Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two-hundred-fifty years of mental subordination

Decline in religious belief ("desacralization") is associated with "progress" (that is, Europe) by our intellectuals.

Since the British ruled us for 200 years, it is still with Britain (and Europe, by extension) that our intellectuals identify. They are caught in a time-warp, as if last year was 1947.

Since our intellectuals don't have a single original idea, (rendered incapable of thought by the Pax Britannia), they growl like dogs at a stranger at the slightest hint of religion.

But not all religions.

Since the intelligentsia are incapable of thought, they are thoroughly incoherent: their hatred is directed, not at all religions, but at Islam, and their love towards Hinduism (and by extension all things Indian).

According to Ian Stephens, this was the attitude of the British (and the Europeans) towards Islam and Hinduism – loathing for the former, and admiration for the latter. As editor of the prestigious Statesman (which first blew the whistle on the famine of '43), he was in a position to know and articulate what his fellow Britons thought and felt on the subject: "But the attitude towards Islam of westerners, American and European – a less obvious but interesting matter – needs some discussing here and now. Their lack of interest in a country so exceptional as Pakistan, so populous, so strategically important, a country, moreover, which has allied itself with them militarily; their frequent symptoms of a vague emotional repugnance; their inclination to turn elsewhere, towards other less significant parts of the map, combine, on reflection, into something strange, which asks for inquiry. (Emphasis added)." After considering practical matters of administration and empire, Stephens turns to religious history: "It is the rough military fact of seizure of European soil by, for him [the Occidental], an alien, infidel regime, that grips his thoughts....Or, delving deeper into European group-memory, where the hurt of it still festers a little, he may think of the high hopes, the chivalry, the faith and then the disillusioned, ignominious end of the Crusades."
"It can scarcely be questioned that, though detailed attempts to analyse them would be absurd, thoughts like these do distort the westerner's attitude towards Islam, and therefore towards the interesting country dealt with in this book." (Ian Stephens, Pakistan, Old Country, New Nation, Penguin: Harmondsworth, 1964, pp 15-16, 19)"

Despite sixty years of "independence", we still think the way our former masters wanted us to think.

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