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  #11  
Old Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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Democracy and Education


The performance of our politicians in our feudal-dominated democracy, especially in Sindh, seems to be quite abysmal. Can there be light without the sun and can there be fragrance without a rose? No. Then, how can there be true democracy without education? Did democracy come to Europe before education? No, democracy and education are directly proportional to one another.

Let’s put history aside for a moment and forget all the past tragedies to analyse the PPP’s governing phase between 2008 and 2015. The mountain of crises bestowed upon the people aside, the tragedy is that the education system, instead of improving, has become worse with time. Resultantly, democracy in Sindh has also not evolved in the manner it should have. The PPP has time and again failed to meet expectations of the people but the diehard supporters of the party keep voting it into power in the province again and again. With fake promises and slogans, the people of Sindh have been fooled.

I would like to make an appeal to all primary school teachers of Sindh: please, go to school and do your duty with honesty.

And, to the government of Sindh, have pity on Sindh, and kindly work for the betterment of education. Let us evolve.

Zuhaib Ahmed Pirzada

Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2015.
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  #12  
Old Thursday, June 18, 2015
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It is also published in The News International


Fooled By The Fake!


Thursday, June 18, 2015


Political clientelism and democracy seem to be nowhere in Sindh. How can there be democracy without education? They are directly proportional to each other.
Let us for a moment put history aside and analyse governance during 2008 and 2015 – a period in which the PPP ruled over Sindh with absolute majority. We have seen a tragedy unfolding before us – the education sector in the province has gone from bad to worse with the result that neither conscience nor democracy could evolve in the province. Sindh, according to a recent education survey, fared worst in the region. The people of Sindh are fooled by fake promises and slogans. Some are hypnotised, some do not want to think out of the box, some have compulsions, some sell their votes while others do not know who they should vote for. Teachers in Sindh are requested to attend their duties honestly. The provincial government should also work for the betterment of education.


Zuhaib Ahmed Pirzada
Thatta
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The Game Behind Globalization*




"The ‘global economy’ is their most important media enterprise. ‘Global economy’ is a modern Orwellian term. On the surface, it is instant financial trading, mobile phones, McDonald’s, Starbucks, holidays booked on the net. Beneath the glass, it is the globalization of poverty, a world where most human beings never make a phone call and live on less than two dollars a day, where 6,000 children die every day from diarrhea because most have no access to clean water." John Pilger




Globalization, the integration of world views, ideas, culture and economy which make the world so called global village and in the smaller global village around 24,000 people die of hunger only because they cannot afford to live. Globalization is nothing but a Great Game of Big Brothers. 85 richest individuals in the world have as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population. George Orwell — 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.'



The world where millions of human beings die of hunger and diseases, millions of women sell themselves, millions of workers and farmer suicide, millions of children cannot get an education and millions of people cannot get medicine there a few people and companies rule the world.*



The gap between haves and have nots is increasing second by second. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. On one hand, one in every three malnourished children of the world live in India and on the other hand Mukesh Ambani can spend 1 million dollars every day for coming two hundred years. On one hand 2.3 million children are under risk of poverty in Spain and on the other people of Spain celebrate Tomatina festival where they fight with 150 tons of ripe tomatoes. It is a pity. Our minds are being controlled and programmed, they cut out the necks with blunt razor blades, exploit our lives, make false a truth, amass world's economy and let us die and we say, "They are helping Us."



Conditions of workers in factories of Pakistan are worse, they live under 2 dollars per day. Thousands of workers work for cheap wages for living, they live hand to mouth and their bosses whom they never know live outside of the country. They live hand to mouth, cannot provide good food, health and education to their children because of the cheap wages and even their children start laboring. The irony is what workers make cannot buy for themselves. If a worker makes footballs in a factory cannot buy it fir his children. Noam Chomsky says, "it is not the great secret that the economy is overwhelming in the hands of private corporations." Half of the population of Pakistan is below the poverty line. 3.3 million children are victims of child labor and Pakistanis bought property worth 7.5bn Dirhams, and became the second largest community in the list of expatriate property buyers in Dubai during 2014." Dawn News



Globalization removes restrictions on foreign trade so that much profit can be gained. The outcomes of globalization are quite dangerous. There are 100 countries who are more poorer that that were 15 years ago. The pundits of globalization favor it so that they can suck the blood of developing countries.



In the book, Why Nations Fail, the writers have given much importance to free market economy, and tell those nations fail who have extractive political economies. The same analysis is given by Francis Fukuyama in the book The End of History and the last man. It is a question for consideration that how much globalization and free market economy have widened global inequality?




WTO focusses more on expanding the trade between states so that the globalization of poverty increases *G.20 behind the curtain of Free market and globalization murder thousands of lives. The more the world is captured by the capitalists the more people remind Karl Marx, "Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks." We are living in a world where a man like Bill Gates can live 218 years by spending one million dollar per day and on the other hand millions of children, women, men have nothing to eat and drink fresh water. No doubt globalization is second name of imperialism__ the poison in honey.*



"War is Peace*

Freedom is slavery*

Ignorance is strength"



*By:

Zuhaib Ahmed Pirzada*
ISLAMABAD

Published In Pak-OBSERVER
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  #14  
Old Monday, September 14, 2015
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Pak-Observer



9-11 War Is Peace!

Fourteen years have passed _human slaughter goes on with blunt razor blades. 3,000 human beings killed in 9/11 attack were honored, mourned, given worth and it reverberated around the globe and at the other 1.5 million men, children and women were of no honour and worth as if they didn’t come into radius of human identity. Rightly jotted down by John Pilger in his book The new rulers of the world. “The Twin Tower victims are people and the Iraqi children are unpeople.”

9-11 attack is nothing but False Flag Terrorism and War On Terrorism is nothing but an Orwellian term. Minds are controlled and generations are programmed by the media so that the public could only see and think what Big Brother want. Shamshad Ahmad says, “ It’s a deja vu scenario: for larger geopolitical motives, create a monster and then wage a war in the name of that monster.” The influence of Niccolo Machiavelli is greater that America has learnt how not to be good. Yet the blood drops down off the sword__ the blood of humanity. Murdered, exploited, orphaned, and deprived of human rights, thousands of people are suffering and undoubtedly human rights are nothing when it comes to self-interest of Uncle Sam.

By:

Zuhaib Ahmed Pirzada
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marvellous and how do you write some expressively, give me some suggestions, how do you quote? i mean from where do you take such expressive and related quotes? suggested readings for me to enhaunce my expressive way of writing as you do?
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  #16  
Old Saturday, March 05, 2016
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Sedition Case Against Indian Students

Voltaire said, ‘To find out who rules over you, simply find out whom you are not allowed to criticize." They are afraid of those who think, speak and fight for their rights. They are afraid of those who question. They have everything; police, army, wealth, guns and bombs, yet they feel insecure of peasants, labourers, workers, poets and students who have nothing but reasoning. Human history has glaring examples of sedition that I think is natural tendency. Widely esteemed Urdu poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz was also accused, imprisoned and punished for his thought provoking and inciting poetry. Yet, he spoke and wrote – never surrendered. He wrote on when he was taken to courts in shackles, “Wet eyes and restless soul is not enough, being charged for nurturing concealed love is not enough; let us walk in bazaar in shackles (Chasm-e-nam, jaan-e-shoreedaan qaafi nahin. Tohmat-e-ishq poshidaa qaafi nahin. Aaj bazaar mein pa-ba joulaan chalo)

India, which is known as a largest democracy in the world, has recently accused JNU students of sedition. It is the face of democracy, they have shown. Media, which is not free, called those students anti-nationals (Desh-Drohi.). On February 9, Jawaharlal Nehru University students celebrated death anniversary of Afzal Guru, and chanted slogans against Modi sarkar and demanded the right of determination of Kashmir. It is laughable; what they are accused of, speaks no-sense but the fear makes them do so. Aqdas Waheed Sandhila says, “To silence anybody, accuse him of being anti-national.”


Kanhaiya Kumar, President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union, was arrested, accused of the charges of sedition. Mr Kumar’s detractors claim he raised anti-India slogans at an event in campus which held to mark the execution of Afzal Guru. He is imprisoned in the same jail where Afzal Guru was jailed before being hanged. Among the accused were Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who surrendered, and are in jail for three days remand.

Umar Khalid, before surrendering, in his speech at JNU said, “I didn’t know that I have gone to Pakistan two times, irony is, I have no passport.”

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Faizanuddin said “The case against Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar does not amount to sedition. India is the largest democracy in the world. Something or the other is said every day in some corner of the vast country. Are we to be affected by this? What is going to happen to us by mere raising of slogans? I find it laughable.” – JNU case isn’t one of sedition.

Article-124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) states, “words and speech can be criminalised and punished only in situations where it is being used to incite mobs or crowds to violent action. Mere words and phrases by themselves, no matter how distasteful, do not amount to a criminal offence unless this condition is met.” Senior advocate Vikas Singh opines “In this case the intent to commit violence is lacking. Sedition is made out when you give a call to perform an action that is likely to obstruct or defy the government.

Zuhaib Ahmed Pirzada
M.sc I.R NDU
Pak-observer 4-3-2016
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Old Wednesday, March 09, 2016
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Liberal Pakistan?




George Bernard Shaw was right when he said: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” History is not free from the clutches of religious extremists from Galileo to Ibne-Rushd and from Avijat Roy to Salman Taseer. We have dozens of examples who faced the same destiny and Salmaan Taseer was one of them. Taseer, a liberal-minded person, fought for a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who was accused of committing blasphemy. The then governor wanted to see Pakistan as a progressive and liberal state. He tried to reform the blasphemy law as many a case have been filed against people accused of committing blasphemy for reasons unrelated to religion. He spoke the truth bravely, and extremists could not digest it.

On January 4, 2011, a fanatic, Mumtaz Qadri, in broad daylight, shot Taseer 27 times in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market.

Ibne Rushd, a great philosopher and astronomer, was killed by religious extremists only because he spoke about universe, stars and metaphysics. Galileo, the great scientist, was house-arrested simply because he said that the sun did not move around the earth. Avijat Roy was killed by militants in Bangladesh because he said that religious extremism is a virus. Salmaan Taseer, spoke the truth in a country where ignorance is a blessing.

It is pity we are heading towards a deep, dark abyss, where a person who killed a serving governor, is called a martyr and hero. Social media is full of slogans and applause in support of Qadri, and many religious leaders condemn the hanging of Qadri.

Hanif Qureshi, who allegedly instigated Qadri through his speeches to kill Salmaan Taseer, is a freeman on the loose. He is not alone, there are many. What can we do about the lawyers who showered Qadri with rose petals? Can one imagine what stories about Qadri will be taught to thousands of students in seminaries? To make matters worse, a large section of the so-called educated people seem to be pro-Qadri. Others, who are liberals say, justice is done, and many call capital punishment inhumane.

If the state wants to give justice completely then it must think about those who are punished for committing blasphemy as Taseer asked for. Let it be told to the people who think that the hanging of Qadri on February 29, 2016 was a bureaucratic decision and rightists will not be able to celebrate it. No, the funeral of Qadri has been offered on first March, and it will be celebrated every-year, as it seems to be.

The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohmmad Ali Jinnah, in February 1948 said, “In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims — Hindus, Christians and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”

ZUHAIB AHMED PIRZADA

Daily times

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Old Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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My write published in Pakistan Observer.

(The discourse, they use against downtrodden people)

A common discourse


Zuhaib Ahmed Pirzada

“If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake’’, Bill Gates. This is a common rhetoric I often listen to. I do not mind when a person who has not gone through education speaks this but when an educated person who calls him/herself an intellectual, utters same ruling class narrative, I have to ponder over it again. No doubt, this is how expression is being used. I am now habitual of listening to these statements, not a day passes when a statement beats my eardrum that this is fault of people’s laziness and their own unawareness.

They say that work-hard; be like Bill Gates as he himself was a poor, who stops anybody of not getting education? Yes, ironically, Bill Gates was right, and perhaps, he didn’t know that around 2 thousand children die daily of unsafe water. Yes, most of them, die poor. A ruling class discourse presents and publicises these examples and cases like Bill Gates, they show them like the symbols of success. At the other hand, majority of the population doesn’t get the basic needs, and cannot move themselves up. Making these examples, constructing the minds, has economic and political reasons which are not told to us because men like Bill Gates who are around 85, have as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

This clicks many a time my mind and reminds me of Karl Marx, “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production” Undoubtedly, mental production is in their hands, through media, education, and different sources, they cultivate and programme our minds. Yes, minds are being programmed. But, if one does not look at the things without empirical and historical evidences, the reasons would speak their tongue.

When this happens in a society, the victim is called culprit. When, one says, this is not their fault, and on serious note, the ruling elite argues, “this is, you people always blame others, and admit not your faults.” Let’s say, a feudal lord, who has 7 thousand acres of land, runs hundreds of families, joins politics for continuing exploitation, oppresses families and gets their votes, and to remain oppressor joins hands with other oppressors who are more powerful than he is. This is structural violence and imperialism. Laziness is not cause at all, it is symptom.

Like, fever is not a disease but symptom of a disease. The intellectuals, who do not tell masses about the real culprits, are not intellectuals in real sense. Through this, I appeal, whosoever reads this, must go through empirical reasons and not speak the imperialist language. If the intellectual is victim of hopelessness and alienation then its cause is his/her inaction.

—Thatta, Sindh
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  #19  
Old Sunday, June 11, 2017
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Default Turkish State Terrorism Will Not Eradicate The Age-Old Kurdish National Question

My Article Published In Dunya News.

Turkish State Terrorism Will Not Eradicate The Age-Old Kurdish National Question

Time after time, conquerors after conquerors, Kurdish people have gone through tragedies and repression. Even then they have always shown resistance against oppression and preserved their identity, culture and language. Kurdish tragedy didn’t happen overnight, it was conditioned by local and international settings. After WW1, the Kurdish people were parceled out among newly born states: Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. It was done by the powerful states, mainly British and France for their interests to keep this region in conflict. Now, in the recent decade, the Kurdish question is on the rise in Turkey, Syria and Iraq and it is mainly brutally oppressed by Ankara. In this article, it will be discussed how Turkey is targeting and oppressing the Kurds and repressing their national question.

In 1988, Saddam Hussain dropped poison gas bombs on the Kurdish City of Halabja; thousands died within hours. This was known as Black Friday for Kurdish people. Turkish state is also not pious or kind to Kurds; it has spread state-terror among the Kurds, viciously attacked them to serve its interests and controlled their population, which is approximately 18 million – the 4th largest ethnic group in the Middle East. Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine states that the Turkish state has targeted the Kurds’ identity, culture, and language and kept them economically and politically deprived after WW1. A 1924 mandate forbade Kurdish schools, organisations and publications. Even the words “Kurd” and “Kurdistan” were outlawed, making any written or spoken acknowledgement of their existence illegal. According to Association France-Kurdistan, between 1925 and 1939, 1.5 million Kurds, a third of the population, were deported and massacred. Thousands of Kurds are detained, hanged, tortured, exiled, jailed and killed. They are called “the mountain Turks.” They are neither Turks nor Persians and Arabs – they are Kurds. If one looks at the past two years, the Turkish police and armed forces have displaced half a million people from their homes in the southeastern Turkey, thousands have been detained and killed. Human rights are brutally violated by the state. The Kurd factor is securitised and perceived as a threat; in this regard, Kurds are deemed enemies, savagely suppressed and oppressed.

After the US attack on Iraq in 2003, Iraqi Kurdistan has become stronger. Islamic State and the conflicts in Iraq and Syria are creating a vacuum for the Kurds. A vacuum which is being filled with struggle and blood. The People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia, is fighting against the Islamic State and regaining their territories with the help of US, but it is targeted by Turkey. In 2015, the peace talks between Erdogan and The Kurdistan Workers’ Party finished, and PKK started resisting again, on account of Turkey’s operations against the Kurds. The IS factor and conflicts in the Middle East have given an outlet to the Kurdish question. History does not move in a straight line; it is spiral, revolutions are downed with the counter-revolutions. This is what needs to be seen in the future: how the Kurds and their leaders make their cause more prominent and achievable.

Turkey’s recent foreign policy is not driven by the Islamic ideology, or personality, but by the geopolitical circumstances. Turkey perceives Kurds as a bigger danger than IS, and has targeted the Kurdish forces fighting against the IS. Turkey is also targeting YPG in Syria, a Kurdish militant organisation supported by US. Turkey is targeting PKK and YPG forces who are fighting against the IS but supporting the Peshmerga forces of Iraq. The reason why Turkey is targeting the YPG is that it is the immediate threat – as there are 18 million Kurds living in Turkey. The areas which are captured by YPG are called the Kurdish independent territories, a self-declared autonomous region known as Rojava. The independence in Syria will have a ripple effect in Turkey. That is why Turkey calls YPG as the affiliated group of PKK. PKK is considered a terrorist origination by Turkey, US and EU, but YPG is not considered as a terrorist outfit – and Turkey has failed to prove it so.

The separatist movements can be theoretically defined through different lenses, like minority-majority-complex, fear and grievance, nationalism of oppressed, and the violence committed by state has the reaction in violence. Turkey is fighting against the separatist guerrilla group for decades and trying to crush the Kurds. Yet, it has failed to do so. There is famous saying among the Kurds: “No friends but the mountains” – by living in the mountains, Kurds have struggled for their survival. Circumstances in the region have gone in favor of Kurds though they have lost thousands of lives, they are gaining their territories.

Turkey is terrorising the Kurds by threat and use of force. National identity cannot be eradicated by force; the way Turkey is trying. The Kurdish question has been there for many decades, yet Turkey could not solve it. Turkey is repressing the Kurds as did Saddam Hussain, but today, Iraqi Kurdistan has greater autonomy and may move towards independence.

Kurds are a very ancient ethnic group and the sense of their national identity is dwelling in their genes. Turkey needs to look at Kurds as the insurgent groups, not as terrorist militias. The Kurdish national question remains very pertinent in the Middle East.

By: Pirzada Zuhaib Ahmed

Here is the link.

http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/15967/turkish
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Default Smashing the patriarchy — men need to join the revolution

Smashing the patriarchy — men need to join the revolution

Simone de Beauvoir understood the notion of gender being a social construct, and put it best when she said: ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’

Gender, regardless of a societal culture, remains largely a social construct. The latter refers to the behavioural, psychological and social conditioning of men and women, with this process being predominantly determined from birth. Simone de Beauvoir put it best when, writing in her seminal book The Second Sex: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”

This is how gender socialisation works. And in tribal, feudal, patriarchal and religiously conservative societies it may be said to be worse, or at the least, more challenging. Women become seen as somehow being ‘tainted’, a dark force responsible for the Original Sin. Sadly, this is true of Pakistan, where the prevailing ideologies of feudalism and capitalism meet to subjugate women; who ultimately begin to fear their own emancipation.

Feminism is a movement that confronts this structure, which systematically disadvantages women. It seeks to redress this imbalance (or abuse) of power by striving towards political, economic and social equality and justice for women. Contemporary feminism as we know it may be said to have originally taken root in the US and Europe, going back to the 18th and 19th centuries. According to Maggie Humm and Rebecca Walker, leading thinkers in this field, the history of feminism can be divided into three phases. The first wave took effect over the aforementioned centuries and focused principally on suffrage as well as other legal rights. The second wave came during the 1960s and 1970s and this period saw women protest for equal pay for equal work, wages for housework and the right to abortion. And then there was the third wave of the mid-1990s, which emerged in the wake of the new post-colonial and post-socialist world order.

Pakistani society clings to the myth that men (collectively) represent the agency through which women are granted emancipation. This is what is called an inverted position and, as such, we must stand it back on its feet if we are to give credence to the ideological authority that demands societal transformation

Here in Pakistan, we are still playing catch-up. Ours is a society that can at best be described as feudal, pre-modern, patriarchal and religiously conservative. Woman, as a result, is treated as a mere commodities; to be kept within four walls, murdered for the sake of honour, deprived of education, have acid thrown in her faces for daring to rebuff unwelcome advances, robbed of all rights. In short, she is burned, enslaved, branded, chocked, rendered invisible until she is chained and sold. Thus while we are happy to import most things western — when it comes to the fundamental recognition of women’s inalienable rights, we just aren’t interested; despite the work of feminist-oriented movements and numerous non-governmental organisations. Yet when such frameworks are weakened to the point where women are not motivated to participate — this leads to them “trying to get their space and doing away with patriarchal norms and values without actively joining any movement”, as Masroor Shah notes in his essay, Everyday Feminism.

The recent sexual harassment of female students at Sindh University is just one case of the many that are repeated throughout the country. Some in the teaching profession misuse the literal power that they wield in terms of having the final say when it comes to grades. Yet they also abuse their symbolic power, which is intrinsically tied up with the patriarchy, for exploitative ends. We must always stand with any women brave enough to speak up. For far too many are silenced time and again. This is because in a society like ours, we like nothing more than a bit of victim blaming. Meaning that if a woman is sexually assaulted — the fault must lie with her, no questions asked; no room for debate. Thus it becomes the woman who stands in the dock while those who commit sexual violence against her are left free to sit in the cheap seats. When such professional misconduct occurs, all who call themselves progressives must support the woman. This is especially important on university campuses — for without such solidarity, already low female enrolment levels will only fall harder.

Of course, not all progressives are as they should be. In other words, many have internalised the power dynamics that are set up to favour them. This may be described as the psychological inheritance of patriarchy, which is, we remember, a social construct determined at birth. But just because it may prove difficult to smash such shackles — doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try.

Different prisms exist through which to view both women’s oppression and emancipation, which include but are not limited to: liberal, radical, Marxist as well as psychoanalytical feminism. Here, I will try and take the work of Paulo Freire, the renowned Brazilian pedagogue, before following up with that of Louis Althusser, the equally renowned French Marxist philosopher, in order to examine notions of collective subversion of prevailing cultures and societies as a whole. Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed offers a technical study of the oppressed classes. For our purposes, I take woman as the oppressed and man as the oppressor within patriarchal frameworks built on feudalism and capitalism, in apparent ideological paradox. And I also argue that both parties are dehumanised by this social construct.


Pakistani society clings to the myth that men (collectively) represent the agency through which women are granted emancipation; or put another way, men alone have the power to liberate women. This is what is called an inverted position and, as such, we must stand it back on its feet if we are to give credence to the ideological authority that demands societal transformation.

The sad fact is that late feudal society recast man as the dominant power; a position that has been further strengthened under global capitalism. He therefore has no reason not to make use of this command he holds over woman. Thus, in this dehumanised state, he suffers from what Freire calls the ‘fear of freedom’. Though sadly what man fears is the freedom to oppress. Which means that he takes all possible measures to keep woman shackled and enslaved. And so it falls to the oppressed to liberate herself and, while doing so, she is also burdened with spearheading a revolution that also seeks to reconnect man to his humanity. For as Freire notes: “The pleasure in complete dominance over other person is the very essence of sadistic drive . . . Sadistic love is a perverted love — a love of death, not of life.”

It may also be said that woman, too, endures the ‘fear of freedom’. But here it is a fear of losing what little agency she has. This explains why so many women in Pakistan suffer in silence. This is what Simone de Beauvoir refers to as “lacking the ethical claim and fearing the loss of the small petty privileges that are offered to her at the cost of her liberated identity.”

All of which explains to a certain extent how woman may find herself bearing the dual identity of oppressed and (indirect) oppressor. We may adopt Althusser’s formulation that he employs to identify the pattern of workers’ struggle against the bourgeois intellectuals. For this offers a suitable framework to similarly try and smash the patriarchy. Indeed, writing in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, Althusser observes: “Class instinct is subjective and spontaneous . . . To arrive at proletarian class positions, the class instinct of proletarians only needs to be educated; the class instinct of the petty bourgeoisie, and hence of intellectuals, has, on the contrary, to be revolutionised.”

Thus the key rests in making women conscious of their oppression. Then comes radicalisation, swiftly followed by the call to figurative arms against prevailing patriarchal norms. At the same time man, too, has give in to revolution, in terms of reimagining this social construct.

Clara Zetkin was a German Marxist-Leninist feminist who lived more than a century-and-a-half ago. In Women, Marriage and Sex (a chapter from her book, Reminiscences of Lenin), she recalls the great man’s words: “In Petrograd, here in Moscow, in other towns and industrial centres the women workers acted splendidly during the revolution. Without them we should not have been victorious. Or scarcely so. That is my opinion. How brave they were, how brave they still are! Think of all the suffering and deprivations they bore. And they are carrying on because they want freedom, want communism.”

Yes, women are powerful. This is their war. And men have to stand behind them as they lead the charge towards smashing the patriarchy.



Published in Daily Times, November 5th 2017.
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