Original Articles

Urban middle class, extremism and biases – by Dr. Zaeem Zia

In my opinion the word extremist has been too narrowly defined. Extremists are not only those who kill but are also those who have a narrow and intolerant mindset.  Thus extremism is another term for the intolerance, and it is also the disregard for other’s opinion particularly when you assume others to be naïve and just a bunch of mislead individuals having no democratic rights.  In my opinion, it is also extremism if you neglect the public support of a political party and try to construe its support as consisting of dumb people.

I am personally of the opinion that our urban middleclass despite the outward pretense of being educated is highly intolerant. A few days ago I was shocked to see a post with the name of “picture pick” on Facebook wall of one so called journalist, a Doctor who is said to be one of the intellectuals of Pakistan, where Chairman PPP Mr. Bilawal Bhutto was standing with few of the Lady parliamentarians for a group photo. What actually shocked me were the vulgar comments regarding Bilawal and those ladies.

I was even more ashamed when a few of my friends from USA read such vulgar comments and questioned me,” Are these people giving such third class comments just because he is standing with ladies? Is this really the educated lot in your country?”

I would have reproduced some of their comments from the picture here, but my morals do not allow me to do that. The sad thing is that so called “journalist” did not bother to object to those comments or even did not have the courtesy of removing those obscene remarks.

The question here is not to defend Mr. Bilawal- BUT to highlight so called Middle class urban population “AKA” the “catalysts” of a “Revolution”. This class is bigoted and despite its education has a tendency to view things from a preconceived and biased paradigm. PPP bashing is their favourite pastime and they don’t let go of any opportunity. Some of them will just believe the worst possible even before complete facts are known.

Let’s come to the recent memo scandal. Our TV channels, which do nothing but simply reflect the mentality of our urban middleclass have already declared the Mr. Haqanni as well as the President Zardari guilty. Of course this slanderous allegation is fully believed by a huge chunk of urban middleclass.

I personally think that maturity requires that we hold back our judgment.  If someone is accused about “something” that does not really mean that the act has happened in reality- it needs further probe. Ideally, it is considered the best for the accused to resign until the accusation is being probed- which has generally been never practiced in Pakistan. Mr. Haqqani, resigned as per the aforementioned principle. According to Mr. Haqqani’s, he had to resign because he wanted to make sure that his name was clear and secondly it was impossible to work in the middle of a media trial.

This “moderate” middleclass started saying “Daal main kaala hay isi liyay resign kar dia”or “ jahaan aag lagee ho waheen se dhuwaan nikalta hay”. Pretty lame excuse to deliberately believe something prior to the actual facts have been ascertained. And on the other hand if he had not resigned the reaction would have been even worse. Then they would have blamed Haqanni for continuing despite the allegations on him!

This is our dilemma, that just a mere accusation, renders someone worthy of article 6- which until proven is baseless. And for those who actually got more than thousand military personnel killed in Kargil, and backed off are so loyal to our country? Or who actually honored Supreme Court by attacking it? (Video footages are sufficed to prove their loyalty and respect to the “exalted” court). But Mr. President Asif Ali Zardari is being portrayed as someone worth’s Article 6 – which is nothing but just gesture of animosity.

I firmly believe that we need to enhance our definition of extremists and also include this politically intolerant mindset. I totally agree that people who kill people for their agendas are of-course extremists and terrorists but extremism prevails among the so-called educated lot- and especially the lot I discussed above-which lacks tolerance and negates the Natural phenomenon of PLURALISM. May God, give us strength to fight terrorism and extremism, to make Pakistan a non-extremist, prosperous and viable state.

Pakistan Zindabad!

Dr. Zaeem Zia, A scholar based in USA, Masters Prog. In Health Policy Management and Administration, University of Oklahoma, Muhammad-zaeem@ouhsc.edu or zaeemzia1983@gmail.com

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Farhad Jarral

11 Comments

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  • Education doesnt mean enlightenment. People have biases and grudges and because of this, can go to any length to slander and abuse someone.

    I remember in 2002, at a dinner of “intellectuals”, included a writer of a book as well as a Supreme Court lawyer. He said “zardari ko kya masla hay jail mayn, wahan to Reema aur Meera uss kay liye jati hayn!”. I just got up and left the table. This is when the man was in jail. Now imagine 9 years later when he is the president. The slander and abuse is at an all time high

  • Bunch of Douche bags and losers these are Iqbal Jalalabdi.
    They are done and freakin stupid people.

    Long Live Zardaree!

  • انتہا پسندی اور دہشت گردی کی دنیا میں کوئی تعریف نہیں ہے اور ہر کوئی اپنی تعریف پیش کرتا ہے۔ اگر لفظ انتہا پسندی کے لغوی معنی کی طرف جایا جائے تو اس سے مراد کسی معاملے میں انتہائی وریہ رکھنا بنتا ہے۔ مثال کہ طور پر کوئی شخص انتہائی حد جھوٹ سے پرہیز کرتا ہے اور ہمیشہ سچ بولتا ہے چاہے کچھ بھی ہوجائے۔ ان معنوں میں انتہاپسندی بیق وقت اچھی چیز اچھی چیز بھی ہوسکتی ہے اور بیق وقت بری بھی۔

    جہاں تک متوسط طبقے کا تلعق ہے تو ہر طبقہ کے ایک خاس ماحول میں پرورش ہونے کی وجہ سے سوچ مختلف ہوجاتی ہے۔ ایک ایسے شخص جس نے ساری زندگی مخلوق ماحول نہ دیکھا ہو مخلوق ماحول میں گھول میل جانا انتہاپسندی ہے تو دوسری طرف ایک اسیے شخص کے لئے جو مخلوق ماحول میں گھلا ملا رہتا ہے کہ لئے خواتین اور مردوں کا پردا اور علیحدہ انتظام ایک ااتہاپسندی ہے۔ گویا انتہاپسندی سوچ پر بھی منحصر کرتی ہے۔

  • یہ الزام دینا بھی بلکل غلط ہے کہ پاکستان کی اربن مڈیل کلاس نے حسین حقانی کو مجرم قرار دے دیا ہے۔ حسین حقانی کے معاملے سے عام لوگں کوئی دلچسپی نہیں ہے اس معاملے کو نواز شریف سپریم کورٹ میں لے گئے اور اس سے پہلے عمران خان نے اس پر بات کی، دنوں مڈل کلاس نہیں۔
    مزید یہ کہ حسین حقانی کو مجمرم خود حکومت نے ثابت کیا ہے۔ منصور اعجاز جیسے بدنام زمانہ شخص کے کالم پر حسین حقانی کو پاکستان واپس بلانا اور ان سے استعفی مانگنا کیا تھا؟ اگر سب کچھ تحقیات کے لئے ہوا تھا تو اس سے پہلے بہت سے وزرا اور سرکاری اہل کاروں پر سنجدہ نوعیت کے الزامات لگے لیکن کسی کے خلاف نہ ٹحقیات کرائیں گئیں اور نہ ہی ان سے استعفی لیا گیا۔

    زولفقار مرزا جو کہ پیپلز پارٹی کہ ناصرف سنئر رہنما ہیں بلکہ وزیر داخلہ بھی تھے اور انکی اہلیہ اسپیکر قومی اسمبلی ہیں نے رحمان ملک اور الطاف حسین پر اس سے کہین زیادہ سنگین غداری کے الزامات لگائے لیکن حکومت نے نہ کسی استعفی لیا اور نہ کوئی تحقیقات کرانے کا اعلان کیا۔ پس ثابت پوا کہ حسین حقانی کو مجرم ثابت کرنے والی خود حکومت ہے وگر نہ اگر سنگین الزامات پر تحقیقات کرانا حکومت کی دیانت داری ہوتی تو زولفقار مرزا منصور اعجاز سے کہیں زیادہ قبال اعتبار ہیں اور انکے الزامات منصور اعجاز کے الزامات سے کہں زیادہ سنگین ہیں۔

  • Kashif, We wud appreciate if you would write it in english. secondly, if they would not have called him from us over allegations then govt had to pay the price. just calling for the investigation does not make him a culprit but shows good will of the government. And pakistani nation had gone hysterical.

  • Good sir. you always write good notes and highlight miseries of our society. we appreciate people like you.

  • If it is just to show good will of the government, why dint government show this good will in the allegation of Zulfiqar Mirza. Zulfiqar Mirza was a credible person as compare to controversial Mansoor Ijaz.

  • Not only the concept behind the article and the reasoning but also the use of language and narration is poor.

  • Syed.. I am sure you can write bett then me.. May be you can conceptualize things better than me.. This is my effort and that’s my opinion. You can differ with that.. Totally understandable…..