What set Jawwad Farid off?
We are all painfully aware of the problems that exist in this country and there is no doubt that we should all be doing what we can to work towards fixing them. I am, therefore, not for a moment suggesting that we play ostrich, hide our heads in the sand, or close our eyes to the issues that need to be addressed.
Having said that, isn’t it equally true that we should open our eyes to some of the good things that are taking place, or have taken place in the last few years? I remember putting together a post in October last year which was entitled “This too is Pakistan”.
Well, recently our friend “Tech Lahore” put up a post – Postmodern Pakistan – which looked at some of the growth and developmnt that has taken place in this country in the recent past. He also asked what would happen if we managed to achieve the following:
1) 100% literacy, up from the current 50-60% levels
2) Completely indigenous power production for 100+% of our needs
3) Reduction in population growth to 1.2%, with further annual reductions from there on
4) Control over fringe nihilist elements let loose in our society by X, Y and Z.
5) Impenetrable external defences
6) An economy that produces a trade surplus
7) A quadrupling of GDP (and per capita income)
8 ) Strengthened institutions; parliament, military, judiciary, executive, law enforcement etc.
9) A culture of citizen contribution; better tax collection, more community involvement
10) Tier-1 infrastructure; roads, flyovers, underpasses, dams and more.
In his post, he analyzed all 10 points and suggested that they are all in fact achievable. The post, and his assumptions, have resulted in a lot of discourse on his own blog and on Pak Tea House, where it was also posted.
But that’s not all! He managed to set off Jawwad A. Farid, who sometimes disappears from the blogosphere for weeks. On reading TechLahore’s post, Jawwad was motivated to write not one, not two, but as many as five posts! Yikes! Talk about getting carried away! The posts can be found at the following links:
Myths about Pakistan – a rant or a middle class rejoinder , one
I want to be a chapatti when I grow up – or a middle class rejoinder, two
Myths about Pakistan or an Infrastructure rejoinder , three
You were saying, a rejoinder four
And half way across the world, Mannan Ahmed who goes by the name Sepoy, on the blog Chapati Mystery, reacted to a NY Times Op-Ed piece – a rant (certainly worth reading) that was equally responsible for inspiring Jawwad Farid into putting up post after post.
An introduction to Sepoy a.k.a. Manan Ahmed – in his own words:
Manan Ahmed, who holds a ph.d. in the history of Islam in South Asia from the University of Chicago, blogs under the sobriquet sepoy. He can also be found hanging out at Juan Cole’s Informed Comment: Global Affairs. From 2004-2008, he sometimes posted at Cliopatria.
He has always had the tendency to poke authority in the eye and run like hell. While not the bravest of tactics, this has ensured his absence from Gitmo. He loves history, sometimes in a creepy way. His posts are often smug and superior in tone but you should forgive him. He is just an academic, after all.
He has appeared on Chicago Public Radio, NPR, LA Times, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago news channels, and many on-line news and media publication – often acting as an ‘expert’ on Pakistan. None of the views expressed on this blog can be ascribed to his employer, his university, his landlord, the teenage mutant ninja turtles or leo strauss.
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