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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Iqbal_Hadi_Zaidi
Full Name: Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
User since: 26/Aug/2008
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Are we sane or insane, may I dare ask?

One of the popular English daily dated 7th instant captioned one of its news ‘Angry mob disrupts Eid musical show in Nowshera’ and hence I would like to comment on the same for certain cogent reasons and not otherwise.

The news says that more than one hundred performers were to perform in Government College of Technology, Khandar to raise funds for the flood effected people and, to be honest, I am not only in full agreement with the organizers at this point of time rather will support them in future too in their efforts simply because the guiding force behind the show is not minting money for self but collecting money to be distributed amongst the marooned ones. On the face of it, there seems to be no fault so far as the heading and or the news under reference is concerned and thus anybody including me if raises even his eyebrows he can straight away be labeled as inhuman if not enemy of the floods stricken people. Yes, I am again with you and not against you simply because as a Muslim I know that helping a needy is one the religious and moral obligations which we must discharge and earn blessings of Allah Almighty. Who else can be more deserving than those who once lived in their own houses but the ravaging floods have devastated to the extent that the said four walls of the concerned owners are gone and they are subjected to live bare handed and depending upon charity food right under the open blue sky? Moreover, this is the holy month of Ramazan when people not only pay annual zakat as ordained by Islam but they also dole out whatever they can for others hence any effort irrespective of its approach and manifestation to look after others is most appreciable and commendable.

Having said so let me analyze the whole scenario quite microscopically so that not only the intellectuals but even a lay person can quite easily understand my view point devoid of any confusion, befuddlement, mystification and or doubts. I, to corroborate my very statement, will raise some very typical, illustrative and relevant questions, though not shrewd and astute, which will eventually support me to complete my article. First and the foremost question, is that as to why and how it had been named as ‘musical show’ which I very strongly believe should be shunned and not encouraged in The Islamic Republic of Pakistan but I am sure it did not strike to the respected organizers otherwise they had neither done so nor I had to pick up my pen on the subject. Perhaps, it was feared by our those noblest lot who thought of rising to the occasion to help the needy that if they had arranged Holy Quran recitation competition, or for that matter Naatia Mushaira, they had their doubts if they could have pulled sufficient crowd and if the crowd is not pulled then the very purpose of collecting money for the needy and arranging any function is defeated. I remember that it was Ramazan when around mid 1970s India had released its super hit film Mughle Azam resultantly some of the Lahorites who were offering prayers in mosques, deserted them and did skip their prayers and instead preferred to switch on their tv and were glued to watch the Mughle Azam, and who knows, may be the organizers of the Eid Musical Show under reference do remember the said incident and were not prepared to take a chance to arrange any Islamic program and consequently they were obliged to act accordingly. What a pity that we skipped prayers just to watch a film, pretty bad on our part as a Muslim nation. Do we feel proud to watch a film and ashamed to offer prayers, God forbid?

The second objection is that who were expected to watch the show in Khandar which as per Google is in Mirpur, AJK but it is immaterial even it was in located Nowshera as hinted by the newspaper? I very seriously doubt if the area whether AJK or Nowshera is so fertile and house none but very effluent people who could have heavily donated to watch the show. I have never been to both the areas except that once I had visited my uncle in Nowshera cantonment but in the given text my suck like trip to Nowshera is quite immaterial and, therefore, I can be wrong to presume that Khandar and its surrounding areas must have tasted the onslaught of wild floods and, if it is true as I presume, then how could one expect the bare handed people to donate at the show when are themselves struggling to keep their bodies intact? Who were the targeted audience, to start with may I ask for at least for my own enlightenment, if not for others? In case if the local populace was either less than the expected in numbers or, on the contra, they were more than the seating capacity but they being themselves poverty stricken simply could not even buy the ticket  of the show what to talk of donating towards the funds raising efforts.  In both cases, the organizers had very bleak chances to recover even half of the expenses and the question of earning for others which was the only logical and rational reason to go for the venture does not arise. Alternatively, the organizers if were sharp, brainy and quick-witted then they may have had some special arrangements to import rich audience from posh localities of our principal cities namely Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, to name a few which were not flooded in any case to watch the musical show and empty their hefty purses. Even for academic discussion, we assume that the organizers too could import their audience like our parliamentarians induct their voters, the question is as to how much money must have they incurred on the logistical execution of the plan?  Expenses must be less than income is the very basic and core principle of any business activity, venture and or even Eid Musical Show. Who answers the question which itself is a trifling and unanswered question?

Next come the performers, who as per the news, were more than one hundred as reported in the news and I will augment it by saying that even though they could have been more than one thousand, for that matter, the natural question is where are they from and who are they? Can one hundred, forget about more than hundred, be from Khandar itself? The answer could be both yes or no. There cannot be any reason to disbelieve that all the hundred performers were from Khandar and adjacent localities.  It is against the principle of nature that the performers cannot be born in the area under discussion and therefore no more discussion about the residency of the performers. Believing that no expense was incurred to import performers from outside, which earns a plus for Khandar, the question is are they crowd pullers also like our known performers who are certified as magnetic crowd pullers not only within the country but overseas as well? I think, in all fairness, it must have been a fine mixture whereby local performers are nicely blended with external performers and this practice of mixing up is quite known in all the areas on the face of earth irrespective of the territorial and or topographical locations. Mixing does provide an ample chance for the beginners and amateurs to learn from the pioneers and, therefore, the organizers had an inborn prerogative to do whatever suits them the best and they cannot be questioned as to why do the local performers were queued up with the outsiders. Any idea how much did they spend to bring the outside performers to the show unless the whole lot did not ask for any money to perform at the show?  I wish that none of the two, whether indigenous and or imported performers though numbering at least one hundred if not more asked for any money to perform at the show. 

Just last question before I wind up the episode. The news is that the show was very much on when the angry mob raided the place forcing the organizers not only to stop the show forthwith but also had to ask for police help to disperse the ugly crowd. The police, ordinary police barring the Elite police, did come to the rescue of the organizers as and when they were called and it will be highly objectionable, immoral and absurd on my part not to commend the efforts of the police which eventually did succeed in pulling out the performers at least if not the audience.  I simply cannot be wrong that had the organizers arranged such like program in any of the principal cities, they must have earned quite hefty money for the poor destitute. Guess, even if wild, as to how much cash and or kind, the organizers had collected till the time the show came to an abrupt halt and your guess will either substantiate or oppose my caption, ‘Are we sane or insane, may I dare ask?’

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With my honest and solemn prayers.

Sincere Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Former Diplomat / Kuwait
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