ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Social Forces and Ideology in the Making of Pakistan

Religious parties were implacably hostile to the Pakistan Movement. When, inaugurating Pakistan's constituent assembly, Jinnah proclaimed Pakistan's secular ideology he was voicing the established secular ideological position that the Muslim League had adhered to throughout its career. Fundamentalist Islamic ideology played no part in the origins of Pakistan, although contemporary ideologues of Islamic fundamentalism, including academics, claim that it was Islamic ideology and slogans that created Pakistan and that they therefore have the right to decide its future.

Underestimating Urbanisation

The underestimation of Pakistan's urban population - due to changes in the census methodology and spatial demography of urbanisation - has resulted in the failure to capture several important aspects of current urban demography. There is an urgent need to understand the significance, magnitude and nature of the phenomenon of urbanisation, as it is the key to developing an understanding of the political process.

Pakistan: Elections: Continuity Rather Than Change

The military donning some civilian clothes and Pervez Musharraf gaining further support to his authoritarian regime are two obvious outcomes of the elections.

The Roots of Elite Alienation

The alienation of Pakistan's elite from the country's politics, culture and society, which had its roots in the opposition to Z A Bhutto's populist political culture, gathered pace with the 'Islamisation' process under Zia. The resulting isolation and their disengagement from the social and political processes damaged the country's academic institutions, public places and the social and physical environment. The new elite generation is entirely Englishspeaking, with no relationship to the country's literature, history or geography and especially to the physical space in which the vast majority of Pakistanis live.

Language, Power and Ideology

Language has been intimately related to ideology and power in Pakistan. While Urdu is conspicuous as a symbol of Pakistani identity and national integration, other ethnic groups have seen this as a version of internal colonialism. Indigenous languages thus become tools that serve to assert ethnic identity and ensure a wider mobilisation.

Perils of a Self-Serving Bureaucracy

This article suggests that without diverting expenditures from large-sized, overstaffed establishments the government will not be able to address the problems of corruption and incompetence in the public sector. The lack of clarity on the role of government and an over-extended regulatory framework also act as a brake on private sector investment and production.

History, Ideology and Curriculum

The many political crises that Pakistan has experienced since it came into existence has had an impact on history writing in the nation. Imperatives of political centralisation are reflected in mainstream history writing's attempts to homogenise culture, traditions, the religious and social life of its people.

Politics of Opportunism

Political developments in Pakistan since 1999 have seen growing moves at power centralisation, accompanied by a curtailment of constitutional directives and other institutions of democratic governance. With western powers paying mere lip-service to universal civilisational principle, it is the politics of opportunism that now forms the new guiding principle much as it had during military regimes in another era.

Political Islam

Political Islam in the Indian
Subcontinent: The Jama’at-i-Islami
by Frederic Grare;
Manohar and Centre de Sciences
Humane, New Delhi, 2001;
pp 133, Rs 200.

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