Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the clever will not be in paradise

I came across the following masterpiece the other day:

Aksar ahl al jannat ablah, ai pisar,
Bahr in guft sultan ul bashar
Ziraki chun bad kibr-angez tust
Ablahe shu ta bamanad din durust."


"For this cause,O son, the Prince of men declared
The majority of those in Paradise are the foolish.
Cleverness is as a wind raising storms of pride,
Be foolish, so that your heart may be at peace."

Immediately, I thought of the clever people of Bangladesh - the so-called educated men and women, our 'thinking' elite.

Take the economists who backed Sheikh Mujib: they thought they knew everything, that they had wisdom enough to determine the future of 70 million people. In the event, as we all know, thousands died through violence and starvation, not to mention the hundreds of thousands that perished in the civil war. People like Rehman Sobhan, Mozaffer Ahmed, Mosharraf Hossain...were 'clever', and they are still 'clever', backing 'democracy' and 'civil society', terms too big for me to understand.

Now, we have 'clever' fools, who pride themselves on thinking like white people, our former masters...Mahfuz Anam, Zafar Sobhan, son of Rehman, Rowshan Jahan, wife of Mozaffer Ahmed, Abul Barkat, the partisan economist, Ali Zakr, an Indian patriot, Rownaq Jahan, wife of Rehman Sobhan, importer of ideas from American universities, my cousin in the United States who thinks I am unintelligent for not believing in democracy....So many clever people.

These people are all 'zirak', Persian for 'clever'. I don't know if they'll go to paradise or not, but I know they have made life hell for their compatriots - those who are not 'zirak'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you not agree that that is the true path to happiness? Rumi stayed away from the matters of state and devoted his entire life to matters of the heart. His was a writing to illuminate the heart, because the entire universe is in the heart. The universe around that you perceive is a reflection of your own qualities. The lover sees love everywhere, the troubled see trouble everywhere. The world is reflection of what one is. Up to one's level of metamorphosis... that is.