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Dated Mind

by Newsweek Pakistan
Indranil Mukherjee—AFP

File Photo. Indranil Mukherjee—AFP

When columnists excrete emotions.

Whenever there is tension between Pakistan and India, the media comes out brandishing the sword of unbuttoned rhetoric; and unfortunately, it sounds better in Urdu than in English, which is a “colonial slave” idiom haunted by rationality. Also, once the war of words starts with India, the enemy “within” too comes in for some drubbing. The message is: India is not the only enemy; there are India-loving slaves inside Pakistan who deserve to be chastised.

This is what was said on Sept. 23 on Page 2 of an Urdu daily of Lahore by a columnist who deserves instead to be on a couch talking to a sympathetic psychiatrist wearing a gas mask against poisonous fumes. The first beef was that India was threatening our actors and singers working there while Indian entertainers like Mahesh Bhatt and Om Puri have a free run of the parlors of the rich in Pakistan, interviewed by fawning journalists. The columnist doesn’t realize that he is equating himself with the crazy Shiv Sena gangs of India that Pakistan abominates as extremists maltreating our artists.

He then tilts into the historically irrational swoon of a warrior saying it doesn’t matter if Pakistan is smaller in size than India in almost everything because, in the 1945, 1965 and the minor 1987 conflicts, it punched India in the face. What is shameful is that, from 1988, some Pakistani renegade intellectuals and “U.S.-brainwashed dwarf politicians” started telling the people India was too big to defeat. Also, some Left intellectuals kicked out of their dubious employment in Moscow shifted into the cozy lap of America and started telling Pakistan to bend the knee to India’s superior economic and military might.

More: There are brave countries like China, Turkey and Russia who refuse to be cowed by the might of America and defy it. This was typical of a data-abhorring Urdu analyst who excretes emotion instead of correct information. China is the largest trading partner of America and is keeping the dollar afloat at a low inflation rate with its cheap exports. Turkey is a NATO ally enjoying longstanding relations with Israel. Shockingly an Israeli embassy is still functional in Ankara despite Erdogan’s self-damaging braggadocio. No other country is hurt economically more than Russia because of Putin’s reliance on the Russian nation’s nostalgic isolationism, the sort Iran recently got rid of after its economy collapsed under a strutting President Ahmadinejad.

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