Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Democracy or Theocracy?

"Democracy or Theocracy - Whats your take?" asks Reuters for their poll. Apparently.. there is a huge difference between the two. Democracy means the Rule of People. What they want and what they desire that is manifested in the form of legislation. Theocracy on the other hand is "an imposed" legislation so to speak. It is not representative of peoples wishes and desires but rather has been imposed on them from outside - God or priestly order lets say.

But is it really so? take the case of Pakistan. 90% of the population is muslim. We have a parliament that does the legislative acts. Since parliament consists of representatives of the people so acts undertaken by them are supposedly manifestation of people wishes. Democracy as one says it. Now if pakistanis want to be governed by rules specified in Quran by Allah... and parliament decides to legislate accordingly.. aren't we exercising a democratic right? Or does democracy mean something else? like.. any order BUT from religion?

Is Reuters asking the right question? I don't think so.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Say It With Ease...

You see them around you a lot. On streets, traffic crossings, sitting outside shops and in bazars.. they are everywhere... I am talking about beggars.

I was going home in a bus and popped in two "religious students" .. Talibs to be more precise. Cant write Taliban because now it has become a cuss word of sorts! I don't know whether I should call them beggars.. but the end was the same. That their medressah (school) was having some water problem and the students their could not say their prayers because they could not perform ablution. They brought in God, Prophet Muhammad, every other person who could be brought in to make people dish out money. And people did.

Honestly.. I think people of my country are too good. Religion too has played its role. Helping out the poor and the needy is considered virtuous and if any person can be helped that somehow directly is attached to religion (Imam of mosque or students) then more the good. This is supposed to make God take a lenient view of the person who gave the money.

I absolutely don't have any issues with that. What I am concerned with is that people are being exploited. God knows who is a deserving person but the trend and pattern one sees. makes you think otherwise. Just the other day.. two religious students hopped in to the bus and asked for money.. this time the reason was that there was nothing for dinner for the students in the mosque. They gathered the money, blessed them from Gods side and out they went... simple.

People gave money with all their sincerity because they are God fearing. What the hell were those students doing? I should not be making sweeping statement because maybe they had a genuine problem. I, myself, make an assurance that whoever is receiving the money.. is a deserving one.

May Allah be the judge of hearts and intentions.