Art Thou a Good Book???

I recently read a news article that Malala’s book launch was stopped in Peshawar. And IK had a balanced yet debatable view on it. Although we don’t have ‘jahils’ in Peshawar we can’t call KPK an educated mass of land which can bear the brunt of Malala’s story. When Karachi and Lahore have issues with her book and cannot sit and debate about her book amicably in a reasonable manner without disrupting the peace of the larger majority and the non-Muslims of Pakistan, the book was being released by a dastard crowd in the most volatile province of Pakistan. Does that make sense to anybody? It doesn’t to me!

Book launches in Pakistan are a wonderful affair, smell of fresh paper, literati and the media circus. It does wonders to boost your self-image and, if you are an avid book reader, does wonders for that mind that is yearning for the flow of words and some alone time with a fresh cup of chocolate, milk or tea.

I particularly like the signing booth. I guess most writers would like to see themselves signing books, but the line of excited people trying to get their books signed by the author is mesmerizing. Shows a lot of compassion for books.

Same goes for exhibitions and book expos. A whole lot of books sold and a whole lot of people looking for those favorite and wonderful titles from old stocks and and clearances that different participants do in exhibitions. But exhibitions are a wonderful way to see new countries exhibit their collections of exotic covers and once in a lifetime chance to see some of the titles. They might be priced heftily but some titles are just single copies and such expos might be the best time to grab them.

Books and information in books should be treasured and pleasurable. Investment in books and lone time is made with a motive of enjoying a novel or reading for understanding one’s life better and easier. Once that is out of the equation, no one will want to buy a book. No one wants to listen to a soliloquy or self-praise. No one wants to read something that degrades one nation or one class, creed against another. If someone is looking for such material explicitly, beware, they might have severe failings as an individual to find fault with a crowd!

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Divide And Rule… The Disparity Factor

The other day I read in a news article that ‘the people of Pakistan are ideologically disparate’ for the upcoming elections. (Somehow I could not hold back a smile since it was in a news paper.)

Not the exact words of the article, but I wonder if it holds true. Who created this disparity of Ideology? Pakistan had only one single ideology- under which it was formed, under which its Constitution was written, under which its Governments worked, so when and how this sudden disparity? For disparity and difference to be acceptable in a society, it has to be from within the society, in a shape and form that is acceptable to the society, speaks like a society member, has a good, almost magnanimous outreach, effective and looks and walks like a society member. This is the disparity factor.

About 5 years back, as an avid reader of books, I came across many which focussed on the Taliban and Pakistan. Many more that were written by foreign authors who had brief stays in Pakistan and Afghanistan, or were war veterans, or better still war journalists. Somehow they could always feel up to writing a complete book on a nation, their ways and work, in their very brief encounters with the nation, mostly generalizing a few incidents. Somehow the impact of reading such a book would not be eye-opening, it would be depressing, frustrating. Not because something was wrong with this part of the world, because the writer had too narrow a view!

When I searched for explicit material on the same topics by Pakistani and local authors, it was hard to find. I found a few books/material and novels that were intricately written. News articles and everyday journalistic views were rampant.

Today, if I go looking for books/articles on the subjects aforementioned, written by local authors; somehow I find many. I find self-proclaimed authors and those with distinctions too. But the matter is not what was 5-6 years back. It is harsh towards the founder and towards the Ideology, it kills the living spirit. It has no encouragement, no spiritual uplifting. Wonder y?

I can assure you back then we still had a democratic government. So why is it that now people have come out with ‘their own versions’ of Pakistan and Taliban and specially the Ideology of Pakistan??? Why do people and self-proclaimed writers think now is the ripe time to tell the educated youth that the Ideology of Pakistan is either not right or is faulty or has some issues. Seriously if it did- were they sleeping for the past 5 years ( coz before that it would have been impossible to write).

The fact remains that the Ideology was never faulty, it always needed a wise person to comprehend it, not misinterpret it. Just like the Constitution, law or a gun. When used wisely it is helpful, when misused it can do many unjust things. But to make those unjust, prejudiced things acceptable in a society the main factor is a source which looks just like any society member. Same goes for the disparity factor, to create a divide in understanding of the ideology, u need a factor which can make it look like just any other understanding and project it from a popular platform. Have you currently read anything that looks like it might be from a disparity factor?