By B. G. Verghese
A kingdom in Denial through veteran journalist B.G. Verghese explores a subject matter of vast worldwide significance—Pakistan, and the place it's situated with regards to India and the world.
After a brisk review of the occasions that experience come to outline post-Independence Pakistan—the conflict for Kashmir; the combination of Karat and Hyderabad into India; the construction of Bangladesh—Verghese, drawing from infrequent archival fabric, ways topics that experience lengthy been contentious—the Indus water treaty, Siachen and A.Q. Khan’s risky nuclear forays.
Even whereas interpreting Pakistan’s present-day plunge into inner dissent, self-made jihadi extremism, provincial competition and armed forces rule, Verghese deals a gradual means out of the nation’s self-made dilemmas—by encouraging Pakistan to develop into greater than the Indian ‘other’, and urging it to maneuver clear of fundamentalism and embody the syncretic, Sufi-infused Islam it as soon as knew. B.G. Verghese’s final booklet is a strong reminder that the center factor with Pakistan isn't really Kashmir—rather, it's the loss of a transparent identification, the absence of a favorable ideology, and the reluctance of the country to totally settle for its heritage.
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He brought me upright, then locked arms with me and signaled the man on my right to do the same. Thus steadied, I kept shooting, and felt a moment of silent gratitude. I knew I'd been lucky in making the acquaintance of Akhtar. In our first conversation we'd discovered something in common: both of us were teachers. "Then we are colleagues, so to speak," had been his judgment. Since then he'd treated me as his special charge. " Two custodians in black tunics brought out the battle-standard of Abbas.
Pilgrimage to Mecca. Almsgiving. I smiled, nodded, reminded myself of the Egyptian proverb that states al-Sabr gameel: Patience is a beautiful thing. In our second conversation the topic moved nearer my goal. Seyyed Abbas talked about the practice of matam. This term can refer in general to acts of lamentation for the deceased, but in Shia Islam matam denotes specifically gestures of ritual mourning in honor of the Karbala martyrs. Matam can range from simple repetitive chest-beating to self-flagellation with razors, chains, and knives.
Husain himself was killed, his household taken captive. The train of prisoners, including Husain's sisters Zaynab and Umm Kulthum, was marched through the desert to Damascus. Here Yazid is said to have gloated over the severed head of his rival, which had been brought from the battlefield for the caliph to dishonor with blows from a cane. Here too, within the very palace of Yazid, Zaynab held the first majlis (plural: majalis), or lamentation assembly, to mourn for her brother. During this period of imprisonment Husain's fouryear-old daughter Sakina died.