It is pretty common for the apparent piety to exist with hypocrisy. For example, the priests who swear by Jesus in churches often end up as rapists of young men who seeked their help. Religion does that to people. Because conformity implies a certain fear… un-natural state of living. There comes a time when people who are living under that "authority" however covert it is.. rebel. The image of God – as humans have constructed in various religions – really mirrors their own shortcomings.. and they attribute all the "morals" that THEY dug out to that "image of God".
Here is an interesting piece where the author Col, Athale talks about the experiences with and of the Pakistanis who came to India on a visit.
But from the second day, as they got used to freedom in India, all of them, with an odd exception, behaved as if they had just entered a ' de-compression' chamber, doing all the things that are prohibited in a strict Islamic society, from eating ham and bacon at breakfast to guzzling down whisky.
The dominant impressions of the interaction were:
- Lack of understanding about Indian issues, systems and processes;
- Nostalgia for bygones;
- 'Me too' as a constant theme to show that Pakistan is at par with India;
- Hypocrisy on religious taboos;
- General dislike of the state of affairs in Pakistan including the domination of the military;
- Sense of envy about India and Indians due to the freedoms we enjoy and progress we have made.
This piece clearly shows how this bunch behaves differently in his/her own country and in another country.. where, the spectre of "FEAR" is absent!! So, was the piety even so?
I have also seen that many in the Islamic world are starting to question things. The other day an Iranian guy told me “Seeing all the mullahs I often wonder – if this is what Islam is, then why follow it?” So, some seem to transcend the line of hypocrisy to start questioning… THAT is important.
He went on to say that his forefathers were Parsis and the Arabs had made them Muslims.. but now I cannot do much as my father and grandfather were both Muslims!
I think it is a wake-up call!
On a sidenote here were the experiences of the Indian delegation that went to Pakistan:
Six other persons, mainly artistes from various fields (like poet Javed Akhtar, singer Faiyyaz) were denied visas by the Pakistani high commission in Delhi. All were Indian Muslims.
Conclusions from that visit:
- There is tremendous dislike of the army dominance while Musharraf is not unpopular.
- There is a sense of insecurity in city of Karachi; even by 7 pm the city streets are deserted.
- India is an object of envy for its freedom, independent judiciary, election commission and economic and educational progress.
- The civil elite is conscious of the fact that in a globalised world only peace and cooperation with India can lift their country out of its present morass.
- The army does not want the people to come in contact with Indian Muslims as that will give a lie to their propaganda.
- There is great reluctance to permit free flow of information media and people. The people to people contact is sought to be only confined to the elite, and not the masses.
- In Karachi the Muttahida Quami Movement's dominance has ended the sway of the Jaamat-e-Islami, Masood Azhar and anti-India jihadi forces who seem to have shifted to Punjab. In the recent terrorists incidents in India there are hardly any links to Karachi-based groups.
- Karachi is dominated by Pashtuns, with a common refrain being that there are more Pathans in Karachi than in Peshawar.
The overall situation in Karachi, and by proxy, Pakistan, is unstable and any trigger like the capture/killing of Al Qaeda [Images] chieftain Osama bin Laden or Musharraf extending his presidency could trigger events which could threaten the continuance of military rule. The ongoing violence in Waziristan, Baluchistan and Afghanistan only adds to the volatility.
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