Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it --George Bernard Shaw


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Friday, February 16, 2007
Hi - Part II

If you have not read the first part, kindly do so here: Part I.

Now, lets begin with part II:

To some extent I agree with you. Ours is a civilization which is 5000 years old and we were the most developed. We can boast of doctors like Susrut, Charaka, mathematicians like Aryabhatta, Ramanujan, architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal or badshahi mosque,etc. But do u know where did we lose all that? Our internal, factional, communal and religious strife. The sad part we never thought of ourselves as a nation and fought for it. There was a Punjab, a Maratha, A hindu kingdom or a Muslim Kingdom..... But there was no feeling of nationality... no pride in our achievement because we were too consumed by internal bickerings. And the British took advantage of this lack of unity and pushed us 5oo years back. It is sad that the two countries which have the same history, the same culture are sworn enemies today. But tell me honestly how many of us relate to this hatred. It is again a result of our internal strifes. Those who drew the lines went ahead and divided our thoughts and action.Do let me know if u agree or disagree..
And, yes. I agree that a fusion of culture is needed but whoo decides the degree of this fusion. Who decides what is got of the East and what is good of the West? It is again a matter of perception...
Awaiting a reply again,
PS. Was wondering whom should I address this mail to, I mean I dont know your name.

My reply:

I agree with you to a certain extent. Pakistan and India have been separate countries for almost 60 years now. During these sixty years, the animosity against one and another gave birth to a different culture and mind set. Now, we are, believe it or not, almost 60 years apart. I praise your country for taking the steps necessary to preserve your culture to a certain extent. We sadly lack that here. Now, the right thing to do is to preserve what we have now and then start building bridges with other cultures, countries and religions, rather than, jumping ships and instantly doing what we are told to do just to prove that we are good friends. This causes a huge side effect of loss of self-respect. Now, I am talking of Pakistan alone right now. I firmly believe that we can be two separate countries (India + Pakistan) with our own identity and values and still be good friends and we won't be the first ones in doing so. Take, for example, England and France or China and Japan. Similar, yet distinct cultures, but they are still friendly nations.

I have seen best outputs and results when people from different countries and religions work together. Diversity is indeed power. I am proud to be a Muslim, but that does not mean that I start blaming Hindus or Christians. Sadly, this exact thing is happening - that is, the use of blame game and division on the basis of diversity.

And for who is to decide about the fusion? It is up to us, the collective us, to make this fusion happen. We as people decide what goes in and what stays out. As educated folks, we should be able to make clear distinction between right or wrong - regardless of eastern or western culture.

I am extremely sorry, but I can't give you my real name. I have been in deep trouble before for expressing my feelings and beliefs, hence, the reason why I have started using a pseudonym. Although, I don't try very hard to hide my real identity, but it is one of my stupid rules, where I try not to give my real name out. I hope this won't disrupt our discussion over such important matters. You may address me as `S.D`. :)



Part III coming soon. Comments are welcome!

Monday, February 05, 2007
Hi (an email conversation) - Part I

I recently was engaged in an email conversation with a (new) friend from the neighboring country - India. Her name is Natasha and she decided to contact me with few questions after going through my blog. I am posting our conversation below, in parts due to its length, without making any changes to the original content - except for correcting the typos (in red). As always, contact me for further clarification.

i accidentally came across your blog and after reading it I felt that I had to ask you certain things. We are a world apart although we are hardly some hundred kms apart. So I believe our views will be very different.
I am actually mailing you because I was a little confused. First, why are you against foreign songs and movies (esp.Indian), what is un Islamic about liking Indian or any other foreign movies or songs. Second, why are you so judgmental? And third, why are you contradicting yourself? You talk with genuine hatred about people havin amreekan accent and english and western culture. But, you write ur blog in english and I must say good english, you actually have a post which has the lyrics of IRIS...... I am confused..... Would like to know what are actually your views??? And how many of these do you stick to....
Oh, Congrats on your wedding!!!!!
Awaiting a reply from your end.

Warm Regards,

My reply:

I am glad to see that you took the time to contact me and understand
my point of view. Natasha, I have nothing against Indians, Americans,
or for that matter any other culture or religion. As a matter of fact,
I have friends from all over the world, including Jews, Christians,
Hindus, Muslims, Indians, Palestinians, Israelis, etc. You ask why am
I contradicting my own thought process and beliefs? May be, I am just
not good at writing this, but my problem is with people who just
blindly copy. Simply put, we have become a nation of followers then
leaders that we ought to be. Our civilizations (yours and mine) were
centuries ahead from the rest of the world. And rather than producing
scientists and mathematicians, now all we produce is dancers and
actors who lack creativity on all fronts.

You asked me that I write perfect English, yet I am sort of against
the use of it. Actually, I am not! Surprised. Well it's simple. I use
English, because I have command over the language unlike most folks
who are again just copying or just following what they are taught.
Even if I assume that the entire nation has gained command over the
language, still I believe that we should still try to protect our
cultural values. The fusion of both cultures, and I mean a true
fusion, where we also have to offer something, rather then just
copying, would only bring a great future.

I hope this clears things up. Please let me know if you don't feel
satisfied by my answer.


Some Desi

Second part of this post coming soon but I would love to see your comments.

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