When things fall apart…

Posted: March 6, 2009 in India, Pakistan
Tags: ,

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity

I don’t really like poetry – I never did – even as a student. But I remember these lines from the Second Coming by Yeats for two reasons. The first because, the opening lines are part of a text book (Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe) I studied in school, and I thought they were chilling. The second is because these lines capture perfectly, the events that have been unfolding in our north-western neighbourhood. Gun battles on the streets were something we only read about in the Westerns of Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour and J.T. Edson – or in the movies. From books to theatres to the TV screens and now into our lives – it’s the Gunfight at the OK Corral that’s showing week after week – only these reruns are for real and playing out right next door. Pakistan is hurtling towards anarchy and no one, even if they wanted to, can do anything to stop it. But what can anyone do if the country itself wants to step into the abyss?

Shouldn’t the world be sympathising with the Pakistanis after all that happened in Lahore a few days back? But not too many people seem to be offering commiserations. It’s almost as if they’re saying “it serves them right.” Was it an inside job? The voices supporting that claim are getting louder. Yet our neighbours seem totally unfazed, brazenly continuing with their daily dose of cooked up ‘evidence’ and ‘arrests’. If one has to feel sorry for anyone, it would be for their sportspersons who will have nowhere to compete, not in their own country, and not outside.

And to think that the Pakistani establishment actually blamed India for the attacks. If that were true, it would have been one of those rare occasions that Pakistan actually cooperated with India over something! How else could the streets of a high security area be so totally devoid of security? Could the Indians have requested their ‘friendly neighbours’ to sanitise the area before they decided to attack the convoy, and then walked away from it all seemingly confident of not being engaged by security personnel? Only a demented mind could conjure up such a fantasy.

Today it seems ironical that Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah named his new creation ‘Pakistan’ or ‘pure country’. What’s happening there today is the result of 62 years of disinformation, bigotry and prejudices. Instead of talking peace and progress, Pakistan’s leaders have been indoctrinating their people with the belief that India is their enemy and destroying India would lead them to paradise. Good luck to them!

  1. Zubin Kabraji says:

    Sometimes we also stretch this just too far !Fact of the matter is that while one is descending in the abyss, the other is trying its best to ensure it stays there !

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