Sunday, January 27, 2019

Why there are so many intelligence and investigation agencies in Pakistan

Why in Pakistan we have so many investigation agencies and intelligence agencies? These include Police, FIA, NAB, CID, ISI, SIU, IB, CTD, Sp Br, ATF, MI, ISPR, FBR, JIT,...

Our history tells us that the more such agencies, the more had been an increase in corruption and law breaking. 

Here is an extension of the Aesop's fable that I read in my childhood: There was once a Groom who had the charge of the favorite horse of a King. The groom used to spend long hours clipping and combing the favorite Horse, but who daily stole a portion of his allowance of the horse food, and sold it for his own profit. The condition of the Horse gradually worsened. The king got suspicious and appointed a person to oversee whether the horse is being given its daily allowance. The king noted that instead of the horse getting better, it started worsening faster than previously. The king surmised that the person he has appointed is in cahoot with the groom and is also embezzling the food. The king therefore decided to appoint another person to oversee the first person he had appointed to oversee the groom. After the appointment of the second person, the king noticed that the horse's condition started to deteriorate at a much faster rater than previously. Thereafter, the king appointed another person to oversee the second person he appointed to oversee the first person who was appointed to oversee the groom who was suspected of embezzling the food. The appointed of the third person had an immediate effect and the horse died in a couple of days. 

Moral of the story is that appointing overseers over the overseer will only make the matters worse. 

This is the story of creation of one investigation agency to oversee another investigation agency to oversee another and so on to the investigation agency that is the police. The situation of the country has continued to dwindle more and more with the appointment of each new investigation agency.

Why there is such a widespread epidemic of depression and psychosis in the world?

Why there is such a widespread epidemic of depression and psychosis in the world?
Too much change, happening too fast and robbing us of the familiar anchors in life; anchors in beliefs, anchors in thoughts, anchors in our habits, anchors in families, anchors in "Old Familiar Faces",  anchors in furniture and household items, anchors in neighborhood.
I wrote this post based on my deep contemplations on Future Shock which is a 1970 book by the futurists Alvin Toffler,[1] which defines the term "future shock" as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies emanating from personal perceptions of "too much change in too short a period of time". The book has sold over 6 million copies and has been widely translated.
Modern man feels shock from rapid changes. For example, when we go to our childhood neighborhood, we find nothing that is familiar; the corner shop which was there for decades is no more.  Our grandfather clock is now just a disposable digital clock, long gone. We don't even need a clock. Our corner hair cutting shop is not there. This was a place where we had been going since childhood to get the neighborhood updates. Our neighborhood has been uprooted. Neither there are erstwhile neighbors nor the old homes which we frequented. Old houses have been uprooted, replaced by hideous lifeless structures. Our household items are all disposable even the furniture is disposable. There is no antique rocking chair that was used by our grandfather or his father. Our relationships are now disposable, our relatives are disposable, our parents and children are disposable, not to speak of our extended family members,. Our professions, our skills, our jobs are all disposable....

Humans cannot and will not be able to withstand this accelarating change at breakneck speed leading to psychosis and depression whose prevalence is increasing with the accelarating changes in our life.
I think the loss of one solid Anchor,  the One and only One, who has been immutable from day One, who never changes from eternity to the eternity, all powerful,  is one of the most potent source of stress. 

ڈپریشن کا تعلق ایمان کی کمزوری سے ہے! 
ایمان باللہ کی کمزوری اور ایمان بالقدر یعنی "خیر و شر اللہ کی طرف سے ہے" کی کمزوری
Meaning that our faith in the Almighty and faith in our Destiny makes us weather many a storms, setbacks and disappointments of life. It is these that contribute to alleviating stress.
Also "our quest for more and more has plunged us in to a devastating state"
الھاکم التکاثر
This verse from Surah Takasur  in Muhammad Asad's book Road to Mecca became a trigger for his conversion to Islam from Leopold Weiss in 1920-30s.

This strife for more and more, and lack of gratitude on what we already have creates great stress in our lives. [ref Covey's Principle Centered Leadership]
A person who believes in the following ayah,
عسی ان تکرھو شئ وھو خیر الکم وعسی ان تحبو شئ وھو شر الکم ۔

will start feeling less stressful about the happenings on which he doesn't have control.

From Wikipedia description of Future Shock:
For example, Toffler's daughter went to shop in New York City and she couldn't find a shop in its previous location. Thus New York has become a city without a history. The urban population doubles every 11 years. The overall production of goods and services doubles each 50 years in developed countries. Society experiences an increasing number of changes with an increasing rapidity, while people are losing the familiarity that old institutions (religion, family, national identity, profession) once provided. The so-called "brain drain" – the emigration of European scientists to the United States – is both an indicator of the changes in society and also one of their causes.
Many goods have become disposable as the cost of manual repair or cleaning has become greater than the cost of making new goods due to mass production. Examples of disposable goods include ballpoint pens, lighters, plastic bottles, and paper towels.
The design of goods becomes outdated quickly. (And so, for example, a second generation of computers appears before the end of the expected period of usability of the first generation). It is possible to rent almost everything (from a ladder to a wedding dress), thus eliminating the need for ownership.
Whole branches of industry die off and new branches of industry arise. This affects unskilled workers who are compelled to change their residence to find new jobs. The constant change in the market also poses a problem for advertisers who must deal with moving targets.
People of post-industrial society change their profession and their workplace often. People have to change professions because professions quickly become outdated. People of post-industrial society thus have many careers in a lifetime. The knowledge of an engineer becomes outdated in ten years. People look more and more for temporary jobs.
To follow transient jobs, people have become nomads. For example, immigrants from Algeria, Turkey and other countries go to Europe to find work. Transient people are forced to change residence, phone number, school, friends, car license, and contact with family often. As a result, relationships tend to be superficial with a large number of people, instead of being intimate or close relationships that are more stable. Evidence for this is tourist travel and holiday romances.
The driver's license, received at age 16, has become the teenager's admission to the world of adults, because it symbolizes the ability to move independently.
Death of Permanence. The post industrial society will be marked by a transient culture where everything ranging from goods to human relationships will be temporary.

Friday, January 25, 2019

How to help poor in supporting their marriage costs

I find several NGO initiatives that would like to help the poor in supporting the expenses of the marriages of their daughters. I appreciate their energy and enthusiasm, but feel that there initiative is misplaced and directed not at the cause by the symptom. At best collecting donations for marriage purposes and helping the poor in marrying off their daughters is at most a band-aid or a sani-plast solution. It is not a long term solution. The objective of a foundation or an NGO should be to create a culture where marriage costs are low. Why there is such a mad race to spend exorbitant amount on marriages. Our objective should be to try and make Halal (marriage) cost a fraction of haram (zina). This is also support by the traditions of our Holy Prophet. However, our society is going in the other direction where halal (marriage) costs are running into millions and haram (zina) costs are reducing and are in thousands or a few lacs. We need to create awareness, appreciation of low cost marriages. Need to identify and stimulate rich people who are willing to become role model for this purpose. Development of such a culture is a worthwhile objective and yield much longer term solution to this problem. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

What is meant by Aala Zarf اعلی ظرف

ظرف  =    Zarf means capacity to hold
As in a jug or a container. Magnanimity 
It denotes the capacity to hold when Allah gives some person His bounties and blessings. What is the capacity of that person to hold that bounty or blessing without spilling. Zarf is therefore the capacity to hold a blessing from Allah such as power, or wealth, or beauty, or status, or command on language, etc.... 

A person with Aala Zarf can hold the blessing with magnanimity without spilling. Example: A typical کم ظرف، نو دو لتیا will spill the wealth with ostentatious displays, cheap and horrendous show offs. On the other hand, an  اعلی ظرف will judiciously spend the wealth for his own betterment and for the betterment of the others...
When a کم ظرف gets too much power, he will spill it through humiliating  بے عزتی and disrespecting of others, he will lash out with his tongue and actions without probity, introspection and judgment. A good example of today is the way our information minister Fawad Chaudhry lashes out on his opponents or more importantly Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. The latter's humiliation of respectable Senior Surgeon and social worker Dr Saeed Akhtar who was humiliated without considering his contributions to the society. 
المسلم من سلم المسلمون بالسان و یدہ

A person with Aala Zarf has a capacity that keeps expanding as more bounties are received so that his power to give to others increases without any spillage. This elasticity of the container is the measure of the ظرف

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Can a Child Learn a Foreign Language without obtaining full competency in First language

بچے کی زہنی نشو نما و خود اعتمادی کا گلا گھوٹنا ہو تو اس کو "پہلی زبان" پر دسترس ہونے سے قبل انگریزی زبان کے جبر میں قید کر دیں

I got this comment on the above FB post: 
Actually kids can learn multiple languages early in life a lot easier than later. But the downside is often that they take longer to speak. Girls tend to do better than boys. I learned to speak two and understand a third language all before 3 years of age:
The advantage of parents knowing multiple languages and sharing them with children will ONLY accrue once the child has obtained "full" competency in the "first" language(s) in which parents, grand parents, uncles, aunts, extended family, neighbors converse and the child finds himself immersed after his birth. By full competency I mean that the child can understand a joke, crack a joke, relate a hilarious (make believe) experience that will make family members or friends burst out with laughter. Once a child has this level of competency in the first language, then competency in any other language is a piece of cake. Without this level of competency in the first language, gaining full competency in any other language is wishful thinking.

پہلی زبان
First language is the language in which the child opens his eyes and hear his parents speaking. It is the language with which the child learns to interact with parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends. Articulation of thoughts into words and sentences is a complex learning. Then development of verbal skills to express abstract and complex ideas and learning to crack jokes and appreciate humor are the most difficult skills. Once a child has reached this state, learning any other language is a piece of cake.

The friend (Omer Dossani) further clarified that:
Irfan, our servents spoke Bengali, grandparents spoke Katchi, mother and father spoke 40% Urdu and 60% English. So, I cannot relate to what you are saying but maybe you are correct. From the research done by TCF in Pakistan they strongly stand behind their commitment to stick to Urdu as the medium of instruction based on the research that shows that kids learn best in their native language and so far their students are doing well

Articulation of complex ideas requires complex linguistic skills. The added pressure of not having enough verbal skills in a foreign language, stultifies expression of complex ideas, destroying self confidence and impedes mental development. Once complex verbal skills are fully developed in the first language, the child gains confidence to tackle any other language. Eg Schools where speaking in English is must, and the child is being bullied, the child is afraid and hesitant in complaining because the teacher will scold him for speaking wrong English instead of patiently trying to understand child's grievance. The child's emotions get strangulated and destroys his self confidence.