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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Only in Pakistan – antonyms are synonyms

Every time I feel low & feel like having a laugh, I log on to the Net. Earlier I used to get my dope from The Onion. But knowing that the writers themselves intended them to be funny & not be taken seriously [though they have :D] lead to search for something more real [after all as an Indian I do live in the land of “reality” shows :)]. Real-life, unintended humor PWNS The Onion BIG TIME [no offense].

Thus when it comes to Pakistani media outlets, one can quite confidently state that they are the proud and rightful torchbearers for the fast dwindling community of make-asses-out-of-ourselves individuals. I’d even go out on a limb and state “Pakistan is the last man standing as far as the idea of making asses of oneself is concerned”. The funniest part, I feel, is that people concerned probably do not even realize the mockery they make of themselves every time they indulge in their desperate bid of trying to convince the world of the superior society of martial race that resides in that corner of the world, that has been called moth-eaten by its very own [pork-chomping, whiskey swigging] Muslim founder. The resulting buffoonery that emerges is, in all likelihood, unintentional & possibly owes in no small measures to their professional obligations & commitments.

Thus wanting to lift myself out of one of the state of melancholy despair I’d slipped in to, I turned to my favorite source of humor – a Pakistani newspaper. Never the one to disappoint me, it surely had me in splits & the pall of gloom that appeared to have descended upon me seemed to have melted away – just like that. The headlines in one of its prominent news outlet read

Pakistan has better literacy rate than India

Ummm....okay. If you have data to back that statement, I’m willing to accept it. After all you have apparently quoted a source from the United Nations. But no could it be funny if it is true. Among the other Pakistan-uber-superior-to-India conclusions the article drew, was this clincher conclusion,

“The education rate and literacy indicators in Pakistan are better than those in India, a United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) report said on Wednesday....

....As per details regarding education, the report said that in Pakistan, 32.3 percent male and 60.4 percent female above 15 years of age were literate. 23.1 percent male and 45.5 percent female above the same age were literate in India....”

This is the above mentioned report the article apparently quoted. Monitoring ICDP goals: Selected indicators [PDF 462 KB].

Have cropped off the other countries, leaving only the data pertaining to India & Pakistan for ease of comparison. As can be seen the claim about 32.3 & 60.4 percent literates in Pakistan actually referred to the percentage of illiterates in Pakistan.


Now in most civilized societies that place high value & importance to education, the difference between the concept of  literacy & illiteracy is distinctly known and not to be confused or used interchangeably – it would be a disgrace to the teachers imparting education in that nation. However it seems not to be the case for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – where literates are illiterates and illiterates are literates, such is the greatness of that nation.

So not only, is the percentage of literate Indians above the age of 15 higher than that of Pakistan, but also Pakistanis have once again successfully & comprehensively proven their failure to make sense of available data, leaving no iota of doubt in the minds of reader where the last bastion of unpretentious/unintended real-life self-flagellating humorists reside – the vast population of uneducated masses displaying self-deluding grandeur of national & religious superiority.

Though in all fairness to Pakistan, with all of its educational institutions having been shut down owing to the apparently unislamic nature of education, it would be highly unfair of the rest of the world to expect them to know and conclude any better. As has been stated by the learned, disuse of ones Grey Cells inevitably leads to the catatonic dystrophy of grey cells – as is being witnessed in Pakistan. Any way, there appears to be no relation or use for literacy & Pakistan’s greatest national export -  Jihad and Sooooside Bummers. So why bother studying.

Having said this there is absolutely nothing in the presented data for me as an Indian to feel happy or gloat about. We too would be deluding ourselves, living in denial & slipping into complacency if we compare our data with that of failed nations that sustains itself on international handouts and feel good about ourselves.

India is destined for greatness. As has been announced recently, India is projected to be one of the three biggest economies of the world by 2050. It would be a momentous achievement no doubt, considering the state of our nation post-independence. Yet for a nation that has been home to some of the oldest and proudest of civilization – the leader of the world order in historical times, it is somewhat of a ignominy to be considered as ‘among the top three’, instead of the ‘top among the three’ [agreed, poor word play :D]. It would be a national shame if India, home to harmonious inter-mingling & co-habitation of multiple religion continues to lag behind China, a nation that engages in remorseless persecution & oppression of the the believers. We owe it to ourselves & to our rich history to correct this projection & become the most powerful nation of all times. Only then would we have fulfilled our destiny. In order to realise this destiny, we have to strive towards creating an Indian Society that has achieved human development & welfare as seen in the Scandinavian countries,  coupled with the power-wielding stature of post-Cold War America [the immediate aftermath]. The best of these two regions we must strive & inculcate into our own society. Only then would we have achieved our destiny.

We should always remind ourselves where we stand in comparison to the aforementioned regions & align our actions to achieve the intended goals.


But hell, nobody said work has to be all serious & no laughs. In fact laughing our way through work would make our work that much more easier & enjoyable. So for some pure unadulterated laughter, untainted by commercial considerations, just take a look across our western borders into the land of the pure [globe-trotting beggars] and self-exploding biological entities.