The Unholy Struggle

Hayat Khan Yousufzai
Saturday, 09-June-2012

 

The current bombing at the graves of the great Pukhto poets, intellectuals, and elder statesmen is the testimony of wiping out the existing culture of the land. The attack at the tomb is not only the attack on individual but rather the proclamation of mutiny against the overall past and future of the Pukhtoons and generally the Sufi icons and heroes. The growing scourge of militancy and extremism in our society is not against the so-called proclaimed infidel Europe and America but by and large against our cultural symbols, norms, customs, and Pukhtoonwali. As the famous Philosopher Will Durant says that without history and identity a nation would be like a lunatic freak. The attack on the symbols of the Pukhtun heroes and literary figures denotes the eradication of the existing norms of Pukhtoonwali and the replacement of retrogressive interpretation of Wahhabism which is also called Arab imperialism. The attack on the tomb of the great Pukhto legendary Sufi poet Rahman Baba, Bamyan Statues, and Swat historical sites of Buddha indicates that all the cultural and civilizational icons of this rich land would be maliciously vanished. But it would be the most insane and wrong perception to kill history of a nation, but it would be more counter-productive to strengthen the sense of nationalism and re-emergence of Sufism among the pacifist Pukhtoons.
These acts of cowardice have not been novelty in this part of the world. The militants blew up the famous shrine and tomb of the great Baba-e-Ghazal Hamza Khan Shinwari on July 22, 2011, the attack on the Ghazi Baba shrine in Budhaber, Sheikh Nisa Baba and Sheikh Bahdur Baba in Khyber Agency. These mighty icons and symbols of the Pukhtoon nation would never be fade away from the memories of the actual sons of soil, and they will never forgave the enemies of their culture. Historically, Pukhtoons respected Mullahs, Sayyeds, and graveyards, and for a long period of time they remained under the influence of the shrines and tombs of the great Sufis and spiritual figures. Sufism has deep imprints on the Pukhtoon land and a large number of Sufi shrines dominate their land. But the current growing influence of the oil producing gulf and the massive migration of the Pukhtoons for the search of livelihood to Middle East influenced the whole social fabric of their daily pattern.
Within the historical roots of the Pukhtoon social organization, it has been obvious that the nature of their Tribalistic norms looks somehow egalitarian in nature and spirit. With the passage of time, like other societies, Pukhtoon social pattern had also been experienced slight shift while countering and interacting with other people and communities. It was because of some important causes, i.e., the intermingling or migration, and the shift from traditional mode of the economy to cash economy and thirdly, the impact of globalization on their socio-economic pattern and behavior. As says Robert Nichols in his book “A history of Pukhtoon migration” that the Middle East migration encouraged remittances to home country that transformed local architecture and consumption patterns even as the possessors of new wealth challenged established social hierarchies for degrees of status and leadership. Gender relations were increasingly adjusted or upset as women left behind by migrating husbands often took charge of family affairs and finances. Irregular and illegal migration proliferated, even as old power structures tried to monopolize access to the new opportunities. The globalization process in terms of scientific technology and modern education also somehow transformed the world view of the traditional Pukhtoon way of life.
Secondly, the Sour revolution transformed the whole arena of politics in this region. All the religious mind set has been encouraged to counter USSR and to defeat it along with its ideology. The pan- Islamism of Syed Jamaludin and Syed Ahmad Shaheed sowed the seed of political Islam along with the role of Saudi Arabia to promote Wahabbism in Pukhtoon belt. Zia Ul Haq formed Jaish-i-Muhammad, Lashkari Jhangvi, Sipah-i-Sahaba etc, for the promotion of political Islam and the defeat of USSR. They openly chalked out their agendas everywhere at walls. These radicalization processes indoctrinated the whole society at length and breadth of the country. Saudi Arabia wants to replace Wahhabism instead of Islam and their harsh and retrogressive philosophy. These Wahabbis blasted the tombs of great Sufis like Rahman Baba. Rahman Baba was the most acceptable Sufi poet to Pukhtoons in Hujra, Jumaat (Mosque) and in home. They also attacked on the Hujra leaders and elders of the Pukhtoon belt. Traditional and indigenous culture of the Pukhtoons provides peace and harmony to society. The traditional agencies of social control like Hujra, Jirga, and Tega provides effective ways of conflict resolution in their society. Unfortunately, the scourge of militancy and terrorism ruthlessly vanish the traditional leadership among the Pukhtoons and the remaining became fearfully silent. The terrorists targeted numerous tribal Maliks in FATA and local nationalist leaders in Swat. The militants spitefully attacked on Pukhtoon culture and destroyed the peace of the land. The centuries old equilibrium between Hujra (Men Guest House) and Jumaat (Mosque) has been broken down by the political expansionist ideology under the sacred guise of religion.
    The current chaos is the tussle between two ideologies, the one who wants education, science, rationality, while the second one wants conservatism, and is against science and technology. They want to impose inertia and stagnancy in the society because these are the basic elements of their survival in society. They have no skills, and education, if terror persists, they will survive, and their profession is terror and fanaticism and they almost consider threat from the nationalist and loyal people of the Pukhtoon belt.
The recent bombing at the mausoleum of the great nationalist poet and politician Ajmal Khattak starkly denotes the attack on Pukhtoon culture and civilization. The religious blend of the Pukhtoons stems from their rich history of Pirs, Faqirs, mullahs, Sayyeds, Akhunzadas and their spiritual and moral dominancy among the laymen. The militants are staunchly against the pluralistic and diversified spirit of the Pukhtoon land and these multiple attacks on different Sufi’s and poet’s shrines and other cultural symbols indicates the construction of a new cultural identity, whose philosophy are based on xenophobic and paranoid feelings.
Yousafzai_16@yahoo.com



    

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