the authors’ reading of the character of these states. The cursory look at the World history should show that the British and other Colonial European powers are adept at surreptitiously fueling violence between different “groups” and profiting by selling arms to both sides and later patronizingly come back with a price to establish peace in the same region they had ignited. India and Pakistan have been made fools once in the Kashmir conflict but are targets for many such future conflicts.
It can be easily surmised that Balochistan, Sindh, Pakhtoon, etc., are easy future targets like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and may be even states much closer to Delhi. These elements have been well suppressed by the military rule in Pakistan but will be difficult to handle if flare up in India. It is crucial therefore that Narendra Modi be recognized as being on target for providing a solution for strong India relying on the National Hindu Unity in the interest of national security and national integrity.
The usual mistake is to misinterpret that Hindus if united are only doing so to bully or fight the minorities. There is no historical basis for such paranoia.
Jawaharlal Nehru was quite astute in recognizing that the Hindu culture was the uniting force for the Indian people as he clearly expressed it in his book “Discovery of India” as “Unity in Diversity,” but his political acumen recognized that political leaders of the Majority will be his strong political rivals and he consciously or unconsciously became averse to them and implemented a divide and rule politics which he had learned so well from the British for political survival. It is conceivable though that if 800 million Hindus unite and organize themselves they may be a formidable force and not to be bullied with irrationalities as is the current plight of the non-united Hindus. Hindus will need to have a social reform to eliminate social evils in their own society and likewise to not allow other primitive people impose their primitive culture and laws upon the women and children of India no matter what religion they belong to.
Freedom to practice ones religion to attain spiritual peace is not to be construed as freedom to encroach upon other peoples’ rights, for example, by polluting the atmosphere with high decibel sounds all hours of the day and night even against the ordinances of the City (and the police) under the name of practice of religion. Such irrationalities will need to be curbed by placing pressure by the majority. Nonviolent persuasion will be the best policy and non-corrupt enforced law and order among the majority and minority will be the next avenue. Modi will be able to demonstrate it in his state of Gujrat. All citizens will need to be educated to carry their civic responsibility.
Third, although there is no central military rule in India the accusation that the Indian government is a Brahmin-Bania (Bumman-Bania) majority venture is like Punjabi Muslims being in control of Pakistan, its politics, economics, business, real estate, and military. Similar perception about India will be deleterious, if it persists sixty years after the independence, although the highly educated barristers and other politicians who led the freedom movement and inherited the political power in India were from the privileged classes.
The solution to this problem is to make education available to all Indians and especially to the underprivileged and encourage higher education in all fields for the underprivileged lower socioeconomic classes regardless of caste or OBC (“Other Backward Classes”) status. This thrust will eventually encourage young men and women from all classes and castes, minority and majority communities, to enter politics to partake in the governance of the country. If this is not done rapidly the divisive elements will replicate what is happening in Pakistan in India.
The question, “What next,” applies to the fate of both countries that have same flaws in their mindsets at a deeper level. India has no room to be complacent while Pakistan is rapidly disintegrating. India too could be on the verge of similar problems because of the weak dynasty trying to hold the fort at the center. It cannot be denied that neither Sonia nor Rahul have the command over the Indian public nor the organizational skills like those demonstrated by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Both countries, India and Pakistan, though not equal, are beset by the same faults. One of them is the irresistible loyalty to dynasties running contrary to democratic traditions, yet trying to fashion a Western type of democracy. This situation is fertile for foreign interference and control to use the puppet masters of the state to achieve the goals of other imperialistic countries. That may be what that threatened the insecure elements in Pakistan that may have sensed foreign hand in Benazir Bhutto’s return. Bilawal and his deputed acting chairman of the party, his father, may also be vulnerable to similar paranoid reactions and perceptions when the time comes for them to assume the helm of the country.
How can there be democracy where there is no democracy internally in the political parties partaking in the democracy? Besides, the morality and ethics, if not the legality, of such practices goes unquestioned. Nineteen year old son not even eligible for party membership is bequeathed the throne of the party with his father as his acting deputy. (Incidentally, Bilawal’s father was once nicknamed Mr. 10% Zardari for his corruption.) This resembles Akbar’s ascension to throne at age of 13 when the concept of democracy did not exist, but Zardari is no non-corrupt Birbal known for his genius. Bairon Khan was the guardian of Akbar who got rid of him in 4 years choosing Birbal as his friend, guide, and philosopher.
With all of her Oxford education Benazir Bhutto observed the tradition of the subcontinent, married one approved or chosen by her mother, unlike Rajiv Gandhi; she behaved like the Moghul kings of the past in naming her heir to the throne. She was sadly assassinated without provocation while Rajiv was a victim of his own military misadventure in Sri Lanka, sending Indian army to kill his fellow Indians settled there.
In the unlikely event of his being elected, will Bilawal bring Western style of “secular” peaceful democracy (secular may be a misnomer for a theocracy which Pakistan truly is) or will he relapse into the nativity on his return is the question, — as this happens with so many Western educated leaders who on their return to their homelands have half forgotten the values they learned, if they learned them at all at Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard.
The education of children of political leaders of developing countries in these Universities is a sham unless they are inherently brilliant like Jawaharlal Nehru or King Husain of Jordan. Their social promotion is guaranteed and looked askance by faculty for these independently wealthy students who are the political pawns of the future who are sure to return to their countries of origin to assume power and present no threat to employment market, local workers, or professionals. Their Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard qualifications are more often ornamental and are never verified by local employment experts in human resources department as is the sole privilege of the commoners and not of the “royalty” in demonarchies!!
These monarchs in democracy do not have to go through background check to have access to higher than top security issues or documents, with or without official position in the government. They can be the easy targets for foreign espionage and control, so they can maintain stability in the region by catering to their masters. Even though accused of mega corruptions they can repeatedly assume power defying the public interest using their political power and positions to quash the investigative or judicial processes.
Is weakened Pakistan a favorable situation for India? No, if it means upper hand for the primitive Islamists in Pakistan including their terrorist training grounds. Promoting the think tanks to formulate the impact of fragmented Pakistan or some form weakened Pakistan, if not “Khatumstan,” on the west of India is an urgent necessity.
The progressive, moderate, and educated Muslims who love democracy in India and who love India and have been enjoying peaceful pursuit of their businesses and careers need to join these think tanks and help Hindus and other Indians understand that there are truly peace loving friendly civic minded Muslims in India that want a strong India devoid of terrorist threats, and they too desire peaceful and harmonious society. They, too, are against Islamic terrorism just like Benazir Bhutto was during her lifetime. They need to be willing to accept the just and judicial consequences proffered to identified terrorists and any actions taken to redress the past injustices of imperialistic terrorism perpetrated upon the Hindu majority in India.
The economic growth of India is in the ultimate interest of all including minorities choosing to live in India, and also beneficial for Pakistan and Bangladesh. Hindu majority has been uniquely hospitable to all religions historically for 2000 years and will continue to be hospitable if not aggressed upon in the democratic Republic of India. There have been millions of Gandhis among the Indian Hindus in 5000 years who espoused Ahinsa (Non-violence). Mahatma Gandhi was a product of this culture. Fighting the majority and creating disturbances of peace is hardly the way to go. If this is not recognized and peaceful coexistence is not urgently implemented, the Pakistan Khatumstan history could repeat in India within a matter of few years. India probably has a special obligation to help stabilize Pakistan, if called upon, to ensure anti-terrorism oriented stable government in Pakistan.
There is all the more need now to have friendly relationship with Pakistan as initiated by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Demonarchy thrives on divisiveness. The dynasty and demonarchy that engages in fragmenting Indian society and promulgating divisive policies must be seen as doomed in India, if India is to progress in the 21st Century. The Muslims and Hindus in India need to come together and not be further divided by vote-seeking politicians, for ultimate economic prosperity of the sub-continent through practice of mature democracy. For this to occur, “de-monarchization” needs to begin promptly (see previous articles for definitions) in India and hopefully in Pakistan too to prevent demonarchization of democracy. The people of both countries need to first become keenly aware of these phenomena to begin this process.