I am the substandard of the academic branch of social activities in Pakistan. I have the student-position in university. Pedagogy, however, fills the middle chambers of the academic order; and a politically highly backward establishment of Pakistan orders universities. Countries where universities are ordered by politically backward establishments, unfortunately, do not feel the need for thought and science in society. Where a society doesn’t feel the need for thought and science, there vast majority of people live an unfortunate sub-human life in labor, strife and terror, such as in Pakistan – more importantly in its smaller, and in effect subsidizing, provinces.
The idea of studentship is generally taken as the age or time of learning, as if it couldn’t be something more than that; and such as all normal and commonplace superstitions, the idea of studentship is almost every time passed off unrevised. Students in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, and may be elsewhere too, are, as if by norm, expected to put on an onerously cosmetic behavior, which is generally respectful to all elders and particularly obedient to teachers. I have most of my student-life struggled with that. But now all of a sudden I feel quite unencumbered!
I finally feel I have overcome this trouble. I no more generally respect all elders, but only those who happen to have some virtue in them. I definitely like quite a few teachers, but obedience I have, of course, entirely done away with. I also believe most of university teachers in Pakistan should either have been in bureaucracy or business – some should have been in sports. In most of university teachers in Pakistan, in all honesty and respect, there are some fundamental moral contradictions. What is more, there is also a fundamental issue between teachers and students, which needs to be resolved, and it is that students should refuse learning by imitation, and start learning by reflection, in whose censure the teachers are also red-handed.
It goes without saying that I have still left a number of censures to break; yet I feel quite lucky to have savored, a number of time, that great delight which comes only through breaking a formidable censure. I have seen that every external censure is also in the mind, which keeps obfuscating and retarding the growth of our thoughts, and which is why all censures are first broken in the mind. For every censure that we break in our mind, we secure more happiness for it and gain more ground for intellect.
Fourteen years of a vicious war in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its nameless Fata-appendage has, in its miserable wake, renewed some old thoughts among the Pashtun students in Pakistan. With the advent of the Afghan war, when Pakistan was under the martial law of a politically Islamist dictator, Peshawar University became intellectually a barren land, as Zia’s regime had donated it in the foot-path of international Jihad. I feel that Pashtun students have intellectually and politically shown a growth in the last ten horrible years. It is interesting to see that one Pashtun female student is even a Nobel laureate.
Just that this new Pashtun student awakening may be strengthened more, and so that it may not be nipped in the bud, I have resolved to be, in political sense, fully concerned. Henceforth I will some time write political things in English, too. “I even hope”, like Voltaire in Zadig, “that when thou are tired with those general conversations, which differ from the Thousand and One Nights in nothing but in being less agreeable, I shall have the honor to entertain thee for a moment with a rational discourse.”
Writer: Wakeel Khan
Editor: THE PASHTUN TIMES
The writer is a student of Pakistan Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University. He writes fiction in Pashto.
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