Was Bhutto’s nationalisation policy a mistake?
This is response to P.M.Gilani’s statement “Nationalization of educational institutions was blunder“
I’am not going to vindicate Socialism, to be implemented as economic system of country, nor advocate the rhetorical demands of a class-less educational system. As an inhabitant of a fabricated security-state, I’am well aware of the fact that in a country where predominant share of budget is reserved for defense and security, where nukes are considered more crucial than pen and note-book, where F-16s hold more weightage than schools and universities, where jurisprudence scales are highly disparate for different sections of society, the requisition of a class-less educational system from a government with very limited resources, would be extremely absurd and dream of a mad man. Nonetheless, privatization of educational institutions isn’t an answer to the problem in-hand, instead education sector needs a strong reformation process as state has direct responsibility towards education of masses.
First of all, to hold the nationalization policy of Z.A.Bhutto as “blunder” is clearly tantamount to “confessing a sin which was not committed”. History record should be set straight and credit should be given where it is due. Keeping in view the objective conditions and ground realities of that time, there were numerous reasons behind the promulgation of this nationalization policy. Some of them are :
1) Prevalence of a substantial wave rather a wind of Socialism, right from Latin America to Far-East. That was an era of some bloody turmoils and revolutions which inevitably affected whole of the third-world including Pakistan and Socialism emerged as an alternate socio-economic system to replace the absolute monarchies and military regimes of under-developed countries.
2) During 60’s and 70’s, Political and Social analysts observed a strange phenomenon, neo-nationalist movements in third world countries, astoundingly associated with Socialist principles and opposition to west. Pan-Arabism/ Arab Nationalism movement led by Jamal Abul-Nasir from Egypt, Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi and Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (though these movements were hijacked by radical Islamists,afterwards), greatly stirred the social and political scenario of Pakistan where Z.A.Bhutto found it highly viable to use that momentum as an expression of nationalism for “group of people” who were shattered and scattered after Fall of Dhaka.
3) Z.A.Bhutto’s nationalization policy was precise articulation of that “self-consciousness” and “self-recognition” expression , Bhutto imparted to wretched of the earth, whilst completely abolishing drawing-room politics. The very same “self-awareness” expression of downtrodden which is counterpart to Bhutto-ism. Subtract this expression and there resides no Bhutto-ism and no PPP.
Notwithstanding, whilst referring to the methods of implementation, one may criticize the relinquishment of these institutions to inept beaurocracy. However, a metamorphic drastic change in the nomenclature of prevalent system, necessitates a loose time-span to get the things resolved. But unfortunately, after the notorious judicial murder of Z.A.Bhutto, the very same intoxicating policy was adopted for our educational system, which was the hallmark of Zia-ulhaq’s regime. Poison of radicalization was systematically and deliberately injected to the veins of society, which profoundly contaminated the educational system from it’s cores. Being the paramount victim of that despicable policy, public sector’s educational institutes bore the brunt and still suffering.
Taking into account the present scenario, currently there are three parallel educational systems prevalent in Pakistan.
1) Elitist or top-notch educational system which exceedingly comprises of private sector’s foreign affiliated schools and universities. As per my discernment, being the sole source of producing some proficient minds, this system doesn’t need any type of overhauling or state obstruction instead of some finanicial and ethical regulations.
2) Public-sector educational system which primarily includes government and semi-government schools and universities. This is the area which postulates immediate attention from state instead of privatization rhetoric. There’s a deliberate need of examining and rebuilding this system. Degenerated and rusted syllabus of these institutions isn’t capable from any aspect to meet the requirements of modern-day scientific methods. Point to aggrieve is that this inept system hasn’t produced any prominent scientist ever since the inception of this country, on the contrary it commences the religious intolerance, hatred for other races and a radicalized specific point-of-view for world. Keeping in view the imperfections and drawbacks, there’s a dire need of drastic and rigorous mutation of this system.
3) Madrassah system of education, which is funded directly or indirectly by our so-called brother Muslim countries to patronize different sects of religion, under the umbrella of Muslim brotherhood. These Madrassahs mostly draw attention of marginalized sections of society, who cannot afford to study in mainstream educational institutions. These seminaries are exploited as source of religious extremism and associated with terrorist outfits and their offshoots. First of all, this is the obligation of state to scrutinize their source of fundings, furthermore it requires their regulated registration and revision of perplexed syllabus.
Amir Hussain’s op-ed in daily Aaj Kal “Dher lag jayen ge basti mein garibanon key” 2 Nov 2010