Articles of the year 2005

Bengali Bookies in Bombay
Published on June 22nd, 2005

Similar loss. The odds were even greater this time, the amount bet has still not been ascertained, we can be sure that money was made, but it would be a brave punter who would bet against the Aussies ----- fix or no fix. There is no denying the magnificence of the Bangla Desh achievement, nor the amazing shock to the Australian ego. It is the absence of accusatory statements that underlines the differences between our two nations. Bangla Desh by all standards is as corrupt as we are,and is as mullah-bound but it is the perceptions about Pakistan that are putting us in a special league.From Match fixing to corrupt leadership. Each act leads to another episode of Paki-bashing by the media. From the 60's when the expression Pakis was coined in England,to encompass all the immigrants from the Sub-continent—Bengalis,Indians,Pakistanis,even Sikhs. This was a period of extreme unction, and suffering for the "Pakis" at the hands of the local Yobs, Skinheads. It spawned a new vocabulary of derogatory terms for the immigrants, and gave free reign to the racism that lurked just below the surface. Of course the media loved it, for it gave them much to write about, and write they did.

Then came 9/11 and it was open season on the Pakis. Coupled with the Taliban the Mullahs were all tarred with one brush. The Indians sprang clear, and using the secular card went from strength to strength. The icing was when Bill Gates went calling. One was reminded of the old whats good for GM is good for the US. The Indians are well up on their history lessons. We are watching from the sidelines, India is pulling ahead every lap, while we console ourselves with the Banker of the year, State Bank Governor of the Year etc, and the good General is lauded internationally for his principled stand on Terrorism.The ground realities are completely different. The public has given up on expecting any accountability ---from Pakistani courts. The Hon High Court Judges who have released the rapists convicted in the Mukhtaran Mai case would definitely acquit BB and Asif,---if a charge was ever to be framed. And so we the public look towards the Swiss Courts for a decision on the suit pending against the Zardaris. Even if they are found guilty, their followers will say (already) that no Pakistani Law has been broken. This reflects in our National Psyche that we always look towards the foreigners to validate our actions. Yet when Muktharan mai is invited to the US all sorts of excuses and obstacles are raised..--- by the same people who would welcome an opportunity to bad mouth Pakistan when in Opposition and abroad. The fault is not in the foreign Media for the Paki Bashing but in our own politicians who should take a leaf out of the Indian Politcians book, by never speaking against their Govt when abroad. And so we must realize that whether it is Mukhtaran Mai or the fixing of the Bangla Desh match it is our own system that keeps throwing up corrupt and inept politicians and we the people are powerless, and shall remain silent observers to the willful assault on the National resources and the Nationals, whether by so called elected 'Democrats' or others. It is indeed a pity that a country that has given us so much should be treated so shabbily by our political leadership.