By: Raqeeb Kakar
Ideology is a thing of might, the one on which Pakistan’s foundation was laid down. It should depict us on all grounds lest we should feel that might is out of sight. However, ideology was a science of ideas for French philosophers, but for Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent, it was a freedom-song that manifested their desire for independence. Let it be sung with fullness of heart on every Independence Day, i.e. Aug 14, to come.
Kaleidoscopically surprising, some cultured quarters have pretty often asserted to transmogrify the Ideology of Pakistan into their master chatter, accounted in their works. Of several theories put forth on why Pakistan came into being, one is as follows.
In her masterpiece “The Struggle For Pakistan,” noted analyst Ayesha Jalal while commenting on the creation of Pakistan and the subsequent identity crisis, writes: “[A]t the root of Pakistan’s national identity crisis has been the unresolved debate on how to square the state’s self-proclaimed Islamic identity with the obligations of a modern nation-state.”
Ms Jalal and a number of other scholars see the Ideology of Pakistan as a self-proclaimed Islamic identity, religiously shaped by Islamists. They pinpoint nothing short of a post-facto justification of ideological status of Pakistan. Moreover, settled issues are frequently stirred on behalf of the ones whose pen becomes a knife, or those fenced by the black magic of deliberate darkness.
Seeing the grim causes of undying hatred of rumour merchants, one can assertively conclude that location or society is critical to one’s perspective on, intellectual opinion about and understanding of Pakistan. For instance, Vali Nasr, a famed Iranian professor, in his book titled “Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power” and Farahnaz Ispahani, a former MNA of Pakistan, in her “Purifying the Land of the Pure: Pakistan’s Religious Minorities” looked at Pakistan from exterior windows in their surreal commercials, though their respective standpoints carry sunshine, with dimmer lights.
More saddening are the analyses of the above-mentioned authors the way they intersperse Gen Zia’s much-criticised strategic hunger with ideological frontier of Pakistan. Regards in earnest to readers, is it identity crisis or looting the identity of 97 percent majority terming Pakistan a Muslim State or more importantly, averting an ideologically Islamic welfare state ?
In addition to that, an ideology is not a castle built in the air that every lingual prophecy will wear it away. Both geography and ideology are entwined factors in the formation of a state. Dovetailing geography and ideology with a bird’s nest and its wings, the former is its abode and the latter helps it take flight. Shortly, it is not a wise man’s choice to desex either of them.
Is it the force of globalization that is compelling us to admix our ideological identity with global ideological setup? No, not at all, because Pakistan is not a byproduct of global ideological divide or clash of ideologies under which the world still reels. Ideology is rather so significant for Pakistan that it has usually been a driver of unification during the times of crises. Or, more accurately, ideology of Pakistan is a singular nostrum and the ever-best relief to the terror-fatigued and violence-weary in these hours of imposed and imported tensions.
Today, in the throes of adopted ideologies, we are witnessing deeply-distorted thinking patterns, e.g., separatist struggles, provincialism, a state of constant political mistrust and uncertainty, all-weather development barriers, desperate socioeconomic scorecards both on national and international fronts, to name a few. These have emerged on account of reckless alienation from ideological roots which are watered by Islamic teachings.
Definitely, direly needed are the initiatives taken on the basis of a now-or-never spirit. Flag-hoisting and extending of good wishes for national solidarity and integrity are exact palliatives but are such short-termism of ‘ideological renewal’ that they scarcely infuse a true spirit of ideology in young blood.
Cutting it short, by taking following measures we may get a status of ideological actual.
Frankly inquiring oneself, do we really need to make our ideology a concern of high security? Or adequate is to agree with Saul Alinsky when he says, “The prerequisite for an ideology is possession of a basic truth.” Or let’s give our ideology a status of living entity securitized by army, concretized by bureaucracy, stabilized by legislature, legalised by judiciary, emphasized by media, internationalized by civil society and revitalized by us all.
In a nutshell, ideology is a mightier constituent in our national life and making our country stand tall. Reasonably inferred, absence of ideology will devastate us and its presence will offer a long-lasting survival.