Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 30 April 2018
Many Pakistani think-tanks are yet to overcome their 70 years old obsession of ‘hate India’. While this helps jihadi factory to gain momentum, sadly our western neighbour is inching closer to become factory of ‘fabricated lies and deceit’. Religion and fundamentalism thrives but culture is decaying in Pakistan.
Denying Free Expression is Denying Shared Human Values
Free expression is indeed inspiring. The freedom of expression has been revolutionized with internet and is surely beyond politics. People relate to each other in many different ways which is bringing greater ingenuity, thus horizons are closing-in and barriers are being broken. Today we are in era where aspirations are interconnected and inseparable.
However, ideas of free expressions are globally given a vicious swing to deflect attention from Governments that block the aspirations of their own people, their deep-rooted corruptions, oppression and more importantly human rights violations. This invariably is a short-term measure to escape the judgement of own people. It is happening for last 70 years with our western neighbour!
Lies and Deceit through Seminars and Biased Literature
The Institute of Strategic Studies at Islamabad is holding a seminar on May 07, 2018 and the topic is ‘India: A Pretentious Regional Power’. Some of the lesser known and struggling intellectuals even from one or two western nations may be partaking to give the event a sense of credibility. Not that the Institution is globally renowned or it ever packs surprising intellectual content for global good, but the event is yet another link in the endless endeavours of Pakistani ruling elite and Pakistan Army, i.e. the Deep State to control the thoughts and ideas of their people and give it a vicious swing to block their attention on their misrule and corruption.
The concept note and the objectives set for the Seminar itself are a self-defeating exercise and convey a stratified mindset with a sadistic purpose which is only hardening their biases rather than seeing emerging new lights. Seminars are all about listening to plurality of views and emerging ideas. However such Seminars remain an exercise to justify the bad being done and deflect attention of their own people.
Such ill-conceived ideas are not new to Pakistan but are very much part of state-funded and state-directed enterprises. Only this year on the eve of Indian Republic day, state-sponsored agencies and the Deep State released literature to deflect the attention of their people towards India, obviously with an idea that “block and divert the peoples’ mind is essential to let the loot-factory continue”.
This obviously is a vicious process of brainwashing their own people and Pakistan is indulging deeply into it. Most of these book launches and seminars are held at five –stars hotels of Islamabad to instill a sense of decorum, dignity to the whole malafide process of vitiating peoples’ mind. As these are two or four hour events, a succulent lunch and high tea are the norms to fill the intellectual void. Sadly it is from their taxpayers’ money.
This year a new way has been invented to move the idea of deflecting attention from success of democratic India. Parliament of Pakistan decided to hold a special session i.e. Majlis-e-Shoora at 6PM on January 26, 2018. Reasons are unknown but objective being only one that ‘reception at Indian High Commission must not be attended by influencers and idea of successful democratic India must not pollinate among Pakistanis’.
Why Such Vicious Brainwashing for 70 Years?
The two-nation theory was a founding principle of the Pakistan (i.e. the ideology of Pakistan as a Muslim nation-state in South Asia), and the partition of India in 1947. Religion was the determining factor. After 70 years of the creation of Pakistan, the two-nation theory continues to be the country’s raison d’être. Pakistan misconstrued the two-nation theory in its quest for an identity. The theory was essentially a political premise on the need for two separate nations. Pakistan thus is an artificial political idea and the separation of Muslim Pakistan from a Hindu India is the core issue for its survival. There is nothing as Hindu India in a secular India but narrative is being corrupted to widen the chasm by ruling elites of Pakistan. Vicious brainwashing is only aimed to keep its survival going.
This ideology of ‘two nation theory’ was junked by India the very first day when India became secular. However in case of Pakistan, it not only divided them but also criminalized their cultural and religious traditions. Moreover this gave the ruling elite and Pak Army i.e. the Deep State a handle to ratchet anti-India feelings and deflect attention of their people. Today Pakistan stands in front of us with one religion but also with a question, as to what about its culture? Thus idea of culture is failing miserably there and being brutalized as well. This has found expressions in even school textbooks and jihadi literature.
There are many victims of Pakistani vicious brainwashing. Sufism is ceding ground to radicalization there. In India, the qawwali at the Sufi shrine which is the Muslim equivalent of the Hindu bhajan is gaining popularity, however in Pakistan religious intolerance and state-coercion of Baluch, Hazaras, Saraikis, Christians and even Hindus continue unabated.
Pakistan is a nation at war and is aggressively denying peace to its own citizen. Even the mind-space has been criminalized. If we decompose the current brainwashing, then clear objective emerges which indicates deep deliberate deflection of attention of its people from misrule, criminalization of society and corruption.
What Should India Do?
India’s loss of patience is understandable. It has a population six times Pakistan’s and an economy eight times as big. However in this communication age, the idea of vicious brainwashing will be eventually seen by the people and logically they would take measures to expose the dirty, ugly and corrupt hidden behind their strategy of brainwashing and criminalizing minds of their own people.
India should observe and wait. The winds of change and wisdom surely shall touch shores of Pakistan and people there will realize how they missed the bus of modernity. One Pakistani scholar has said that ‘the news that comes out of Pakistan is always geared toward terrorism and fundamentalism. But when you give people freedom of expression and the freedom to go out and be social and to express themselves, you will see a change. I see that coming about in my country’. And such transformation will be enduring and inspirational. It has to happen.
Should India counter the vicious brainwashing? India going for countering such propaganda will unnecessarily muddy itself and dilute its high moral ground. Such dirty tricks are non-starters and presumptuous in a vibrant democracy like India. Ignore and let internal winds of change take care of the vicious and corrupt in Pakistan.
As George Bernard Shaw has a brilliant idea to give-
‘I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it’
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal and web channel, National Defence.