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“EMPTY SLOGANS” – 14th August, 2015 by S Roman Ahsan

“EMPTY SLOGANS” – 14th August, 2015


S Roman Ahsan


14th August, Independence Day indeed! What do we have beside empty slogans today? Are we really independent?


In March this year of 2015, I got a job in an online English Newspaper. I did not give up “Together We Rise!” even then but that is beside the point. Anyhow, I was overqualified for the job but I gave my best, even working overtime. I was required to do news reporting and news-writing.


As the days went by, it was surprising to note that like other Urdu cable TV channels, our English newspaper was also very keen on sharing news on Bollywood movies, actors and actresses. I expressed my concern to the manager (who was much younger and inexperienced than me in fact) that I didn’t want to promote all that considering that I had been writing against showing of Bollywood movies in Pakistan. I also conveyed to him that India is attacking our borders since 2013 and you want to promote their cinema. Being a shallow person, he only said it was part of my duty.


That exchange of dialogue occurred towards the end of two weeks and the same evening I left the job. So my friends, are we free and independent? No, we are not. We are cultural slaves of our neighbouring Hindu country. Just turn on the TV channels and note how many TV channels are showing Indian content.


That reminds me further. Though I am narrating my own experiences but they are reflective of the general state of affairs. In 2008, I joined the newspaper THE NATION in the magazine section. I liked the job itself except the environment of workplace and the ugly politics that was going on.


I used to keep thesaurus with me on my desk while writing my stories. I would like to narrate here what happened in the initial few days. Well, the editor who was in-charge of the magazine section was standing near my desk. As I was busy, he stepped forward and said “What is that?” I said “Thesaurus”. He said “Hum tau use nai kartay” (We don’t use it). What a stupid thing to say considering use of Thesaurus is very much aligned with newspaper and magazine work.


The editor was a local Christian and though in my school we had a very nice local Christian as our English Teacher whose name was Robinson Qamar Javed, but the experience at THE NATION was totally opposite. He was an unsophisticated and uncouth person who was insecure himself due to the caliber of others. I could write a whole article how he used to play dirty politics. He himself was not a good storyteller and hence liked to attack others.


I also did some pro-Islam articles in the magazine then and the editor got further prejudiced. He knew that my writing skills were good and so he stopped editing my stories for fear that would add more glitter to my work (even though he continued editing for other members). Even my coverage of art-exhibitions was better than his.


My question is why did the management of THE NATION had to keep a prejudiced Christian as In-charge of magazine section? A newspaper such as THE NATION reflects our cultural and Islamic values, and a person in a key position in such a newspaper should not be a hater of Islam! He is currently still the editor of magazine section there at THE NATION by the way.


So my friends, I just gave you another example. We have incompetent people in key positions in our organizations and we are afraid of our Islamic values. Then are we really independent? Furthermore, most people who rise (with exceptions) in Pakistan to key positions mostly adhere to unethical ways. With this system in place, can we really except to achieve overall progress?


Let me give you more examples. Our Mohammad Ali Jinnah founded Pakistan and he founded the newspaper DAWN as well. After 9/11, DAWN has become a mouthpiece of the imperialists. Day and night it attacks the sanctity of Islam in different ways. One of its senior columnists is Nadeem F. Piracha who is almost an atheist spreading filth through his writings. So are we really independent?


THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE is not behind with its shameless practices. The newspaper falls under the INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK TIMES and it is also promoting the imperialistic agenda along with promoting decadence in society. In 2011, the paper published a 6-page cover story on the rights of homosexuals in Pakistan. Trends are not any better now. So are we really independent then?


The above gives just a brief picture of the media but the situation is not prettier in other sectors of Pakistan. The corporate sector in Pakistan is closely aligned with international standards and following them. So if a Pakistani Corporate Guru promotes those companies that are funding Israel (either directly or indirectly), then he has not learned ethics. And he does not know the true meaning of independence either!


Let us not just raise EMPTY SLOGANS of “Independence”. WE HAVE TO FIGHT THE OVERALL SYSTEM IN PAKISTAN TO ACHIEVE “TRUE INDEPENDENCE”. We cannot put the whole blame on politicians and absolve ourselves. If we consider ourselves above them in talent and general acumen, then we have greater responsibility.





p style=”text-align: center;”>WISH YOU ALL PAKISTAN INDEPENDENCE DAY!

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. 

Dr.Margaret Mead 1901 – 1978 American anthropologist




Is Pakistan a Nation of Sheep?


Default Allah will not Change the Condition of a People until They Change Themselves

Quite often the servant of Allah is granted abundant blessings but he becomes bored and longs to change it for another which he claims is better. In fact, Allah, the Merciful does not deprive him of this blessing, and He excuses him for his ignorance and bad choice until the servant is unable to bear the blessing, feels discontent, and complains about it. Then Allah will take it away from him. When he gets what he wished for and sees the great difference between what he had before and what he has now, he is filled with worry and regret and he wishes to have what he had before. If Allah wishes good for His servant, He would make him see that whatever blessings he now has is from Allah and He will show him that Allah is pleased with him, and the servant would praise Him. If he is deceived by his soul to change this blessing, he would ask Allah for guidance.There is nothing more harmful to the servant than becoming bored from the blessings of Allah; as he neither sees them as a blessing, praises Allah for them, nor is happy with them but he becomes bored, complains, and considers them as a means of distress. He does not think that these things are from the greatest blessings of Allah. The majority of people are opposed to the blessings of Allah. They do not feel the blessings of Allah, and moreover, they exert their effort to drive them away because of their ignorance and injustice. How often is a blessing bestowed on a person while he is exerting his effort to drive it away and how often does he actually receive it while he is pushing it away, simply because of his ignorance and injustice. Allah says, “That is so because Allah will never change agrace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves.” (Al-Antal, 8:53) And He, the Almighty says,”Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah).” (Ar-Ra’d, 13:11)

What can be worse than the enmity of a servant toward the blessings he has received? In so doing, he supports his enemy against himself. His enemy arouses fire in his blessings and he increases the fire unawares. He enables his enemy to light the fire and then he helps his own enemy to blow on it until it
becomes strong. Finally, he seeks help against the fire and blames fate. 


We are the best of Creation but are we living up to our Creator’s expectations

Lack of critical thinking skills in Pakistan has kept the whole nation backward in all aspects of life. Pakistan’s social, political, economic, health, and religious problems can be traced back to a lack of critical thinking. Pakistanis tend to accept every trauma as part of fate, without thinking that Almighty Allah has endowed man with free will and intellect, by which man can become “Master of his own Fate, and Captain of his own Ship.” Man is a Creation of the the Ultimate and Everlasting Intellect, Allah Almighty. Are we defying Almighty Allah or disappointing Him by not utilizing our capabilities to the maximum. As his Creation, do we not trust our individual God given capabilities, embedded in the ‘hard drive’ in our head?  The human brain has been chiseled by none other than the Master Creator of the Universe. It can perform quadrillion upon quadrillion functions in a life time, including controlling the performance of all human faculties. But, Man cynically depreciates his own abilities through negative and cynical thinking. Thereby, denigrating the Masterwork of his Creator, The Al-Musawir. 

Pakistanis stoically accept political malfeasance and incompetent governance as a fact of life

 Pakistanis as a nation,meekly accept corrupt mediocrities to rule us and guide us throughout our national life?  Our fear of sticking our necks out or standing for Truth and Justice has made us into a retrogressive society. This is no different from sheep or goats who can be led by a goading with a stick by the herder or shepherd. Pakistanis can only change Pakistan, if we can master nuclear and missile technology, then changing the fate of the nation is a piece of cake. Wake up, my Pakistani sisters and brother! Throw down the yoke and breathe the freedom of a technologically,politically, economically, and socially advanced nation. We are 180 million strong, WE CAN DO IT! Change Pakistan. Change your world. otherwise, no one will come around and change it for you. Get rid of “luteraas,” like Swiss Bank Account Thief, Zardari, Raja Rental, drunkard Bilawal, Mehran Bank Robber Nawaz Shariff, and paindoo crooks like Malik Riaz, and the rest of the feudal shahi.  Let us not be empty “gharas,” which make much noise, but are hollow from inside. If we do not reform ourselves, no one will reform us. Allah will abandon us to our fate, because, we are not using our brains to make critical national decisions. The followers of the Greatest Man, who ever lived have become an ignorant and corrupt Nation of Sheep. Whenwe can’t BEAT the Corrupt, we throw our hands in despair or become part of them. What have we become? What malaise is eating our souls? Are we a nation of “Phaydoos,” or a nation of sheep?



The brutal “control freaks,” in our primary and secondary in rural and inner city education systems

Pakistani educational system is for the most part based on rote learning and bowing to whims of dictatorial and control freak “masterji” and “ustaniji.” Most of our primary and secondary school educators are charlatans or “drop-outs,”from other more lucrative or challenging professions.   They put young minds in their vise grip in which individualism and creativity is stifled. Challenging the accepted rules and concepts are a taboo in our mostly rural society. On the other hand growth of urban centers have resulted in blind acceptance of Western ideas and concepts, without whetting them through a filter of critical thinking.

The Forgotten Islamic concept of Critical Thinking

Therefore, we present the kernel of concepts which form the basis of critical thinking and which have lead to the advancement of Western societies in science, technology, and social values. Islam taught Muslims to debate and discuss all ideas, but, after the fall of Spain, Muslims became insular and isolationists. Debate and discussion became dormant. New ideas became a rarity. Demagoguery became the source of all knowledge. This lead to development of learning institutions, who were mostly centered around faith and dogma, and the concepts of taqiq fell by the wayside, leading to the the dark age of Muslim society, which has yet to merge into the bright sunshine or Renaissance of Critical Thinking during the glory days of Islam, when streets of Europe were in darkness or ignorance, the lamps of Baghdad were lit with the beacons of knowledge. Critical thinking were intrinsic part of Muslim culture.  This was the period of enlightenment from streets of Cordoba to souks of Baghdad. Critical Thinking is the Engine of Economic Prosperity and Social Advancement. It starts in early education and continues throughout life.the West learned it from Muslims, now the Muslims have to revive it in their own societies.

Critical thinking I

Strategies for critical thinking in learning and project management

Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness.
This exercise outlines the first stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic. You will:

  • Develop a statement of the topic
  • List what you understand, what you’ve been told 
    and what opinions you hold about it
  • Identify resources available for research
  • Define timelines and due dates
    and how they affect the development of your study
  • Print the list as your reference

Here is more on the first stage:

Define your destination, what you want to learn
Clarify or verify with your teacher or an “expert” on your subject

Topics can be simple phrases:
“The role of gender in video game playing”
“Causes of the war before 1939”
“Mahogany trees in Central America”
“Plumbing regulations in the suburbs”
“Regions of the human brain”

  • Develop your frame of reference, your starting point,
    by listing what you already know about the subject
  • What opinions and prejudices do you already have about this?
    What have you been told, or read about, this topic?
  • What resources
    are available to you for research
    When gathering information, keep an open mind
    Look for chance resources that pop up!
    Play the “reporter” and follow leads
    If you don’t seem to find what you need, ask librarians or your teacher.
  • How does your timeline and due dates affect your research?
    Keep in mind that you need to follow a schedule.

    Work back from the due date and define stages of development, 
    not just with this first phase, but in completing the whole project.

Summary of critical thinking:

  • Determine the facts of a new situation or subject without prejudice
  • Place these facts and information in a pattern so that you can understand them
  • Accept or reject the source values and conclusions based upon your experience, judgment, and beliefs

Critical thinking II

Second stage exercise in critical thinking:

Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness.
This exercise outlines the second stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic.

With the second stage:

  • Refine/revise the topic
    either narrowing or broadening it according to outcomes of research
  • Rank or indicate the importance 
    of three sources of research
  • Clarify any opinion, prejudice, or bias their authors have
    While an opinion is a belief or attitude toward someone or some thing, 
    a prejudice is preconceived opinion without basis of fact
    while bias is an opinion based on fact or research.
  • Identify key words and concepts that seem to repeat
    Is there vocabulary you need to define?

    Are there concepts you need to understand better?
  • In reviewing your research, are there
    Sequences or patterns that emerge?
    Oposing points of view, contradictions, or facts that don’t “fit?”
    Summarize two points of view that you need to address
  • What questions remain to be answered?

Critical thinking, first stage helped you to

  • Develop a statement of the topic
  • List what you understand, what you’ve been told 
    and what opinions you hold about it
  • Identify resources available for research
  • Define timelines and due dates
    and how they affect the development of your study
  • Print the list as your reference

With this second exercise, 
think in terms of how you would demonstrate your learning for your topic
How would you create a test on what you have learned?
How would you best explain or demonstrate your findings?
From simple to more complex (1-6) learning operations:

  1. List, label, identify: demonstrate knowledge
  2. Define, explain, summarize in your own words:Comprehend/understand
  3. Solve, apply to a new situation: Apply what you have learned
  4. Compare and contrast, differentiate between items: analyze
  5. Create, combine, invent: Synthesize
  6. Assess, recommend, value: Evaluate and explain why


Summary of critical thinking:

  • Determine the facts of a new situation or subject 
    without prejudice
  • Place these facts and information in a pattern
    so that you can understand and explain them
  • Accept or reject your resource values and conclusions 
    based upon your experience, judgment, and beliefs
  • Reference

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