Published on Commonality, By Mustafa Khan, 06 March, 2009.
The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team is yet another reminder of how this corner of the world is wasting its energy in futility. If anything, terror will balkanize the people further. A fourth of the world population is concentrated into four countries of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with inadequate resources. Yet the highest priority of the governments is defence expenditure rather than human development index. That hardly makes anyone safe and secure, least of all from their perceived or real enemies …
… The Asian subcontinent is a mosaic of different cultures but it has humanity and fair sense of sharing in the values of what different religions have taught over the years. In the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks there was a popular ground swell for sharing the suffering the victims have gone through and how to reach out to them. There was also resentment against the government and politicians who failed to respond as they were more preoccupied with corruption and mismanagement. In what way does a Zardari or Sharif cut a different figure?
There is a letter from the editor of The Post of Lahore where the writer gives vent to the feelings of many ordinary people: “My nation asks where the hell more police officials were, so that they could have stood right in front of the firing spree. My people also regret their presence at the scene so that they could have stood between the firing and the players’ bus. And believe me, if the masses would have been allowed, they must have not only ensured that any injury to any player, but have also picked up some of the culprits.” According Fareed Zakaria Muslims generally would “settle for order” and the letter of the editor is imbued with that spirit. Recall the gathering of people at the Taj hotel showing solidarity and desire for peace and resentment against corruption and ineptitude of government in protecting life of the people. It too was expression of the same human spirit.
Pleasing Gods With Public Money, By Ram Puniyani, 07 March;
Kerala Madrasas: Charting A Different Course, By Yoginder Sikand, 07 March, 2009.