Siasat ke rockstars

گزشتہ دنوں بالی وڈ کے نوجوان اداکار “رنبیرکپور” کی فلم “راک اسٹار “ ہوئی جس میں رنبیر نے ایک نوجوان گلوکار کا کردار نبھایا ہے جو کہ محّبت میں ناکامی کے بعد ایک “باغی” کے روپ میں ابھرتے ہوئے “سڈّا حق اُتّھے رکھ” کی صدا بلند کرتا ہے، اگرچہ فلم میں اے آررحمان کے ترتیب دیئے میوزک کوبہت پسند کیا گیالیکن فلم کو اس حد تک پذیرائی نہیں مل پائی اورباکس آفس پر سیمی ہٹ قرار پائی۔مرکزی کردارمیں باغیانہ جھلک کے حوالے سے ہندوستانی ویب سائٹ “فیکنگ نیوز” نے ایک سیٹائریکل فیچر چھاپا جس میں فلم کے مرکزی کردار اور ڈائرکٹر کی جانب سے یہ بیان دیا گیا تھا کہ بہت جلد رنبیر کپور باغی راک اسٹار کے روپ میں ٹی شرٹس اور پوسٹرز پر گوریلا انقلابی چی گویرا کی جگہ لے لیں گے۔

بھارت میں یہ تجربہ فلم تک محدود رہا لیکن پاکستان میں میوزیکل پرفارمنس ، ساٹھ اور ستّر کی دہائی کی انقلابی شاعری ، بائیں بازو کی اصطلاحات (جسے اب دائیں بازو کی جماعتوں اور سوشل نیٹ ورکس تک محدود لیفٹ کے تھکے ہوئے عناصر نے اپنا لیا ہے) کے سہارے عملا انقلابات لانے کا رجحان زور پکڑتا دکھائی دے رہا ہے

نوجوان گلوکار شہزاد رائے اپنی ایک میوزک وڈیو میں بغاوت پر آمادہ ایک نوجوان کے کردار کی منظرکشی کرتے “قسمت اپنے ہاتھ میں لینے کی دعوت دیتے ہوئے” خود کو میزائل حملے کا نشانہ بنتے دکھارہے ہیں اور اسی طرح کے میزائل حملوں پر سراپا احتجاج عمران خان کے جلسے میں “اٹھ باند کمر کیا ڈرتا ہے” گاتے ہوئے پائے جاتے ہیں، عمران کے اپنے لوگوں نے اسٹنگرز کے بل بوتے پرروس کے خلاف جہاد کیا تھا عمران نے “اسٹرنگز” کو ساتھ ملا لیا ہے اور علی عظمت اپنے فکری مرشد زید زمان حامد کی ہمنوائی کرتے دکھائی دیتے ہیں

سابق وزیراعظم نواز شریف کے فیصل آباد اور سندھ کے جلسوں میں بھی ہجوم اکٹھا کرنے کے لئے گلوکاروں کا سہارا لیا گیاسندھ کے شہر لاڑکانہ کے جلسے کے لئے لگائے گئےکیمپس سے لوگوں کو میاں نواز شریف کے جلسے سے خطاب سننے کی دعوت کے ساتھ یہ بھی بتایا جارہا تھا کہ اس موقع پر محفلِ موسیقی کا بھی انتظام کیا گیا ہے۔گانے کے لئے عوامی سطح پر مقبول گلوکار شمن میرالی کی خدمات حاصل کی گئیں تھیں، تاکہ لوگ تقریر سننے نہ سہی تماشہ دیکھنے کے بہانے ہی چلے آئیں

اب سیاسی عمل میں مقبولیت کی چانچ کا بنیادی عنصر تو بیلٹ باکس ہی ہے وہی اس بات کا فیصلہ ہوگا کہ کس کا شو زیادہ ہٹ رہا لیکن جب تک جانچ کا وہ مرحلہ آئے “سیاست میں میوزک” اور “میوزک میں سیاست” انجوائے کریں، ویسے بھی تماشہ کرنے میں اور دیکھنے میں کیا جاتا ہے

Freedom and Lights: Ode to Bombay – by Shaheryar Ali

Written on Novemebr 28, 2008

Once again they have attacked, at the heart of Bombay. Bombay is every thing which they hate. Bombay is Freedom, Bombay is Life, Bombay is Music, Bombay is Light. This is the  attack on city of Lights. 100 people have been killed in cold blood. The attack is an attempt to over throw Indian democracy and secularism. The madness which has engulfed this world due to George Bush’s and OBL’s war of Terror has now struck  India.

India stands as an anti thesis of every thing on which OBL and Bush believe. A country with many languages, cultures and religions and yet a nation united on the principles of democracy , secularism, equality and social justice and modernism..

They will fail to destroy India , they will fail to destroy the thousands of years old tradition of culture of tolerance and wisdom. Bombay lives, united and whole, full of lights and music, it will once again be. Prophets of darkness can never defeat Light. Because Light is eternal because Light is truth .  Bombay is the new Beirut , a war zone , where Imperialists  and Fascists play havoc. But neither did Beirut surrender nor will Bombay.

The gloomy night which came to city of lights has reminded me the lines of Faiz Ahmad Faiz , which he wrote for Lahore. “O city of Lights”. Today his city is Bombay. Today our city is Bombay and we will not surrender.

“City of Lights”

On each patch of green, from one shade to the next,
the noon is erasing itself by wiping out all color,
becoming pale, desolation everywhere,
the poison of exile painted on the walls.
In the distance,
there are terrible sorrows, like tides:
they draw back, swell, become full, subside.
They’ve turned the horizon to mist.
And behind that mist is the city of lights,
my city of many lights.

How will I return to you, my city,
where is the road to your lights? My hopes
are in retreat, exhausted by these unlit, broken walls,
and my heart, their leader, is in terrible doubt.

But let all be well, my city, if under
cover of darkness, in a final attack,
my heart leads its reserves of longings
and storms you tonight. Just tell all your lovers
to turn the wicks of their lamps high
so that I may find you, Oh, city,
my city of many lights.

(Translated by Agha Shahid Ali)

Courtesy: Sherryx’s Weblog

a few videos




Lyrics
Man Kunto Maula

shaah-e-mardaaN
sher-e-yazdaaN
quvvat-e-parvardigaar
laa fataa illaa Ali
laa saif illaa zulfiqaar

King of the brave,
lion of God,
[and] strength of God.
There is no one like Ali [and]
there is no sword like Zulfiqaar*.

* Zulfiqaar was the sword of Ali presented to him by Muhammad.

Ali imaam-e-manasto manam Ghulaam-e-Ali
hazaar jaan-e-giraamii fidaa-e-naam-e-Ali

Ali is the master of all, I am the slave of Ali
thousands life are to be sacrificed for Ali.

man kunto maulaa
fa haaza Aliun maulaa

To whom I am the master
Ali is the master.

Note: A famous tradition (hadith) of Prophet Muhammad. Ali was his cousin and son-in-law.

daaraa dil daaraa dil daar-e-daanii
tum tum taa naa naa naanaa, naanaa naanaa re
yaalaalii yaalaalii yaalaa, yaalaa yaalaa

Mystical chants sung by Sufis without any specific meaning.

In some versions, Nusrat has also recited the following stanza:

Ali shaah-e-mardaaN imaamun kabiiraa
ke baadasht nabii shud bashirush naziiraa

Ali is the king of the brave and the great leader
because after the Prophet there is Ali.

Lyrics: Amir Khusro

Ustad Muhammad Umar (Rubab) and Ustad Zakir Hussain (Tabla):

From the Smithsonian website:

Zakir Hussain and Ustad Mohammad Omar met only on the morning of the show and they did not speak the same language. This proved to be no barrier to their music making; Ustad Mohammad Omar and Zakir Hussain spoke with their instruments, weaving a graceful tapestry of sound. The concert was so well received that recordings of it were bootlegged around the world for years thereafter.

Some Imran Khan quotes about Shariah in Pakistan

  • From Kal Tak with Javed Chaudhry 21/1/2009
    [This is his answer to the first question in which he talks about shariah in general terms, and not specific to Swat (although I suppose it’s open to interpretation)]

    IK: dekhiyay, sharamnaak baat yeh hai keh hum kehtay hain… hum musalman hain aur shariat say dar jaatay hain. Shariat kya hai? Shariat nabi (SAW) ka rasta hai. Yeh aap ki… agar aap musalman hain tau aap shariat pay chalna chahtay hain.

    humain khauf hai shariat ka naam laytay huay dartay hain. yeh jo badkismatay hai kay jo mulk kay parhay likhay laug hain, woh kamaskam batayain tau sahi keh shariat kya hai. main aap ko batata hoon keh meri nazar main shariat kya hai. Shariat khilafat-e-rashidun hai. Uss ki kya bunyaad thi? Adal aur insaaf; aur falahi rryasaat, aur aik khuddar ryaasat jo kisi aur power kay saamnay na jhukay. yeh shariat nizam ki bunyaad hai. hum kyun dartay hain shariat ka naam laytay huay?

  • Jawab Deh with Iftikhar Ahmed, 1/2/2009 (great interview btw)[this had nothing to do with Swat .. 23:00 into the video]

    Iftikhar Ahmed: aap shariat kay haami hain?

    IK: main bilkul samajhta hoon kay shariath honi chahiyay. Aur shariat jo mainay study ki hay woh khilafat-e-rashidun main jo shari nizam hai woh jo aap nai shuru main tehrik e insaaf ka manshoor bataya tha: khuddari, insaniyat, aur insaaf. yeh teen. yeh shariat ki yeh bunyaad hai

    Iftikhar Ahmed: is mulk main kis fiqah ki shariat par amal kiya jayay ga?

    IK: main to nahin jaanta, main to apni ki [shariah] define kar raha hoon. main to yeh keh raha hoon jo main … study kiya hai, aik islami ma’ashray main insaniyat honi chahiyay aik falahi ryaasat honi chahiyay, udhar adal aur insaaf hona chahiyay.

    after this there is a great section in which he rationalizes suicide
    bombing, etc.

  • Meray mutabiq with Shahid Masood 2/22/2009

    IK: …aik hamari so called liberal class hai, woh dar gayi hai keh shariat aagayi hai, ab pata nahin shariat aagayi hai to kya honay wala hai, haath kaT jayain gay. Shariah to adal aur insaaf hai, insaan ko insaan banati hai aqalmand jaanwar say insaan banta hai. Shariat to aik ma’ashray kay andar adal aur insaaf, aur insaniyat, falahi ryaasat ka naam hai

    Shahid Masood: yeh kaam acha kiya phir hukumut nay?

    IK: main yeh keh raha hoon, in logon nain to pressure main kiya…

    SM: Laikin kaam acha kya, na?

    SM: aik aisa kaam karti hai jo unke manifesto main nahin tha. yeh ajeeb si baat nahin hoee?

    IK: yeh jo laug lay kay aayay thay iss hukumut ko woh liberal alliance bananay aayay thay, main bataadoon, woh Negroponte aur Boucher nain jo liberal alliance banayi thi, Musharraf ki aur PPP ki, ab Allah ki shaan dekhain kay liberal alliance Shariah lay aayi hai (laughs) yeh bhi Allah ki shaan dekhain (laughs again). Udhar ANP bhi liberal thay. Ab dekhain na, Holbrooke ki statement kitni ghalat hai keh yeh jo shari nizam hai yeh baRa bura ho ga. Kya ab woh hamain yeh bhi bataayaiN gay keh hamain kaunsa Islam laana hai?

The nightingale’s torment…

  

Post by takhalus
Rahman Baba was a famous 17th century Pashtun poet and sufi, nicknamed the nightingale of Peshawar. A symbol of Pashtun culture and poetry, his contribution to Pashtun culture was acknowledged by the provincial government which constructed a mazar near Peshawar city in his honour.

Writer William Dalrymple wrote about the mystic nature of Rahman Baba in this article back in 2004:

Last autumn I visited a Sufi shrine just outside Peshawar in the North West Frontier province of Pakistan. Rahman Baba was a 17th-century mystic poet, and his tomb has for centuries been a place where musicians and poets have gathered. A friend who lived nearby in the 1980s advised me to go on a Thursday night when great crowds of Pathans would sing mystical love songs to their saint by the light of the moon.
“What can we do?” he replied. “We pray that right will overpower wrong. But our way is pacifist. We love. We never fight. When these Arabs come here I don’t know what to do.”

I asked the guardian of the shrine what had happened to the musicians.

“My family have been singing here for generations,” he told me. “But now these Arab madrasa students come here and create trouble. They tell us that what we do is wrong. Sometimes arguments break out – even fist fights and brawls.

“Before the Afghan war there was nothing like this. It only began when Reagan and the Saudis starting sending jihadis to Peshawar. Before that the Pushtuns here loved Sufism. Now trouble happens more and more frequently.”

A prophetic comment, as yesterday morning the shrine was bombed by militants, according to the dailytimes

Locals said the administration had also been warned before the attack to stop women from visiting the shrine.

While he would not have recognised the explosives used, Rahman Baba would have recognised this attempt by the masters of religiosity to destroy his philosophy. After all.. he was targetted by the mullahs of his time..he wrote

“I couldn’t find peace in my search for him. It became unlawful for me to be careless in my religion.”

…and sadly so it had again…rest in peace, Rahman Baba.

P.S the systematic targetting of Pashtun culture in NWFP and FATA is something which I shall be writing about another time.

Myths about radio jamming

The Taliban are thought to be operating weak mobile transmitters. A mobile transmitter that can be carried on a bicycle or motorcycle will have to be very weak. It will need to run off of batteries and also have a low antenna (low antennas limit transmission range since the signal is more likely to be blocked by obstacles such as trees, hills, houses, and buildings). So realistically, the Taliban’s mobile transmitters will be limited to below 1kW almost definitely and most likely below 500W (especially for the bicycle version). It simply cannot compete with a large, stationary transmitter with a dedicated diesel generator acting as a power supply. A small radio station can easily output 100kW of effective power (a term for the combination of the true transmitter power and the gain from the antenna), and its very tall antenna will make sure that signal reaches just about every receiver in the area without being blocked. Army equipment, which is not artificially limited by government regulations, can easily surpass this.

Some common claims about the “impossibility” of jamming the Swati Taliban’s radio station and why they are incorrect

1. The Taliban are using mobile transmitters so they can’t be tracked, let alone jammed effectively.
This is a basic misunderstanding of how jamming works. When you jam a signal, you do not do anything to the transmitter itself. There is no high power beam that you shine on the transmitter that somehow makes it stop. Instead, radio jamming works by sending a competing signal to the receivers you are interested in (in this case, home radios). The stronger signal will win and the other signal will be silenced. FM radio, in particular, is very easy to jam due to something called the capture effect. FM radio receivers used in homes and cars are designed to eliminate noise and interference by locking onto the strongest signal available and suppressing weaker signals. This allows a clear, static free broadcast even when neighboring radio stations accidentally overlap on the same frequency (or nearby frequencies). An AM radio, on the other hand, does not distinguish noise and interference from the true signal, so you end up with static or even several voices talking over each other.

As a consequence, jamming an AM source requires lots of power and the resulting reception will be unintelligible because you have to completely drown out the competing signal with a uniformly loud tone (otherwise you could hear the original signal during the quiet moments). However, jamming an FM signal requires only marginally more power than what your opponent is delivering and you can deliver a coherent signal such as an alternative broadcast or even silence.

2. The radios can’t be jammed because they constantly switch frequencies.

Frequency switching is a defense against jamming only when the receivers are also programmed to switch frequencies. By switching between dozens of frequencies every second, it becomes very difficult to jam because you have to send a strong jamming signal for each of those frequencies. This multiplies your cost (in terms of equipment and power) by as many frequencies as your opponent is using. However, home and car radios are not programmed to switch frequencies in conjunction with other devices. If the Taliban transmitted on 50 different frequencies the broadcast would be unintelligible to a home listener because they would only receive 1/50 of the data. FM works by transmitting on one primary frequency called the carrier and a very small neighborhood of frequencies around it, which contains the actual sound information. When you tune your radio to 88.1, that is actually locking the receiver into the 88.1MHz frequency range plus or minus 100kHz for the sound data. If the Taliban switched from 88.1MHz to 96.3MHz, your radio would go silent until you also switched.

The Taliban may be using advanced frequency hopping for their own strategic communications — there are commercially available walkie-talkies that do this — but they could not possibly be using that technology to broadcast their programs to the public because regular FM radios do not support it.

3. The military can’t jam the FM radio without also jamming their own radio communications, in effect harming more than helping.

This suggestion is just silly. While FM can be broadcast on any frequency, consumer radios are only designed to receive FM transmissions in a certain range of frequencies — typically from around 85MHz to 110MHz (though in most regions the range is smaller). The military uses frequencies outside this band to avoid interference to and from civilian FM transmissions. The entire FM radio range could be jammed with absolutely no effect on military communications — or indeed, cell phones, television reception, wireless networks, or anything else. Frequencies are distinct and broadcasting or jamming one range of frequencies doesn’t impact other ranges.

Conclusion:
As you can see, jamming a weak transmitter is almost trivial, whether it’s mobile or not, and no matter where it’s located in your target region. You will never be able to jam it 100% since it will always dominate a small area around it, but you can quite limit that area of dominance to a tiny area that makes it insignificant and prevents your opponent from achieving their information goals.

Another technique that could be used by the army which would be more direct is simply using a direction finder and then physically finding and shutting down the transmitters. An FM broadcast is a notoriously easy signal to track because it makes absolutely no effort to hide itself (such as by employing frequency hopping as noted above), unlike military communications. Free plans for building an FM signal locator can be found with a quick google search. The army even has a special type of missile called an anti-radiation missile that has such direction finding hardware built in. From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-radiation_missile:

“An anti-radiation missile (ARM) is a missile which is designed to detect and home in on an enemy radio emission source. Typically these are designed for use against an enemy radar, although jammers and even radios used for communication can also be targeted in this manner.”

ARM missiles are expensive so this would not be an effective use of resources. However, in principle, the army could use basic direction finding equipment to track the signal from a helicopter, fly near the location, visually spot the transmitter, and disable it with a machine gun.

A brief overview of radio broadcasting Continue reading

A couple things

So ever since I read this account of Tariq Ali’s speech in Toronto in which he apparently “eulogized the neo-Taliban as an indigenous movement representing Pashtun nationalism”, I’ve been wondering what Pakistani leftists who support this seemingly ridiculous stance think of it. Today I finally got to talk to one and I came away pretty disgusted from the conversation with a few impressions

  1. He justifies the brutality of the neo-Taliban by saying that what’s going on in NWFP is just side-effects of the revolution or war and that things will settle down, kind of like the Cuban revolution or something.
  2. He is willing to support a transnational movement and pretend that it’s just a legitimate nationalist resistance to western imperialism.
  3. He doesn’t see the hypocrisy in the fact that what he hates most about the US role in Afghanistan (that Afghans were freedom fighters against the Soviets and now terrorists against NATO) is EXACTLY what he is now doing in reverse.
  4. He really doesn’t care about anything but one-upmanship over the US. To the point where he is actually willing to support the extreme right-wing in Pakistan in order to achieve this!
  5. And sort of a side-note, but interesting: he doesn’t consider communism or Islamism to be imperialism. I’m still trying to wrap my head around a good way to express the brilliance of this, it’s something like: the trick is to call your brand of imperialism legitimate resistance or justice or something.

Debate over creation of Federal Investigation Agency in India

India Today has a piece by Sandeep Unnithan1 about the debate over the creation of a central agency to investigate all terror-related crimes. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh argued for the need for the Federal Investigation Agency days after the Jaipur blasts and complained that plans for its creation had been stalled because states were reluctant to surrender power to the central government. Critics argue that agencies created after crises have not had a good record in India:

Yet, the fate of agencies created after crises-the National Technical Research Organisation set up after the Kargil War and the Joint Intelligence Task Force after the 2006 Mumbai blasts-has led experts to question the creation of a new agency.

“It will be sensible and economical to augment and empower an existing organisation like the IB than create a new one,” says Ajai Sahni, Centre for Conflict Management.


1 Unnithan, Sandeep. “Elusive Agency”. India Today. May 22, 2008.

Indian soldier killed in firing from Pakistan, militants sneak in

Bad things are happening along the Jammu and Kashmir border. Last week, militants tried to cross the border at Samba, in Jammu. Today, Indo-Asian news service is reporting1 that there was gunfire in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch which started at around 7:15 am and killed an Indian soldier of the Ghorka Rifles. Lt Col S D Goswami, defence spokesperson in Jammu, said that the firing from Pakistan was unprovoked and that “Rockets, UBGLs (under barrel grenade launchers) and small arms were used in the firing,”

Even worse, there were unconfirmed reports that at least six militants infiltrated into India under cover of the firing. “An official of the Gorkha Rifles, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: ‘We have instructions to play down such incidents.'”


1(May 19, 2008). “Indian soldier killed in firing from Pakistan, militants sneak in”. The Hindustan Times.

One man mission

This article profiles the Indian Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar’s efforts to have the Panchayati Raj system of local government integrated into mainstream Indian politics. Despite the 73rd amendment of the Indian Constitution, which was passed in 1993 and which formally ushered in Panchayati Raj as part of the Indian system of government, it did not even have a division, leave alone a ministry until 2004. Today, the three-tiered system now has over 2,600,000 representatives. Despite the large numbers of representatives voted in, the 73rd amendment has met with opposition across the board. According to Aiyar, “If we want to move from India prospering to Indians prospering, there is no alternative to Panchayati Raj.”

Article: One man mission
Author: Shankkar Aiyar
Publication: India Today