Friday, May 22, 2009

The Shrine of Mysore

In India shrines are held in very high esteem across the religious and social divide. Devotees of all creeds and races routinely visit graves of their ancestors and holy people of yesteryears. Visiting these shrines is a very solemn affair and the people pay special homage by singing devotional songs, reading Holy Scriptures, praying and donating generously. In this land of shrines there is a popular but strange and different kind of shrine in the south. This different mazaar has many dirty shoes hanging with ropes. The devotees enter the shrine, pick up a dirty shoe of their choice, beat the grave with the shoe and leave the premises chanting humiliating verses. Yes this is the tomb of the ruler of Mysore, Mir Sadiq that might be called “Jootiyon wali sarkar”. The same Mir Sadiq about whom Allama Iqbal said,

Jaffar az Bangal wa Sadiq az Daccan
Nang i millat, nang i qaum nang i watan

Mir Sadiq was a general and wazir of Tipu Sultan the ruler of Mysore resisting the British occupation of India. When the British could not subdue Tipu militarily, they conspired with Mir Sadiq who collaborated with them with the promise of Tipu’s throne. He betrayed Tipu very effectively getting him killed and becoming a nominal ruler of Mysore. In the process he helped the invaders, the British subjugate the subcontinent bringing humiliation and disgrace to the nation for more than a century. Most of the historians regard him as one of the chief traitors who helped the British over his own people for petty personal benefits. No wonder he is probably the most disgraced person in the subcontinent where one fifth of the world resides.

Even the worst critics of colonialism agree that British rule in India was not all bad and there were certainly some good things too. They brought in science and technology along with democracy and education. Extensive railways and irrigation systems were developed making India the most developed after Europe and the Americas. Despite these positive steps it was the psyche and the self esteem of the proud people of the subcontinent that was hurt very badly by the foreign rulers. The locals were contemptuously called natives and no opportunity to humiliate them was missed. Ultimately the proud people of India rose against the foreign rulers and after a struggle of more than a hundred years with hundreds of thousands dead, achieved independence. Mir Sadiq for some petty temporary privileges made the nation suffer for centuries at the hands of the foreigners. This point adequately explains the disdain and despises felt for him across the subcontinent which one fifth of the humanity calls home.

Treason and sedition is considered the most serious crime known across the world in all civilizations. Traitors along with the collaborators of the foreign hostile forces are considered equally evil and wicked. After the Second World War we saw the aged war heroes of the past war being humiliated and punished on charges of collaboration with the enemies. Some might consider treason such a high crime that one life time is inadequate to sufficiently punish a traitor and many traitors go unpunished at all. After all Allah (SW) also felt the need of an afterworld to sufficiently address the unresolved matters of this world. It is for this reason the patriotic Indians devised a method to humiliate Mir Sadiq for all times to come because he could not be sufficiently punished in his life time. He committed too serious a crime against his people to be forgiven easily. His progeny must be alive somewhere but would not dare announce it always living in a fear of being found out and face social humiliation.

We the Pakistanis living in this promised land for which our ancestors struggled for centuries have had more than our share of traitors indulging in high treason for their petty benefits. It is mostly these traitors who are responsible for the sorry state of affairs of the country, which was the land of the pure. We faced too many debacles in our short history of 60 years. We got divided, fought many wars, repeatedly pummeled our constitution, disregarded peoples opinion, sowed seeds of national disharmony, accommodated illegal arms and drugs to name a few of our more serious problems. It has gotten so serious that we are always on the brink of being declared a failed or a terrorist state with even more serious allegations of nuclear proliferation. During these difficult times many people did take advantages at the cost of the nation worsening the situation and got away with it. Due to these factors we are serving our foreign masters more than our own people. For all these tragedies no one was ever found responsible and punished. Their generations are blatantly reaping the benefits of their crimes. We have developed a culture in which the gravest of crimes can be committed with impunity and this practice must be checked. Crimes against the nation must be punished whenever possible to discourage the future perpetuators.

According to the Pakistani law the worst possible crime is sedition and high treason and its worst form is abrogation of the constitution. Constitution is the legal pact between 160 million Pakistanis acting as the base on which the state stands. It is also the mother of all the institutions which makes the nation strong and its repeated desecrations is the root cause of most of our problems and no one has ever been punished for that. Any attack on constitution is a direct attack on the nation. Committing this crime we have had more than our share of Mir Jaffars and Mir Sadiqs and all of them got away it.

A common criminal deserves punishment for harming a few people but the culprits and their collaborators causing harm to the millions deserve much more. The nation cannot afford to let these criminals get away with impunity. We cannot turn back the wheels of history and bring many Pakistani criminals back to life to be punished but like Mir Sadiq we can make a bad example of them. We ought to at least do whatever possible. We should do enough so that their successors stop bragging about their ancestors and start hiding their relation with the outlaw constitution breakers. We have exercised forgiveness against those accused of treason for too long and the situation is not improving at all. It is time for us to start punishing them and building a few “Jootiyon wali Sarkar” shrines here. Shall we start with Haripur, or Islamabad or --------.

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