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By K.N. Pandita
We don’t scratch the past: we talk of building healthy, realistic and enduring contours of Kashmiri ethos.
Two decades of militancy and its devastating effects can upset even the most rational mind. Lesser mortals are more exposed to emotional imbalance.
Education is the panacea for stabilizing personality. But our system of formal education falls short of an important pre-requisite. That is political education. We must remember that our country’s heterogeneity demands political awareness of right direction.
The school and college curricula do not encompass political education and frequent debate on current affairs in our system. Its sprinkling may be there but that is only and minimally pedagogical. That does not help. I am reminded of 1950s and 60s. In the buses, was inscribed on the sidelines in bold Urdu “siyasi guftago karma manah hai”. What a moribund mindset? When institutes of the rights of civil society stonewall a healthy political interface, they leave space open for seminaries of conservatism to do the damage.
Times of India, New Delhi
Democracy in Pakistan
Sumit Ganguly (ToI, 7 Jan 2008) has left out (hopefully only inadvertently) the most glaring yet least talked about instance of lament on India’s rule of law. I mean extirpation and ethnic cleansing from the Valley of Kashmir of four hundred thousand souls of Hindu minority community in 1990. As for Pakistan, the presumed failure of her political and civil institutions is only a myth. Pakistan was created as a home for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent. Her civil, political and military institutions being in strict conformity with prescribed Islamic model are solid and perfectly functional with no need to ape Westminster brand. She is not the only State dogged by on an going crisis. Others, too, had their share, and, like them, Pakistan will brave the storm only to emerge stronger and more confident of her march to solidarity and strength. The talk of a failed Pakistani State shows how much ignorant we are about Islamic history and civilization.
K.N. Pandita, New Delhi, by e-mail.