Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Is Justice Munir's Doctrine of Necessity Dead or Alive?

Is Doctrine of Necessity dead and buried as proclaimed by Supreme Court in its decision of March 2012? Wherein it stated that "deciding cases on the basis of likely consequences will mean reverting to the malignant ‘doctrine of necessity’ that has been buried by the people with their valiant struggle" [1].
Or, is doctrine of necessity alive and kicking?
On November 27, 2017, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui proclaimed in his censure of military that “Everyone should know that there are no followers of Justice Munir in the courts anymore,” he said, referring to the former chief justice who gave legal cover to the dissolution of Pakistan’s first constituent assembly." and simultaneously "Justice Siddiqui raised many eyebrows when he remarked that he could be assassinated, or may end up joining the ranks of the missing persons, but it was his duty to speak the truth" [2]. However, the same day, Lahore High Court was quick to commend the role of military in saving the country from a huge catastrophe [3]. The difference in opinion is very much clear from a comparison of censure by Justic Siddiqui of IHC, and appreciation by Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmad of LHC about the military role in the Faizabad Dharna and its removal. It is clear that the judges are split on the issue of Justice Munir's Doctrine of Necessity. LHC judge feels that the role of military is justified at the altar of the necessity of saving the country from a huge catastrophe. Whereas, Judge of IHC is concerned about whether the letter of the law is being followed or not.
[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Last Emperor of China and Mughal Empire of India

I always recommend people to see "Last Emperor" movie about Pu Yi, who was the last emperor of China. His rule was only in name and restricted to only the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City). The movie won nine Academy Awards including that for best picture and best director in 1987. 
It depicts how Britishers manipulated the emperors of China in late 19th and early 20th century. The plight of an emperor restricted to just the palace, not allowed to meet the people or even to peep outside the palace is so poignantly depicted. It evoked an eerie comparison with our history of 1750-1857, during the twilight of the receding control of the Mughal Empire in India. Last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was also confined to his palace (Lal Qila).  His rule was only in name and its jurisdiction was limited to only the Lal Qila. The broader narrative of the two last emperors needs to be compared. Pu Yi and Bahadur shah zafar were both captives of their palaces. Both may have wanted to do some thing for their nations but were raised singularly unequipped to take over the emerging challenges. China was the action replay of subduing several proud nations with illustrious history including that of India. Bahadur Shah Zafar met with an ignominious death in exile in late 19th century. 
Yearning to do something but utterly powerless. How British colonial masters destroyed the pride of nations subjugated by them.

Why I am a Faculty Member

Why I am a faculty member:
(1) Meeting a student who graduated a long time ago and who comes over and tries to make me recall  him and his batch. Then reminds me of one of my lesson that he remembers to this day and that has changed his life.  This is the great fulfilling experience that can never be gotten elsewhere.
(2) Company of youth keeps me focused on future and gives me hope for the future. Reason I am an optimist.
(3)Aspirations of youth keep me young as I help them achieve their visions. Gives energy
(4) Youth keeps teaching me new things, dealing with new ideas, and how to innovate.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Narratives Designed to Dishonor Popular Choice and Support Neo-Colonialism

[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
There are several narratives that have been fed to the masses to serve the interests of neocolonialism in developing countries. Neocolonialism enables the super-powers to maintain their hegemony on developing countries during the post-colonial world through dictatorships and kingship. The narratives are crafted to serve the political and economic interests of super-powers through exploitation of  resources and people of developing countries.  Primary objective of these narratives is to rob the power of decision making from the people, and to stultify the evolution of democratic aspirations and to stop the growth of self-governing and self-improving institutions. These narratives help in  perpetually destabilizing the developing countries   by supporting dictators, kings, or autocrats, and creating turmoil through civil strife or wars,  and installing weak unrepresentative heads of governments. These meta-narratives enable the neo-colonial unelected elites to maintain their hegemony on the resources of the country in the service of the super powers. Here is a list of 10 top major Neo-colonialism Supporting Narratives that have promoted political instability, rule of dictators and un-elected elites in Pakistan since independence and have stultified democratic evolution: 
Colonialism: White master exploited the poor people.
Neo-colonialism: White Master + Black Master together exploit the poor people.

Recollection of an Unforgettable Recitation of Majaz's Nazr-e-Aligarh

Today on Facebook I saw a video of some old students of Aligarh University reciting the official anthem in New York with a great deal of energy and lilt. This brought a recollection of a day in 1990s when I was dusting the bookshelf of my father Syed Ahsan Hyder and picked "Aahang", a collection of poetry by Majaz.  My father was an aligarian of 1930s, and a contemporary of Majaz, who also used to frequent our family gatherings at Masood Manzil, hostel of our family in Aligarh, where several of my father's cousins and relatives used to stay and study at Aligarh University. My father picked up the book, took out the poem  "نذر علی گڑھ"  and started reciting it in such a beautiful manner that its rhythm and fondness still resonates in my mind. He would sometimes do this in times when he was in "vacant and pensive mood". I can still see him vividly deriving so much pleasure  from the recitation. The recitation was full of fondness of memories of an era long gone, a time well spent, friendships often recounted. I could see this recollection bringing to him that "bliss of solitude" which is associated with time and experiences associated with cherished memories. To me this recollection fills my heart with pleasure and sways with the emotions and aspirations and ethos of that time.