Mohajir Nationalism and its detrimental effect on Pakistan
by, 16-Jun-2012 at 08:33 PM (849 Views)
There is no question that ‘Mohajir’ people made a huge contribution in making Pakistan a nation. It was hard for the ancestors of the current generation to leave their homes and the graves of their forefathers and come to Pakistan. Indeed this was a big sacrifice. Furthermore, it must be appreciated that generally the people belonging to this background are highly educated and they form the backbone of Pakistan’s economy.
However, we must distinguish between two terms which are used synonymously; ‘Urdu Speaking’ and ‘Mohajir’ people. The later term ‘mohajir’ in the most simplest form means immigrant and the ‘Urdu Speaking’ term relates to those people who speak Urdu and many people living in Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan can relate themselves to being ‘Urdu Speaking’ and this fits in with our national language being Urdu. Therefore, all 'Urdu speaking' people can not be classed as 'Mohajirs', and certainly not those people who did not migrate themselves, but their forefathers did.
Integration of communities in the local and national culture is considered as an important factor for societies. The UK is the perfect example where ‘Multiculturalism’ was formed as a basis for society where people from different backgrounds could live together in harmony. However, with the 7th of July bombings this concept came under attack. Former conservative minister Norman Tebitt advocated for abolishing ‘multiculturalism’ in favour of ‘dominant culture’ where different groups had to fit in and accept the culture of the Majority.
However, Karachi is one city where many different cultures exist and yet there is a complete lack of harmony and people are murdered, this is motivated by political aims in order to strengthen the vote banks of ethnic groups which parties represent. The recent demand for the ‘Mohajir’ province which is covertly backed by MQM has increased tensions particularly between Sindhis and Mohajir people. The question which is disturbing is why do ‘Mohajir’ people still consider themselves today as Immigrants?
We must logically assess the implication of a person calling themselves as an ‘immigrant’. Firstly an Immigrant is ‘a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country’ this is the definition given by the Oxford Paperback Dictionary and Thesaurus (Third Edition 2009). The most horrific fact is that a person who considers himself an immigrant does not regard himself belonging to the country he has migrated to. Although some may dispute this, however, the evidence is stated in the definition that you are migrating to a ‘foreign country’. More interestingly, the very idea of an Immigrant province is absurd as no where in the world is this idea entertained!
On balance, we must consider the reasons why ‘Mohajir’ people want this province? They feel insecure and there is also an inbred feeling that although Altaf Hussain may not be the perfect person, however, he in their eyes is considered genuinely to be a saviour of ‘Mohajir’ people and MQM is considered to protect their rights. Although ground realities, as we all know are different. Therefore, there appears to be an inbred fear of leaving MQM. No matter how many are murdered they will carry on supporting MQM. This mindset allows Altaf Hussain to misuse ‘Mohajir’ people for his selfish aims of joining corrupt governments, whilst the poor ‘Mohajir’ people suffer in Urban Sindh and endure great difficulty with inflation, Unemployment, gas and electricity shortages and the volatile violence which plagues Karachi, On the other hand, Altaf Hussain sits in London totally immune to the difficulties of the Mohajir people with his lavish lifestyle.
An inference is often drawn from the tone of a ‘Mohajir’ nationalist that the Mohajir people have been persecuted, are ’poor’ and victims of the state. This propaganda has been used repeatedly by MQM in order to maintain its vote bank. The reality could not be far from the truth, Pakistan has never targeted ‘Mohajir’ people, and the hatred is against a group of extortionists, criminals and terrorists.
Unfortunately the ‘Mohajir’ people who call themselves with this term and support MQM are defeating themselves and also Pakistan. Due to this mindset, young talented generations have been sucked into ethnic politics, instead of entering national political arena. The net loss of this to Pakistan has been huge. Some have entered the politics of violence. On the whole, this is a very sorry story which makes one sad for the ‘Mohajir’ people and Pakistan nationally.
The Impact on Sindhi people of this ‘Mohajir’ nationalism is a profound betrayal of the care and hospitality they gave, when they arrived from India. It is the nightmare of every Sindhi that their mother province will be broken. One can imagine in the long term, the ethnic strife that this will cause and its impact on Pakistan will be deeply negative for cohesion and racial harmony.
I believe people in the ‘Mohajir’ community need to be challenged on this mindset and be given a genuine alternative to accommodate them into Pakistani nationalism. The challenge for all is how do we go about doing this? We must foster a culture of Pakistani nationalism and the prerequisite for this is leadership which genuinely believes in Pakistan and is centred on the principle ideology of Iqbal and Jinnah. There is a need to form common culture. Secondly, we must work hard to strengthen Pakistan’s economy, so poor people are not misused. Thirdly, we must educate people and show them reality. Fourthly, we must show courage and resolve to speak and say the truth and give hard facts to people on how many innocent people Altaf and his bandits have murdered. Above all we must ensure parties are all inclusive and care for everyone and not centred on protecting ethnic vote banks, this task is huge however we must work hard to achieve this aim.
Given the volatile nature of this cold blooded crocodile Altaf Hussain, one can only assume that after the creation of the ‘Mohajir’ province, the aims of a move towards an Independent ‘Mohajir’ state in the form of ‘Jinnahpur’ may be made. This will be disaster for Pakistan, and therefore Mohajir nationalism must be tackled intellectually.
Lastly this blog is not aimed at patriotic 'Urdu speaking' people who believe in Pakistan and are not aligned with the narrow minded ethnic mindset.0 Thanks, 0 Likes, 0 Dislikes