Comments: “MADRASSA EDUCATION 2014: CHALLENGES AND REFORMS”

While I had more or less resigned from this blog of mine, and moved to other things, I am writing here today as a favor to a friend and giving my comments on the above mentioned report that has been researched and can be found on the following link.

In the light of the recent events – primarily 16/12 and the overall way in which the dynamics of the global politics has shaped in the last one decade, this topic of Madrassa Education and reforms has become one of special importance.


And while the report for me touches on a lot of serious topics, about registrations and the curriculum and mode of education, etc., it still remains very superficial.

The most common mistake that we keep on making as a nation is that we are able to point out the problems, but the conversion of such points into law and then having them implemented without any interference from any party or stakeholders involved is the challenge and that is where the report lacks!

The research and the history of the issue is all there – and forms a credible base with verified and good sources. But when it comes to the part which will influence the change, it’s all about should be’s”.

Let me elaborate – Consider this point from the report “Adequate portion of the education budget should be allocated for financing teachers and
graduates”

1. Why could this not have been written as “Will be allocated”?

2. Why not dictate how much of the budget will you be allocating?

3. Who is going to be monitoring the correct usage of this budget?

4. Where will that percentage of budget be created from?

I am sure that there will be a counter argument that we are just there to highlight issues, but the fact of the matter is that when I see a report on the website of Youth Parliamentarians who are planning to enter the public arena as politicians, or activists or any such capacity, then I do expect a deeper look into the issue.

Another issue for me was the fact that you can simply not talk about Madrasas without mentioning the talibans and how a lot of these – not all – have been used for such militant acts and for safeguarding such offenders. What is to be done about them.. where is the law? What are we going to do about them?

Overall the report lacks the indepth study when it comes to the development of reforms, which is the backbone for any real change.

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The 40 Rules of Love: Rule 2

The Idea behind this series of “The 40 rules of Love :Rule #” is to explore the idea of Love which has been given in this book of Elif Safak. I will be taking up one rule at a time, as I continue to read the books and then explore from my own perspective. It is for me an experiment in Love, Belief, Spirituality and Faith. Lets see where it lands me! 

The path to the Truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your self will lead you to the knowledge of God.

“The path to the Truth is the labour of the heart”…… How is that possible was my first remark! I mean if you want to understand the truth then you need to think with your brain so that you can conclude the right from the wrong, right?

But then I noticed the capital ‘T’ in the word ‘Truth’ which more or less implies God, in the Islamic tradition. And then it seemed to make sense the statement…. If I need to find God, which one can hardly understand from their rationale thoughts (How can you believe in something when you can’t see, hear, feel or touch something), I need to think and listen to my emotional side. And it is that love for the Truth (I think) that will make me get over my nafs or my desires. But how does “Knowing your self will lead you to the knowledge of God”? Has it got to do with the first rule? Maybe so, for this is how it seems to me!

The thing for me is that I am a person who believes in morality, although that is independent of religion! I think one needs to do what is good in regards to other human beings no matter whether you believe in a religion or a God or not! But do I really use my brain for it or my heart?

I don’t know what I am saying here. This is just something that I can’t understand!

The 40 Rules of Love: Rule 1

The Idea behind this series of “The 40 rules of Love :Rule #” is to explore the idea of Love which has been given in this book of Elif Safak. I will be taking up one rule at a time, as I continue to read the books and then explore from my own perspective. It is for me an experiment in Love, Belief, Spirituality and Faith. Lets see where it lands me! 

Only recently, did I started reading the book which already seems to have become a big sensation in the world over. The book ofcourse is as you would have guessed if you are at all interested in books is “The 40 Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak.

The book from the main description of the topic explores nothing new. It appears – SO FAR – to be a cliche love story about Rumi and Tabriz. Now, this is where I always get stuck!

Have we become so cynical about love that we refuse to see it as anything other than the physical pleasure of two bodies?

The love story of Tabriz and Rumi has always raised enough suspicion in me to take their love as so much more than the spiritual crap that is thrown in at us. How is it that one can talk about someone with so much intensity and not cross certain boundaries? How is it that the height of your passion is a man who is with you and you don’t get close enough!

Anyways, the book begins, a story about Ella and her life which seems to have taken toll on the more important aspects that should be the part of one’s life, , like Love, Romance, etc. She has taken up this job as a Manuscript analyst or whatever, and she is posed with the first rule of Love, which is,

How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.

How do I see God? Do I see God? I have never been a person who has had a strong belief,my belief seems to come and go! My faith has been explained by different people in different people, a few have claimed that I am a Closet Believer, others have said that I  am upset with God for hurting me and that is why I refuse to accept him. The second statement has seem to hit home, it has at moments seemed to knock the wind out of me.

So does that really mean that I am upset with Him? I can never really be sure about this. I remember a time when I used to have so much faith in Him, but then came a time, when I started feeling that it is all too easy! Having someone up above looking down at you and at your actions and just like that one day, there will be a good and bad, and heaven and hell! It all seemed so easy! So am I really upset with Him? My question has always been where was He, when I was going through all of the shit I was going through, where was He? What was He so busy with that he didn’t come to my help?

Forget the question about whether I believe in him or not for a minute, but if this is how I see God, then does that mean that I think of him as a being who sits back and let things happen to others? He lets us go through the hurt and the pain and let us make our own mistakes and learn and let go and learn to depend on ourselves?

Lets take this question the other way round! How do I see myself? I see myself as family oriented, Independent, Love my career, passionate, Want to prove myself, I think I have a bigger purpose in life, I am curious, stubborn, wandering spirit, and more than that, I am a human, who has limits. I like to find my own way, I like getting lost, because I think you can find so much more about something when you are lost, I want to know everything about everything, I want to touch and feel and see everything! Is that how God is? Family Oriented, Independent, Loving his work, passionate, With a bigger purpose, Curious, Stubborn?

If He is like that, then we might get along pretty well!

The Spirit of Mine – A Story from 600m below Ground!

I had always had an interest in Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Disasters, for reasons I was too young to understand then. I – in fact – wanted to chase them for a living. It was later that I understood that what really attracted me towards all this was the human aspect which sort of triumphs the tragedy, the stories of encouragement and hope and inspiration that are always a by-product of such an event!

These stories came more alive and more apparent during the two months that the tragedy of the trapped miners continued, finally coming to an end a few hours ago. The stories that reached almost from the start, thanks to the media, were simply astonishing. And what we saw in the last 24 hours unraveling itself on our TV screens was even more so!

 

And it is finally over for them!

 

The media and the world is waiting for drama, for the men to go nuts, to scream and crumble to the scars of the tragedy. They are waiting for this tragedy to finally take its toll, for so far, we have only witnessed the positive side of a nation, whose credibility had much been shattered due to past Politico-social events!

But we keep forgetting that these men have probably always expected to be engulfed by their very own profession. That they had always at the back of their head might have envisioned their death to take place like this – trapped in the depth of the earth not knowing how to get out, helpless, and with no way out! They haven’t lived in the most ideal of economic circumstances, and I am sure that half of their lives they have felt the pangs of hunger. Continue reading

The debate of the Genders – Part II

In the matter of genders, we are a region that can be said to be both progressive as well as backwards. But lets look at it from the point of view of being a progressive first. Let me also make it clear that when I use the word “region” I refer to the Eastern side of the globe, especially within the context of South Asia.

The many women that have made their name because of their Political Leadership

The East can very proudly claim to have the first woman Prime Minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike (April 17 1916 – October 10th 2000) of Sri Lanka.  Not only was she the first female head of the Sri Lankan Government, but was also the world’s first female head of any Government. She served three terms as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and Ceylon, these being from 1960-65, 1970-77 and 1994-2000.

She was followed by Indira Gandhi from India (1966 ,1980)  – this was long before the West was going to elect  Golda Meir (1969) or  Margaret Thatcher (1979). From the Far Eastern side of the globe, that is Philippines, you had Corazon Aquino (1986) – a symbol for love and peace, who was swept into the office after her bloodless “People Revolution” led to the downfall of Ferdinand Marcos. Continue reading

Why the Bomb Blast?

Yesterday’s Lahore blast in RA Bazar and Sadder Area can only be understood in the light of the fact that how have we reached the current scenario of Politics in Pakistan and who are the characters that are involved in it. So what follows below is my own analysis of the Country’s Political – Economic Situation.

Pakistan after its Independence, thanks to the many Influence left by the British, was a relatively modern country. Indications of this were the many social, and recreational facilities, and also the General mindset towards accepting these places. This example would include the many bars, cinemas, restaurants, and Cabire. Girls used to cycle, skirts and foreigners were common on the streets of Karachi, and not only that but the country was also one of the most hip places for Westerners and Hippies, who can be seen sleeping on the streets.

Most of the people in Pakistan who would read this would know how much it is stressed in our course books about the location of Pakistan in the World Map. You have India and then Afghanistan, Iran and China as your neighbors, but it is only recently that the importance of this country of ours of God knows how much population (All figures in this regards are guesses. The last consensus happened in the year 1998) has taken a serious impact from its location.

Pakistan in its Context

Continue reading