IRSHAD SALIM — Back in November I pointed out several competing wannabe Beethoven’s in our homeland. I included PM Imran Khan, Khadim Rizvi, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Tariq Jamil, Siraj ul Haq, or et al–for different and competing albeit conflicting reasons though. I should have then included Maualana Saeed Azhar by name rather than having clubbed him among “et al”.
Beethoven, he great angry young composer was a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Classical music and remains one of the most recognized and influential of all. Our own angry young men are each trying to write their own script–they have their own blues, and every time the one with the sweetest music (Imran Khan’s) tend to stand out, a string is lost until another note catches up–just as in the animated video of Beethoven’s 5th symphony below. The miss and gap are at times patchwork of agony and ecstasy and sometimes too bloody and painful like the recent one.
There has now been an addition to the list of wannabes–from across the border though, and I can hear Achtung (danger) up, close and personal unlike the Blues or a Beethoven. Our backyard and our Right of Way (ROW) separating us from our eastern neighbor was transgressed by PM Modi’s Nero-style flute-playing doo dat. He’s embarked upon playing his own symphony long and high-note enough to mesmerize his dwindling crowd across Bharat until elections are held in April/May and he’s off to a second ride. No matter if Rome burns, he thinks.
Many saw it coming. Imran Khan’s peace-pipe smoking last September therefore for understandable reasons was given a shutup call by a recalcitrant Modi. The newly-elected Khan responded with, “Oh well it’s election year in India, so we’ll take it up after then.”
Khan Sahib’s violinist in him took a pit-stop but Modi’s Tan Sen in him subtly played along until his symphony started to sound with a big bang.
Achtung! The smooth operator in Modi emerged like Starwar’s Darth Vader. Khan Sahib sang a Sade.
Both Modi and Khan have competing interests within and in the region. Khan Sahib wants a closure to the long festering finger-pointing by India accusing Pakistan of destabilizing occupied Kashmir and internationalizing the territorial dispute. Delhi has been with utmost futility trying to make it look like an internal mayhem on its rooftop. But Modi crossed the line. Kashmir now stands internationalized.
Previously, we have been overtly supportive of Kashmiris in the occupied valley fighting for their struggle for self-determination. Not any more really. Don’t need to. It’s now a hundred percent made in Kashmir struggle by its youth and women alike, and on auto-pilot, as many including Rober Fisk and Arundhati Roy have pointed out. So did the Human Rights Commission report last year.
Pakistan left it to the Kashmiris to carry on their struggle and focused on successfully eliminating extremism and terrorism within. There was no reason therefore to whistle or fire bullets or pass on ammo across the border and wait for the flames to reach its border. The Pulwama attack bomber was a Kashmiri youth turned militant, no matter what Maualana Azhar claims–he’s another wannabe (for Satti I consider him).
Khan Sahib therefore wants peace—and created a new equalizer in the conflict: human values–by releasing the captive Indian pilot. He’s home now. No need to burn your heart when the soul speaks. Reminds me of Ahmed Rushdi’s famous ‘Dil Ko Jalana Hum Ne Chor Dya’ song recently played by Radio Pakistan.
Born in Hyderabad Deccan, Rushdi like millions migrated to Pakistan and became a leading singer in the film industry. He is also considered to be the first regular pop singer of South Asia and credited as having sung the “first-ever South Asian” pop song, “Ko-Ko-Korina in the film Armaan.”
Pakistanis and Kashmiris’ longing (Armaan) is for peaceful settlement not dispute and are willing to move along even if it’s a Beethoven’s 5th symphony animation ride. PM Khan is one up on this while Modi is back to the drawing board. Allah Khair Karey (May God bless us all)
(The writer is a business consultant, analyst, and Editor-in-Chief of PKonweb, DesPardes and BE2C2 Report–presently based in Islamabad)