By Nadeem F. Paracha
Nov. 13, 2011
What happens to a generation of educated young people who are brought up on fantastic tales of swords and sorcery (in the name of ‘Pakistan Studies’) and at the same time on those so-called ‘building self-esteem’/self-improvement corporate seminars and books that are basically the yuppie absorption of the late 1970s/’80s ‘New Age’ nonsense about personal aura, positive vibes, et al?
Well, this way you get blobs of walking talking contradictions. What’s even worse, many of these blobs have absolutely no clue that they are a negation of what they preach. And yes, we have in our midst what is perhaps the preachiest generation ever.
They will preach ‘positive thinking’ to the cynics, calmly ignoring the fact that a cynic may just be a sceptic (like all rational, unexcitable human beings). Ah, but that would be repressing one’s emotions? A very unhealthy thing to do. It can make a person, not only a cynic, but, horror of horrors, a non-patriot, which, in Pakistan’s case, can then lead him to becoming an agnostic, or, God forbid, an atheist. In which case positive thinking must dictate affirmative action: Kill the bugger!
Of course, you must understand that this logic is usually and entirely based on assumptions. Positive thinking demands it.
Otherwise finding and investigating the facts behind assumptions can be a time-wasting exercise that makes Jack or Junaid or whoever a very dull, introverted boy on his way to becoming a cynic and thus a positive case for elimination.
Nevertheless, the swords and sorcery-meets-lets-be positive generation will shower you with great admiration if you unthinkingly and animatedly nod to whatever positivism that is trending on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. No, you’re not a sheep but … okay; you are a sheep but … like, so what?
They will shower you with love if you agree with their positivism. Especially if the positivism is about being positive in ones condemnation of what is not positive. Such as an oh-so-arrogant display of individualism.
Don’t you hate such displays? Always trying to look and sound different. Always trying to tell us that suicide bombers kill more people in Pakistan than drone attacks. And that accountability against corrupt people should not only include politicians, but military men and the judiciary too. And that Imran Khan is naive.
You are ‘paid’ (by a ‘foreign hand’) if you disagree with the positivists and patriotic if you agree. But, really, this swords and-sorcery-meets-let’s-be positive generation that leapfrog’s from Muhammad Bin Qasim to Imran Khan the ‘be positive’ corporate guru of the month in matter of a single, unrepressed sentence, can be quite a riot, really – in an entertaining sort of a way.
Take for instance how many of them responded to the UK court’s verdict on the three Pakistani spot-fixing cricketers. Last year when the spot-fixing scandal broke, positive thinking dictated that the cricketers must be supported because both international and local negative forces that are always relentlessly conspiring to blacken the country’s name were most probably behind this event as well. And thanks to many of our positive media personnel it seemed that for a while, Salman Butt, Muhammad Amir and Muhammad Asif, were about to become the male equivalents of Aafia Siddiqui (remember her of the ‘I shot the sheriff’ fame?).
But, alas, a little more than a year later when the three were proven guilty in court and sent to prison, all hell broke loose. No, there were no rallies against the ruling or condemnation of the verdict like Ms Aafia’s (another convicted felon in the US).
Instead, people began burning the three stupid cricketers’ effigies, cursing them for blackening the country’s name.
So the negative old me decided to tweet a question: How come there are stones and curses for a spot-fixer but rallies and rose petals for a killer? By killer I meant you know who.
As the positives came rushing in (on Twitter) to condemn my negative question, I kept on wondering. Wondering how come so many Pakistanis and the media are ready to pour out and passionately demand that certain corrupt cricketers or politicians be lynched, but then the same people shower praises on self-appointed defenders of the faith who commit murder, or look the other way when some other self-appointees in this respect go about their business of blowing up mosques, shrines, schools and markets?
But, then, I understand. Why disturb one’s healthy positive aura and vibe with awkward questions. Why complicate things. I mean, all this might lead to negative thinking thus cynicism, unpatriotic thoughts and perhaps even atheism, no?
One should be positive. Especially about his country, the military, our nuclear arsenal and especially the fact that we are ready to eat grass for our precious big bomb. Or rather, the poor are ready to eat grass for it.
So it is our duty to sympathise with the poor grass eaters and hang a few politicians, eliminate a few cricketers, censor a few journalists and make peace with extremists so as to at least keep the price of grass affordable for the masses who, inshallah, will vote in hoards for Mr. Positive par excellence Imran Khan in the next elections, even though positive thinking dictates democracy is a sham and only a modern-day caliphate is the answer to all our problems.
That felt good. Yea, man, check out my positive vibes. Like, groovy, in a Muhammad bin Qasim kind of a way.
Source: The Dawn, Karachi