Press Club and the New Generation of Reporters!

Press Club yesterday had arranged a ceremony in honor of Mr. Qazi Junagarhi, a journalist/author, and for Raees Fatima, also an author, columnist and a retired professor, and the life partner of Mr. Qazi. It was during the ceremony that this strange thought came to my mind. The occurrence of this particular thought was due to a reporter who made it clear to me how intelligent are our reporters and the people who hire them.

Asking questions to Raees Fatima, he asked her what this book was about, and which cities had been included in this book of her which is about her travels in India. This particular journalist was only interested in making a news that was to be a part in the newspapers of today. And thus he just kept insisting that she tell him what the entire book is about, which in my opinion he should have bothered to read and then put a news about.In his defense he just kept saying that he is here to make a news item and not to write a critique on the book.

Insistently she finally told her about what she has written giving enough details so that he can make his story for the paper. She told him her vies about the Indian city and then mentioned that it was great going to India for she was also from the city of Allahabad. And then the reporter goes ahead and asks her “But isn’t Allahabad in Bangladesh?”

Allahabad has been a prominent city in our history and it was therefore shocking to me that this reporter from a leading Urdu newspaper didn’t know where Allahabad is. This made me realize that thought the number of newspapers and television channels may have increased but the intellectual levels of our reporters is deteriorating by the day.

Press Club was an exclusive club and a majestic building. Getting membership into the Press Club was an honor. Years of struggles against dictatorship had been conducted from this very Club, namely against Zia-ul-Haq. Journalism and Journalist therefore were not only given respect and honor but were also looked upon in awe. These people not only managed to go out and search for the stories that they wanted but they also found a way to say what they had to.

Minhaj Burna, a prominent name in Urdu Journalism, was a member of this great club, and it was from inside these walls that he had launched a struggle for a press media and press during the Zia regime.

Ex-president Musharraf may claim to have given a lot of freedom to the media and it is true that it was during his tenure that the number of private channels increased threefold. But that is one side of the story. The institutions to carter to this demand haven’t been increased in the same way. And it is maybe that’s why that we have reporters that have no idea even where a prominent city like Allahabad, which not only played a great role in the struggle of Independence but also produced some great writers of our time, existed.

So maybe it is not entirely true to blame the reporters, but then knowledge can not only be found in Institutes.

Iran….Busy revisiting History!

Today while watching the news, a certain new item could not help but give me a sense of nostalgia. This nostalgia, for me also meant a sign of what I have been hoping for.. no reasons that I quite don’t understand myself yet.

Since the start of this dispute, I had followed the news on Iran almost religiously, and some how feeling that this is going to be the event that will bring the next revolution in Iran. And I didn’t want to miss a single moment of that. It seems some how that revolution comes naturally to Iran. From the revolutionary election result of 1951, to the overthrow of the Shah as a result of the Shia Revolution, it just seems that the land of Iran has yet to find stability in the arena of Politics atleast.

Today, it was the following news that made it for certain that Iran actually might be on the brink of revolution. The news on BBC read as follows:

UK fury as staff arrested in Iran

This headline to me bought back memories of an incident that happened at a similar revolutionary point in the history of Iran. The headline then read

Student Occupy Consulates

Does this actually is an indication that a change is about to come? Already the relationships between the UK and Iran have been pretty strained due to the constant accusations that the West has been meddling in its internal affairs. Will this be the final dent in the relationships between the West and the East? Is this going to be one more step in defining the future of Iran?

This sense of nostalgia was also shared by South Carolina Native William Belk, 79, who had been one of the hostages in the 1979 revolution. He instantly became an iconic figure when he appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine blindfolded.

Watching the recent events unfold on the streets of Tehran, he described them simply “It’s about time…My heart goes out to the people in the streets …..It’s horrendous when a country with the power (Iran) has, has to go through something like this….But I thought it was inevitable. People don’t like dictatorships, and that’s basically what they have there now.”

The entire world is sitting holding its breath to see what happens the next. And there are many who are on the side of Iran .. always repeating the same old line that it is all the doing of the Western Intelligence, but my answer to them has been that it is always the system itself that provides opportunity for a revolution.

It was true when the revolution knocked on the door of France, when the monarchy had completely forgotten about its people and indulged in its own whims. The same was true when the revolution came in Russia in the 1917, when people had grown tired of the Czars. It was true for Cuba, and the United States of America itself when they revolted against the British Empire in great episodes like the Boston Tea Party.

And the same is true for Iran today. It is when the system is no more in line with the wishes and demands of the people, when the system itself has gone very very wrong that the chance comes along to attack it and change it. These events might never have happened in Iran today if the system wasn’t failing, if the system hadn’t allowed for corruption to step into it. This system was accepted by the people 30 years ago because they had hope in it. But today the hope is gone, and maybe this is why the system should go too.

Pakistani Men.. the great mystery!

They used to claim that it is a hard job to get what women are actually saying.. But I would like to disagree with that famous myth. Instead I am here with my own special thesis. And this thesis claims that it is highly difficult a job to understand men especially if they happen to be Pakistani.

There is a strange thing about Pakistani women. I would like to discuss these symptoms in a systematic manner. Let’s start with the number one issue.

1. THEY ALL WANT A VIRGIN, BEAUTY WHILE THEY CAN HAVE ONE LEG AND AN EYE:

This is not so much a symptom as a disorder. The Pakistani Men can be blind, deaf, impotent, or have no dick at all, have one leg, can be the ugliest men on the face of the planet, but still his wife has to be the version of the moon itself. She has to be pretty, petite, tiny, dependable, and ready to give it to him whenever he wants. She must a good housewife, and ready to make as many beautiful babies (read sons) as possible, be a good daughter to the mother in law and serve her husband as well as the entire family. The brides must also provide her with a huge dowry or her life can be miserable. She must bring all the comforts with her, as well as provide all the comforts for as long as she may live. Oh.. And she must also take the blame if her husband is impotent for being the one with a “Problem”

2. THEY ALL WANT TO CONQUER THE CAREER WOMEN AND WIN THE BATTLE ONE WOMEN AT A TIME BY MAKING THEM HOUSEWIVES:

The next psychological trend/disorder that you would find existing in most of the men in Pakistan is that nowadays there is a going demand for educated women. The trend is mostly due to the rising number of multi nationals, where one’s male ego is hurt just too much if their wives can’t wear caprice, and sleeveless and flirt and debate about the intellectual world around them and praise the bosses by admiring their almost nonexistent intelligence. They want wives about whom they can boost. But the career.. ahum.. that has to be stopped almost as soon as the girl says “Kabool Ha (I accept)” – our eastern version of I do. Because after all “agar tum kam karo ge to bache kon sambhale ga (If you are going to work then who is going to take care of the kids). So thus the Pakistani men can rejoice at this moment very happily as they have got one more women sitting inside the house. They have cured one more women from the sickness that is called “career-oriented” and made them be what God intended them to be. Cheers to you, Pakistani Men!

3. THEY ALL THINK THAT NO MATTER WHAT SORT OF A GIRL SHE IS, SHE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO ADJUST TO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING:

The men of this grand land, I think, give little or no importance to the background that the girl comes from. They expect that well since she is moving away, she might as well understand that it is she that would have to adjust to everyone, from the Masi (the maid) to the old-almost-but-not-quite-dead-great grandmother, who looks more like a pece of relic than a human. And I am almost certain that they feel proud about it, since they have bought the sinful image of a women to the right path. Girls coming from moderately secular houses are married off to big beards to wash the sins of their daughters and give them a Rahe Haq (The right direction…. which in most cases means the religious direction)

This is a section that is to continue.. wait for as I study more and more the psycology of the Pakistani men !

Did you break a glass? Go ahead, blame the Zionist!!

It has always been an Eastern tradition that whenever something wrong happens in your own country, without a single thought blame the West, the USA in particular and the Zionist Lobby in specific. The West has been involved in twisting around the political outcome of the East many many times. And therefore the mistrust is not without some concrete foundation.

Front cover of Tehran Mosavar, a Tehran weekly, showing the events of the coip detat in 19 Aug. 1953

Front cover of Tehran Mosavar, a Tehran weekly, showing the events of the coip d'etat in 19 Aug. 1953

The hand that the CIA played in sponsoring the War of Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. This included not only throwing in the money, but also weapons and training, thus making this the largest ever covert operation by the CIA. The profile of the CIA goes on to include the overthrow of many of the governments in the East, which includes Iran as well.The 1953 government of Iran when Mohammad Mosaddeq was in power, with the support for his nationalistic ideas among the people. He wanted what was the right of the Iranian people, to get the profits out of the oil reserves of Iran, which were being harassed by the UK. The events so formed that the single biggest investment of the British Government, the Anglo Iranian Oil Company was nationalized. This resulted in a huge rift between the two governments, so much so that the UK tried to get the USA on its side for a coup against the most popular government in Iran. Although President Trueman refused, but President Eisenhower was all up for the idea. And therefore in 1953, the CIA and the British SIS orchestrated a coup d’etat that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh.”

At the time, it might have felt as a victory for the West, but since then it has resulted in a mistrust, that has yet to be sub-sided. The USA also had to pay for this during the 1979 Shia Revolution in Iran, when the embassy was taken up as a hostage, and not only humiliated on the streets of Tehran but was also kept hostage for almost a year.

People from the Embassy were humiliated on the streets of Tehran and kept hostages for almost a year.

People from the Embassy were humiliated on the streets of Tehran and kept hostages for almost a year.

After all that has happened, it is not a very shocking revelation to say that the East can never find it easy to trust the West. This, recently in the case of Iran became very obvious when initially the Supreme Leader, Ali Khameni, made it clear that the enemy wants to make people believe that they have been fooled. It started 3 months ago. I have been hearing enemies saying repeatedly that the elections will be fraudulent. They had been preparing months in advance…….The enemies are trying through their media – which is controlled by dirty Zionists. The Zionist, American and British radio are all trying to say that there was a competition between those who support and those who didn’t support the state.”

But the danger of this trend is now that everuthing is blamed on the USA or the Zionist and the Eastern countries automatically feel free from any responsibilty on their own behalf. The Iranian Government simply blamed the “enemy” without any investigation and then sat back to relax.

The fault came forward yesterday when the Guardian Council admitted that there has been fraud in the elections, as the number of votes exceeded the population in many cities. The amount of the rigged votes is almost around 3 million but it still has to seen whether, as the powerful council’s spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei pointed out, “the amount is decisive in the election results”

What are you doing, Iran?

This post comes amidst great emotional turmoil as a girl named Nda was murdered as a result of the confrontation between the riot police and the protesters who have been protesting for almost a week now against the election result.

Iran was, if not the ideal state, but still was a symbol of religion and polictics in perfect harmony. But the recent events have shaken everyone to the core. This is not Islam, neither it is humanity.

Shiaism was a sect that have mourned for the tragedy of the Proaphets grandson who was killed with his family in Karbala, for he dared to raise his voice against the wrong, and the dictator.

Are you not today letting  the same tragedy reoccur on your own soil? Aren’t you killing the innocent who just want to know the truth, and are standing against what is wrong, in the face of force and injstice? How can you mourn Karbala when you are busy creating one yourself as we breathe here? How can you mourn the death of  Imam Hussain when you are becoming the Yazid for so many families .. when you are the Yazid of Neda’s family?

Iran Iran.. A new mess in the World Politics

As a Muslim nation, that has had some difficult relationships with the almighty USA, one thing that was always worth being proud about in the case of Iran was the seemingly peace and order that was within its own border. It seemed for 30 years to all of us that within the people were acceptable of the way things were being run and that the government had complete support of its own people.

But the recent elections have proved that it was in a fact a pressure cooker waiting to bust open!

With Iran having a population of almost 66,429,284, whee 70% of the population can read and right and almost 72.9% within the age bracket of 15 – 64, it was the vote of the youth that was predicted to determine the outcome, and maybe this is why it is no shock that almost one million people, stretching at almost 8 km, took to streets as Ahmedenijad was declared President for a second term.

With the unemployment rate almost as high as 12.5%, it is no shock that the slogans of “CHANGE” might have certainly inspired some hope for the youth of Iran, as they must have seen the same slogan giving America new chance.

The sermon on the Friday prayers was to be a historical one, as people across the globe listened with just as much hope that this might bring some change. But the regime is still supporting the result of the elections and standing besides Ahmedinijad as strongly as ever.

The sermon although not entirely being what was hoped for, had some good points nonetheless. It was utterly amazing the way the Supreme leader agreed with the fact that their system would no doubt is not corruption free, and that there is still room for improvement. But even then he was with the results of the election. But the similar pattern of bad mouthing the western media and the world was also very much there.But it was also no doubt wonderful to see that they have now diverted their hatred towards the USA foreign policy and not the entire nation.

I think that the irony of the present day Iran is that it has the majority of youth that has aspirations,like any other youth of the world in any other part of the world, and that is why it is not necessary that they find the same comfort in a revolution that doesn’t come up to the ideological believes of this generation. This is also something that was obvious during the rallies and the election campaign. The majority that could be seen in the rallies of Mir Hussein Mosavi were universities students .. this would explain the raid at university dormitories, arrest of university professors and teachers.

The youth of Iran supporting the reformist Leader, Mir Hussein Mosavi

The youth of Iran supporting the reformist Leader, Mir Hussein Mosavi

On the other hand, the people that you would find in the rallies of Ahmedinijad were mostly those that still have the same spirit of revolution in them that possessed the spirit of Iran 30 years ago. They not only continue to support the nuclear program in Iran, that would, in the minds of many of the youth, lead to trouble with the USA government. These people are anti- Western world and don’t even want to open up their minds to the  Western World, while the Mosavi campaign had the youth on its side, which is not only mild towards the Western World, but even welcomed the speech of President Barrack Obama.

The drama of the election still continues and it is far from being over, as the opposition took to the streets again today after the warning from the Supreme Leader. As people sit nervously in their seats, waiting either for the next big revolution, already nicknamed as the “Velvet Revolution”, or the biggest clash of ideologies, the Iranian Election drama is a long way from being done.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?

Layout 9Last night browsing through channels as i spent my Saturday evening home, I found this movie.. and i caught it from the start.. The movie is absolutely hilarious and real. This is how the modern documentaries should be.. about the people.

The documentary has achieved it.. with contacting people on the streets and asking their views directly instead of interviewing people sitting in their highly polished offices having no idea about how the people – the majority actually feels about a situation.

I think that for Morgan himself it turned out to be more than just the ordinary search for the most wanted man in the world. For him it was an emotional connection with all the people. The documentary had a personal touch to it.

The documentary follows the footsteps of Osama Bin Laden himself, and what is astonishing is it that it was the common uneducated man, who clearly pointed out that in the midst of all the poverty, it is a very difficult job to keep the kids from following the path of fundamentalism, which promises you not only haven but also VIRGINS in the after life.

What was most astonishing to me was his interviews or his efforts to interview kids from the high school.. not only does it become obvious the lack of freedom that they hold to speak their minds out but also that they have absolutely been brainwashed and have no thinking of their own.

It also became obvious that the Saudi are more than anything are afraid of their position in the world. They want to make sure that the world thinks that they are on the American side while they keep supporting the radical Wahhabism that they have created.

Overall, the mission might have failed for Morgan, but it was an excellent movie!