Tuesday, March 2, 2021

How many taxpayers are in pakistan

فائلر ہوں، چور نہیں ہوں:
ہر پاکستانی GST,WHT دیتا ہے، 
صرف FBR فائلرز 1% ہیں
مگر 13 کروڑ فون، بجلی پر ٹیکس دینے والے بھی فائلرز ہیں!

It is a blatant lie that there are only 1% tax filers who are supporting the taxes of the whole country. Government has files of taxpayers who are giving huge amount of indirect taxes, they must be called filers too! 

Government must give tax receipt of the withholding taxes that people deposited through electronic means,  for example 130 million mobile subscribers + electricity subscribers + bank account holders. Currently for all individuals,  CNIC has replaced the NTN as National Tax Number. No new NTN is being issued to individuals any more. 

Therefore,  government has all the "files" of withholding taxes, CNIC wise, of 130-150millions phone subscribers, millions of electricity and gas subscribers, millions of vehicles registrations, all property transactions in DC offices, all banking taxes,... They are all filers. The number of such "filers" whose data is with government would be at least 60% of population. 

We first demand a compilation of these filers from nincompoop government departments. Government must give me receipt of the tax they had withheld. Why should I obtain the receipts from each withholder and file again with Nicompoops of FBR?

"Please note that bulk of our taxes (55%to 58%) are indirect taxes, the burden of which is disproportionally on the shoulders of poor and lower middle class. 40% of population is engaged in agricultural activity, but adding only 21% of GDP. So they are paying disproportionally lesser tax. 
60 % of population is largely  settled in urban areas and is producing 59% of GDP. They are paying both  indirect and direct taxes. 
But saying that only 1 % people pay taxes is a highly irresponsible statement. People are virtually groaning under the burden of indirect taxes.

While in principle agriculture is subject to income tax but it is still with the provincial governments and income tax yields are small.

Services sector is highly bloated, comprising 58% of GDP.  In the financial sector even middle level employees are making more than half a million per month.

The biggest constraint is the consistently low level of growth rate, particularly in the commodity sector and its limited spinoff( multiplier) effect on employment, exports, dependence on imports and general welfare."
[Last four paragraphs are quoted from comments of Mr Ashraf Janjua, ex Deputy Governor of SBP, ex Dean of CBM,  and author of 4Volume History of SBP.]
It is indeed true that time and again, the governments in power embarrass us for doing our nation a huge favour in the form of indirect taxes. There is no good or service in Pakistan that is tax-free; from birth (expenses that parents bear before birth and at the time of birth) to death (burial places, are sold for a price). Historian Richard Hofstadter’s statement comes to mind "It is the Crassness and anti-Intellectualism of governments in power" this is true and is reminiscent of the statement that you shared above that mentions that only 1 percent tax filers support the taxes of the whole country. Instead of calling us tax thieves, these governments in power should have thanked the Pakistani nation for not rising up and burning down the rent-seeking edifice(Government).

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Shajra Taxonomy of Sufi Tassauf Terminology

 شجرہ معرفت الہی و حقیقت روح و صراحت عالمہائے ظاہری و باطنی و طریقہائے تصوف متعلق نور ایمان


سید اکرام حیدر ترمذی نقشبندی کے کاغذات کا کلیکشن. سنہ 1880-1890
1. اللہ تعالٰی ازلی و ابدی، قیود زمان و مکاں سے مبرا
1.1 خدا خود آیندہ، موجود بالذات
1.2 واجب الوجود، واجب بالذات
2. قدرت کاملہ
3. کن
پانی، ہوا، عرش، کرسی، لوح، قلم، تقدیر، ایام، عالم، روح، مادہ
3.1 عالمہائے صراحت
عالم جبروت، عالم ملکوت، عالم لاہوت، عالم ناسوت، عالم برزخ (صغریٰ و کبرا)، عالم روح، عالم امکاں، عالم جسم، عالم زات
3.2 ذکر و شغل
3.2.1 صراحت نور ایمان
عین الیقین، حق الیقین، علم الیقین، جہل الیقین (کافر)
3.2.2 طریقہائے فنا
فنا فی اللہ، فنا فی الرسول، فنا فی الشیخ
3.3 صراحت تصوف
3.3.1 کمالات و کرامات (صوفی)
جمالی (نسجر و رحوع خلق؟؟ ) ، جلالی
3.3.2 اہل شہود
ہمہ از اوست
3.3.3 اہل وجود
ہمہ اوست
3.4 صراحت روح (قل الروح من امر ربیی)
3.4.1 ااقسام روح
سیلانی، مقامی، ملکوتی، شیطانی
3.4.2 نوعیت روحانی
3.4.2.1 نباتاتی (آٹھ)
3.4.2.2 طبعی
3.4.2.3 نفسانی
مدرکہ (حواس ظاہری و باطنی)
محرکہ (باعثہ،فاعلہ)
3.4.2.4 حیوانی
بارہ قوتیں: پانچ حواس باطنی (حافظہ، تواہمہ، ،حس سرک، خیال) ، پانچ حواس ظاہری (سامعہ، زائقہ، ، قوت شہوانی، قوت عقیدہ
آٹھ خادم: جازبہ، ماسکہ،ہاضمہ، ممیزہ، ذایقہ، مصورہ،مولدہ، متنمہ؟ قنسمہ(؟)
Mahmood Zaidi
's note on this شجرہ :
یہ تمام اصطلاحات صوفیا کے یہاں رائج ہیں، ہر ایک اپنے اندر ایک جہان سمیٹے ہوئے ہے،
سرسری تم جہان سے گذرے
ورنہ ہر جا ، جہان دیگر تھا
درجنوں ماہرین فلسفہ و منطق نے سینکڑوں کتب اس میں سے ہر موضوع پر علیحدہ علیحدہ لکھ دی ہیں، پھر حسب استعداد و فہم و ادراک ان کی مخالفت اور تصدیق میں بے شمار کتب لکھی گئیں، صوفیا کا معاملہ اس لیئے مختلف رہا کہ وہ براہ راست تربیت لیتے اور سینہ بہ سینہ اس علم کو منتقل کرتے رہے، حافظ ابن قیم کی تصنیف کتاب الروح ہو ، امام محمد الغزالی رح کی کیمیائے سعادت ہو، علامہ محمد اقبال رح کی الہامی شاعری ہو، رومی، حالی، جامی، سعدی، اور بعض صورتوں میں مرزا اسد الله خان غالب کے اشعار ہوں ۔۔۔۔ مثلاً ۔۔۔
کچھ نہ تھا تو خدا تھا، کچھ نہ ہوتا تو خدا ہوتا
ڈبویا مجھ کو ہونے نے، نہ ہوتا میں تو کیا ہوتا
یہ مسائل تصوف یہ تیرا بیان غالب
تجھے ہم ولی سمجھتے جو نہ بادہ خوار ہوتا
وغیرہ وغیرہ ہوں۔۔۔۔۔
یہ سب ذخیرہ پڑھنے کے لیئے عمر تھوڑی ہے اور اب اس میں برکت ناپید۔۔۔
یہ عمر گریزاں کہیں ٹھہرے تو یہ جانوں
ہر حال میں مجھ کو یہی لگتا ہے کہ' تم' ہو
بہرحال، راہ سلوک کی منازل ہوں، تزکیہ کا باب ہو، صفائی قلب ہو، حواس ظاہری یا باطنی ہوں ، فنا بالذات ہو، نفی ذات ہو، مکاشفہ ہو، جبلت انسانی و حیوانی ہو، انتقال روح ، جبروت ، ملکوت ، لاہوت، ناسوت. ، عالم ارواح، عالم دنیا، عالم لا مکاں و ساعہ، چار سمتوں سے ستائیس سمتوں تک کا سفر، مرکب انسانی، کیمیا ، قوت رحمانی، روحانی، شیطانی، جمال، جلال، کمال، عین الیقین سے حق الیقین تک کا مرحلہ وار اور دیوانہ وار سفر، ہمہ اوست پھر ہمہ از اوست، وحدت الوجود، عرفان الٰہی، یہ سب علوم اسرار ہیں، علوم لدنی ہیں، اس کی ابتدا سورہ کہف میں موسیٰ و خضر کے قصہ میں موجود ہے، نہ جانے ابتدا کیا ہے اور انتہا کیا ہے۔۔۔۔
فلسفی کو بحث کے اندر خدا ملتا نہیں
ڈور کو سلجھا رہا ہے اور سرا ملتا نہیں
جو صفحہ آپ نے یہاں بھیجا ہے ، اس کے مندرجات کسی صوفی بزرگ کے مشاہدات، تجربات، مکاشفات، الہام اور مجاہدہ کا نتیجہ معلوم ہوتے ہیں، فیسبک پر ان میں سے کسی ایک اصطلاح پر بھی مکمل لکھنا ممکن نہیں، شاید بالمشافہ گفتگو یا کسی آن لائن سیشن میں کبھی کچھ گفتگو ہو پائے۔۔۔
والله اعلم بالصواب۔۔۔

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Ausaf Husain

Syed Ausaf Hussain Marhoom: On 18th January, Ausaf Bhai left for heavenly abode. A wrangler in true sense and a man of high principles. The way he carried himself, no one could gauge his true age. I remember sharing an anecdote with us that he once he visited a hakeem. Hakeem sb as per practice took the pulse and said asked what was Ausaf bhai age. Ausaf bhai replied either 72 or 79, I cannot remember. Hakeem sb got furious and said that do not joke and that Ausaf bhai must be in 50's. A solid person on whom you could rely upon in times of need. Irfan, Sara and Khurram can dwell more on Ausaf bhai personality. May Allah grant Jannah to Ausaf bhai and buland his darajats. Ameen

In the words of Ammi Jan (Huzabra Ahsan Hyder) he was internally a very deeply religious  which was not typically visible from outside. His apparent strictness emanated from a very strong adherence to the principles of honesty, commitment to the given word, punctuality, integrity, legal process, prompt action. He would get angry when we would be late, not adhere to the stated plan, or procrastination. He would say out what is in his heart and would call a spade as spade irrespective of whether people will like it or not. His maintenance of records of financial transactions was meticulous. All receivables, payable, receipts, payments records with every party were maintained in an immaculate manner going back to decades. It was a very hard struggle for survival battle that he waged every day after the death of his father. It took him around 20 years to rise from the ranks to the officer level in airforce in 1970, a feat that was achieved only by him in his batch. For this he had to excel in not only operations but also to distinguish himself as a marksman, expert in handheld arms and hand combat, judo and as a commando. His insistence on making everyone understand and remember each and every instruction by repeated reminders is exemplary. This struggle for excellence defined his personality. After retirement he excelled in everything he did. Whether in learning the protocol duties, security business. He had over 100 items published in various newspapers on home security, self security, organizational safety and security issues. He became a member of an international safety and security association and used to subscribe to its monthly magazine which he would read diligently from end to end and apply it in various companies. He was among the early adopters of technology. He professionally started using his email freelance_ausaf@hotmail.com much before others. He was using PowerPoint in late 1990s. He had a blackberry and was using group sms. I learned how to use sms for eid baqreid messages. He had a functional website much before I made one....

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Social Interactions through Poetry

What a mournful separation of the family members after partition depicted through poetry. Note the following message of eid Mubarak and its poetic response by members of the family across the divide. Also note the level of education in 1950s and the ability of educated to express through poetry their feelings and experiences. Today educated can't even read poetry, let alone compose it. 

Picture of a page from diary of my paternal grandmother capturing the poetic exchange between two of her cousins across the border. 

See also: Fatima Khatoon's depiction of separation of family members in a beautiful nazm. See this link.

1950-09-19

 برادر نثار حیدر کی نہٹور (بجنور، انڈیا) سے عید کی مبارکباد جس میں اپنا وطن چھوڑ کر پاکستان چلے جانے والوں کے لئے پیغام ہے- ان کی کزن وحیدہ کی طرف سےکراچی، پاکستان سے جواب-

انوار فاطمہ (والدہ احسان حید) کی کاپی /ڈائری میں ان کے ہاتھ سے لکھا ہوا ہے - نثار حیدر اور وحیدہ دونوں انوار فاطمہ کے کزنز ہیں-

ستمبر 19 سن 1950 میں نہٹور سے نثار حیدر:

غربت سے بہی فزوں ہے یہ اپنے وطن کی عید

اہل چمن ہیں جب نہیں پھر کیا چمن کی عید

پروانہ ہائے خاک وطن بے قرار ہیں

جب شمع انجمن نہ ہو کیا انجمن کی عید


 ان کی کزن وحیدہ کا پاکستان سے جواب:

اپنا وطن وہی ہے کہ عزت جہاں ملے

بے خوف و بے خطر ہو ہراک مردو و زن کی عید


آجا! کہ چشمہائے عزیزاں ہیں شرف راہ

تجھ بن تھی اون کی عید بھی رنج و محن کی عید


اپنا چمن بھی چھوڑا خیاباں بھی چھٹ گیا

جب گل کو راس آئی نہ اپنے چمن کی عید


Saturday, January 2, 2021

Elegy on the Killing of PM Liaquat Ali Khan by Shah Abdul Shakoor Faridi


مرثیہ ترجیح بند در شہادت لیاقت علیخان
بر بند سعدی علیہ الرحمہ
از شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی، مانک پور

یہ مرثیہ ایک ١٩٥١ کےخط میں ملا جو کہ شاہ عبد الشکور ساکن مانک پور کا بھیجا ہوا تھا-
 شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی میری والدہ کے نانا تھے- بڑے بزرگ تھے- ان کے منظوم ملفوظات میرے پاس کچھ موجود ہیں- ان کے مزار پر اب بھی عرس ہوتا ہے- ان کے کئی خطوط میرے پاس ہیں- پارٹیشن کے بعد ان کے خاندان کے اکثر لوگ ہجرت کر کے پاکستان آ گئے مگر انہوں نے اپنے آباؤاجداد کے قصبہ کو چھوڑنا مناسب نہ سمجھا- وہ وہاں اکیلے ایک دو افراد کے ساتھ رہ گئے- ان کی ایک بیٹی عائشہ فریدی(میری والدہ کی خالہ) ان کے ساتھ رہا کرتی تھیں جن کے تواتر سے دلخراش خطوط میری والدہ کے پاس آیا کرتے تھے جو کہ ان کے انتقال  1967-68 تک آتے رہے- ان خطوط میں شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی کے منظوم ملفوظات بھی ہوتے تھے- ان کا کچھ دیوان ہمارے ایک عزیز کے پاس ہے
درج زیل اردو ترجمہ از Mahmood Zaidi  بصد شکریہ:

تو ایک عالم کا دوست ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
صرف تیری آنکھیں تیرے خون کی گواہ ہیں

اے بے بس تیرا دل خون سے تر ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
کیا جانوں تیرے قرابت داروں پر کیا گذر رہی ہے 

مار ڈالا تو نے اس مقتول کو
اے،  شقی، بزدل اور نااہل گدھے

تم آج بخوشی مرتضیٰ کے دروازے پر پہنچے ہو
مگر ہم یہاں آہ و فریاد کررہے ہیں 

اے بے بس تیرا دل خون سے تر ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
کیا جانوں تیرے قرابت داروں پر کیا گذر رہی ہے

کہاں ہو تم اے لیاقت علی خان۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
خاک کے نیچے چھپا کب ظاہر ہوتا ہے، 

تم کہ ایک مہر تاباں تھے۔   
دنیا تمہیں کھو کر اب گریہ کناں ہے۔۔۔

اے بے بس تیرا دل خون سے تر ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
کیا جانوں تیرے قرابت داروں پر کیا گذر رہی ہے

تمہاری موت لوگوں کو تتر بتر کرنے کا ایک طریقہ ہے
یقیناً یہ چرخ والوں کا فتنہ ہے۔۔۔۔

جب تک تم خون میں ڈوب نہ جاؤ
ان کا مقصد کیسے پورا ہوسکتا تھا۔۔۔

اے بے بس تیرا دل خون سے تر ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
کیا جانوں تیرے قرابت داروں پر کیا گذر رہی ہے

شہادت نعمت حق کے سوا کچھ نہیں 
اور یہ صبر کرنے والوں کی صفات کا مظہر بھی 

بے شک یہ مومن کے لیئے خوش خبری ہے۔۔۔
فریدی مگر تم سے یہ غم چھپائے نہیں چھپتا۔۔۔

اے بے بس تیرا دل خون سے تر ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
کیا جانوں تیرے قرابت داروں پر کیا گذر رہی ہے


 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Inter-Disciplinary and Multi-Disciplinary PhD Research

As I look back I am trying to connect the dots that I have been trying to follow the footsteps of Prof Dr JC Browne at UT Austin, TX, in multidisciplinary research. He was, my PhD Supervisor during 1990-95 whose pic is here:







JC Browne's students were from electrical and computer engineering department, computer science department, aerospace department, economics and other departments as described below. Browne received the 2004 University of Texas at Austin Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a superior research program across multiple fields over a 45-year career.


Browne’s research over five decades has spanned many domains in computer and computational science including many cross-disciplinary collaborations with physicists and engineers on topics ranging from binary black holes to control systems for prostate cancer treatments.
Browne has attained fellow status in five different professional societies across several areas including the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute for Constructive Capitalism.

JC's areas of focus spread far and wide. One day during our CODE Research group meetings the discussion shifted to the area of hardware performance from our usual area of focus of Visual and Parallel Programming. A group member who was a post doc (Dr Ravi Rao) made a remark saying that he thought none of the people in this group seems to be qualified to speak in this particular area. JC calmly listened to the member completing his remark and then said "Gentlemen, you may not know that around 2 decades ago in the early 1970s, this precisely was my area of research! Several of my PhD researchers's topic belonged to this particular area."

Thereafter when we made a few inquiries, we found that his areas of specializations spread far and wide. Parallel and Visual Programming was only one of the groups. He had research groups in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering and even pure Mathematics and Physics running in parallel. There were several areas which he had explored and left behind.

Browne received the 2004 University of Texas at Austin Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a superior research program across multiple fields over a 45-year career during which he supervised or co-supervised the Ph.D. research of 69 students in four different fields.

About James C. Browne

James C. (Jim) Browne, one of the original members of the Computer Science Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Jim was an institution at the departmental and the university level, being a faculty member at the university for more than 45 years. He was a past Professor of Computer Science and Physics and holder of the Regents Chair #2 in Computer Science. He was the first permanent chairperson for the department and served as chair three times. Browne was also the founding director for the computing centre at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

He attained fellow status in five different professional societies and areas: the Association for Computing Machinery, the British Computer Society, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute for Constructive Capitalism.
Browne published about 500 papers over his 50-year research career and in 2004 received The University of Texas at Austin Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a superior research program over many years.

But the accomplishments of which Browne was most proud are serving as the supervisor or co-supervisor for the graduate studies of 68 Ph.D. students and 65 master’s degree students and for a substantial number of undergraduate honors theses. He has also served on several hundred Ph.D. supervision committees across multiple disciplines.
=======

Dr Irfan Hyder, A Humble Student of JC Browne:

Before my MBA in 1987, I had done BE Electronic Engineering in 1985. After MBA, I did my MS Computer Engineering in 1989 and after that PhD in Computer Science in 1994. My research areas include parallel computing, electrical engineering, software engineering, energy management, MIS and ERP, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, School Education, Strategic Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Business research,...

See Also: 

What is PhD?
Why PhD is Difficult: 
Starting with your PhD
Reading Research and Writing Your Research 
Qualitative Learning from a PhD
Myths: 


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Irfan Husain, Mazdak, Begum & Akhtar Husain Raipuri and Zafar Umar

I have been reading Mazdak/ Irfan Husain's articles in Dawn for last 20+ years. Although I often disagreed with his opinions but yet used to read them regularly. 
Son of acclaimed writers Akhtar Husain Raipuri and Begum Hameeda Akhtar Husain Raipuri. Begum Hameeda Akhtar, an acclaimed writer herself was daughter of Zufar Umar author of نیلی چھتری famed detective books. Zafar Umar was the first اردو writer of genre of detective fiction.

When Begum Hameeda Akhtar published her first  book after the death of her husband, my mother and sister who read her autobiographical book wanted to meet her. We went to her house behind چیل والی کوٹھی
off khalid bin walid road near Paramount Book store on  Sufi Street, one lane off main Khalid Bin Waleed Road, PECHS, Karachi.Thereafter we went a few times and enjoyed her company. Great woman. Currently brother of Irfan Husain lives in that house. 

Dawn columnist Irfan Husain passed away early Wednesday in Dorset, England, his family said.
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In a tweet, his son Shakir Husain said he was grateful his father "slipped away gently" and that he was able to be with him. "See you on the other side, Abba."

In a column in Dawn published earlier this year in August, Husain had said that he had been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer nearly three years ago.

"After nearly three years of this barrage, I must confess there are times I wish it would just end quietly without fuss. But then I look outside the window and see the flowers, trees and birds in our garden, and I am happy to be still alive," he wrote in the column.

#DawnToday
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Published 17 Dec, 2020 07:29am
Columnist Irfan Husain passes away
FROM THE NEWSPAPER
KARACHI: Columnist, author and a global citizen as he used to describe himself, Irfan Husain, passed away early Wednesday in Dorset, England. He was 76.

Husain wrote weekly col­­­umns for Dawn and in one such write-up publish­­ed in August, he shared with readers that he had been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer three years ago, according to Dawn.com.

He wrote for weekly Outlook, The Star and later Dawn under various pseudonyms. His writings were never soft on governments and often evoked strong reactions.

He joined the civil service in 1967 after obtaining a master’s degree in economics, while also pursuing his love for writing.

He served as culture secretary, information minister and also a diplomat in Washington for a short span before his retirement in 1997.

Born into a family in Amritsar, where reading, art, culture and discussions were encouraged, Husain was educated in Paris, Ankara and Karachi. His family migrated to Pakistan at the time of independence.

Besides his taste for literature, art and music, he was also known for his love for culinary. He wrote on food and occasionally shared his culinary expertise through Dawn EOS’ Epicurious column.

In 2012, he authored a book titled Fatal Faultlines: Pakistan, Islam and the West. At its launch, he described the thought of writing a book as ‘frightening’ since he had been mostly writing columns. According to Husain, his book was primarily intended for a Western audience and for them to understand how they were viewed by the Muslim world, but at the same time, it was an attempt to explain to Muslim readers why they were viewed so negatively in the West.

According to the publisher Harper Collins, Husain pursued a parallel and covert career as a freelance journalist for most of his working life, writing under a succession of pseudonyms. He divided his time between the UK, Pak­istan and Sri Lanka since 2002, the publisher said.

In one of his recent columns for Dawn years after being diagnosed with cancer, Husain said: “After nearly three years of this barrage, I must confess there are times I wish it would just end quietly without fuss. But then I look outside the window and see the flowers, trees and birds in our garden, and I am happy to be still alive.”

Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2020

Sunday, December 13, 2020

My Wing Sung Pen

Wing Sung Pen. Fountain pen. 
Tons of hard work and cherished memories with this friend. 
I got one in 1975, when I was in 8th class, this same color, and it remained in my use till 1987. All my exams: Matric, Inter (HSC1 and HSC2), Engineering (40 course papers), MBA (20 courses papers) and their preparatory work on reams and reams of paper was done with that one pen. I left it in my stuff when I went to USA in 1987. Remember seeing it when I returned in 1995. Then I don't know where it vanished. May be it is there somewhere in that old stuff. 

I remember the smoothness with which it would glide on the paper. It's nib due to long use had become thick. But, it flowed in my hands.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Social History Archival Project of Family Letters

 Letter Archival Project: In my spare time, I am currently working on a project to archive family letters from 1940s till 2000s. My parents had somehow stored the letters from pre-partition days till their death in 2003-04 spanning 5 generations with around five thousand items. These include letters from times they were in India before partition, and after partition in Hyderabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and then back in Karachi. All kinds of personal correspondence of my parents from my grandparents generation, from my aunts, uncles generation, my siblings generation and also from me and my siblings' children generation. The letters coming from uk, usa, Brazil, India, Australia, Middle East, East Pakistan and different cities of Pakistan and india. Treasure trove of social history of the uprooting of families in india, their survival struggle in Pakistan from scratch, and then a gradual settling down. The project includes i.e (1) labeling, (2) dating (3) sorting, (4) identifying the senders and recepients, (5) cataloging (6) scanning, (7) deciphering the handwritings and transcribing, (8) editing, (9) categorizing, (10) contextualizing, (11) interpreting... ...

Sunday, September 27, 2020

My MS Library Research at UT Austin in 1989

Think about researchers who reviewed hundreds of papers that they had to access manually! UT Austin,  Texas in 1987 had around 6 millions items distributed in several departmental libraries. Some of these were several storyed library buildings. There was also a huge 6 floor central library. For example, In Engineering building library each engineering discipline had their own encyclopedia type abstracts volumes. Computer and control abstracts had around 50 volumes (encyclopedia like thick volumes containing the abstracts of all papers published). Volume 1 and 2 contained the index of citations only. From the alphabetical index search you identified the particular volume,  say volume #34 containing abstracts of a particular area. Then you pulled out volume#34 to read the abstracts and titles. If you thought the abstract was any good or relevant and the article was worth reading, then you noted the reference in a diary. Once you have noted these 20-30 worth reading citations, the next stage was to get the article. Fortunately, library catalog was computerized and UT Austin had a huge subscription of journals. Online catalog told you whether whether the journal was available and at which library, and which floor and which shelf. Generally from 20 citations you found 5-7 not available on campus. For these you needed to go to inter University loan service that typically took from 2weeks to two months to get the photo copy from a partner University. If the journal was available on campus, you went to that physical library location to find the volume of journal. You were lucky if the journal was available on shelf. Often another student may have taken out the volume and placed it in the library somewhere. For that you had to contact the library staff to search the item and hold it for you  which may take a few days. Finally, you find the relevant volume and read the article. If it is really good and relevant you got to get the photocopy from the machines where you had to insert a prepaid cartridge to get the photocopies.